Searching for sculptures


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Cambridge is a city of sculptures with three trails to follow, put together in 2009 by a group of art enthusiast volunteers. With the help of grants from the lottery and Cambridge City Council, plus generous donations to the cause, they were able to put their fantastic idea in to place.

I always think a sculpture adds something exciting and intriguing to a landscape, and of course makes for a good photo opportunity. I love their uniqueness and whilst they might look ‘a bit weird’ to some people, I love they symbolise something important to the artist inspiring them enough to create them (I have similar thoughts about tattoos, but that’s another story!)

During a recent ‘staycation’ I decided to go for a wander around Jesus College, one of the colleges in my city I’ve never visited. I always enjoy wandering around the beautiful grounds of the colleges. Stepping through their entrances in to peaceful and perfectly manicured gardens and courts, leaving behind the bustle of the city streets, always feels like stepping in to a completely different world.



Anyway, I digress. I didn’t just visit the college to admire its grounds, I went in search of sculptures. Jesus College has 26 permanent sculptures throughout its grounds, such as a famous bronze horse which stands majestically on the perfectly cut grass of First Court as you enter the grounds.

San Marco Horse by Barry Flanigan. Donated to Jesus College in 2009

A link taking you to the PDF map of the college’s permanent sculptures can be found at the bottom of this post.

Alongside these are a number of temporary sculptures, created by an all female line up of artists forming the ‘Sculpture in the Close’ exhibition. Held every two years, this is the 15th year it has been held at the college.


‘Bunker’ by Mona Hatoum


‘String Quintet’ by Shirazeh Houshiary









As I wandered around enjoying the challenge of searching for them, and taking (lots of – naturally!) photos, I was inspired myself.  I decided it would be fun and interesting to weave a little sculpture writing/photography project, using the three sculpture trails as a starting point, through this blog.


‘Eyebenches’ by Louise Bourgeois

I enjoy a challenge and aim to find them all, do a bit of research, understand them and why they have been placed where they are and perhaps also speak to some of the artists. Ticking them all off the trail lists as I go (like something akin to a train spotter excitedly ticking of trains!)


Stacked Chairs and Megaphone – both sculptures by Phyllida Barlow


Stacked Chairs


At this point I have no idea where this project will take me in writing and blogging terms, but it will be fun to find out.

I already delved in to the world of sculptures a few years ago when I wrote a short general article about the sculpture trails, so I’m looking forward to revisiting some of the sculptures and discovering others.

Here’s one of my favourite sculptures from the Cambridge trail list. This one is situated at the Scott Polar Research Institute Museum on Lensfield Road in Cambridge.


‘Inukshuk’ Unknown sculptor (but traditionally built by Inuit and other Artic tribes)


Do you have a favourite sculpture? If so, what is it and where and why do you like it so much?

Useful information

If you would like to visit the ‘Sculpture in the Close’ exhibition there is still time, as it ends on September 17th.  Find out more by visiting the above link.

An information booklet and map are available for £4 from the Porter’s Office and come in very handy.  Follow this link for the PDF map of its permanent sculptures.

Here is the link to my local secrets article about the sculpture trails in Cambridge.

Up to date listings of  Cambridge’s sculpture trails can be found here


Capturing character and history – A mini photo tour of Cambridge


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Entrance to Clare College. Cambridge University is made up of 31 Colleges. Clare is its 2nd oldest college founded in 1326

Confession…I am addicted to Instagram, there I’ve said it. What does this addiction mean though? For me it means my phone, and inevitably my Instagram gallery, is full of things that have caught my eye on my wanders around my home city of Cambridge, and a good helping from other places I’ve explored.

I enjoy capturing snap shots of the character, quirks, and ‘story’ of a place I am exploring, and yes I realise it means I am one of those annoying people who can be walking along, and then suddenly I’m not. I’ll usually be pointing my phone at something that intrigues me, looks pretty or is interestingly ugly characterful, or old, perhaps an interesting shape or angle, or strangely a bicycle fitting in perfectly with its surroundings (we aren’t short of bicycles in Cambridge!)

Corpus Christi College. The sixth to be founded (in 1352). The only college at the University founded by towns people.

I started this blog late last year and the card-carrying procrastinator that I am, have been waiting for the perfect first post. I realised recently if I continued waiting I’d never post anything! So, light bulb type moment, I thought it would be fun to write a post showing Cambridge’s character and abundant history, through some of my many photos.


Often I hear local people complaining Cambridge’s character and charm is being eroded as more and more independent shops are replaced by boring (also see ‘expensive’) chain shops and a multitude of coffee shops.

That’s not the way I see this city though and I always find myself thinking ‘but the charm and character is still there, you just have to make time to see it’ And this post has got me thinking…


Cambridge’s busy market square runs seven days a week. Behind it is Great St Mary’s Church, known as ‘The University Church’

Do we take the history and architecture for granted in Cambridge, too caught up in our daily lives to appreciate what is here?

Perhaps most cities and towns have this problem, maybe we are too busy rushing here and there, concentrating on too many things, needing to be somewhere, getting to work on time or needing to catching a bus, to notice the charm and character amidst all the modernisation and commercialisation.

If we slowed down occasionally and spent time appreciating it as a visitor would, we’d notice the things that continue to make our cities and towns unique.


Looking down King’s Parade from Trinity Street. King’s College and its chapel make this one of the busiest streets in Cambridge. This area was once the main high street in the 16th Century.

One of my favourite things to do in Cambridge is to wander aimlessly, as if seeing it through the eyes of a visitor. Looking around you without the pressure of having to be somewhere or needing to get things done is a fun thing to do.

Sarah Key Books, also known as ‘The Haunted Bookshop’, on St Edward’s Passage. It is said to be haunted by a lady in white!

Of course it’s important for indie and family businesses to continue to trade, but at the same time there is always much more to a place than its shops. The character and charm are always there, we just have to relax and notice our surroundings.


A view of the punting station from silver Street Bridge. The street name comes from when the area was occupied by Silversmiths.

Does this sound familiar where you live? What’s your experience? It would be interesting to hear about your city or town, your likes and dislikes and why you think I should visit and what I should look out for.


The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Cambridge’s second oldest building. Most famously known as the round Church. One of only four round churches in England.

Undoubtedly some of the places I’ve depicted here will get their own feature on this blog in future. There is such fascinating and intriguing history around Cambridge, I can’t wait to bring it alive in my blog.


View from Garrett Hostel Bridge, with Trinity Bridge in the distance

I hope the photos in this post go some way to show you Cambridge’s character and history in the way I see it.


A King’s College porter surveying his surroundings