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

061031.6.Somset.Bath.

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).

061017.Nympsfield, Woodchester Mansion Ground Floor Billiard Room, Entrance Hall

October 17, 2006 at 9:24 PM | Posted in Architecture, Blogroll, Chisel Marks, Conservation, Gloucestershire, Mansion, Nymsfield, Ruins, Uncategorized, Vaults | 9 Comments

Woodchester Mansion Website

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As explained in earlier posts, this house was never compeleted. Abandoned in the 1870s, it is a remarkable surviving Victorian construction site. It remained standing because of the strength of its masonry walls. For the most part, floors were never put in and the walls rely on heavy buttresses. Here in the South Wing’s Billiard Room, one can gaze up at three sets of fireplaces and the springing stones where the ceiling vaults would have attached themselves to the walls.

The Woodstock Mansion estate had a brick manufacturer on site, as well as stone a few feet under the ground, but there was very little timber on the estate. The foundations are all stacked on solid bedrock, and the mansion was built almost entirely of materials found on the property making the mansion somewhat afordable for your average business baron.

Try as I might, I could not get all three complete fireplaces in the picture, but you can see the mantel of the ground floor and the next two floors quite well. There is a large stone arch supporting the roof timbers, and several holes in the oak and slate roof.

Apart from the brick arches taking the load off the delicately carved fireplaces, another aspect to note are the holes in the masonry for the scaffoldings (no longer there). They would normally have been sealed up with brick and then plastered over. The most interesting construction remainders are the cheap wooden boards over the top mantels (barely visible). These boards were placed over all delicate stonework during construction, so nothing was chipped before the house was turned over to the owner.

Don’t go there when it’s raining, which is pretty much every single day. But if you ignore the freezing dampness, it is well worth the trip. And I’m told they throw an incredible Halloween party for 15 pounds. They’ve added spooky doors to complete the “haunted” look of the house and each scaffolding hole is filled with a small candle, which must look amazing in the dark!

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