So far it was raining almost every day in Dumfries since our move. First it was floods, then stormy winds, then hale, then persistent rain, day and night. For the past few days (not today though – it’s a drizzly day through and through) there have been some sunny spells in the afternoon.
On such a bright sunny afternoon last Sunday John invited me to explore the Crichton, just a short walk away from home, and to show the University of Glasgow Dumfries campus where he works.
The Crichton is a mostly Victorian complex of buildings that was built to house a lunatic asylum with an international reputation, famous for its pioneering approach in treating mental illness with ‘kindness and occupation’. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s father was a patient here.
Since the introduction of new psychotropic drugs the number of patients needing long-term hospitalisation decreased and the vacated wards were redeveloped to be used as a university research campus, a location of Dumfries College, a business park, a hotel and a conference and event venue.
It was exciting to learn that the Crichton complex is where two popular Dumfries wedding venues are located, virtually on my doorstep – Aston Hotel occupying the Victorian building formerly known as Johnston House and Easterbrook Hall built in 1938. The couples who book their wedding receptions there can get married on the grounds at Crichton Memorial Church – I was so impressed how beautiful it was!
I am persistent in my quest for photogenic portrait session locations in Dumfries – studio photography feels sterile to me and I look for impactful authentic settings, be it a family reunion or a lifestyle engagement shoot. I liked views and vistas onto the distant hills I saw in the Crichton, its vast greens, and the arboreal colonnades of its park.