Three Essex Villages, England

[ Photo Blog #47 ]

Just a few of my photographs taken in three beautiful villages in Essex in South East England – to the north and East of London.

Greensted Church, in the small village of Greensted-juxta-Ongar, near Chipping Ongar, is the oldest wooden church in the world, and probably the oldest wooden building in Europe still standing, albeit only in part, since few sections of its original wooden structure remain. The oak walls are often classified as remnants of a palisade church or a kind of early stave church, dated either to the mid-9th or mid-11th century.

Ingatestone is a village in Essex, England, with a population of about 4,500.

Ingatestone Hall is a Grade I listed 16th-century manor house in Essex, some 5 miles (8 km) south west of Chelmsford. It was built by Sir William Petre, and his descendants live in the house to this day.  William Petre bought Ingatestone manor soon after the Dissolution of the Monasteries for some £850 and commissioned the building of the house. Queen Elizabeth I of England spent several nights there on her royal progress of 1561.

The hall represented the exterior of Bleak House in the 2005 television adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel and also appeared in an episode of the TV series Lovejoy. Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s novel Lady Audley’s Secret is set at Ingatestone Hall and was inspired by a stay there.

Orsett is a village and ecclesiastical parish located within Thurrock unitary district in Essex

( Information based on entries in Wikipedia )

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A timbered and thatched cottage in Orsett

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Greensted Church

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Greensted Church –  Wooden South Entrance

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Ingatestone Hall

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Ingatestone Hall – Clock Tower & Weather Vane

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Ingatestone Hall

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Ingatestone Hall – Roadside slogan – ‘Never Underestimate A Minority’

Cardiff

[ Photo Blog #45 ]

Cardiff Waterfront

CARDIFF is the capital city of WALES.  It has a very long and fascinating history.  Today I just want to give a brief mention to its waterfront, an area which in recent years has been developed into an attractive and intriguing area with many new buildings, shops, galleries, sculptures and visitor attractions.

The harbour at Cardiff Bay is situated on the Southern coast of Wales, UK.  It has one of the greatest tidal ranges in the world (up to 14m).  This meant that at low tide it was inaccessible for up to 14 hours a day.  However, the Cardiff Bay Barrage was completed in 1999, enabling the creation of a a vast freshwater lake (500 acres) and the development of what is now known as Cardiff Waterfront.  Here can be found the Welsh Assembly Government buildings, the Norwegian Church Arts Centre, the Pierhead Building, Techniquest Centre, the Senedd or Welsh Assembly Building, Butetown History and Arts Centre, the 2000 Lightship, the iconic Wales Millennium Centre, al-fresco cafes, restaurants, and public works of art, giving a truly cosmopolitan feel to the City.

It was here, in the Norwegian seamen’s church, that Roald Dahl and his brothers and sisters, of Norwegian descent but  born in Cardiff, were all christened.  This central area of the Cardiff Waterfront is now named Roald Dahl Plass and is the site of many of the city’s greatest events.

The links between Cardiff and Norwegian seamen date back to the coal boom when Scandinavian ships brought timber for pit props and returned home laden with coal. Churches like this with its attractive white clapboard cladding and pointy spire were built to serve the Norwegian sailors who docked here. Today the restored church features an interesting gallery and a friendly café.

The photographs are by me, taken on a visit to the city several years ago . . .

 

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Model of Cardiff Waterfront

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The Norwegian Church

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Commerative photograph of a portrait of Roald Dahl in the Interior of the Norwegian Church

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Commemorative plaque on the naming of Roald Dahl Plass

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The Pierhead Building

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The Wales Millennium Centre

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A bronze of an immigrant couple symbolising the arrival of many to Tiger Bay seeking a better life in Britain.

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Female Beastie Bench – Cardiff Bay, Sculpted bench in brick  ‘My Beautiful City of Cardiff’

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The 2000 Lightship, a Christian centre funded by Associated British Ports and Cardiff council – now re-sited

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Stained glass Portholes on the Lightship

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Greenland – Nanortalik #1

Greenland is the world’s largest island – excluding the island-continent of Australia.  The majority of the island – well over 1,000 miles from North to South, is covered in ice.  Human settlements are confined to the coast.  I was lucky enough to be in Greenland in September 2008, when, unusually, the weather was beautiful – the sky clear blue, the temperature just like a British early summer.  I have already published, on March 30th this year, some of my photographs of the icebergs and ice floes in the Ice Fiord.  See:  ‘Ancient Ice’ .  The views were dramatic, but the place which captivated me most was the small town of Nanortalik on the South-West coast of the country.  It is an isolated community, without road connection to other settlements or to the Greenland capital of Nuuk.  Over the next three weeks I shall publish, on Thursdays, some of the photographs which I took in and around NANORTALIK . . .

A generic map of Greenland

Map of Greenland showing NANORTALIK in the South West of the island

 

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Local inhabitants wearing traditional costume – for the tourists!

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The ‘Head Stone’

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Local children atop the Head Stone

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View of part of the town looking inland to the mountains behind

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Approaching the village and its church

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No trees, but plenty of grasses and wild flowers

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Getting nearer to the church

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The town’s Danish Lutheran Church

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Church interior

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Cannon – early town defences

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Setting out on a rowing boat – sunlight shining through the seal-skin hull

St. Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Isles of Orkney

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St.Magnus Cathedral, Kirlwall, Orkney Isles … Photo – WHB, 2010

 

 

 

The northernmost cathedral in the British Isles is dedicated to St. Magnus.  It holds a dominant position overlooking the Orkney capital of Kirkwall.   The building of this magnificent cathedral, was commenced in 1137 at a time when Orkney was ruled by the Vikings.  Masons who had helped build Durham Cathedral came north to build the magnificently stout Norman pillars and arches which remain today.  Originally under Norwegian jurisdiction, the cathedral became a possession of the people of Orkney, not of the church, following a decree of King James III of Scotland in 1486.

 

The building of the cathedral continued for approximately 300 years from 1137.  It is built largely of yellow and red sandstone.  It was dedicated to Magnus Erlendsson, Earl of Orkney who, as a result of greed and jealousy engendered by his cousin, Haakon, was  martyred on the island of Egilsay in 1117.   Magnus was later canonised and his remains brought to Kirkwall from Birsay and interred in a column of the cathedral now dedicated to him.

Orkney-Scotland Map

Map of Scotland – Orkney Isles & Kirkwall at the top

I publish below just a few of my photographs taken in the cathedral when I visited in 2010.  They are in the form of a slide show, the picture changing every few seconds.

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Venice, La Serenissima

Yes, I know photographs of La Serenissima, Bride of the Sea, are everywhere. However, I thought, for my travelogue this week, I’d throw in just a few of my own photographs taken on a short visit there ten years ago . . .

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Sea Approach – note the snow-capped Alps in the background

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The Doge’s Palace and the sea landing for St.Mark’s Square

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Doge’s Palace and the Bridge Of Sighs

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San Giorgio Maggiore from St.Mark’s Square

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The rowers in the lagoon operate from a standing position

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Sea entrance to one of the minor canals

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The Grand Canal from St.Mark’s Square

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Front of St. Mark’s Basilica from St.Mark’s Square

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Al fresco entertainment in St. Mark’s Square

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St.Mark’s Square with Basilica and Campanile

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Gondolas for hire on the Grand Canal

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A Venetian Gondola in a side canal

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A canal-side ambulance station … “Aiutami”

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A Jeff Koons ‘Balloon Dog’ sculpture on the Grand Canal

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Just one of the many palaces on the Grand Canal

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Venetian Sunset – from Piazza San Marco … Pen & Wash … WHB … 2013

VENICE

City of Islands
City of Dream
Inscribed with colour
Every scene

City of History
City of Deeds
Imbued with story
Every step

City of Passion
City of Pride
Engorged with fashion
Every stride

City of Clamour
City of Bells
Ringing with meaning
Every knell

City of Turmoil
City of Strife
Threaded with suffering
Every knife

City of Mansions
City of Shrines
Instilled with ardour
Every line

City of Titian
City of Art
Awash with beauty
Every part

City of Merchants
City of Trade
Echoed by Shakespeare
Every shade

City of Water
City of Mud
Sea taking over
Every flood

City of Magic
City of Spells
Present in each pile
Every shell

City of Revels
City of Fete
Carnivals rule life
Every date

City of Intrigue
City of Masks
Sophistry renews
Every task

City of Drama
City of Sin
Would I were there now
Let new life begin.

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The Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, from St Mark’s Square, Venice … WHB … 2013


 

UNCONSIDERED TRIFLE #2

DEATH  BY  ICICLE

Death comes in many shapes and forms. One of the rarest and saddest must surely be that commemorated , in a rather insensitive way – we are not even given the poor lad’s name – on a stone inset into the outer wall of the ancient parish church of St. Michael and All Angels in the village of Bampton, on the south eastern edge of Exmoor, in Devon.

I give my own, rather indistinct, photograph of the memorial, together with a clarified copy of the short verse (doggerel?) inscribed on the stone.

No prizes for deciphering the coded message!

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