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The Iron Men (Another Place) At Crosby Beach

Since their installation in 2005, The Iron Men have become an extremely popular attraction that brings locals and tourists to Crosby Beach in their thousands.

Iron Men Standing On Crosby Beach

In this guide, we delve into what The Iron Men are and give you some of our insider tips if you are planning on giving them a visit.

What are The Iron Men?

Commonly referred to as ‘The Iron Men’ (or even the Crosby Beach statues), the art installation is officially called ‘Another Place’. Another Place was created by world-famous artist and sculptor Sir Antony Gormley, who famously created The Angel of the North.

Another Place - The Iron Men - Sign At Crosby Beach

The Iron Men consist of 100 cast iron figures that have been installed along Crosby Beach facing the sea.

The figures themselves are modelled from Antony Gormley’s body, and they were cast in the UK in both Halifax and West Bromwich.

History of The Iron Men

The Iron Men arrived in Liverpool in July 2005, but their story begins nearly 10 years earlier.

In 1997, Another Place was first installed on Cuxhaven beach, in Lower Saxony, Germany. From there, they went to Stavanger in Norway and then to De Panne in Belgium.

When The Iron Men found their new home at Crosby Beach in 2005, it was only supposed to be temporary.

The Iron Men Arriving in Liverpool & Decision to Stay

As mentioned above, The Iron Men arrived in Liverpool in July 2005. The arrival of these statues gained a lot of attention from both the locals and the local media.

Iron Men During Low Tide At Crosby Beach

The Iron Men were very well received by the local community, and the artwork helped bring more tourists to the area, which helped local businesses.

The statues were due to be moved from Crosby Beach in November 2007. Whilst no arrangements had been made as to where the sculptures would end up next, it’s believed they were heading to New York.

Despite the local community, and creator Antony Gormley’s desire for the statues to remain in Crosby permanently, Sefton Council refused to give grant a permit for the artwork beyond the initially agreed period.

The official reason was down to the amount of money it would cost the local council to maintain the statues, as well as the risk factors of visitors being swept up in the tide when heading onto the beach to the statues up close.

Close Up Of The Iron Men At Crosby Beach

Antony Gormley & local Labour MP Claire Curtis-Thomas quickly hit back at Sefton Council and fought for the Iron Men to stay. Both argued that The Iron Men would bring more money into Sefton & Liverpool through tourism than it would cost to upkeep, and Gormley denounced safety fears, stating: “All this rhetoric about corporate manslaughter is just an indication of the way the country is going. This is another example of risk-resistant Britain”.

He had a point too. Since the Iron Men were installed, data from the Coastguard showed no uptake in people being endangered.

Another Place Ltd was quickly set up to officially appeal the decision. The appeal received both local and national support, and Sefton Council finally granted permission for the sculptures to stay in March 2007.

Visiting The Iron Men

If you want to see The Iron Men in all their glory, then you need to visit Crosby Beach when there is a low tide. If there’s a high tide, then the majority of The Iron Men won’t be visible. If there’s a low tide, you can also walk onto the beach to get a good view of The Iron Men up close. If you do go up close, you will find each Iron Man has a tag on their right wrist with a number on it.

Iron Men Numbered Tag

We would recommend parking at Burbo Bank car park, by the Crosby Coastguard Station, as you can then walk from here towards Crosby Marina and take in the majority of The Iron Men. There are also toilet facilities at Burbo Bank, as well as a coffee van and an ice cream van.

Car Park At Burbo Bank Crosby Beach

What is the Meaning Behind The Iron Men (Another Place)?

Antony Gormley’s Iron Men harnesses the ebb and flow of the tide to explore man’s relationship with nature. Gormley states: “In this work human life is tested against planetary time. This sculpture exposes to light and time the nakedness of a particular and peculiar body. It is no hero, no ideal, just the industrially reproduced body of a middle-aged man trying to remain standing and trying to breathe, facing a horizon busy with ships moving materials and manufactured things around the planet.”

Like all art, it is subject to individual interpretation. We’d highly recommend seeing for yourself as everyone will have their own unique perspective to take away.

Iron Men At Crosby Beach

Are the Iron Men still at Crosby Beach?

The Iron Men are still at Crosby Beach, and since their inception in 2005, it has since been decided that they will stay at Crosby Beach on a permanent basis.

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