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For those that are new here: thank you for subscribing. I'm an architectural photographer that travels around Britain recording and interacting with special places that have a spirit about them. I share my experiences via this digest.

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The door handle at St. John the Evangelist, Elkstone, Gloucestershire.

"Looking closely is valuable at every scale. From looking closely at a sentence, a photograph, a building, a government. It scales and it cascades — one cognizant detail begets another and then another."

Craig Mod


The Joy of Small Differences

Champion the ordinary and the everyday.

I see faces

Defend detail. Respond to the local and the vernacular.

Our imagination needs diversity and variegation. We need standards not standardisation.

Get to know your place intimately. Search out particularity and patina. Help add new layers of interest.

Personality often resides in subtlety and idiosyncracy. Look closely and often.

Angelic gate handle - George Pace

Words with a little help from Sue Clifford and Angela King

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Andy Marshall’s Genius Loci Digest
Andy Marshall is documenting his travels in his time-travelling camper van 🚐📸🏛



Llandaff is to Cardiff as Vatican City is to Rome - although on a much smaller scale. A village city with a remarkable cathedral that holds the seat of the Bishop of Llandaff. There's been a religious site here since the C6th.

If you're travelling to the West Country from Pembrokeshire (or vice versa) - there's an urban sprawl to negotiate around Cardiff - instead of hurtling through - stop off at Llandaff - you won't regret it.

During my visit I bump into Christine Kinsey at the Cathedral and she recommends a small place called Porro for a bite to eat in the centre of Llandaff - a fusion of Welsh and Italian food. "Diolch Mille", I say after paying my bill.

I visit the cathedral during the day and in the evening (I attend evensong which is highly recommended). I'm caught between the daylight views contrasted against the evening tungsten glow.

The west door has the feel of age, but I notice clues as to a C20th influence. Looking closer, I can see butterfly dove-tails along the panels of the door.

I've seen them before - they're the mark of an architect called George Pace. They are both functional and beautiful at the same time. What marks George Pace out from many others is his bravery and honesty in representing his own times through his designs which were underpinned by a devotion to detail and craft.

The Majestas

In January 1941 a parachute bomb badly damaged the nave at Llandaff. George Pace was commissioned to re-build and re-invigorate the interior. His design focused around creating a new pulpitum. His words:

Mystery should be veiled and vista should open upon vista; from the moment of entering the Cathedral the journey to the High Altar should be by subtly designed stages.

For me, the wishbone design is magnificent. It speaks of the mid-C20th with it's focus on space travel, transport and concrete. It is honest in its representation. It isn't just a cheap piece of concrete casting - it has been carefully designed and is a functioning part of the organ. The Christ figure is 16ft high and was designed by Jacob Epstein.

Comperandum - compare the Epstein Christ with the Sutherland Christ at Coventry.

Epstein Christ
Christ in Majesty at Coventry Cathedral by David Sutherland.

Below: A robin on the altar rail - designed by George Pace (the altar rail).

Below: Looking through the Norman arch into the Lady Chapel of 1280.

The C13th tomb of William de Braose, Bishop of Llandaff

The Marshall Panel

The panel was part of bishop John Marshall's (not a relation) episcopal throne and is a remarkable survival of medieval painting from the C15th. It depicts the Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven on her death.

The ribboned latin inscription makes a slant reference to the bishop, it says: ' O Virgin who ascends in state, open to Marshall heaven's gate'.

Below: Came across this lovely chair - Bishop's Seat? Cathedra? I was struck by the finials, of which, the hare was a portent for my visit to St. Melangell.

George Pace

Pace was such a remarkable architect (one comes along like Pace every hundred years or so). For me he was an architect who managed to create something new out of the past that didn't jar with it.

When I was starting out as a photographer of architecture, I had an insatiable desire to study the architectural styles. I read that Gothic was sectioned off into periods called the Early English, Decorated and Perpendicular. Each style was extruded from the other. Gothic reached its zenith in the C15th, and it wasn't until I came across George Pace's interpretation of the Gothic style, that I realised I was seeing a new strand of Gothic architecture. Quite remarkable. No other architect has managed to do that. From the C15th, the only stepping stone between Perpendicular Gothic and Pace Gothic was Strawberry Hill Gothik.

Pace is an inspiration for all creatives.

Take Pace's gates, screens and rails - they're obviously modern and so obviously Gothic - but not a pastiche Gothic.

A little sketch I made of a Pace altar rail at Beverley. 
Pace's altar rail at St. Mary, Beverley

His lights are of such a modern design but pull off the trick of nodding to the Gothic style.

His St. David's Chapel in Llandaff is an example of a style that incorporates the Arts and Crafts philosophy of total design. Pace designed the building, the furniture and the typography. All in his new Gothic style.

St. David's Chapel.


Pace developed his own typography.

Below: Recognise the style here from St. David's Chapel?

Here it is at Bede's resting place at Durham Cathedral. Designed by Pace - and made by Frank Roper.

It was my dad who introduced me to George Pace - he found a book in a second hand bookshop and bought it for me.

It set me off on a long journey of photographing George Pace buildings. In my early days I set up a George Pace Project on Flickr and also bought some items that were from his own personal library:


Llandaff was the start of my trip to St. Melangell's (featured in last week's digest). The full Llandaff to St. Melangell trip is now open to the all subscribers on Polarsteps - check it out below.

Polarsteps is the personal travel log in your pocket.

Coffee Making in the Van

Making coffee in the van with my trusty Aeropress Go.


On My Coffee Table
Thanks Dad..

Postcards from WWI uncovered in roof of railway station | The Past
The discovery was made during renovation work at Stirling station in 2021, offering a fascinating snapshot into the experiences of serving soldiers.
I am a housesitter, and stay in amazing places all over the world for free
Fancy staying in a mansion or lakeside pad for absolutely nothing? Sign up as a housesitter and the place is yours in return for pet care and plant-watering duties
‘Self-healing’ Roman concrete could aid modern construction, study suggests
Research finds secret of durability of buildings such as the Pantheon could be in the techniques used at the time

Film and Sound
Choral Evensong at Llandaff

From the Twittersphere

Treasure Hoard Gazetteer
Screenshot of Treasure Hoard Gazetteer

Andy Marshall’s Treasure Hoard Gazetteer Map

My Treasure Hoard Map is open to all. It is an evolving enterprise and I’ll be adding more entries as time passes.

View the full map on Google maps

View the full map on Google Earth (recommended)

More on the Treasure Hoard Gazetteer

And Finally...

A real delight in St. David's Chapel, Llandaff - a chest, of some age, with remarkable enigmatic figures dancing. I asked of its origin, but nobody could tell me. A real thing of beauty - worth the visit to Llandaff on its own. A few 'disco dads' in there. Felt like dancing after seeing it...

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New Posts and Immersive Content for Members

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This week I've been on an epic journey into Tudor times - at the Beauchamp Chapel in Warwick. You can follow me live via Polarsteps and also see some extra videos and outtake photography here:

Heads Up: Follow Me Live: Warwick
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Extra content Llandaff

Be there: Llandaff Cathedral Wales in glorious VR
I love George Pace - for me, he was the only architect that confronted Gothic head on in the C20th - turning his designs into a new evolved form of Gothic that was representative of his age.

New Posts

Genius Loci: Mid-Week-Pick-Me-Up
New Member Only Posts from the Genius Loci Digest.
My 2022 DJI Fly App Report
I flew for 82km and photographed 32 towns and cities.
Andy Marshall’s Genius Loci Digest - 6 Jan 2023
There are a just a few places that I have visited that seem to be accessed via a time slip.
From the Archives
Aerial video of St. Mary and All Saints, Fotheringhay
St. Mary and All Saints, Fotheringhay - video
Keyword of the Week


yorkshire - Andy Marshall’s Genius Loci Digest

Quick Access

Notes for New Members: See here

How this Digest came about:

My Genius Loci Digest Journey
In the late 1990’s I had a breakdown that ultimately led me, through a journey that took me away from depression, to a new career in photography.

Treasure Hoard Index:

🟦 The Treasure Hoard Index
“I share them with the gratitude that, through a strange quirk of career, I’ve had a certain freedom to be able to seek them out and photograph them.”

Free Downloads:

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The Comperandum:

comperandum - Andy Marshall’s Genius Loci Digest
A nod to Banister Fletcher

Ways of Seeing, Mental Health and Wellbeing:

ways of seeing - Andy Marshall’s Genius Loci Digest
In the late 1990’s I had a breakdown that ultimately led me, through a journey that took me away from depression, to a new career in photography. What made all the grit of the dark days worthwhile was that I was left with something that felt like a pearl - a new way of seeing and interacting with th…

Yew Tree Visitors Guide:

The Ancient Yew - Visitors Guide
The Ancient Yew - Visitors Guide


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Beautifully curated wallpapers for your device.


video - Andy Marshall’s Genius Loci Digest
A growing collection of videos to supplement the digest

Place Writing:

place writing - Andy Marshall’s Genius Loci Digest
My place writing series brings together all of my writings on place from numerous sources including magazine and newspaper articles, blog, newsletter and digest. Where appropriate, I’ve made revisions, added additional text, information and photographs. It includes new posts too. Place writing art…


photography - Andy Marshall’s Genius Loci Digest
This isn’t a list of the mechanics of photography - but touches more upon the process, the use of light and my experiences with the camera. I’ve found that it’s the experience that counts - and there’s over 30 years of experience diluted into these posts.

Virtual Reality:

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Almost as good as being there...

Hidden Gems:

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Secret destinations, insider knowledge, little delights

Road Trips:

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Amazing road trips tried and tested in my camper van - free to all subscribers

A Year in the Life

a year in the life - Andy Marshall’s Genius Loci Digest
A Year in the life of an architectural photographer in his time-travelling camper van.