I’m an architectural photographer and writer.
On my van-life travels through the British Isles I’m building up a word and photo-hoard of material culture that celebrates the value and distinctiveness of our built heritage and contributes to a sense of place.
My van is my time-machine, it gives me fresh perspectives on our remarkable places, shared here on a weekly basis.📸🚐🏛
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A Special Thank You
Last Saturday I was able to take a wonderful bunch of people out on a Tour of Radcliffe's material culture.
Along with artist, Lee Crocker, I'm one of the project leads and curator's on the Radcliffe Spirit of a Place Project. Radcliffe is a place that bears the scars of industry and is caught up within the large sprawl of the Manchester conurbation. Like any other inner city town, it has its problems, but Radcliffe's beauty lies just beneath the surface in the material culture that survives.
We are contributing to a new sense of place and pride in Radcliffe and contributing to conversations about Radcliffe's future. We are also demonstrating new ways of alternative tourism in places that wouldn't normally be considered destinations. We are excited.
This project is partly funded by Bury Council with support from Bury Art Museum, but there is a large part of our work that is voluntary.
🔥 It is down to your encouragement, support and membership that I'm able to spend more time on projects like this.
Beverley Minster Sunrise
“Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.”
In Praise of Shadows - The White Horse Inn, Beverley
The White Horse Inn, otherwise known as 'Nellies', has an interior which is still lit by gaslight. A visit to the hostelry involves an ocular passage of lights, a visual photosynthesis of surface plane and detail which is completely reliant upon vaguely subdued pockets of light. Light levels have not been standardised or subject to European norms. The building has grown organically over hundreds of years culminating in a Dickensian warren of corridors and cosy fire-lit rooms. Entering Nellies involves stepping down into post medieval floor levels mixed with a pupil dilating mellowed light.
Inside, there is a particularly rare quality of light that is long lost in the glare of the places we reside. It is a honeycombed luminosity, a humane and sociable light, a light proportionate to our need to meet and greet. Details are mostly redacted, whilst surfaces are buffed rather than refracted. There is a sense of existing together in a living work of art, framed by the shadows. They are indeed the principal protagonists, silhouetting conversations whilst boldly defining slatted chairs, wonky shelves and whip-lashed mantelpieces.
During my visit I sit (with a pint of mild) in a small room set obliquely off a wainscot corridor. It’s square in plan with a trinity of light sources in the form of a fireplace, gas lamp and sash window. There is a silvered mirror above the fireplace. It is worn and speckled around the edges like the chest of a thrush. The frame is adorned with bold and gaudy swags of fruit. An oak settle is steadied upon an encaustic floor by a folded beer mat. The anaglypta wall it leans against is tobacco in colour. At first, I sit there bathed in the half-light of a winters afternoon. The room is dominated by the light from the sash. A chair, looming from a darkened corner, casts shadows which are sharply defined near their originator, but increasingly muddied and vague the further they are cast. The light is harsh and rude. As the flat light gives way to twilight and the sash light yields to the ochre glow of the gas lamp, a transition takes place. The scene softens, the gaudy colours de-saturate and the emboldened details dance in the fire-light.
There is a link between the glowing snugs at Nellies and the caves of Lascaux which have painted on their walls ice age depictions of aurochs, horse and deer. They are painted directly onto the rock face and it’s thought that flickering torch-light, in combination with the daubed irregular surfaces, created a cinematic quality that elevated their presence. The flat surface pattern has no truck here, only patterns that are etched or moulded or in deep relief. They are intended as visual triggers to embolden, to filter, to hunt for the paucity of light and in turn (as at Lascaux) create a wavering Serengeti of light. Ornaments are no longer defined by their form, but by the light they reflect and absorb, shaped by shadows and coloured by an amber glow.
Such curiosities, not suitable in the harsh glare of modern light, have lain forlorn in our attics, cast out by our LED lives. But here, in the pulsating domain of fire and gas, their animated beauty is revealed. The brazen relief of the anaglypta, the hard-glazed tile and the hyper-polished brasses, orphaned in daylight, are fit for purpose in the waxing light of a previous age. Their forms have been created with such light in mind, their details conceived and sculpted for a particular domain of light.
A weekend recently spent in Beverley.
Oh beloved Beverley. There is one place that I go back to again and again. Beverley has a magic all of its own. As soon as I pass under the ancient brick arch at Northbar Within, I feel at home. I've included a few 'insider' insights into the places that I've frequented over the years. Try and visit when the Saturday Market is on (that would be Saturday).
Yes, this is just a church. Remarkable eh? The recent series of 'Victoria' was filmed here too. I've spent over 15 years walking through this building (including many hours in the roof) and still find something new every time I visit.
Click the link below to see the crossing boss lifted by the wheel
It's a remarkable view....
The Book: Beverley Minster - History, Architecture and Meaning
A New Book by Jonathan Foyle with photos by Andy Marshall.
This was a ‘heart and soul’ project for me. Beverley is one of my all time ‘go-to’ destinations, and I’ve made many friends over the years – especially from the Minster. The book is published by Scala and is beautifully written by architectural historian, Jonathan Foyle. The image above was taken a [more...]
If you're lucky enough to be visiting the minster on John Phillips' watch, then your'e in for a treat - but don't - whatever you do - mention the mason's marks.
St. Mary's was built at the opposite end of the town (near the Bar) to serve the secular community. It is a remarkably complete example of the Perpendicular style of architecture. Inside are C20th additions by the great architect George Pace. Many say that a depiction of a rabbit inside inspired the Alice in Wonderland character. (see pic further down)
Not many people go here - but if you walk around the back of the church there is a wonderful boundary wall with Tudor brickwork. Some of the wall has come down to tree damage and you can inspect the loose Tudor bricks in full profile.
The Buildings and Material Culture of Beverley
Places I Frequent in Beverley.
Find it, if you can (it's down a little ginnel). Get there early for lunch and ask to be seated 'outside' - which is kind of inside. Great food and a unique atmosphere.
42nd East Bakehouse
I go here for my coffee - but it also has a delightful selection of sweet things. Drink your coffee and watch them at work making cake.
Shh - don't tell anybody about this place. When you've purchased your coffee and doughnut - head over to Coronation Garden. It's a real oasis. Once you've finished your coffee - head through the scented garden to the back and check out the ancient churchyard with rusting metal gates.
T C Patisserie.
Ooh La La! Authentic French food run by a French pattisier. Check out the savoury croissants.
The Saturday Market
The hustle and bustle of a market surrounded by ancient buildings.
Have a penchant for vinyl? Bug's your place.
The Bread Shed
Little known by visitors and frequented by locals. This tiny little gem is hidden down one of the back streets of Bevs.
Last but certainly not least - if wood is your thing - then go to the remarkable little shop (at the back of the minster) which holds arborous delights within its walls. Jo Galvin will give you a warm welcome - and also a few tips on the Grand National. She's a Beverley icon.
We stayed over in the camper at Butt Farm (has glamping too)- which is ideally situated about a mile out of town. It's safe to cycle in - along a traffic free route. The Beverley Arms has recently been refurbished and has rooms.
VW T3 Camper in Beverley.
On My Coffee Table
From The Charo's
This book by Ivan and Elisabeth Hall was a huge influence on my photography. I studied Ivan's style profusely when I first started out. I was lucky enough to meet Ivan a few months back (he's now in his 90's) and he told me how he used the funds from the book to buy a new Bronica Medium Format Camera. Most of the photos in his book were taken with that. Ivan once lived in the Georgian House opposite The White Horse Inn (Nellies) but never frequented the hostelry - but he told me that his students often popped in there before visiting him.
Explore the Leeds-Liverpool Canal the new Super Slow Way | Boating holidays | The Guardian
Walk, cycle or take the barge through Lancashire’s industrial heritage, a cultural landscape dating back 200 years
Film and Sound
Bit of a weird format - but here's a glimpse of Alec Clifton Taylor's Six English Towns - Beverley.
From the Twittersphere
Andy Marshall 📸 on Twitter: "Whilst out in the Hodder Valley today I discovered a sheep time-warp-portal... 🐑🕐☄️🚪… "
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