Tuesday, October 17, 2006

061018 Ontario, Niagara Falls

Sorry folks, it's been a blast but I can't take it anymore. This site takes forever to load and I want to see the photos large so I've moved everything over to http://bathdailyphoto.wordpress.com/.


I appreciate Blogger for its free service but at this new site I will be able to follow DP guidelines better and be able to categorize! Please follow my Bath Daily Photos there....

061017 Nympsfield, Woodchester Mansion Ground Floor Billiard Room, Entrance Hall

As explained before in earlier posts, this house was never compeleted. Abandoned in the 1870s, it is a remarkable surviving Victorian construction site. It remained standing because of its masonry construction and strength of its walls. For the most part, floors were never put in and the walls rely on buttresses. Here in the South Wing's Billiard Room, one can gaze up at three sets of fireplaces and the springing stones where the ceiling vaults would have attached themselves to the walls.

The Woodstock Mansion estate had a brick manufacturer on site as well as this stone a few feet under the ground, but there was very little timber on the property. The foundations are all stacked on solid bedrock, and the mansion was built almost entirely of materials found on the property making the mansion somewhat afordable for your average business baron tycoon.

Try as I might, I could not get all three complete fireplaces in the picture, but you can see the mantel of the ground floor and the next two floors quite well. There is a large stone arch supporting the roof timbers, and several holes in the oak and slate roof.

Apart from the brick arches taking the load off the delicately carved fireplaces, another aspect to note are the holes in the masonry for the scaffoldings (no longer there). There would normally have been sealed up with brick and then plastered over. The most interesting construction remainders are the cheap wooden boards over the top mantels (barely visible). These boards were placed over all delicate stonework during construction, so nothing was chipped before the house was turned over to the owner.

Don't go there when it's raining, which is pretty much every single day. But if you ignore the freezing dampness, it is well worth the trip. And I'm told they throw an incredible Halloween party for 15 pounds. They've added spooky doors to complete the "haunted" look of the house and each scaffolding hole is filled with a small candle, which must look amazing in the dark!

Photo: 061013.063.Glos.Nympsfield.WoodchesterMansion.SouthWing.BilliardRm

Monday, October 16, 2006

061016 Nympsfield, Woodchester Mansion First Floor Bedroom

This room is directly over the drawing room (the only finished room in the house). The drawing room was completed in 1893 for Cardinal Vaughn's visit and its ceiling has the minimal arch to support its own weight. The walls of the bedroom, of course, date from the 1870s and were standing without this floor for a good twenty years. The walls are structurally self-supporting and because the drawing room's ceiling vault is so weak, typical groups are not allowed in. It is an interesting space because there is still a timber vault mold from the construction period, and you can see the drawing room's ceiling vault quite clearly from on top.

Our assignment was to find an area of structural failure and try to record it as much as possible for a paper assignment. The chapel and this room are the two areas of the most severe structural damage, caused by water getting into the masonry.

I don't actually know who the girl is, but I liked how she was framed. I believe she is either a fourth year student at the University or from the Structural Engineering class that tagged along.

Photo: 061013.229.Glos.Nympsfield.WoodchesterMansion.First Floor Bedroom

Sunday, October 15, 2006

061016 Nympsfield, Woodchester Mansion First Floor view of Chapel

Construction stopped on Woodstock in the 1870s due to a variety of reasons. The original occupant for whom the house was constructed was getting old and was warned against living in Woodstock's damp and cold valley would for health concerns.

Anther reason is that construction began following English Catholic Emancipation. Woodstock was first designed by the country's leading Catholic architect (A. W. N. Pugin) and then by the second-best, and so on. The house's purpose was to anchor a new and isolated Catholic community. A convent had already been built and established at the edge of the valled on the same property. Rumor has it that the house was designed as a papal residence for a second Babylonian Captivity, which would have been caused by the turmoil Italian unification was going through during the mid to late 1800s.

I can't imagine an English papacy so soon after Catholic Emancipation. There was an English pope, Adrian IV, but he just didn't cut it.

The chapel design was heavily infuenced by Violet-le-Duc.
Photo: 061013.186.Glos.Nympsfield.WoodchesterMansion.First Floor Chapel

Saturday, October 14, 2006

061014 Nympsfield, Woodchester Mansion Second Floor

A fellow conservationist in the second (really 3rd) floor south wing cooridor windowsill sketching the structural failings brought about by a iron bolt (intended to hold a curtain rod) in the limestone. The metal rusted, expanded, and cracked the otherwise undamage interior stone.

The floor was intended for servants but it really was well-designed. There was little wood on the property but much stone and brick so all the structural aspects of the mansion were carried with stone and brick, sparing lumber as much as possible.


Photo: 061013.319.Glos.Nympsfield.WoodchesterMansion

061013 Nympsfield, Woodchester Mansion

Took a trip to the incredible Woodchester Mansion in Gloucestershire today. This is a view of the south east Drawing Room bay window. The house was designed in the late 1850s and 1860s and constructed in the 1870s. Work ceased in the late 1870s and the house has been left as a Victorian Gothic construction site. I will have to write more and post more photos from this incredible site. It's solid stone and brick construction with few floors having been laid down. I got to walk over the vaults! The site is conserved with lottery funds as a teaching center for Masonry Conservationists. Ccertainly it is money well spent but it needs a lot more.

The most likely cause for the abandonment of the site rests in its location at the bottom of an isolated and ever-cold valley. Although I do not know if I can call the mist clouds for this photo, I hope "Zannnie" will appreciate it. The weather cleared up by the afternoon and it was a bright blue sky for the rest of the day. I don't understand English weather, but I understand this place throws an incredible Haunted House for Halloween.

Photo: 061013.024.Glos.Nympsfield.WoodchesterMansion

Thursday, October 12, 2006

061012 Bathwick, William Street Gate to Recreation Grounds

This is the William Street Gate to the Recreation Grounds, off of Great Pulteney Street. The Bathwick section of Bath is on the east bank of the River Avon, and although it is conncted to Claverton Down through Bathwick Hill Road, it primarily consists of one long street: Great Pulteney. The land was owned by the Pulteney Family, who built the Pulteney Bridge, Pulteney Street, and Great Pulteney Street and set an architectural scheme for the new Georgian neighborhood. Unfortunately, it was constructed in the late 1780s and 1790s, right before the Napoleonic Wars began and therefore the economy could not support more than one grand avenue. The roads, crescents, and circuses planned to lead off of Great Pulteney Street were never built and the land left undeveloped. Today the north of Great Pulteney Street is Henrietta Park and the south is the Recreation Grounds.
I took this photo early in the morning when I wasn't sure if it would storm or not.

Photo: 060924.02.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

061011 Bath, North Parade Bridge

Looks like the pigeon is climbing stairs.

Photo: 061002.039

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

061010 Bath, Autumn Approaches

Fall is coming and the leaves are beginning to turn.
Field off the River Avon, photo: 061007.81.

Monday, October 09, 2006

061009: Bristol: Happy Columbus Day from John Cabot's 1497 "Matthew"

Happy Columbus Day!
Born in 1450 Genoa as Giovanni Caboto, this contemporary of Columbus could have had today's national holiday named after him if the English Bristol merchants had been quicker with the funding. Like Columbus, Caboto shopped around for investors when Columbus was able to woo the Spanish crown. By the time Caboto finally got funding, several other countries had already sent ships to the New World and Caboto's discovery options were limited. Blame it on his ESL, all Caboto was able to "discover" and creatively christen was Newfoundland. He himself was renamed and remembered in history as John Cabot, so the English claim to America would be less indebted to Italy.
Photo (right): 061003.178.

Note Bristol Cathedral's three towers in the upper left background. This ship's construction began in 1994 and was finished in 1996. It set sail from Bristol to Newfoundland on 2 May 1997 on the exact 500th anniversary of Cabot's voyage. (It's debated whether it was 2 May or 20 May 1497). The modern voyage ran into a storm and didn't beat Cabot's record but it still made it. Photo: 061003.177.

Above photos from left to right, top to down: 061003.179., 061003.181., 061003.180.

Above photos from left to right: 061003.183., 061003.185. The hanging round plate that looks like a compass was a time peg board used to mark off the half hours to judge distance. The crew member telling me about this also told me about sailor's eyepatches. Apparently, the stereotyped sailor eyepatch didn't cover a blind or missing eye, it covered the good eye. In a pre-compass world, the uncovered eye was used to stare at the sun to take down coordinations and this eye would be the one that went blind. To prevent total blindness, sailors wore an eyepatch on their good eye. That's smart thinking.

Note Bristol Cathedral's three towers in the upper left background.
Photo: 061003.190.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

061008: Warwick Castle

Took a trip to Warwickshire today. Will include other photos and a description later.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

061007: Bath Street, Austen Strikes Again!

Photos (from top): 061007.049., 061007.050.

This is becomming almost personal between Austen and me. I was turning down Bath Street toward the Cross Baths for a shortcut when, lo and behold, I ran into all of these Austen groupies. "Persuasion," which won't be shown on TV until March, took over the entire street and even brought their own lamp posts. The production company set up Bath Street as a market street, more or less like a Sunday flea market with all the stalls and crazy outfits.

Characters from 1850s Bath with the scene about to begin.
Photos (from top): 061007.058., 061007.025., 061007.059., 061007.056.

Photos top to bottom: 061007.041. and 061007.060.
I like these last two because everyone was vying for the highest spots. On top, this kid is perched on his mother, while at the bottom, non-1850s residents of Bath Street peer out of their "first" and "second" (really 2nd and 3rd) floor windows to see the filming.

Friday, October 06, 2006

061006: Bath Royal Crescent, Jane Austen's Digital Camera

Again, filming Jane Austen's "Persuasion" at the Royal Crescent. On his break, this chap took out his digital camera from a watch pocket and took some great shots of his horses and carriage. The only shot I got was him reviewing his pictures.
Photo (top to bottom): 061005.33

2nd Photo: 061005.43.

3rd Photo: 061005.14. Check out the central character without a hat facing the horses. Look! He has a single muttonchop sideburn!

4th Photo: 061005.19.

5th Photo: 061005.22.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

061006: Bath Royal Crescent, The Face Off, Get Down!

Damn that Jane Austen and her filming crew! First, she blocked my entry at the Pump Room, and then on Wednesday she foiled my Conservation class's field trip to the Assemby Rooms, and now she blocks off the entire Royal Crescent. I took these shots with the ultra zoom lens from Royal Victoria Park. There were two coaches present and the horses looked as if they were going to play chicken with each other.
I've posted several different creatures on this photoblog so far (cows, cats, spiders, pig carvings, and now horses), but no chickens yet. I did take a shot of some roosters and a duck from the Glastonbury Rural Life Museum. Maybe you'll see them tomorrow. I should post some of the other shots from today too. The driver of one coach had a single muttonchop sideburn from the costume shop that didn't connect well with his actual hair. Clearly on film, he was only meant to wear a hat and be seen from one direction. During the breaks, a couple of the other Austen-era costumed actors were taking digital pictures of the horses and architecture as well.

Photo: 061005.25

061005: Bath Abbey South Aisle

Looking east down the south aisle of Bath Abbey toward the Gethsemane Chapel. The aisle walls are covered in plaques from around the world (all after the 16th C), mostly from the Georgian Period, memorializing those who died after travelling great distances to be revived by the water. I guess the abbey wasn't in business with the Spa, because this just is not good advertising.

Photo: 061002.130

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

061004: Bath: Church of the Holy Trinity

A colourful spiderweb hiding near a tiny window up high in the porch of the Church of the Holy Trinity, just off of Queen's Sq. I've taken pictures of three spiderwebs so far. They only come out if a) it's raining or b) has recently rained, or c) they're near coloured glass.

Photo: 060928.20

061003: Wells Cathedral Cloisters

I was trying to get a good shot of the cemetery within the Cloister square when this cat brushed up against me. I was the only person there and have no idea if it permanently resides in the cloisters.


Monday, October 02, 2006

061002: Bath Pump Room, Jane Austen's "Persuasion."

At least 35-40 actors in period costumes filming the Pump Room Scene of Jane Austen's "Persuasion."
Photo: 061002.089

061001: Glastonbury Cathedral Close Museum

This cool caligrapher taught me all about how to make sustainable illuminated manuscripts. Apprantely, you rub on the gold with what the monks called "Crystal Paper." It sounds very exotic, and I wondered if it was anything like wax paper? She told me that the Kellog's Corn Flakes' plastic contents bag is a good substitute.

Photo: 060929.119.

060930: Glastonbury Tor Rest Stop

Photo: 060929.084.

060929: Glastonbury Abbey

Glastonbury is also the supposed site of King Arthur's burial (first in its Lady Chapel and then reburied right in front of the High Altar...the Holy Grail was also "found" here). It was pouring the day I came, which is unfortunate because Glastonbury no longer has a roof, and few remaining walls.

View of the Crossing ruins from the Gallilee ruins (sometimes this area is known as the Jerusalem, and sometimes it can be labeled as the narthex, but here it was called the Gallilee)

Photo: 060929.185

060928: Glastonbury Tor, St. Michael's Tower

From the West Portal of St. Michael's Tower overlooking the town of Glastonbury. The tower ruin is the only part of the 14th C Church that is still standing.

Photo: 060929.069

060926: Bath Abbey

This is Bath Abbey's west facade. Here angels climb and descend a Jacob's Ladder to Heaven. There are other symbols on the facade, which all come from Bishop King's original dream in 1499 when he was inspired to knock down the immense Norman Cathedral and construct on the site of its nave a smaller Tudor Abbey Church.

Photo: 060927.21.

060927: Glastonbury Tor Pilgrimage

This is the pic on Glastonbury Tor where I was almost tipped by the cow. Overlooking the town, the Tor, Celtic for hill, was an old place of pilgrimage.

Cow is walking to St Michael'sTower, 14thC

Photo: 060929.040.

060925: Wells, St. Cuthbert's Parish Church

St. Cuthbert's Parish Church's south portico vaulting: Sow with five piglets boss.

Photo: 060924.031.

060924: Wells, Cathedral Close, Bishop's Great Hall Ruins

Wells has one of the few remaining English Cathedral Closes left intact. There was a Phillip Jackson sculpture exhibit taking place in the Bishop's Palace around the ruins of his Great Hall. You can see the Wells Cathedral Crossing tower through the ruins of the Bishop's Great Hall.

Photo: 060924.072.

060923: Claverton Down/Bath Bathwick Hill Road Bridge over Canal

Bridge over the Kennet & Avon Canal
Photo: 060923.19

060922: Claverton Down, Osborne House,

Here's a picture of my house, Osborne House, next to the former Vice Chancellor's Mansion (my ears perked up at that one too). Her newplace in Bath Centre cost over 1.4 million pounds. There's no common space but it has room for a small garden, but nothing grows there. There are some gardens across the street and some very nice houses.I'm right next to the bus stop; however, I have yet to see the bus there.

The vice chancellor position is the equivalent of the "Fran" in the States. The chancellorship is an honorary position held by an archconservative Belgian confectionery giant, Lord Tugenhat, who only visits the city annually for a charity benefit tea and luncheon at the incredible fan-vaulted Abbey, where they hand out our diplomas on the side.

Regrettably, I don't have a mailbox. I have a little old lady who slips the posts under my door whilst I sleep. It's not at all creepy since I imagine her humming merrily as she makes her rounds, silently mouthing a "sleep well" to my locked door.

I can't say much else. To a large extent, when conversing on their mobiles, British men sound like women and British women sound like men. How many people live on "The Avenue?" Even though the university looks and feels like a large state school with nearly 10,000 students, I'm living at the edge of the campus in the scenic English countryside. The one drawback is that I'm across the street from an "RSPCA," which must be like an "ASPCA," except that here the dogs are violently whipped and tortured every morning at six. I imagine it's
like a rooster at a farm, except that these are vicious hellhounds that rightly sound as if they are outside my window.


Photo: 060923.02