Apr 01

Grace and beauty in movement at Kedleston @thecct #architecture

Mar 05

The pattern of English building: Nottingham

Jan 24

Regeneration of an urban town can often be piecemeal - focused on small areas of heritage value - a defibrillatory approach to bringing back a pulse of life into the community. 

Over in Rochdale the council is taking a radical new approach by providing, quite literally, a stent to the urban heart of the town. 

They plan to open up a significant length of the River Roch which was culverted over 100 years ago and now lies beneath a concrete forest of pilasters. 

Yet, one fascinating thing remains - a medieval bridge. Dating to the C13th or early C14th it lies beneath, voussoirs resplendent against the concrete backdrop. 

Revealing the river will bring new life and new purpose to a town hard hit by the recession. 

I was asked to come along and photograph the journey to the medieval bridge and I did so with two cameras - one firmly sat on a tripod and the other attached to my helmet. 

The results show a haunting journey through time, beyond the brutal concrete jungle, through the Victorian pop-rivets into a mysterious world of medieval structure revealed by the half-light.

Here is a mix of the pics from both cameras:

Jan 09

In terms of architectural history there are some buildings which are supercharged with energy. The Basilica of Saint Denis near Paris is one such building.

Walk over to the Chancel and the Sanctuary and look up at the vaulting in the ambulatory and here you will see where the Gothic style was born.

This building is the starting point of all things Gothic as we know it today. The Mother of all Gothic.

OK, there have been others who have tried to claim the Gothic mantle of originator, but this is the first place where we see the pointed arch and vault with such lightness and clarity. It is here where the Gothic style reaches ‘critical mass’.

Pevsner says: “Whoever designed the choir at St Denis, one can safely say, invented the Gothic style…the pointed arch, the flying buttress, and the rib-vault….What was decisively new….was the combination of these motifs for a new aesthetic purpose. (Pevsner, An Outline of European Architecture, Penquin, London 1943).

One particular visual joy is the tension between later Classical elements of the church shunted up against the original Gothic (see the top photo).

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And it doesn’t stop there. The Basilica is also known as the Royal Necropolis. Almost all of the Kings and Queens of France are buried there (bar three).

Marie Antoinette

The last act was to seal the mummified heart of the Dauphin in the wall of the crypt in 2004.

The Crypt

Aug 24
Dusty monuments
All Saints’ Kedleston

Dusty monuments

All Saints’ Kedleston

Jul 16

The pattern of English building: St. Albans

Jun 27
St. Oswald, Widford in the Cotswolds - part of the 3 Cotswold churches series - more pics here

St. Oswald, Widford in the Cotswolds - part of the 3 Cotswold churches series - more pics here

Jun 24

Knock out door knockers and door furniture - revealing more than their utilitarian purpose in terms of our love of style, texture, pattern and decoration over the ages.

The Wing Chester - photographed in the Spring - wonderful use of concrete. More pics in my portfolio 

The Wing Chester - photographed in the Spring - wonderful use of concrete. More pics in my portfolio 

Some quick snaps of St. James the Great, Fulbrook - quite rare transitional arcade in the north aisle. The capitals look like piped dough - still soft and pliable - wonderful

Jun 23

The Pattern of English Building: Burford, Cotswolds.

Jun 12
Elliot’s Bar, Edinburgh - contemporary interior - historic exterior - more pics on my portfolio

Elliot’s Bar, Edinburgh - contemporary interior - historic exterior - more pics on my portfolio

Jun 11
Same principal - hundreds of years apart - the best architecture is rooted in the past - On the left at Canterbury and the right at Birmingham

Same principal - hundreds of years apart - the best architecture is rooted in the past - On the left at Canterbury and the right at Birmingham

Jun 07
Remains of a vaulted ceiling at Mister Lovell Manor House

Remains of a vaulted ceiling at Mister Lovell Manor House

Jun 06
Manor house and church at Minster Lovell in the Cotswold’s yesterday

Manor house and church at Minster Lovell in the Cotswold’s yesterday