Laurieston Hall near Castle Douglas holds a special place in the hearts of many members of the Edward Carpenter Community. It was where our founding event happened in 1985, and we've returned there nearly every year since.
Laurieston Hall is one of many intentional communities founded during the 1970s, and is still thriving after more than 45 years. It's a workers co-operative and usually has a permanent residential population of around 20 adults and children. The Hall and its community have been our hosts for up to three times a year, and ECC is just one of a number of groups who gather here.
The community members live in and around a huge and rambling Victorian country house which we share with them. There's a huge walled organic kitchen garden, stables and cottages. The grounds extend to 135 acres of beautiful woods, pastures and marshland. We swim in the nearby loch, and enjoy their wonderful woodland sauna. This very special place is a beautiful tranquil haven, dominated by the sounds of animals and the smell of woodsmoke. The residents provide us with comfortable shared accommodation, superb workshop spaces, wholesome and plentiful vegetarian food and a very warm welcome.
The community's founders were early supporters of gay liberation and provided a safe place for a number of gay men's retreats as early as 1977. The community members are a mix of families and single people of various sexualities and backgrounds, and a number of ECC men have chosen to live there as long stay visitors or permanent members, and several remain there to this day.
More information about the Laurieston Hall Community is available at Diggers and Dreamers.