Brunel’s Dance

Discovered Brunel woods earlier this week when in the Watcombe area of Torquay and with them the rather splendid sculptures entitled “Brunel’s Dance”. Isambard Kingdom Brunel was one of this country’s greatest engineers; born at the beginning of the 19th Century he lived and worked for many years in the South West and is celebrated in many ways in our area.

Brunel’s dance

Brunel’s dance in Watcombe Woods

Whilst working in this part of the country on his railway systems, Brunel collected together, between 1847 and 1858, one hundred acres to build himself a villa for his retirement. That land consisted of what is still the present grounds Brunel Manor, together with the land which has now developed into the Brunel Park housing and the public park and roads to the south of our land and known as Brunel Woods.
In 1993 Torbay Council marked the regeneration of the woods (after the storms of 1990) with the commission of the sculpture known as Brunel’s dance. The central column carved from Sequoia represents Brunel’s engineering achievements,the Brunel and fire figures are carved from Douglas fir. and the water figure is carved from Cedar; fire and water represents steam.
The wood is well marked out and as well as discovering Brunel’s dance I also enjoyed the lovely views from the surrounding footpaths. Watcombe is on the northern edge of Torquay and the woods are a short detour if driving back to Sandays.