I’m an architectural photographer.
On my van-life travels through the British Isles I’m building up a word and photo-hoard of material culture that celebrates 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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The Chandos Mausoleum, Little Stanmore, London.
I remember this church well - hidden within an urban context (not too far from the Ford Dagenham Motor Plant), the exterior of the church gives nothing away as to the glory that is inside. Trompe l'oeil reigns supreme.
Check out The Churches Conservation Trust website for visiting details.
“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.“
Rabindranath Tagore, The King of the Dark Chamber.
A Road Trip Recommendation
I have to say that my journey from St. Baglan's near Caernarfon (see last weeks Digest) to the Cotswolds (more on that below) makes a great road trip. Stay over at Caernarfon, Much Wenlock and Burford. Take the Llanberis road (not for the faint-hearted and at your own risk - my van was just about ok) over to Much Wenlock and then on to Burford.
There's a distinct change in the architecture and landscape as you move from one country to another through the dynamic landscape that is the borderlands. It's a delicious slice of Britain to take in, from the salts of the Menai Strait to the heart of the Cotswolds.
Ainsworth's Barrow Street Cafe Falafel and Hummus SandwichThe Angel at Burford
O Public Road…
You express me better than I can express myself
You shall be more to me than my poem.
Song of the Open Road. Walt Whitman.
All photos shot on iPhone
Oh what a joy Much Wenlock is with a rich architectural heritage including the significant ruins of Wenlock Priory.
Holy Trinity, Much Wenlock
The village church is in a classic setting with a green that hides the foundations of the former Nun's church of c. 680AD built by Milburga, Anglo-Saxon Abbess. The church is C12th origin with additions - the two storey porch once housed the vicar.
The Green, Much Wenlock
The Priory is only accessible at weekends, but there's a free and sneaky view of it from the church green.
My journey ended in the Cotswolds in readiness for an interiors photo shoot. I lodged with a friend, Steve Tomlin - and he entertained me with a wonderful evening tour of some of the hidden gems of the area. All the places below are accessible for a day's visit. Steve is an expert on the material culture of churches - so the first place he took me to was Stanton Harcourt.
St. Michael's, Stanton Harcourt.
The church is bounded by the manor wall and is mirrored by a tower (right on the photo) called Pope's Tower. It was here that Alexander Pope translated Homer's Illiad.
The interior is chock full of monuments to the Harcourt family. It also holds the shrine of St. Edburg which was moved from Bicester Priory after the reformation.
The chancel screen is material evidence of the movement towards the democratisation of the blessing of the host. Early lay-outs excluded the public from the act, then the screens were partitioned to allow people to see the blessing. The cut outs in this screen are an addition to allow the church to 'move with the times'.
The Devil's Quoits - a Stone Age Henge
It is, perhaps, the most bizarre entry experience to a scheduled ancient monument - but the Devil's Quoits can only be accessed via a rubbish tip. Once there - there is a sense of place - but the sanctity is lost with the hustle and bustle and smell of waste disposal. It's worth visiting though - it's a little known gem.
St Edward's, Evenlode
A classic village church with touches of the Romanesque. The biggest surprise is the sanctuary chair that still survives. People could claim sanctuary by accessing the church and sitting on the chair. To avoid prosecution they had to accept church life.
St. Mary, Ampney St. Mary
Visit all the Ampneys - Ampney Crucis, Ampney St. Mary and Ampney St. Peter. You'll have a charming day out. Lunch or dinner at the Crown in Ampney Crucis (make sure to book ahead). After that head over to Cirencester and take in one of the best towns in the Cotswolds. Good shopping and bookshops, indie food shops and cafe's.
This church lies in isolation at the side of the road. The village it served is now gone - it was deserted after the plague.
Church of Holy Rood, Ampney Crucis.
This church is a few minutes walk from The Crown pub - and you can park in the car park. Check out the mass dial and other graffiti on the exterior.
Lodged in the dark lanes of the deepest Cotswolds.
On My Coffee Table
Only months before the pandemic I worked with Rachael from Valley Heritage on a project with the local school children. Throughout the project I took some photos of the remarkable churchyard at St. Nicholas in Newchurch. I also took the children around the churchyard and they wrote some poetry which is included in the book below, along with some of my photos. Rachael dropped the book off this week. It’s a joy to see something concrete from the project.
As a part of the project the children also took their own photographs of the churchyard - the link below is the story of their day.
With the use of a computer, they took their photos and created something new out of the things that had inspired them in the churchyard.[more..]
From The Charo's
A small, ancient church on the shore of the Menai Straits and in the of shadow of the Snowdon mountain range
Much Wenlock Tourist Information,visitor guide, accommodation, hotels, bed and breakfast attractions, events, walking
he tranquil ruins of Wenlock Priory stand in a picturesque setting on the fringe of beautiful Much Wenlock. An Anglo-Saxon monastery was founded here in about 680 by King Merewalh of Mercia.
Planning on visiting Burford?...Click here to get the latest information on Attractions, Events, Accommodation, Shopping & Eating Out!
Film and Sound
Time Team in Much Wenlock
Time Team in Burford
From the Twittersphere
Andy Marshall 📸 on Twitter: "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.… "
Pete Logan on Twitter: "The same countryside we have the privilege to fly through. The same scene of Lowside and Cam Head taken from south of Kettlewell...… "
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Meet Billy. He's a heritage hound. He lives with my daughter, Em and her partner James and he loves sniffing around old buildings.