070608. Bath, The Former Station Formerly Known As…Formerly Known As…

June 8, 2007 at 12:01 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Hot air balloons, Overcast, Restoration, roofs, somerset, Vaults | 4 Comments

The twenty metre cast and wrought iron vaulted train shed of Queen Square Station (now Green Park Station), designed by the Midland Railway chief engineer J.S. Crossley and built between 1868-1869 by Andrew Handyside of Derby. Closed in 1966, it was restored by Stride Treglown Partnership and paid for by Sainsbury’s supermarket (visible in the rear) for their parking and the occasional crafts fair. It has been known as Green Station since 1951 and owned by the Bath City Council since 1974.
–Michael Forsyth, Bath (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), 265-266. 251-252

070301.Newton-St. Low, THEME DAY: “Men at Work:” Life in a Crew Shell

March 1, 2007 at 1:12 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bridges, Corston, countryside, Fishing, Light and Shadow, Mansion, Newbridge, Newton St. Loe, people, Reflection, river, River Avon, Riverboats, Ships, somerset, Trees, Vaults, Waterfront | 7 Comments

070204.30.Somset.Newton St. Loe.River Avon
-Lady’s (above) and Men’s (below) crew teams (I want to give even representation to both sexes.)-
OK, so people apparently like not having any buildings posted for a change. I figure since most of the audience for this blog are folks not completely consumed by historical buildings but are from around here who have since moved away or people who once vacationed here and in both cases want to see some of the good “home-time” scenes. Hopefully these qualify. I aim to please the people. I must mention to please take note of the New Bridge, which defines the connection between the fields of Newton St. Low and Newbridge section of Bath. 070204.09.Somset.Bath.LowerWeston.New Bridge070204.15.Somset.Bath.LowerWeston.New Bridge
070204.28.Somset.Newton St. Loe.River Avon
070204.37.Somset.Corston looking toward Kelston
The abovbe photo is from neighbouring Corston, Somerset — just farther along the River Avon on its way to Bristol. Below is the sheep pasture of Newton-St. Low, which has a village center that I have yet to get to.
070204.20.Somset.Newton St. Loe.River Avon

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070211.Cardiff, Underground

February 11, 2007 at 4:04 PM | Posted in Actors in Period Costumes, people, towns, Vaults | 11 Comments

Copy of cardiff 235
Cardiff has some wide, Soviet-styled streets that require these “subway tunnels.” Yesterday, on the day I came, it also had rain, a lot of it. Oh, and apparently this Welsh capital also has a thriving underground scene…and they all congregate in this one tunnel, which happens to be between the Welsh National History Museum, City Hall, the Law Courts and the main Cardiff Castle attraction. I don’t know if there was any event going on that would have attracted all of these people (over 200–these photos were taken after the rain stopped and the crowds died down) but they were indeed blocking the only tunnel between the main tourist attractions in the city centre. Most of these subculture adherent-wannabes appeared to be 15 years of age, and wearing the exact same clothes (which were all sold in a nearby store, which had a Welsh name that probably translated to “Hot Topic.”) I mean exact, exact (though the photos don’t evidence this.) I counted over 50 black dot earing pairs that stretch the earlobe for girls and boys, half that number for pink and black striped leg stockings worn from the wrist to the elbow, etc. And a plenitude of black clothes, eyeliner, etc., of course. The only reason I bring this up was that I thought it funny since this underground culture occupied that only connection between the city’s main attractions in the centre. When I was heading through one, a very formally dressed Englishman and his wife, both in their 70s, were going through in the opposite direction. The look on their faces showed they were beyond preturbed, and I heard the woman tell her husband that she had smelled they were “smoking the dope.” Some other “respectable” passerby commented that “the sewers must have been flooded.” (I will state again that most of these kids looked 15, or so, and appeared to have purchased their outfits nearby…perhaps for this occasion.) As with all my other trips to English (and now Welsh cities,) I didn’t see one police officer.
On a seperate occasion when I was on a tour of the Jutland peninsula in Denmark, one of the utopian housing co-ops we were visiting had been booked for a Marilyn Manson/goth-like society and our tourguide who had been pointing out areas of design we should be focusing on in the building decided to start hurling insults at this group. Overall, a very awkward sitation, though I’m not sure how this relates apart from the black clothes. But in the States, this sort of the thing would be relegated to the suburbs in some dying mall.

Copy of cardiff 332

070116.Salisbury, The Tragic Treasury-6

January 16, 2007 at 12:11 AM | Posted in Architecture, Cathedrals and churches, Light and Shadow, Pilgrimage, Reflection, Salisbury, Sculpture, Supernatural, Vaults, Wiltshire | 18 Comments


This abyss, this lightless void
this abyss of world destroyed
this abyss, all deep, all wide
this abyss of being denied


Even in the darkest forest
Fireflies are flickering…but not in
this abyss of black increase
this abyss without surcease


Even in the deepest ocean
is a little moonlight…but not in
this abyss of night unbound;
this abyss without sound


Even in your bedroom shadows
There is something moving…but not in
This abyss, this all-below
This abyss; this death, this “no.”

–“This Abyss”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.

070109.Bath, Pulteney Bridge on the First Night

January 9, 2007 at 12:01 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Bridges, Light and Shadow, Pulteney Bridge, somerset, Vaults | 9 Comments

060922.6.Somset.Bath.Pulteney Bridge
By popular demand, here is Pulteney Bridge with its warm honey-coloured Bath stone at night from the city centre side of the Avon. There have been a lot of bridges at night but the one I just saw was across the pond. This also marks my 110th night in this city, which is appropriate because I took this 110 days ago, on my first day here. It was the sixth and best photo I took that day, which were all about my first impressions of this city. I saw this and thought: nice.
At the time, it was tetering on the edge of rain appropriately enough, and it began to drizzle a few seconds after this photo was taken. So although not quite daily, it is at night.
Cheers to New Zealand Meg for pointing out the bridge was built between 1769 and 1774.

070108.Bathwick, Pulteney Bridge

January 8, 2007 at 12:22 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Bathwick, Bridges, Doric Order, Light and Shadow, Pevsner, Pulteney Bridge, Reflection, Restoration, river, River Avon, somerset, Vaults | 14 Comments

Designed by Robert Adam and built by William Johnstone Pulteney from 1769 to 1774, Pulteney Bridge is easily one of the city’s most recognizable features. It has shops on both sides (though the south face, shown, is the glamorous one). The bridge connects the city centre to Bathwick, then owned entirely by the Pulteney family. Adam also designed Bathwick but his designs were never carried out and Thomas Baldwin constructed Great Pulteney Street and the rest of Bathwick, as it stands now, until he was fired. Here’s a description of the bridge from the Pevsner Architectural Guide: “A central pavilion has an open pediment and a great Venetian window, and the wings have pavilion features over each pier. Square pavilions sit on the abutments, with domes and pediments and, originally, porticoes facing outward. The street elevations are broadly similar but flanking wings each have three arched openings to form shopfronts with doorways between. All this sounds monumental. In fact, it is a surprisingly small bridge, friendly in its dimensions. In 1792 Thomas Baldwin added a storey, removed the porticoes and altered the shopfronts. After the NW mid-stream pier collapsed in 1800, John Pinch the Elder, now surveyor to the Bathwick Estate, appears to have reconstructed the N side in 1802-4 to a plainer design and a deeper plan….” (1) It has been altered and reconstructed many times since then.
1: Michael Forsyth, Bath (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), 82.

It’s still raining so I’m reaching back a few days, again.

070103.Bradford-on-Avon, Norman Era Bridge

January 3, 2007 at 6:01 PM | Posted in Architecture, Bradford-on-Avon, Bridges, Cathedrals and churches, Chisel Marks, Christmas, Overcast, people, river, River Avon, towns, Vaults, Wiltshire | 13 Comments

Thanks for all the comments. There are a ton of great buildings around where I live now and am grateful for it. (However, I’d trade it all in for a Wendys.)


In keeping up the closer-look at the bridge theme, I took a train today to Bradford-upon-Avon, which is the next town over on the rail. It’s a beautiful little place with many old buildings. This is one of the oldest bridges in the UK. It has a Norman core but was widened and refaced.

The cupola-ed goiter at the back there, hanging off the side of the bridge was originally a chapel. Back in the day, chapels were oft built on bridges because in taking out your coin purse (hopefully hidden from pickpockets) to pay the toll to cross, you couldn’t hide it quickly enough when passing the chapel and a donation arose from guilt. That’s my interpretation anyway. Since bridges were rare, and good bridges (such as this one) were utilized by merchants on long journeys for moving their goods, the location of these chapels guaranteed easy-to-find places where travelers could quickly pray for their journey on the road ahead.

This one was converted into a prison (you can still see the bars on the window!)

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