070419.Claverton Down, Fight Fire with Fire

April 19, 2007 at 8:35 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Claverton Down, countryside, cumulus clouds, Ruins, somerset, University of Bath, Waterfront | 5 Comments

060923.03.Somset.ClavertonDown.Bath.University.University.DuckPond
Currently, I am experiencing some internet issues but I leave you with the most scenic view possible (selectively cropped) on this ugly little campus. Commonly called the University of Bath’s Duck Pond, it is not in fact a pond, nor even a lake. It’s not even an artificial pond or lake. It’s technically a fire-fighting reserve reservoir (for this concrete, steel and glass hilltop world). This is not just a title. Half of the reservoir’s “beach” is composed of concrete slopes and intrusive pipes. Farther left, there’s even a random thingamajig sticking out of the ground nearby covered with the ruins of an ancient column base, reflecting no doubt on the Uni’s ‘excellent’ ranking for its architecture department. Fibreglass in construction, I would have preferred a giant four foot gnome with a T-Square.

070328.Bathwick, Star Cross’d Lovebirds

March 28, 2007 at 1:27 AM | Posted in Actors in Period Costumes, Architecture, Bath, Bathwick, Canals, Chisel Marks, Gardens & Parks, Peephole Views, Pigeon, Ruins, somerset | 8 Comments

070226.039.Somset.Bathwick.SydneyGrdns.Kennet&AvonCanal
[Sydney Gardens, Kennet and Avon Canal:.]
PIGEONO [Coming forward.]:
But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the East, and Pigeonietta is the sun!
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou her maid art far more fair than she.
Be not her maid, since she is envious.
Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off.
It is my lady! O, it is my love!
O, that she knew she were!
She speaks, yet she says nothing.
What of that? Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold; ’tis not to me she speaks.
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that cheek!

PIGEONIETTA :
Ay me!
PIGEONO:
She speaks.
O, speak again, bright angel, for thou art
As glorious to this night, being o’er my head,
As is a winged messenger of heaven
Unto the white-upturned wond’ring eyes
Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him
When he bestrides the lazy puffing clouds
And sails upon the bosom of the air.

PIGEONIETTA:
O Pigeono, Pigeono! Wherefore art thou Pigeono?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

PIGEONO [Aside.]:
Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
PIGEONIETTA:
Tis but thy name that is my enemy.
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face. O, be some other name
Belonging to a man.
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet.
So Pigeono would, were he not Pigeono called,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Pigeono, doff thy name;
And for thy name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.

PIGEONO:
I take thee at thy word.
Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized;
Henceforth I never will be Pigeono.

PIGEONIETTA:
What man art thou, that, thus bescreened in night,
So stumblest on my counsel?

PIGEONO:
By a name
I know not how to tell thee who I am.
My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself
Because it is an enemy to thee.
Had I it written, I would tear the word.

PIGEONIETTA:
My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words
Of thy tongue’s uttering, yet I know the sound.
Art thou not Pigeono, and a Montague?

PIGEONO:
Neither, fair maid, if either thee dislike.
PIGEONIETTA:
How camest thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?
The orchard walls are high and hard to climb,
And the place death, considering who thou art,
If any of my kinsmen find thee here.

PIGEONO:
With love’s light wings did I o’erperch these walls;
For stony limits cannot hold love out,
And what love can do, that dares love attempt.
Therefore thy kinsmen are no stop to me.

PIGEONIETTA:
If they do see thee, they will murder thee.
PIGEONO:
Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye
Than twenty of their swords! Look thou but sweet,
And I am proof against their enmity.

PIGEONIETTA:
I would not for the world they saw thee here.
PIGEONO:
I have night’s cloak to hide me from their eyes;
And but thou love me, let them find me here.
My life were better ended by their hate
Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.

PIGEONIETTA:
By whose direction found’st thou out this place?
PIGEONO:
By Love, that first did prompt me to inquire.
He lent me council, and I lent him eyes.
I am no pilot; yet, wert thou as far
As that vast shore washed with the farthest sea,
I should adventure for such merchandise.

PIGEONIETTA:
Thou knowest the mask of night is on my face;
Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek
For that which thou hast heard me speak tonight.
Fain would I dwell on form–fain, fain deny
What I have spoke; but farewell compliment!
Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say “Ay;”
And I will take thy word. Yet, if thou swear’st,
Thou mayst prove false. At lovers’ perjuries,
They say Jove laughs. O gentle Pigeono,
If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully.
Or if thou thinkest I am too quickly won,
I’ll frown and be perverse and say thee nay,
So thou wilt woo, but else, not for the world.
In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond,
And therefore thou mayst think my havior light;
But trust me, gentleman, I’ll prove more true
Than those that have more cunning to be strange.
I should have been more strange, I must confess,
But that thou overheard’st, ere I was ware,
My true love passion. Therefore pardon me,
And not impute this yielding to light love,
Which the dark night hath so discovered.

PIGEONO:
Lady, by yonder blessed moon I vow,
That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops–

PIGEONIETTA:
O, swear not by the moon, th’ inconstant moon,
That monthly changes in her circle orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.

PIGEONO:
What shall I swear by?
PIGEONIETTA:
Do not swear at all;
Or if thou wilt, swear by thy gracious self,
Which is the god of my idolatry,
And I’ll believe thee.

PIGEONO:
If my heart’s dear love–
PIGEONIETTA:
Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee,
I have no joy of this contract tonight.
It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden;
Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be
Ere one can say it lightens. Sweet, good night!
This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath,
May prove a beauteous flow’r when next we meet.
Good night, good night! As sweet repose and rest
Come to thy heart as that within my breast!
PIGEONO:
O, wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?
PIGEONIETTA:
What satisfaction canst thou have to-night?
PIGEONO:
The exchange of thy love’s faithful vow for mine.
PIGEONIETTA:
I gave thee mine before thou didst request it:
and yet I would it were to give again.
PIGEONO:
Would’st thou withdraw it? for what purpose, love?
PIGEONIETTA:
But to be frank and give it thee again.
And yet I wish but for the thing I have.
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.
I hear some noise within. Dear love, adieu!
[NURSE calls within.]
Anon, good nurse! Sweet Montague, be true.
Stay but a little, I will come again.
[Exit.]
PIGEONO:
O blessed, blessed night! I am afeard,
Being in night, all this is but a dream,
Too flattering-sweet to be substantial.
[Enter PIGEONIETTA again.]
PIGEONIETTA:
Three words, dear Pigeono, and good night indeed.
If that thy bent of love be honorable,
Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow,
By one that I’ll procure to come to thee,
Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite;
And all my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay
And follow thee my lord throughout the world.
[NURSE within.]
Madam!
PIGEONIETTA:
I come anon.–But if thou meanest not well,
I do beseech thee–
[NURSE within.]
Madam!
PIGEONIETTA:
By and by I come.–
To cease thy strife and leave me to my grief
Tomorrow will I send.
PIGEONO:
So thrive my soul–
PIGEONIETTA:
A thousand times good night!
PIGEONO:
A thousand times the worse, to want thy light!
Love goes toward love as schoolboys from their books
But love from love, toward school with heavy looks
[Enter PIGEONIETTA again]
PIGEONIETTA:
Hist! Pigeono, hist! O for a falc’ner’s voice
To lure this tassel gentle back again!
Bondage is hoarse and may not speak aloud,
Else would I tear the cave where Echo lies
And make her airy tongue more hoarse than
With repetition of “My Pigeono!”
PIGEONO:
How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night,
Like softest music to attending ears!
PIGEONIETTA:
Pigeono!
PIGEONO:
My sweet?
PIGEONIETTA:
What o’clock tomorrow
Shall I send to thee?

PIGEONO:
By the hour of nine.
PIGEONIETTA:
I will not fail. ‘Tis twenty years till then.
I have forgot why I did call thee back.
PIGEONO:
Let me stand here till thou remember it.
PIGEONIETTA:
I shall forget, to have thee still stand there,
Rememb’ring how I love thy company.
PIGEONO:
And I’ll still stay, to have thee still forget,
Forgetting any other home but this.
PIGEONIETTA:
‘Tis almost morning. I would have thee gone–
And yet no farther than a wanton’s bird,
That lets it hop a little from his hand,
Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves,
And with a silken thread plucks it back again
So loving-jealous of his liberty.
PIGEONO:
I would I were thy bird.
PIGEONIETTA:
Sweet, so would I.
Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.
Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow
That I shall say good night till it be morrow.
[Exit.]
PIGEONO
Sleep dwell upon thine eyes, peace in thy breast!
Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest!

…[It doesn’t end well, so I’ll summarize: After hearing that PIGEONIETTA ate some bad bird seed, PIGEONO swallows a slice of white bread (the urban legends were true!). Then PIGEONIETTA, overcome by grief, flies into a window.]

>If you got down this far, congrats. I didn’t. But it’s now true, one picture tells 1,638 words.

060218.Bathampton Down, A View to a Killing

February 18, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Castles, Chisel Marks, Claverton Down, doorways, Gardens & Parks, Light and Shadow, Mansion, Monuments and Memorials, Overcast, Peephole Views, Preservation, Restoration, Ruins, somerset, Towers, towns, Trees, University of Bath | 9 Comments

Walked by this two days ago after I picked up a package from the mailroom. It’s surrounded by the University of Bath‘s campus but is still somewhat difficult to reach. This is more of an excuse since I’ve never posted a shot of it and it’s a five minutes walk away from my house.
Copy of 070216.18.Somset.Bath.ClavertonDown.ShamCastle.d.RichardJones1762
Born in Cornwall, Ralph Allen (1693 – June 29, 1764), transferred from a post office there at age 17 to one in Bath. Two years later in 1712, he became the Post Master of the city. He shortly reorganized the entire postal service and became very wealthy doing so. Surprisingly, however, he saved his money and refused to invest in the quarries that surrounded Bath (and that he would become famous from) until the completion of the Kennet and Avon Canal, which allowed stone to be shipped to the Thames.

Shortly, He owned nearly all of Combe Down, creating a cart rail-track that took the stones down the hill from the quarries to the canal warf in Bath’s Dolmeads section where it would be shipped out. He was also able to keep costs down by paying his workers less. This was not necessarily cruel since he, unlike most other quarry employers, employed year-round, and had John Wood the Elder build model terrace housing for them in 1729.

In addition to these organized and economical applications to selling stone, he promoted the creamy-colored stone through his own constructions, such as this Sham Castle (1767), his Palladian Mansion of Prior Park (1742) with its Palladian Bridge, and in supplying it for free for prominent public buildings such as the General Hospital (1738-1742). To introduce stone to new markets, such as lucrative London, he sold it at a discount with guarantees that he would personally cover the cost of replacing the stone if it failed. Unfortunately, it often did and London’s smoggy environment frequently caused him to empty his pockets.

He died at age 71 and is buried in a mausoleum in Claverton (down the opposite slope from Bath of the Claverton Down hill). The old rail line that went from his quarries, past his mansion, and down to his warf is now Ralph Allen Drive, as well as one of the city’s secondary schools. A statue for the Lower Assembly Rooms was also carved in his honor (not sure where the statue is since the structure was demolished), paid for by the City of Bath Corporation.
Copy of 070216.12.Somset.Bath.ClavertonDown.ShamCastle.d.RichardJones1762
The “Sham Castle” was built by Allen’s Clerk of Works Richard Jones (the same person who completed John Wood the Elder’s designs for Prior Park after the latter’s dismissal) in 1762 as an eye-catcher for Allen’s town house mansion in Bath proper. That house, which is now hemmed in with other buildings, faces this hill (it was probably designed by John Wood the Elder, although his account of its design is cryptic.) In many ways, this castle is the equivalent of the Palladian Bridge on Allen’s Prior Park Estate. It can still be seen from the city when lit up at night (although it is very very small). Jones claimed the design for the façade structure was his, but Sanderson Miller had been approached to design it seven years earlier and Jones has a record for accepting credit for designs that he merely supervised (Prior Park). The structure replaced “Antsey’s Lodge.”
Copy of 070216.06.Somset.Bath.ClavertonDown.ShamCastle.d.RichardJones1762
Copy of 070216.04.Somset.Bath.ClavertonDown.ShamCastle.d.RichardJones1762
Copy of 070216.03.Somset.Bath.ClavertonDown.ShamCastle.d.RichardJones1762

Tune in tomorrow for more of Ralph Allen Week at Bath Daily Photo.

070208.Combe Down, “Alice is a sexy sl*t” Was Here: Modern vs. Historical Graffiti

February 8, 2007 at 12:11 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Chisel Marks, Columns, Combe Down, doorways, Gardens & Parks, Ionic Order, Mansion, Monuments and Memorials, people, Pevsner, Restoration, Ruins, somerset, University of Bath | 5 Comments

061026.033.Somset.CombeDown.Prior Park061026.063.Somset.CombeDown.Prior Park
Prior Park Mansion burned down around 1989 and was restored from 1989 to 1992. The company that rebuilt and redecorated it also cleaned off the graffiti that had been painted and carved into the walls of the classical garden buildings Grade I Listed landscapes. In so doing they had to match the patina of the old stone but were also given a lit of what had to be removed and what had to stay. Here, on the left pier an erased inscription can still be read “** F**k FOX.” The letters appear to have been painted large and are still somewhat discernable. Underneath that, however, was “D.H. 1945,” which remained. The whole structure is littered with grafitti, which I’m sure other Daily Photo sites would have found some artistic merit in. Name a public monument that hasn’t had something carved into it? What makes it historical, and therefore possible to preserve?

(Again, in the second photo above,) More than halfway up the right pier where now only the white dot-dot-dots remain was inscribed “Alice is a sexy slut.” What remains are the best efforts to match the patina of the stone after removing the line. The Managing Director of St. Blaise’s, Ian Constantinides, responsible for the restoration joked to our class yesterday that it “was air-braised out of existence into a spiritual purity that she didn’t maintain on Earth.” He joked whether this was part of the history of the bridge and determined if it had been an equally crude Georgian inscription it would have been protected. (Constantinides gave a great lecture on materials, going an hour and a half past the regular end time. Last year, he apparently talked well into the night but I guess our year wasn’t as interesting to him. Somewhat eccentric, he’s the one in the red pants and he brings millions of slides and just asks the class what they want him to lecture on. We got the run down on lime mortar repairs, stone and plasterwork. Apart form Prior Park, he worked on Windsor Castle and countless other historic buildings—a very interesting person. One classmate said he’s been featured on several television shows. )

061026.064.Somset.CombeDown.Prior Park061026.062.Somset.CombeDown.Prior Park
“Built as his villa in 1735-c.1750 for Ralph Allen. It is built of Bath stone and was meant to be Allen’s proof of the suitability of the product of his Combe Down quarry for work of the highest order. Prior Park certainly is a composition in the Grand Manner, the most ambitious and the most complete re-creation of Palladio’s villas on English soil. The architect was John Wood the Elder. But after a quarrel between him and Allen, the completion was entrusted to Allen’s clerk of works Richard Jones. The house was to consist of a corps de logis connected by galleries with two pairs of pavilions. It lies on the hillside, and its grounds extend down a green combe to the old village of Widcombe whose church is the final closing accent of the vista. Halfway down however the vista is crossed by the Palladian Bridge, a copy made in 1750 by Jones of Palladio’s famous bridge design in the Burlington-Devonshire Collection at the R.I.B.A. This was later published in Bertotti-Scamozzi’s Palladio edition. The drawing had been copied before (in 1736) at Wilton. The bridge is roofed and has two pedimented end pavilions with arched openings and an open colonnade of four Ionic columns between.” – Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol, (Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1958), 114.

061026.065.Somset.CombeDown.Prior Parkba 003

The house (not featured in this post) was based on Colen Campbell’s first design for Wanstead House in Essex (labeled Wanstead I) and was a giant showcase for Bath stone. Allen had made his money by reorganizing the postal system and then investing that capital in Combe Down, Bath quarries, where the soft cream colored stone was found. The material was not favored in fashionable circles, which is why he constructed his mansion to the popular design published by Campbell, insisting that John Wood the Elder design the column diameters to 1.5x those at the actual Wanstead.

After Catholic Emancipation in 1829, the structure was purchased by Bishop Baines, who used the mansion as his humble abode. When it burned in 1836, the bishop raised funds to restore his house by purchasing another mansion, Hunt Street House on the Mendips, which had been mothballed near its completion in 1770s after the owners ran went bankrupt. Had this mansion been completed, it would have been in the top three of Georgian mansions. The bishop stripped this newly purchased abandoned house and moved its grand staircase, plasterwork, and several other architectural features to his mansion, heavily subsidizing them. It has since become a Roman Catholic college.
ba 002

Here’s the wonderful University of Bath arcade and I should mention that the Prior Park photos were taken in October 2006, and just happened to feature the “Alice is a…” that he referred to.

070203.Bath, Be Careful Where You Bathe

February 3, 2007 at 9:18 PM | Posted in Actors in Period Costumes, Architecture, Bath, Corinthian Order, Ionic Order, Jane Austen, Monuments and Memorials, Overcast, people, Pilgrimage, Ruins, Sculpture, somerset, Supernatural | 12 Comments

A photo from back in October during the filming of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.061007.049.Somset.Bath.Bath St.Filming Austen's Persuasion near the Cross Bath
Here, terminating the Ionic-ordered Bath Street’s (formerly Cross Bath Street) western vista is the Corinthian-ordered Cross Bath, with the John Wood Building of the Hospital of St. John the Baptist as its background. On page 126 of The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol (1958), noted architectural critic Nikolaus Pevsner described the street as a the “finest piece of formal planning at Bath,” and “a perfect piece of design made especially attractive by its modest easily manageable size.” The pictured Cross Bath east façade was designed principally by Thomas Baldwin, completed in 1784 to replace the Elizabethan structure. The Cross Baths have been heavily remodeled since then, most recently in 2003.

cross bath

Miracle of Miracles:

James II’s consort, Mary of Modena, who followed her sister-in-law’s failed attempt at an infertility cure at the Cross Bath and succeeded. Exuberantly expecting a male heir, the Earl of Melfort commissioned and then erected the Melfort Cross at the site, just three months after the 10 June 1688 birth. Descriptively almost a metaphor of Robert Campin’s c.1425 Annunciation Merode Altarpiece, the monument itself was referencing that Biblical subject too literally. The costly marble monument rose from the center of the baths and was composed of a Trinity-referencing three Corinthian columns “springing from a pedestal and supporting a dome, surmounted by a cross with a crown of thorns. Around the dome were three cherubim holding aloft a crown, scepter and orb.” A dove, clearly representing the Holy Spirit, descended between the columns toward the bath, implying the miraculous conception of Queen Mary, soon to mother of a king of three kingdoms. Should this monumental message be missed by the Protestant majority, it was spelled out with numerous religious and political inscriptions, dedications and heraldic shields. An embarrassed Corporation maintained the monument until the Glorious Revolution later that year when the Melfort Cross became a memorial for the Catholic cause. A slow process of dismantling ended in 1783, the same year Baldwin drew up his plans for the new Bath. However, given its expense and quality of workmanship, Melfort Cross fragmentally resurrected around town as decorative parts of shopfronts and in the North Parade Gardens, as late as 1907.

All facts and historic images came from Manco, quoted text from page 65.
See Manco, Jean. “The Cross Bath.” In Bath History, ed. Simon Hunt. Gloucester: Alan
Sutton Publishing Limited, 1988. 2: 49-84.
Melfort Cross

070129.Wells, HELLOCATHEDRO

January 29, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Posted in Architecture, Cathedrals and churches, cemeteries - churchyards - and tombstones, Chisel Marks, Ruins, somerset, Towers, Wells | 5 Comments

What can say? Wells. Things are going to be lame until Friday, y’hear?
060924.075.UK.Wells.Cathedral

070114.Bradford, The Tragic Treasury-4

January 14, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Posted in Angels, Architecture, Bradford, cemeteries - churchyards - and tombstones, Chisel Marks, Gardens & Parks, Monuments and Memorials, New York, Ruins, Sculpture, somerset | 8 Comments

This is the Cemetery near Beckford’s Tower on Lansdown Hill. I will be back to my usual attentiveness near the end of the month. Until then enjoy the songs from a Series of Unfortunate Events (samples can be found on iTunes). I’ll post more Phillip Jackson statues later.

UPDATE: Yesterday in New York was “No Pants Day” on the #6 Train (Bronx-Manhattan Eastside, etc Local) . It starts with one or two people getting onto the train without any pants on. Then at the next stop a few more, until finally over 130 pantsless individuals board the train to the shock of all on board. It’s been sponsored by Improv Everywhere, and my friends participated in it last year. Scroll to the third photogroup to see parts of some pictures.

061021.158.Somset.Bath.Bradford.Landsdown Hill.Beckford's Tower

 

 

Gone, gone the girl in brocade
Gone the words we might have said
Howl, winds, beacuse she is dead
And gone, gone, gone

Were teary, teary eyes once bright?
Weary sighs the tune
Dreary, dreary falls the night
And eerie light of the moon

 

Gone, gone, my Beatrice
Gone the lips I longed to kiss
Into a black and bleak abyss
Gone, gone gone
(Chorus: Gone are the summers of croques and cribbage)
Were teary, teary eyes once bright?
(Gone, gone,)
Weary sighs the tune
(are the winters of)
Dreary, dreary fall the night
(snow,)
and eerie light of the moon
(sigh and secrets.)
Were teary, teary eyes once bright?
(Gone too.)
Weary sighs the tune
(silver springs, golden)
Dreary, dreary fall the night
(falls.)
and eerie light of the moon.

–“Dreary” by the Gothic Archies.
Hey, I won’t be checking this very often for a week or two but will get back to everyone after that.

« Previous PageNext Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.