Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Travel Locations

Wednesday at the gardens : Altamont Gardens, County Carlow

Altamont Gardens
Carlow
Ireland

With the aim of shopping for some new summer plants and flowers for the garden, today I spent sometime at Altamont Gardens, county Carlow.

This is a fantastic house and gardens with a great garden center, the staff know a great deal about the kind of plants that will grow well locally.

A great way to spend the afternoon, looking and plants, walking around the grounds and finally and cup of tea and cake in the little cafe …..


New site header , St Anne’s Pier, Lancashire, UK

St Anne’s-on-the-Sea, Lancashire, UK
Nigel Borrington

St Anne’s Pier is a Victorian era pleasure pier in the English seaside resort of St Anne’s-on-the-Sea, Lancashire. It lies on the estuary of the River Ribble. The pier, designed by A. Dowson, was completed in 1885 and was one of the earliest public buildings in St Anne’s, a 19th-century planned town. The pier was originally intended to be a sedate promenading venue for the resort’s visitors, but attractions were later added. Changes made to the estuary channels to improve access to Preston Dock left the pier on dry land and ended its steamer services to Blackpool and Liverpool.

St Anne's Pier   St Anne's-n-the-Sea, Lancashire Nigel Borrington

St Anne’s Pier
St Anne’s-n-the-Sea, Lancashire
Nigel Borrington

A Tudor-style entrance was built in 1899. Early 20th-century additions included a Moorish-style pavilion in 1904 and the Floral Hall in 1910. The Moorish Pavilion was destroyed by fire in 1974, shortly after the town’s centenary; the Floral Hall burned down in 1982. Originally 914 feet (279 m) long, the pier was reduced to 600 feet (180 m) by the demolition of the seaward end. English Heritage has designated the pier a Grade II listed building.

More …….


Friday Poetry – Light by : Margaret Tait

Lock Melfort
Oban – Scotland
Scottish Landscapes
Nigel Borrington

Light

A Poem By Margaret Tait

Did you say it’s made of waves?
Yes, that’s it.
I wonder what the waves are made of.
Oh, waves are made of waves.
Waves are what they are,
Shimmeringness,
Oscillation,
Rhythmical movement which is the inherent essence of all things.
Ultimately, there’s only movement,
Nothing else.
The movement that light is
Comes out of the sun
And it’s so gorgeous a thing
That nothing else is ever anything unless lit by it.


York Minster , Inside out …..

Cathedral and Metropolitical
Church of St Peter
Nigel Borrington

The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York, commonly known as York Minster, is the cathedral of York, England, and is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. The minster is the seat of the Archbishop of York, the second-highest office of the Church of England, and is the mother church for the Diocese of York and the Province of York. It is run by a dean and chapter, under the Dean of York. The title “minster” is attributed to churches established in the Anglo-Saxon period as missionary teaching churches, and serves now as an honorific title. Services in the minster are sometimes regarded as on the High Church or Anglo-Catholic end of the Anglican continuum.

The minster has a very wide Decorated Gothic nave and chapter house, a Perpendicular Gothic Quire and east end and Early English North and South transepts. The nave contains the West Window, constructed in 1338, and over the Lady Chapel in the east end is the Great East Window (finished in 1408), the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world. In the north transept is the Five Sisters Window, each lancet being over 52 feet (16 m) high. The south transept contains a rose window, while the West Window contains a heart-shaped design colloquially known as ‘The Heart of Yorkshire’.

York Minster , Inside out …..


Ancient European beliefs, The powers of the Hand of Glory

The Hand of Glory,
Whitby Museum
Pannet Park, Whitby,
Yorkshire,
England

Today’s post is about as far away from wild Landscapes and attractive views as you could wish for 🙂 , I can fully understand if this post is not for everyone but I hope at least you find it an interesting reflection of social beliefs and traditions from our some what dark European past ….

Abbey Steps
Whitby
Yorkshire

Earlier this month (May 2017) while visiting the great English seaside town of Whitby, with it great Museum, I came across an item that I had never heard of or seen before. Sitting in a glass cabinet in the beliefs and local traditions area was the very old and grey hand, from a long dead man, a man who would have lived locally in the town but at some point in his life come across the misfortune of being found guilty of a crime for which he would have been hanged.

The hand was described as “The hand of Glory” and in the early 19th century it would have been very much a price possession as it was believed that it offered great power, when using it according to old European beliefs along with a candle made of the fat from a malefactor who died on the gallows, lighted, and placed (as if in a candlestick) in the Hand of Glory, which comes from the same man as the fat in the candle, it then would render motionless all persons to whom it was presented.

The second of the Ingoldsby Legends (a collection of myths, legends, ghost stories and poetry written supposedly by Thomas Ingoldsby of Tappington Manor), “The Hand of Glory, or, The Nurse’s Story”, describes the making and use of a Hand of Glory. The first lines are:

Now open, lock!
To the Dead Man’s knock!
Fly, bolt, and bar, and band!
Nor move, nor swerve,
Joint, muscle, or nerve,
At the spell of the Dead Man’s hand!
Sleep, all who sleep! — Wake, all who wake!
But be as the dead for the Dead Man’s sake!

Like many people, I fine absolutely fascinating these old and somewhat dark traditions, here is a full description of this ones history and its reported uses ….

The Hand of Glory – History of the term

Etymologist Walter Skeat reports that, while folklore has long attributed mystical powers to a dead man’s hand, the specific phrase “Hand of Glory” is in fact a folk etymology: it derives from the French main de gloire, a corruption of mandragore, which is to say mandrake.Skeat writes, “The identification of the hand of glory with the mandrake is clinched by the statement in Cockayne’s Leechdoms, i. 245, that the mandrake “shineth by night altogether like a lamp”. Cockayne in turn is quoting Pseudo-Apuleius, in a translation of a Saxon manuscript of his Herbarium.
Powers attributed

According to old European beliefs, a candle made of the fat from a malefactor who died on the gallows, lighted, and placed (as if in a candlestick) in the Hand of Glory, which comes from the same man as the fat in the candle, this would render motionless all persons to whom it was presented. The method for holding the candle is sketched in Petit Albert. The candle could be put out only with milk. In another version, the hair of the dead man is used as a wick, and the candle would give light only to the holder. The Hand of Glory also purportedly had the power to unlock any door it came across. The method of making a Hand of Glory is described in Petit Albert, and in the Compendium Maleficarum.

Process

The 1722 Petit Albert describes in detail how to make a Hand of Glory, as cited from him by Grillot De Givry:

Take the right or left hand of a felon who is hanging from a gibbet beside a highway; wrap it in part of a funeral pall and so wrapped squeeze it well. Then put it into an earthenware vessel with zimat, nitre, salt and long peppers, the whole well powdered. Leave it in this vessel for a fortnight, then take it out and expose it to full sunlight during the dog-days until it becomes quite dry. If the sun is not strong enough put it in an oven with fern and vervain. Next make a kind of candle from the fat of a gibbeted felon, virgin wax, sesame, and ponie, and use the Hand of Glory as a candlestick to hold this candle when lighted, and then those in every place into which you go with this baneful instrument shall remain motionless

De Givry points out the difficulties with the meaning of the words zimat and ponie, saying it is likely “ponie” means horse-dung. De Givry is expressly using the 1722 edition, where the phrase is, according to John Livingston Lowes “du Sisame et de la Ponie” and de Givry notes that the meaning of “ponie” as “horse dung” is entirely unknown “to us”, but that in local Lower Normandy dialect, it has that meaning. His reason for regarding this interpretation as “more than probable” is that horse-dung is “very combustible, when dry”.

In the French 1752 edition (called Nouvelle Édition, corrigée & augmentée., i.e., “New Edition, corrected and augmented”), however, this reads as “..du sisame de Laponie..”, that is, in Francis Grose’s translation from 1787, “sisame of Lapland”, or Lapland sesame. This interpretation can be found many places on the Internet, and even in books published at university presses. Two books, one by Cora Daniels, another by Montague Summers, perpetuate the Lapland sesame myth, while being uncertain whether zimat should mean verdigris or the Arabian sulphate of iron.

The Petit Albert also provides a way to shield a house from the effects of the Hand of Glory:

The Hand of Glory would become ineffective, and thieves would not be able to utilize it, if you were to rub the threshold or other parts of the house by which they may enter with an unguent composed of the gall of a black cat, the fat of a white hen, and the blood of the screech-owl; this substance must be compounded during the dog-days

The hand of glory on display at Whitby Museum

An actual Hand of Glory is kept at the Whitby Museum in North Yorkshire, England, together with a text published in a book from 1823.[14] In this manuscript text, the way to make the Hand of Glory is as follows:

It must be cut from the body of a criminal on the gibbet; pickled in salt, and the urine of man, woman, dog, horse and mare; smoked with herbs and hay for a month; hung on an oak tree for three nights running, then laid at a crossroads, then hung on a church door for one night while the maker keeps watch in the porch-“and if it be that no fear hath driven you forth from the porch…then the hand be true won, and it be yours”


Skipton Waterway Festival 2017, a weekend on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

Skipton Waterway Festival
Leeds and Liverpool Canal,
Yorkshire, England
Nigel Borrington

Held every May Bank Holiday in Yorkshire, the Skipton Waterway Festival is a 3 day canal boat event which runs every year on the 1st May day Bank holiday weekend. It is an event which is a non-profit making Festival, which solely relies on donations and sponsorship from the local community. they are also organized by volunteers from Pennine Cruisers and the local community, without these people the event would not run as smoothly as it does each year.

The 1st Skipton Waterway Festival was held in 2001 and they have gone on to grow more and more each year. The festival was originally organized by CRT (British Waterways then) and Pennine Cruisers for around 5 years, however Pennine Cruisers then took on the event, as they saw how much the local boaters and town enjoyed it. As Pennine Cruisers look forward to this event each year, it is part of their year now, as they have organized it for a long time, they say that they would be a little lost without it.

As an event they attract around 8, 000 – 10,000 visitors each year over the full 3 days. It is noticed when people/families visit the festival each and every year. They put on various entertainment, stalls from craft to charity stalls, children’s activities and an array of food/concession stalls. There is something for almost everyone.

This years Festival was great to visit with many Craft stalls and lots of Local history with the new presentation of an internet based database of all the families who worked and still work on the Leeds and Liverpool canal from the first times it was open for use.

Leeds and Liverpool Canal Society


Robin Hood’s Bay, A fishing Village, North York Moors National Park

Robin Hood’s Bay Fishing village North York Moors National Park
Nigel Borrington

Robin Hood’s Bay is a small fishing village and a bay located within the North York Moors National Park, five miles south of Whitby and fifteen miles north of Scarborough on the stunning coast line of North Yorkshire, England.

“Bay Town” is its local name, in the ancient chapelry of Fylingdales in the wapentake of Whitby Strand. The origin of the name is uncertain, and it is doubtful if Robin Hood was ever in the vicinity.

An English ballad and legend tell a story of Robin Hood encountering French pirates who came to pillage the fisherman’s boats and the northeast coast. The pirates surrendered and Robin Hood returned the loot to the poor people in the village that is now called Robin Hood’s Bay

This Village on the Yorkshire Coast is one of the most Beautiful villages in the UK, Here I share a collection of Photographs taken during a visit at the start of May 2017, I hope that I have captured a small sense of this idyllic English sea side village as I enjoyed our time spend here very much and will look back with very fond memories …..

Robin Hood’s Bay, A Sense of place ….


Keighley & Worth Valley Steam Railway

Keighley & Worth Valley Railway
Nigel Borrington

Last weeks Holiday in Yorkshire was at times a true step back in time, as you can see here with the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway and our visit to Howarth, in the heart of Brontë Country we enjoyed an action packed first day out!

Keighley & Worth Valley Railway runs like a ribbon though Brontë Country, where you can expect to take in some of the most breath taking and famous landscapes in the world. A windswept land of heather and wild moors – it is hardly surprising that this area became the inspiration for the classic works of the Bronte sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne.

The Railway has appeared in many TV and film productions including Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter and Where The Heart Is, A Touch Of Frost and many more. Perhaps most famously, the Railway, and in particular the charming station at Oakworth, were used as the location for the classic 1970 film The Railway Children.

If you get off the Train at Ingrow West station, you will be at the home to two award winning transport museums. You can Travel back in time at the The Ingrow Museum of Rail Travel, where restored carriages, vintage artifacts and sound and video presentations bring the past to life. The Ingrow Loco Museum boasts several locomotives as well as displays, exhibits and archive film. Both these location allow you to discover the long history that the UK has with its rail systems.

There are many special events that run throughout the year. You can get a Cream Tea . The old train lets discover the magic and glamour of the glorious days of steam-hauled, in beautiful surroundings. You can also join an annual Beer & Music Festival with over 120 real ales.

For those that like the great outdoors the railway has plenty of spectacular walks and nature trails. Every stop offers a walk, whether it’s a moorland walk or one of The Railway Children walks – you can try the Top Withens Walk, which takes you out of Haworth, the village where the Brontë sisters lived and wrote, along pathways they walked and through the moorland that inspired them.


Floating Heads Installation by Sophie Cave, Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland.

Floating Heads Installation by Sophie Cave

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Scotland.

At the start of April this year I promised myself that I would go and visit some Art Gallery’s and cultural museums one of these vists was to The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. The museum and art gallery in located in Glasgow, Scotland. It reopened in 2006 after a three-year refurbishment and since then has been one of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions.

The gallery is located on Argyle Street, in the West End of the city, on the banks of the River Kelvin (opposite the architecturally similar Kelvin Hall, which was built in matching style in the 1920s, after the previous hall had been destroyed by fire). It is adjacent to Kelvingrove Park and is situated near the main campus of the University of Glasgow on Gilmorehill.

Floating Heads Installation by Sophie Cave

Just one of the many installations the Gallery has to offer is by Artist Sophie Cave …

If you Ever had that feeling that a hundred set of eyes are watching you then Sophie Cave sculptures turn the feeling into a reality!

The Floating Heads installation located in one of the open public areas in the Gallery, literally turn your head around the moment you first see this work. Sophie Cave has created over 50 sculptures of heads, each displaying different emotions including laughter and despair. The heads are completely white, but are lit so that their expressions are accentuated, which gives the installation a somewhat eerie feel. Since the installation is hung over the foyer, it is one of the first things youwill see when they enter the museum.

Its a great installation as it truly makes you stop and look at each of the heads as they slowly move around to face your direction, I relay enjoyed this work 🙂 🙂

Kelvingrove, Art Gallery, Glasgow


Resting on the lawn – Nunnington Hall, North Yorkshire

Nunnington Hall is a country house situated in the English county of North Yorkshire. The river Rye, which gives its name to the local area, Ryedale, runs past the house, flowing away from the village of Nunnington. A stone bridge over the river separates the grounds of the house from the village. Above, a ridge known as Caulkley’s Bank lies between Nunnington and the Vale of York to the south. The Vale of Pickering and the North York Moors lie to the north and east. Nunnington Hall is owned, conserved and managed as a visitor attraction by the National Trust

More on Nunnington Hall ….