070210.Bathwick, St. Mary the Virigin-Pevsner Architectural Church Chat

February 10, 2007 at 2:19 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Bathwick, Gardens & Parks, Pevsner, somerset, Tabernacles, Towers | 4 Comments

Ask and ye shall receive. Thanks to all the good people who wished me more snow: I got it, and I owe it you. It snowed again yesterday (while I had the day-long class) and it’s still on the ground today–though melting. I hear it will rain this weekend but today I’m heading up to St. Fagan’s Welsh National Museum in Cardiff, so maybe I’ll have some good shots there. See you then.
060923.22.Somset.Bath.BathwickHill Rd.VaneSt.StMary the Virgin
The daylight photo was taken back in September (taken in my first weeks here) so I varied up the snow slots. The nightime shot was taken recently. “St. Mary [the Virgin], Raby Place, Bathwick. 1814-20 by [John] Pinch [the Elder]. The chancel by G.E. Street, 1873-5. Meant to be in the Somerset Gothic style, though of course the result is typical of early C19. W tower with pierced parapet and polygonal pinnacles. Nave, aisles, clerestory, high and a little pinched. Perp tracery in the tall aisle windows and the lower clerestory windows with thin four-centered heads. Very tall thin piers of standard Somerset section (four hollows). Three galleries. No arcade arches, but a flat timber lintel funning through. This was originally plastered. Ribbed coved ceiling. The chancel not of particular interest. – PAINTING. On the altar early C16 polyptych, four winds, Netherlandish. – The original altar painting, an Adoration of the Child by Benjamin Barker, hangs high up against the W wall. – PLATE. Chalice and Cover 1572; Paten by Fawdery 1723; Chalice and Paten 1837.” –Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol, (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1958), 106-107.

070107.Bath, St. Michael’s Pevsner Architectural Church Chat

January 7, 2007 at 12:57 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Cathedrals and churches, Chisel Marks, Columns, Pevsner, somerset, Tabernacles, Towers, Tuscan Order | 15 Comments

Everybody, check out today’s featured picture on Wikipedia.

060924.05.Somset.Bath.Borthgate St. PostOffice and St. Michaels

St. Michael, Broad Street. At the sharp corner with Walcot Street and in the point de vue up Northgate Street. The church is of medieval original and lay originally ante muros. The present church is of 1835-7, by G. P. Manners. Its immediate predecessor dated from 1742 and had a dome (Collinson). Manner’s church displays a crazy W tower, tall and narrow with a huge group of three stepped lancets, buttresses with the stepped-set offs of Wells, and at the top a tall octagonal open lantern with spire. The tower is flanked by polygonal porches. The sides have the same buttresses and the same group of lancets. – A “hall-chuch” inside, that is with aisles the same height as the nave. Thin tall circular piers with four attached shafts. Quadripartite plaster rib-vaulting. Polygonal apse with tall blank arcading. – PAINTING. Two panles attributed to William Hoare and Rombinson. – PLATE. Paten by Clare 1720; Chalice, Flagon and three Dishes by George Wickes 1743; Cup 1797; two Almsdishes 1828. – MONUMENT. Ritual W side of S porch, i.e. really N side of SE porch. Probably by the same hand as the Coward monument in the Abbey, with a weeping putto by an urb. It is to Samuel Emes; date illegible.” …from Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol, (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1958), 107-108.


This photo is still recent (the city hasn’t removed its Christmas decorations yet) but it rained all of yesterday.

061228.Widcombe, St Matthew’s Pevsner Architectural Church Chat

December 28, 2006 at 5:47 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Cathedrals and churches, doorways, Pevsner, somerset, Stained Glass, Tabernacles, Towers, Widcombe | 3 Comments

061216.044.Somset.Bath.Widcombe.CambrdigePlace.Manners n Gill's.StMatthews.1846-7

St. Matthew, Cambridge Place, Widcombe. 1846-7 by Manner & Gill. Dull, in the Dec[orative] style, with a [south] tower carrying a broach spire.” from Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol, (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1958), 107

061205.Bath, Prayin’ Late

December 5, 2006 at 4:02 PM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Bath Abbey, Blogroll, Cathedrals and churches, Chisel Marks, Christmas, Cloisters, Conservation, Light and Shadow, somerset, Stained Glass, Tabernacles, Towers | 9 Comments


Title ammedment: OK, this is England and no one prays anymore. These are the Bath Abbey Cloister windows. But what used to be the Cloisters of Bath Abbey is now the Abbey’s Gift Shop and offices, so this post should really be titled “Workin’ Late 2” – but where’s the fun in that?

In any event, there is a second connection between today’s and yesterday’s posts since yesterday was the site’s 75th, and today is another birthday. This time congratulations and birthday greetings go out to a loyal (much-younger-than-75) BDP viewer. One of her favorite posts was a similarly themed closeup of a church window. I took it on my fifth day in the city and since it was posted early on when I had some issues in terms of sizing, I’ve reloaded the photo to make it look decent.
Another post she liked was the Pilgrim Cow in Glastonbury, which will similarly be upgraded (shortly).

061117.Bath, Abbey Memorial Day Display Finally Displayed

November 17, 2006 at 1:25 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Bath Abbey, Cathedrals and churches, cemeteries - churchyards - and tombstones, Flowers, Foggy & Misty, Ladders, Monuments and Memorials, Overcast, somerset, Tabernacles | 1 Comment

061113.13.Somset.Bath.Abbey.Church Yard.Armistice Day Display

It’s still up. I only saw it recently, several days after Memorial Day.

See previous Armistice/Memorial/Veteran‘s Day post here.


061113.10.Somset.Bath.Abbey061113.12.Somset.Bath.Abbey.Church Yard.Armistice Day Display

061102. 2/46, Thirty-six Views of Bath Abbey. My tribute to Hokusai’s Fugaku Sanju Rokkei

November 2, 2006 at 1:48 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Bath Abbey, Cathedrals and churches, cumulus clouds, Fugaku Sanju Rokkei, Gardens & Parks, Hokusai, river, River Avon, somerset, Tabernacles, Towers, towns, Trees | 6 Comments

OK—onto the realm of abstract theory and the irrelevant: Art History, here I come!

Perhaps some of you have noticed that there have only been a few posts about the true centres of this city: the Roman Baths and the grand Tudor 15-16th Century Abbey. These two city attractions define, create the eyebrow (or skyline), and yes, NAME it.

In terms of the Abbey, photographing this city heart could inadvertently dismiss its importance and insufficiently challenge its vast and monolithic Late Medieval impression it leaves on an otherwise suffocating Georgian city. I won’t say much about the history yet, except that the abbey was begun in 1499 after demolishing the older and much larger Norman cathedral on site.

Construction began in 1499, just a few decades before Henry VIII’s break with Catholicism and the Dissolution of the Monasteries, which means among other things that it was the last large scale Medieval work attempted in England. It also bears the distinction of being one of the finest Tudor structures in the world, even though most of its interior fabric is the result of Victorian restorations. (But what in England isn’t?)

The interiors are breathtaking and I have deliberately failed to post any grand views so as to save them for a DP sweeps week. Nevertheless, I wish to dwell on the exterior of the abbey, which is incredible in itself, and this leads me to the new theme challenge.

Approaching the same subject from different angles is not new, and was brought up in Roger Zelazny’s Hugo Award-winning 1985 novel 24 Views of Mount Fuji, by Hokusai. I ran into a review of this book, which is constructed around an abridged set of the famous Japanese prints by Hokusai Katsushika (1760-1849). Zelazny writes “it struck me that it would be good to take one thing in life and regard it from many viewpoints, as a focus for my being, and perhaps as a penance for alternatives missed.”

My goal in following this approach for the next few months is to intermittently focus on the exteriors of Bath Abbey with the same theme as each print of Hokusai’s series of “Thirty-Six Views of Mt. Fuji” (Fugaku Sanju Rokkei). Everyone is familiar with at least one of these iconic images, even though it confusingly features 46 prints (blame the “new math”)!

Along with posting my image of Bath Abbey’s exterior, I will try and provide an Internet jpeg of the Hokusai print that led me to the captured viewpoint. All the prints are featured here.

Finally, this is the second of the series of 46 (possibly 36 or less if I give up). The first one was posted a while ago and recently refitted with the Hokusai print. Take a look here to get a better idea.

I should make clear that I do not intend to foolishly compare my photos with Hokusai’s prints but instead I am using his prints as a guide to help me find different views of the Abbey exterior that I might have otherwise missed.

About the shot: it was taken from Alexandria Park, direclty south of the city over the Avon in Lyncombe (?). Enjoy.


Tokaido Hodogaya

060926. Thirty-six Views of Bath Abbey, 1/46. My series tribute to Hokusai’s Fugaku Sanju Rokkei

October 17, 2006 at 10:43 AM | Posted in Angels, Architecture, Bath, Cathedrals and churches, Crowns, Fugaku Sanju Rokkei, Hokusai, Hot air balloons, kite, Ladders, Olive Trees, Saints, Sculpture, Tabernacles, Trees | 5 Comments

This is Bath Abbey’s west facade. Here angels climb and descend a Jacob’s Ladder to Heaven. There are other symbols on the facade, which all come from Bishop King’s original dream in 1499 when he was inspired to knock down the immense Norman Cathedral and construct on the site of its nave a smaller Tudor Abbey Church.





060927.21.Bath.Abbey.WestFacade.Angels climbing Jacob’s Ladder to Heaven
Apart from the balloon / kite, tabernacle (decorated buttress pinacle) / scaffolding , and Jacob’s Ladder / scaffolding ladder justaposition, look at the shadowed lower left hand corner of the abbey with the carving of the Olive Tree ringed in a crown. Below the top three pagoda tiles and above the crown of the roof pitch, observe that same tree shape!Toto Asakusa honganji



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