RYE, East Sussex, England

[ Photo Gallery # 90 ]

RYE is an English town near the coast in East Sussex.  It was one of the original Cinque Ports and parts of the original walls and town gates, once built to guard against invasions from the French, still remain.  Over the centuries, however, the sea has receded leaving Rye Harbour and the coast of the English Channel about 2 miles (3.2 km) downriver from the town.  In the town centre, cobbled lanes like Mermaid Street still exist lined with medieval, half-timbered houses. The redbrick Lamb House was once owned by writer Henry James. Nearby, the tower of the Norman St. Mary’s Church overlooks the town. 

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Low tide on the River Rother at Rye

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Ancient Rye Mill, reconstructed in 1932 after a fire destroyed much of the superstructure

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Fascinating weather-worn textures in part of the ancient town walls

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Looking uphill along the cobbled Mermaid Street to Lamb House at the top right

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View across the roofs of the town from the roof of St. Mary’s Church tower

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Another view across the roofs of the town from the roof of St. Mary’s Church tower

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View towards the River Rother from the roof of St. Mary’s Church tower

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A Burne-Jones stained-glass window in St.Mary’s Church

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A lovely corner window in the town

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House front near St.Mary’s Church

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One of the ancient town entry gates

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The green plaque is inscribed ‘Radclyffe Hall (1880 – 1943), Novelist, lived here.’

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Gotland, Sweden

[ Photo Gallery # 82 }

Gotland is Sweden’s largest island.  It is (approximately) 176 km (109 miles) by 52 km (32 miles), with a coastline of c. 800 km (500 miles) and a population of round about 58,003,  over 23,000 of whom live in Visby, the island’s main town.  The island has had a long and colourful history, due in large measure to its strategic position in the Baltic Sea.  Gotland’s main activities today centre around agriculture, food processing, tourism, and information technology services.  There is a small amount of heavy industry, particularly associated with concrete production from limestone which is mined on the island.

My photographs below were taken on a visit to the island in 2004.

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Gotland’s position on the Baltic Sea

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View across the roofs of Visby towards the Baltic Sea, with the ruins of the Saint Catherine church on the left. 

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View towards the Cathedral in Visby

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Visby Cathedral, now known as St. Mary’s Church

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View of Visby Cathedral’s towers from outside the city wall

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On the Baltic shore near Visby

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Interior of a reconstructed Viking Longhouse on Gotland

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Further view of the Interior of a reconstructed Viking Longhouse on Gotland

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Västerhejde Church on Gotland

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The Iron Age Stone Ship burial place at Gnisvärd.   Such stone ships are burial places for the chieftain of a village, built of many large stones, placed in the shape of a ship. The persons remains are cremated in a large bonfire and then placed in a vessel in the centre of the stone ship.  This one at Gnisvärd is Gotland’s second largest ship at 45 metres in length

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Another view of the Iron Age Stone Ship burial place at Gnisvärd. 

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North Yorkshire Coast #1

[ Photo Gallery # 78 ]

After my three Photo Galleries displaying the delights of Whitby, my next two galleries will cover some of the delights of the Yorkshire coast further north, now named the ‘North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast’.

01 NY Heritage Coast

‘Heritage Coast’ sign at Sandsend

02 HawskerChurch

A sea mist masks the church and gravestones of the coastal village of Hawsker

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Evening view to the north from the beach at Sandsend

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Rough sea looking south towards Whitby from Sandsend.

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Misty morning beside Westbek at Sandsend

06 RunswickBay

The picturesque artists’ village of Runswick Bay

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High tide in the bay at Runswick

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Further view of Runswick Bay

07 Skinningrove

The old mining village of Skinningrove where the Kilton Beck meets the North Sea and still runs red with the iron deposits carried down from the surrounding hills .  Known as ‘Britain’s Iron Valley’.

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Kilton Culvert (N.B. not one of my own photographs)

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Three views of the ‘Repus’ Cobble, an old Skinningrove fishing boat now positioned looking out to the North Sea from the beach at Skinningrove.

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It is not clear why this cobble has been named ‘Repus’, but it has been pointed out that the name spells ‘Super’ backwords!

11 Skinningrove

Manning the prow of the ‘Repus’ Cobble

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A.E. Housman – ‘Bredon Hill’

[  No.69 of my favourite short poems  ]

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‘On Bredon Hill’ . . .  Sketch – WHB: 1991

Bredon Hill is in Worcestershire, England, in the Vale of Evesham.  This poem of A.E. Housman’s, which he called ‘Bredon Hill’, is taken from his collection of poems, ‘A Shropshire Lad’ published in 1896.

Housman (1859-1936) was an English poet and scholar, whose verse exerted a strong influence on later poets.  The tone of this particular poem shows a preoccupation with loss and, as such, mirrors the tone of many of his poems.   It tells of lost love, contrasting powerfully the ‘happy noise’ of the church bells which brought joy and happy memories of youthful exuberence at the start of the poem, with the single tone of the funeral bell with which the poem ends.

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Bredon Hill    (From “A Shropshire Lad”)

by A.E. Housman

In summertime on Bredon 
The bells they sound so clear; 
Round both the shires they ring them 
In steeples far and near, 
A happy noise to hear. 

Here of a Sunday morning 
My love and I would lie, 
And see the coloured counties, 
And hear the larks so high 
About us in the sky.

The bells would ring to call her 
In valleys miles away; 
“Come all to church, good people; 
Good people come and pray.” 
But here my love would stay. 

And I would turn and answer 
Among the springing thyme, 
“Oh, peal upon our wedding, 
And we will hear the chime, 
And come to church in time.”

But when the snows at Christmas 
On Bredon top were strown, 
My love rose up so early 
And stole out unbeknown 
And went to church alone.

They tolled the one bell only, 
Groom there was none to see, 
The mourners followed after, 
And so to church went she, 
And would not wait for me. 

The bells they sound on Bredon, 
And still the steeples hum, 
“Come all to church, good people,” 
Oh, noisy bells, be dumb; 
I hear you, I will come.

 

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CORNWALL – the North-East Coast

[  Photograph Gallery   #71  ]

Cornwall’s Coast . . . continued . . .

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01 StEnodocsChurch1

St. Enodoc’s Church, Trebetherick, Cornwall. The church is said to lie on the site of a cave where Enodoc lived as a hermit.  It is situated among the sand dunes on the eastern bank of the River Camel estuary. Wind-driven sand has formed banks that are almost level with the roof on two sides.  From the 16th century to the middle of the 19th century, the church was virtually buried by the dunes, but by 1864 the church was unearthed and the dunes were stabilized.

02 BetjemansGrave

St. Enodoc’s Church – The grave of Sir John Betjeman.   From his youth Betjeman had come to this particular area of Cornwall.  He went on doing so regularly for the rest of his life.  He eventually moved to live at ‘Treen’, down a quiet lane in the village of Trebetherick, where he died in May 1984. 

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St. Enodoc’s Church – the decorated west porch

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St. Enodoc’s Church  – the decorated west porch (close-up view)

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Harbourside entertainment at Padstow on the River Camel estuary

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The view towards Boscastle from where the River Valency meets the sea

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Boscastle harbour and breakwater at the mouth of the River Valency

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Boats tied up in the shelter of the stone jetty at Boscastle

 

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The River Valency at Boscastle. Here seen after radical repairs and reconstruction of the river bed and bridge following the hugely destructive floods of  2004. An interesting description of this flood disaster can be read on Wikipedia at:  Boscastle Flood

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The Coastguard Station at Boscastle

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The sea entrance to Boscastle on the River Valancy viewed from the hilltop to the south of the town.

Houses of God

FAITH

1AtStoweBucks

Stowe, Buckinghamshire

Strength in stone,
Hope in height,
Testament in time
Prove its lasting might.

2Selworthy-Somerset

Selworthy, Somerset

To those with faith,
Those who believe,
Those who rejoice,
And those who grieve.

3St Justin Church-Cornwall

St Just’s Church, St. Just in Roseland, Cornwall

Here present hope
And future need,
Through prayer and praise
Help fears recede.

4Yorks-Lastingham-Blacksmiths Arms

Lastingham, North Yorkshire

Church and chapel
Hold their place
In loving hearts,
With God’s good grace.

5Salisbury Sunset

Cathedral, Chichester, West Sussex

Cathedral cloisters,
Calm retreat,
Where stress and pain
With courage meet.

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St.Colman’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, Cobh, Eire

Houses of God,
Built for prayer,
For those with faith,
Somehow, somewhere.

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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 . . .

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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.

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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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