‘The Hauntings’, a scrap metal sculpture of a war-weary soldier, will be on display at five star, award-winning visitor attraction The Black Watch Castle and Museum in Perth until 12th November 2023.
As the only Scottish venue to host the sculpture to date, the team at the Castle & Museum has arranged a series of events for locals and visitors alike including arts and crafts, tours, and lectures, all created to engage and entertain visitors of all ages.
The Hauntings will be in the Castle Courtyard and free to view. The volunteer Hauntings Helpers will host free five minute talks on the hour, every hour, which will take place next to The Hauntings sculpture. The talks will explore the inspiration, design, build and themes that he represents.
If you're visiting Perth to view the Hauntings this summer or autumn, then why not make a day, weekend or short break of it? We've so much to see and do including many fascinating historical buildings and attractions.
The ghostly sculpture, which stands at 6 meters high, was commissioned for the World War One centenary in 2014 by Jo Oliver and Paul Richards, to commemorate those who served in the war. The inspiration behind the sculpture was the reported sightings of a ghostly soldier seen wandering around the Somerset hills close to where Jo grew up.
The sculpture was made by metal sculpture specialists, Dorset Forge and Fabrication, a combination of the talents of blacksmith Chris Hannam and artist Martin Galvenby. It is made from over 1,000 pieces of locally sourced scrap metal including horseshoes, brake discs, and car jacks. Its intricate design allows the light to filter through his body giving a ghostly aura.
Jo Oliver, owner of the sculpture said: “The loan of this unique sculpture of discarded metal, The Hauntings, to The Black Watch Castle and Museum gives Paul and I untold pleasure. Many years have spanned between my first childhood encounter with his ghostly presence on a Somerset hill until this point in time. He is now fulfilling his destiny as I saw it back then, ‘to make a difference’, to us all. He is you, me, us, the common man, as we each journey on life’s challenging battlefields. To agree to him being within The Black Watch Castle and Museum is an honour and I know that his presence will be inspirational to all who gaze upon him.”
The Black Watch Castle and Museum asked for the sculpture on loan from its private owners as it is a vivid representation of the many World War One soldier stories currently on display at the Museum.
We are delighted that we will have The Hauntings for this period, and it allows us at this time of year to focus on Remembrance for all those lost their lives in war and paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live the life we do today.
This exhibition explores the impact of conflict on Black Watch soldiers and their experiences of physical and mental rehabilitation. Inspired by the principles of kintsugi pottery this interactive display invites visitors to put themselves in the shoes of the men recuperating after a life-changing injury of experiences.
In Memoria explores the stories of six Black Watch soldiers who died during service with each panel representing an individual man. Using information captured from our archive this exhibition takes you on a journey through the life and service of these men and commemorates those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to allow us to live the life we do today. The chalkboard wall allows you to write names and memories of loved ones who have died in war and conflict.
Sir Alistair Irwin will give this third lecture in the series on the Korean War 1951-1953. The focus will be on the 1st Battalion, The Black Watch from November 1951, when news was received in Germany that they were to join the war, to the end of the story in June 1953 when the battalion left Korea at the start of its journey to Kenya.
The books written about the Korean War, and the relevant chapters in The Black Watch regimental histories, inevitably tend to concentrate on the headline details. In contrast, the emphasis in this lecture will be on the personal experiences of the officers and men who fought the battles and who endured the conditions in and out of the line. It is a tale that is variously exciting, inspiring, tragic, amusing, occasionally shocking, and bizarre.
6.30pm drinks reception (drink included in ticket price), 7.00pm lecture commences.
Combined craft and Museum entry ticket with added children’s tour.
Only available on days when a craft activity is on | 11.30am and 2.30pm | £10.00 | Adults goes free with accompanying child | 30 Minute tour
Explore the museum with our special children’s tour. Warning – some of their stories might surprise you!
Children are to be accompanied by an adult
T: 01738 638152
Every Tuesday | 4.30pm-5.30pm | £5.00 per person with ACCOMPANYING CARERS FREE
Would you or someone you know benefit from a quieter, more relaxed visit to The Hauntings?
The Black Watch team have designed an after-hours visit for people to come and see The Hauntings without busy crowds, loud noise from the bistro or hubbub in the shop. Staff will be on hand to help talk through the sculpture and provide opportunities to feel sensory elements of the artwork up close. This session is open to all but is ideal for those who find the usual experience of a visit more challenging.
T: 01738 638152
For more information >
Visit the Black Watch Castle & Museum this summer for something BIG!
The Black Watch Castle & Museum is a 5 star visitor attraction comprising The Black Watch Museum, Gift Shop and Castle Bistro. We share the story of Scotland’s oldest Highland Regiment, The Black Watch through our Museum collection, events and education programme.
The attraction is managed by The Black Watch Regimental Trust, a charitable organisation whose mission includes delivering welfare to Black Watch veterans, encouraging comradeship and maintenance of memorials, caring for the Museum collection, and sustaining the Home of The Black Watch for current and future generations.
They are located in Perth, Scotland at Balhousie Castle, Hay Street, Perth, PH1 5HR.
T: 01738 638152
E: [email protected]
1st April – 31st October
1st November – 31st March
If using Stat Nav or google maps enter our postcode - PH1 5HR to view suggested routes.
Perth rail station is located on Leonard Street (PH2 8RT) and is within 15 minutes walking distance of the Castle and Museum - to plan your journey and check train times, click here.
Perth bus station is also located on Leonard Street (PH2 8HB) and is on several national and local bus networks, including Scottish Citylink and Megabus. It is a 15 minute walk to the Castle and Museum.
Walking or Cycling
To find suggested walking and cycle routes to the Castle and Museum see here. Enter your starting point and press search – the map will generate options for you to select. We have racks in our car park to secure your bike.
There are taxi ranks at Perth train station (which is across the road from the bus station) and elsewhere in the city centre.
For comprehensive travel information, please contact Traveline Scotland online or by telephone: 0871 200 22 33
Yes, Black Watch Castle & Museum is a fully accessible venue, please see their website here for full details.
Dogs are welcome in the Castle grounds and there are water bowls in the courtyard. There is also direct access to the nearby North Inch parklands which provides a lovely area for dog walking. Guide and service dogs can access all areas.
Park and Ride
There are two Park and Ride sites operating in Perth, which provide convenient parking next to departure points for buses into Perth City Centre.
Coach Drop Off and Parking
EV/Ebike Charge Points
Following his time with us, The Hauntings will travel back to his owners where he will take up his final position on the Somerset hills.
Yes, there is a programme of events based on 3 themes:
• Celebrating Culture, History and Heritage | 1st July – 31st August
• The Impact of Conflict | 1st September – 31st October
• Remembrance | 1st November – 12th November
The Hauntings is a six metre tall metal sculpture of war weary soldier, made to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. He was inspired by sightings of a ghostly soldier seen wandering around the Somerset hills where the owner grew up. It was then that he was named The Hauntings.
The Hauntings will be positioned outside in the Castle courtyard.
The sculpture is free to view although donations are welcomed. All monies raised help us to secure and display travelling exhibitions and installations such as The Hauntings and support our charitable aims.
Should you wish to explore the history of The Black Watch by visiting the museum you can view admission prices here.
He was designed by artist Martin Galbavy and made by blacksmith Chris Hannam and made at Dorset Forge and Fabrication at North Wotton near Sherborne, England.
He is made from over 1,000 pieces of scrap metal including horseshoes, brake discs and car jacks. The larger pieces are from a local scrap dealer’s yard in Sherborne, the smaller pieces are left over from projects at the forge and parts that have been donated by local residents.
The inspiration behind the sculpture came from reported sightings of a ghostly soldier seen wandering around the Somerset hills looking for his way home.
Martin (the artist) used Chris as his life-size model and then multiplied any measurements until he reached the required size. As this was the artist’s first project, he and Chris decided to go big!
5 months from start to finish.
Approximately 1.8 ton.
On his journey from Dorset to Perth, which lasted over 9 hours, he travelled on a low loader lorry in 3 pieces, legs, torso, and his rifle.
It can take between 2-4 hours, depending on location.
No. He is privately owned by Jo Oliver and Paul Richards, who commissioned him to be made.
We believe the badge on his cap takes inspiration from the cap badge belonging to The Royal Artillery.
The coat of arms on his chest is a symbol that represents a specific family or person. We believe this one is fictitious as it does not relate to any family heraldry we can identify.
There is a 5 minute talk every hour and a souvenir brochure is available for purchase. Our staff and Hauntings Helpers will be in hand to answer any questions.
From Saturday 1st July until Thursday 12th November 2023
Following his time in Perth, The Hauntings will travel back to his owners where he will take up his final position on the Somerset hills.