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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From My Photo-hoard
"Keep your face towards the sun and the shadows will fall behind you." Audrey Tomlin. (Garden Diaries)
All photos shot on iPhone.
Between the fungi and the fallen tree.
We head out to walk the Kettlewell, Arncliffe loop. The view down to the village of Arncliffe from Middlesmoor Pasture has to be one of the best in England. The C15th Church tower of St. Oswald, set in a nook of the river Skirfare, rises from behind a copse of sycamore.
In the village, we walk across the stone bridge, edge nervously past the village stocks and head towards the church. From the road the view of the church is percolated through a lych gate and sentry of ewe trees.
We sit beside the porch and take in the churchyard. Whilst we rest, billows of dust plume out of the porch entrance. The dust-busters are in. We chat to a volunteer that cleans the church every week. She tells us that she recently lost her husband and that he now rests between the church and the river. Her loss sits on my mind whilst I walk along the banks of the Skirfare. Skirfare comes from old norse meaning clarity of water. The churchyard brings a clarity to the line between life and death. This place is polarised, a vessel built for beginnings and endings.
Shortly before we visit St. Oswald’s, we trek through Park Scar: a rare concoction of larch and oak and moorland - it is a marginal place, a place that’s in-between. The place feels otherworldly - a realm bounded by erratics. It is from places like this that fairy tales are born. It is a place for Little Red Riding Hood, Orpheus and Eurydice, Macbeth and Heathcliffe. It isn’t one thing or the other - it isn’t a moor, not quite a wood - not light, nor shade, not good, nor evil.
After leaving the scar I take a little of its wonder with me into the churchyard at St. Oswald’s, but it isn’t until I speak to the dust-buster that I realise why I carry the magic from the hillside. Unlike the polarity of the church at Arncliffe, Park Scar is a living continuum. The transition between life and death is hard to define. Between the fungi and the fallen tree, I can’t find where the beginning begins or the end ends. Indeed in this liminal place there is no beginning and there is no end.
The Kettlewell/ Arncliffe loop
A wonderful walk over Middlesmoor Pasture to Arncliffe, then along the Littondale valley through Hawkswick and back to Kettlewell. 6.25 miles. Allow 4 hours - with a lunch stop at Arncliffe or Kettlewell (See Hotspots below).
The horizontal lines of stepped limestone are beds of sedimentary layers of rock formed from the remains of sea creatures. The layers can be seen in the photo below behind the town of Kettlewell. It's a unique landscape where the edges have been scraped along by passing glaciers in the last ice age. The walk takes you into the heart of this landscape.
“One for the early birds: Lumps and bumps articulated by first light. Upper Wharfedale in the Yorkshire Dales is a landscape where the past presses through the thin membrane of the present.”
The last couple of weeks have been interspersed with walks and work. Including some fascinating trips out to the East Riding of Yorkshire and a photo shoot in Hampshire (more on that next week).
All photos shot on iPhone.
Arncliffe, Littondale, Yorkshire Dales.
If you want to get a feel for a medieval planned village (with a Norse influence) visit Arncliffe. The village is based around a large square green with tofts (land that belongs to each house) behind. Arncliffe comes from the Norse meaning Eagle Cliff. The church of St. Oswald lies next to the river Skirfare. The village was the original location for the English soap, Emmerdale and has some lovely vernacular agricultural and domestic buildings ranging from the C17th to the C19th. It also has an early over-light....
The Door Light
Notice the rectangular window over the door above in Arncliffe? It's quite an early example in the evolution of the fanlight. Over-lights were originally utilitarian in their use - to bring light into the hallway - but, during the Georgian period, became stylised and loaded with status. The earliest over-lights were actually in the door itself - see below. The styling of over- lights helps you read a building and give clues as to its age, but is also a marker in the development of human expression through architecture.
Fanlights are part of the DNA of English polite architecture. These little pockets of style betray the remarkable variety and ingenuity of design with patterns that [more...]
St. Oswald's Church, Arncliffe
There's evidence of a church being here in Saxon times. The current church is C16th and C18th. The views from the moor of the church and village are spectacular.
Hawkswick, Littondale, Yorkshire Dales
Kettlewell, Upper Wharfedale, Yorkshire Dales
On our final stop at Kettlewell I noticed this lovely depiction of a bird (thrush?) over a window. During our walk we were accompanied by a barn owl, skylark, curlew and oyster catcher, not to mention the blue tits, robins and pheasant in the churchyard. Our final destination was the Racehorse pub for lunch - I do recommend the fishfinger butty.
On My Coffee Table
From The Charo's
Eric de Mare's photography taught me how to see spatially. What I love about this book about photography is how they've ditched the idea of a photograph for the front page and articulated the power of graphic design to communicate an idea. Our facades are just as communicative - and our over lights are the vowels and consonants in our architectural grammar.
A rumour has been building about the increase in popularity of photography vans as photographers let loose and take to the road [more..]
A great walk to a great pub – The Old Post Office, Ingleton, Yorkshire Dales | Yorkshire holidays | The Guardian
A beautiful old hotel stars alongside a quirky village microbar on this stroll amid epic limestone scenery [more...]
Remains of thescelosaurus in North Dakota believed to date back to extinction of species 66m years ago [more...]
Film and Sound
Steph McGovern walks through Littondale in Yorkshire and describes her love for the dales. Steph finishes her journey in Arncliffe.
Right here, you’ll find all the latest Time Team news and a whole host of classic content from the last 25 years, including NEW TIME TEAM EPISODES, official ...
From the Twittersphere
Andy Marshall 📸 on Twitter: "One for the early birds: heavenly glimpse of the west door and nave at Beverley Minster.… "
“One for the early birds: heavenly glimpse of the west door and nave at Beverley Minster.”
“@fotofacade Stunning. Really believing the past had such better answers not just architecturally”
“@fotofacade Lovely. Reminds me once more of John of Harpham, who founded the original monastery in Beverley. John of interest to me, of course 😆”
“@fotofacade The Neo-Romanesque western door to the Basilica St. Maurice, Epinal (Lorraine), France ❤️🇫🇷 photo: @InchesDanger”
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Remember the barn I visited on my last Dales walk? The one with numbers etched on the window? They say it's good to get to know a place - to understand its context, to develop a visual relationship with it. Here's the barn from the side of the moor (centre). It's surrounded by the lumps and bumps of previous ages (medieval field systems). Notice the curve of the u-shaped valley from glacial erosion and also the point where pasture ends and moor begins.
Thanks for coming along - see you next week. Andy.