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A9, Etteridge, Glen Fernisdale, Phoines Monument Ozymandias,
Highlands, Scotland.

12.1 km] Thu 13 Jun 2024

Lat/Long: 57.002169, -04.171493
OS Grid ref: NN 68120 92190

The forecast was for rain later so I didn’t wase time and set off for the parking area to the west of Etteridge near the A9. There were some interesting information boards which I read before walking north along the cycle rail then crossing the busy A9 to the entrance track to Etteridge. Walking by all the buildings there was no sign of anyone. I continued along the track towards Phoines for about 1km then turned right to head directly up the mountainside.
Interesting marker on the way.

It was a mix of heather and ferns on the climb but approaching the summit ridge the groud cover was less and much easier going. My objective was to investigate the column I’d seen on my last visit to the area. As I continued NE I couldn’t any sign. I noticed a rectangular pyramid at ground level which at first appeared to be a rain gauge. closer inspection revealed nothing underneath so I’m not sure what it was. A short way on, as I started to descend there it was.
First view of the monument.

Internal inscription.

Internal inscription.
A hollow metal structure at the start of a steep descent looking like an upturned hammer. It was about 4m high. Thankfully there was an inscription plate on the east face quoting poetry by Shelley. A hole through the middle revealed more inscriptions.
‘MMXIII Samuel Family at Phoines 100 years Diu Duret’. The roman numerals are 2013
It seems to be connected with the Phoines buildings below and the family connected with it.

Phoines Monument Ozymandias.

Further notes on the Phoines Monument - Ozymandias.
Ozymandias is a fifteen foot (4 metres) high bronze sculpture that was installed in April 2016 in the Cairngorm National Park, by Leonie Gibbs.

The sculpture was commissioned by Michael Samuel in 2013 and it celebrates 100 years of his family living on that land.
Artist's Statement:
They took me to the top of the hill, the site for the sculpture, a rocky outcrop reminiscent of a Pictish fort. I looked around for inspiration and at my feet was a river of quartz trapped by granite. As I looked closer I saw patches of moss and lichen on the crystal form. The crystal was wider at the top and narrowed at the bottom. The facets within the crystal made geometric shapes and glinted in the light. I then realised I had found the key to my idea for the sculpture.

I remembered the incised image of the Rynie Man, a Pictish man holding a pick axe which I had seen in the Inverness Museum and thought the shape of the sculpture would be like an axe head. A simple standing stone, wider at the top and tapering at the bottom. The river of quartz would be enlarged to fit within this shape and be 15 foot tall by one and a half feet wide, set upright on the top of this ancient fort.

It took a year to gain planning permission, before I could start sculpting. The sculpture was created and cast at the Powderhall Bronze Foundry in Edinburgh.

About the inscription on the base:
Ozymandias, the poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley about the Egyptian "king of kings" who said that man's footprint on this earth was like a grain of sand in a vast universe.
The following extract from Shelley's 1817 poem is inscribed into the base of the sculpture:

"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
This film of the installation on Creagan an Fhithich (Ravens Rock) was made in April 2016 by Eion Gibbs.

Phoines Monument Ozymandias.

Phoines Monument.

Phoines Lodge.

Old A9 now cycle route 7.
A faint path descended to the track below which I followed down to the buildings. On the way a vehicle drove up with 2 men inside. We exchanged waves as they passed. At the buildings there was nobody around to ask about the structure. I followed the tarmac track NW to regain the A9 where I crossed to follow the cycle track which follows the line of the old A9. It was just over 3km back to the car.
Old A9 now cycle route 7.
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