2009 saw the start of a three year programme of ‘Sculpture in the Landscape’ symposia and exhibitions which pioneered a unique approach to creating the Ellesmere Sculpture Trail.
International and UK artists are being invited, each year, to a Symposium where they will create sculptures from materials peculiar to a particular locality around the town and in response to the specific landscape and heritage. The pieces from each year's symposia then form the basis of the trail around Ellesmere.
The first two-week symposium, in August 2009, took place in a local quarry. Six international sculptors individually selected and worked on glacial boulders which were excavated from the quarry. These stones, known as erratics, were dragged by glaciers in the last Ice Age from Scotland, northern England and Wales, were of slate, granite and sandstone. The artists’ final sculptures were strongly influenced by the history and material of the stones, and also by the exhibition location on the glacial moraine hills of Castlefields, overlooking the Mere.