061103.Nympsfield, Woodchester Mansion Grand Corridor’s Halloween Doors

November 3, 2006 at 12:56 AM | Posted in Architecture, Chisel Marks, doorways, Gloucestershire, Halloween, Mansion, Nymsfield, Ruins, Vaults | 3 Comments


This is the entrance to the Grand Corridor on the ground floor from the Billiard’s Room in the South Wing. The “Gothik” door was hung recently part of the Haunted House decorations. Both the estate’s structural engineer and chief architect thought it looked a bit tacky but commented that it was surprising how abandoned and creepy the house could look by actually putting up internal doors, instead of leaving it like the abandoned ruin it was!

I’ll be posting the next Hokusai print juxtaposition tomorrow.

061031.Combe Down, Trick or Treat!

October 31, 2006 at 12:47 AM | Posted in Actors in Period Costumes, Claverton Down, Combe Down, countryside, Gardens & Parks, Halloween, people, river, siblings, somerset, Waterfront | 13 Comments


“Here’s an NYT article on Trick or Treating in London–or not. They don’t like the modern American version of just taking the candy and doing
nothing…you had to do the Trick part–sing for your supper or do something. The Brits aren’t impressed with just giving away candy for nothing. I like that.” (Thanks BR)


Below is the only Halloween image I was able to capture when I went out at night. The homeowners had just put it out and when they saw me snooping around they didn’t close the door until I left. I imagine people will come out later at night (It was only 6 when I took the picture).


061030.Combe Down, Something Spooky this Way Comes… Er, ok, Hangs.

October 30, 2006 at 12:13 AM | Posted in Bowdoin Park, Combe Down, countryside, Gardens & Parks, Halloween, New York, somerset, Supernatural, Trees | 3 Comments

061026.030.Somset.CombeDown.Prior Park.Ye Olde Haunted Woods.Something Spooky this way hangs

Ah, who can resist the urge to enter a haunted forest?

Oh, you can. Really?
Oh…I see, you’re not too keen on this forest. Well, my budget for the DP site is zippo but I must keep the Halloween theme up so you may as well blame the kids in yesterday’s post. They’re the ones who probably made these.

051022.9.BodoinPark.Haunted.David,Ethan,James I don’t know, these reminded me of the Bodoin Park Haunted Mansion I went to last October with David and Ethan. At one point in the tour, you’re led through the dark penned-in upstate New York wilderness as different local “townies” jump out and scream at you dressed in whatever they could scrounge up. The best actor there by far was a ten-year-old girl dressed in black with pine branches sticking out everywhere who ran from a nearby Christmas tree farm shouting “Buuuuuush!” It unnerved a woman in front of me so much that she almost swatted the kid down! (Actually, she had already slammed an adult zombie through a few layers of cardboard morgue wall and was kindly informed by a polite skeleton that if she touched the actor’s again she would be removed from the tour immediately and banned from all future upstate hauntings. But to be fair about the little girl, even I was too scared to get a picture of it.) So the point being, who knows if those ghosts would be effective when it’s dark at night.
In any event, I have loads more photos since Heritage Week just ended today and several new themes are now planned. I wonder if I’ll ever go back to another museum again now that I have to pay.

061029.Combe Down, Bridge of Death

October 28, 2006 at 11:42 PM | Posted in Actors in Period Costumes, Architecture, Bath, Bridges, Combe Down, Halloween, Ionic Order, people, river, siblings, somerset, Supernatural, Waterfront | 4 Comments

061026.082.Somset.CombeDown.Prior Park.Death Battles a Zombie

Above: It’s almost Halloween on the bridge and one Trick-or-Treater engages in an epic battle with the Grim Reaper.

Below, the inevitable conclusion: It’s always sad when a child succumbs to Death, but look at those silhouetted balustrades. I mean, wowee!

061026.083.Somset.CombeDown.Prior Park.Death Battles a Zombie



061028.Bath, The Great Pumpkin on Pulteney Bridge

October 28, 2006 at 12:11 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Bathwick, Bridges, doorways, Flowers, Halloween, Pulteney Bridge, river, River Avon, somerset | 1 Comment


Can you spot the Jack-O-Lantern? The disturbing thing is is that we’re still three days away from Halloween but as early as October 16th civic Christmas decorations were hung all throughout the city! …And I was waiting for winter to be able to take my architectural shots of the city!

I mean what the heck, these people belong in the Bronx! Not this display, though, this is quiet and tasteful. It’s just a shame it’s backlit.

061027.Combe Down, Prior Park Black Cat

October 27, 2006 at 12:05 AM | Posted in Cats, Combe Down, countryside, Gardens & Parks, Halloween, somerset | 5 Comments

Hey, come on, Halloween is right around the corner.


061026.047.Somset.CombeDown.Prior Park.Black Cat on the move

061025.Bradford, Lansdown Hill, Cemetery View from Beckford’s Tower

October 25, 2006 at 12:46 PM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, cemeteries - churchyards - and tombstones, Halloween, somerset, Towers, Trees | 1 Comment

061021.129.Somset.Bath.Bradford.Landsdown Hill.Beckford’s Tower

Lots of post streams to get back to, and since Halloween is right around the corner, I figured I might as well return to Beckford’s Tower and the cemetery that surrounds it high above both Bath and Bradford on Lansdown Hill.

Wm BeckfordFirst, to answer Zsolt72‘s question as to the date of the cemetery, it is a Victorian cemetery from the 1840s still-open for plots. The earliest grave there was William Thomas Beckford (October 1, 1760May 2, 1844), himself, (actually first his dog went but there’s no surviving marker). Buried above ground in a pink-marble sarcophagus that rests on a dry-moat island, next to his beloved tower and on this great hill, so he’d be closer to heaven (see thumbnail picture below). Interment didn’t occur immediately after his death since his daughter first sold the tower to a tavern developer but belatedly realizing the buyer’s intentions she bought it back and donated the place to a church and had the ground consecrated for daddy. Although the richest untitled man in England, Beckford wasn’t the greatest of men (his money came from slave-run sugar plantations in Jamaica) so it really did take the donation of an entire estate with tower for a church to let him rest.

He had two daughters but left everything in his will to only one–because she had married into aristocracy (the other only married a general)! Tragically, he hadn’t been present during that daughter’s birth nor most of her life since he exiled himself from England to avoid a death sentence after having been caught in bed with a 10 year-old boy (it was mainly scandalous because the boy was aristocracy–the future Hon . William Courtenay, 3rd Viscount and 9th Earl of Devon). What makes this worse was that the boy’s family probably set the whole thing up and used their son to bait the “new money” Beckford to his disgrace.

His tower on Lansdown Hill designed by Goodwich was his second and more humble Neverland, built after he had lost most of his money (the first having been sold just two years before it collapsed!). It doesn’t matter that he’s buried there now, it’s very fashionable and the family plots cost an arm and a leg.

061021.145.Somset.Bath.Bradford.Landsdown Hill.Beckford’s Tower.WmThomasBeckman’s Sar on his own island

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