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Mapping as Art: Alasdair Gray's Falls of Clyde Mural

Part of the Mapping the Past trail

Enjoying a drink and the artwork at the Riverside Tavern in Kirkfieldbank.

Painted in 1969, Alasdair Gray’s “Falls of Clyde” is one of Clydesdale’s hidden gems. Located in the Riverside Tavern at Kirkfieldbank, the 35 foot long mural maps out Gray’s own impression of the River Clyde, combining important natural and cultural heritage features.  The same landscape features have been painted many times by other artists, including William Turner, and have been inspiration for writers such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Sir Walter Scott. 

Alasdair Gray had this to say about the mural and the Clyde Valley: 

"This part of the river is fascinating for its geology, natural history and the social history of Scotland through its connection with William Wallace, the early industrial revolution, David Dale and the Scottish co-operative movement.

"I have since enjoyed many walks with friends here, especially at weekends when Bonnington power station is switched off and the Clyde Falls can be seen with the full force that astonished Wordsworth and Coleridge." (Quoted on BBC News Online, 13 April 2009. )

He also said, “I tried to make this long, narrow mural combine many views of the Clyde gorge from Bonnington Lynn to Cora Lynn and New Lanark, being well aware that the Falls had been painted by many great landscape artists, including Turner." (Carluke Gazette, 24 April 2009.)

You can view the painting when the Tavern is open.  It’s a real treat for those interested in the creative side of map making.

This listing was created as part of the Mapping the Past project, managed by Northlight Heritage and delivered by CAVLP Heritage. Explore the site as part of the Mapping the Past trail (see right).


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