MacDiarmid Memorial

Historic Buildings, Monuments & Statues, Monuments & Statues
This imposing, metallic “open book” structure celebrates the works of the man considered by many to be the pre-eminent Scottish poet of the 20th century.

About MacDiarmid Memorial

Beside the twisting road linking Langholm with Newcastleton, on the brow of Whita Hill, visitors will encounter a memorial to the poet Hugh MacDiarmid. Born Christopher Murray Grieve on 11th August 1892, MacDiarmid - as he restyled himself – would go on to become a co-founder of the Scottish National Party and one of the foremost proponents of Scottish independence after the union of 1707.

MacDiarmid’s political leanings set him at odds with many in the community, but he harboured a deep fondness for Langholm as evidenced in his reference to the annual Common Riding in his 1926 opus “A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle”. The poet was educated in the town and brought up in the building which houses the Thomas Telford Library. On his death, he was buried in Langholm.

Created by the sculptor Jake Harvey, the MacDiarmid Memorial was unveiled in August 1985 and achieved greater fame when it appeared on the cover of Scottish rock band Runrig’s 1993 album “Amazing Things”. Its “open book” structure depicts many of the themes explored in MacDiarmid’s celebrated work.

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