Crichope Linn was once a destination. It possessed all that a devotee of Romantic Landscape could desire, and folk came on the train, got off at Closeburn Station, queued up in the station yard to board a charabanc, and bowled between the narrow dykes and hedges to the foot of the Linn Burn some three miles away.
No-one's got off at Closeburn Station for some time. In fact the last time I remember it being in the news some entrepreneurial villager was caught using a station shed for the cultivation of a cannabis crop. But Crichope Linn was much visited throughout the 19th and early 20th century. It was much written on too, by early Banksy types who could handle a neat chisel for Roman capitals.
Perhaps its paths were better maintained then, and its vegetation managed. It was in a wild state when I clambered up in mid February, trees down and tangled, the path sliding away, fresh rockfall damming the burn. It has a bleak and gothic appeal.
Here's a cinquain about those trees.
a weight that can’t
be borne.The sound of wood
tearing.Enormity of dark.
I'm writing about it for a project called 'Writing Ground', as are friends and poets Vivien Jones, Jackie Galley and Fiona Russell. We'll present our efforts at a reading on Friday 15 April, with support from University of Glasgow at the Crichton,.as part of the programme for Dumfries & Galloway Wildlife Festival. 7pm. The Midsteeple, Dumfries. Free wine, you know.