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8th Gallery ~ England

This Gallery covers pictures from some of my favourite places, that I have visited around England, during my periods ashore on leave.

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The picturesque village of Castle Combe in Wiltshire.

 

This riverside scene was used in the 1966 film "Dr. Doolittle" but depicted as seaside harbour front.

 

The centrepiece of the village is the 14th Century Market Cross.

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Cheddar Gorge, Somerset.

This is Britains deepest gorge, at the bottom of these limestone cliffs are the famous Cheddar Caves, with Late Upper Paleolithic finds (12-13,000 years old) and contained Britian's oldest complete skeleton (9,000 years old).

My photo is taken from the top of the gorge looking down to the roadway at the bottom

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Dovedale, Derbyshire

Another limestone river valley in Englands Peak District. My picture is the view from one of the caves in the valley

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Chatsworth House

Also in Derbyshire is the family pile of the Duke of Devonshire. This remarkable house set in the Peak District has been visited by myself many times.

Stunning interiors complete with a magnificent collection of sculptures.

The gardens are spectacular and contains the worlds highest reaching gravity fed fountain, the 'Emporer Fountain'

Another water feature within the 105 acres of gardens is the 'Cascade', the sounds of the tumbling waters change as one walks up or down its length.

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Blenheim Palace

Another impressive family pile is that of the Duke of Marlborough. This magnificent palace is found in the rolling Oxfordshire countryside at Woodstock.

This was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill and houses an exhibition dedicated to him.

The parklands at Blenheim were landscaped by 'Capability' Brown.

Formal gardens at Blenheim include the magnificent Water Terraces which took five years to build.

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Chesterton Windmill, Warwickshire

This distinctive landmark, overlooks the village of Chesterton, was built in 1632, probably by Sir Edward Peyto

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Compton Verney

Art, Architecture, Landscape and Learning at Warwickshire's Largest Gallery.

Founded by British philanthropist Sir Peter Moores, this former stately home now offers visitors informal and enjoyable ways of experiencing art.

View, across the south lawn, of the house, designed by Robert Adam and completed in 1768. The obelisk in the foreground marks the site of a medieval chapel.

The landscaped grounds were created by 'Capability' Brown after the house was completed. Brown's landscape reflects the eighteenth-century fashion for the picturesque landscape inspired by the work of landscape artists such as Claude Lorrain (1604 - 1682). Other Brown landscapes are the grounds at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire and stourhead in Wiltshire.

 

From the east lawn, under the boughs of a Cedar of Lebanon, with a new addition 'Untitled Boulder' by John Frankland, 2001. a 70 tonne limestone 'boulder' from the island of Portland in Dorset. Portland stone was the foremost building material of the period.

 

The approach drive way crosses Middle Pool by way of the 'Upper Bridge'. Probably designed by 'Capability' Brown, thebridge is guarded by four lead sphinxes.

 

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Bayswater Road, London

The longest art gallery in the world. Every Sunday artists sell their work from the railings of Hyde Park.

I have purchased a number of paintings from this open air gallery, including one in this picture.

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Preston Capes, Northamptonshire

Preston Capes is a small village in the Northamptonshire countryside, a few miles south of Daventry. Only the church tower is just visible in this picture. After the harvest.

 

Again in Spring with a crop of Rape in flower.

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Torrs Gorge Millenium Walkway

Close to the centre of New Mills, North Derbyshire is this bridge with a difference. It follows the River Goyt but does not traverse it.

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The Peak District.

Again in North Derbyshire is the Peak District National Park. Walking up Crowden Clough brings one close to 'Kinder Scout' the highest point. Photos are from the bottom looking up and almost at the top looking down.

The top is an undulating peat moorland with outcrops outcrops of Millstone Grit bedrock. This logan stone is one of them

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Warwickshire Canals

and canalside pubs

Two photos of Stockton Locks on the Grand Union Canal.

 

 

Third photo is of Bascote Staircase. Lock, a double chambered lock - as is the Gatun Lock in the Panama CanalSee Places Gallery. Two narrow boats are about to depart the upper chamber.

The same narrow boats proceeding to their next watering hole, the 'Two Boats' at Long Itchington.

The final photo is of Napton Locks on the Oxford Canal.

The locks on the Oxford Canal will only accept 'Narrow Boats'

6ft 10ins (2.08m)

 

 

The vast upturn in canal boating over recent decades has created a shortfall of long term moorings for narrow boat owners. Some canalside farmers have diversified in to tourism by converting canalside meadows into marinas. This picture shows the finishing touching and landscaping at a new marina with about 140 moorings.

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The Two Boats - Long Itchington

This canalside pub is a popular venue on a sunny afternoon. Stopping off here for refreshment during a long country walk I was also entertained with live music which necessitated an extended stay, well thats my excuse. The beer was good also.

"Easter Monday" March 2005

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The Blue Lias - Stockton

Another popular canalside pub a short distance up the canal from the Two Boats. No customers sat on the canalside lawns in December, however this hostelry is well worth a visit at Christmas time to see the festive decorations. Abundant but not tacky. A good selection of real ale on the pumps as well.

The Blue Lias takes it's name from the local geology, the clay that is quarried to make cement. Most of the cement works that were built along this band of clay are now closed. They clay is still quarried nearby but transported by pipeline to the remaining Rugby Cement works, some 10 miles away.

December 2005

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The Butcher's Arms - Priors Hardwick

Not just an idyllic village pub. Hidden in the South Warwickshire countryside, the Butchers Arms is one of the finest restaurants in central England.

A warm welcome in the restaurant bar from this magnificent log fire. The flagstone floor is uneven from hundreds of years of wear.

In charge of the 'Desert Trolly', Terri ladles out the cream with a flourish.

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Rock Houses at Kinver Edge

Carved into the sandstone of Kinver Edge in Staffordshire are several houses which have been restored

The Rock Houses date back to around 1770 and carved in the rock, that was the remnants of a sandstone quarry, on two levels - one above the other. During the 1800's up to 12 families lived in the rock.

 

The houses were occupied up until the 1950's with one of them opening as a cafe to serve tea to the visitors that came to walk and play on Kinver Edge.

 

The restored Rock Houses have been filled with the furniture and equipment for the era in which they were occupied.

 

The rear of the houses is just a face of stone as left by quarrymen over 200 years ago.

 

The upper terrace of houses have suffered the ravages of time, nature and vandalization and are beyond restoration.

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Sratford-upon-Avon

The tourist Mecca of Warwickshire, William Shakespeare's Birthplace attracts visitors from all around the world

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, on the banks of the River Avon, where the Royal Shakespeare Company stages the plays.

"View Posters for the 2004 Season"

Close to Shakespeare's Birthplace is a new sculpture, "The Jester" by James Butler and donated to the town by a local resident.

On each side of the plinth is a suitable quote taken from Shakespeare's works.

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Warwick

Some miles up river from Stratford-upon-Avon is the county town of Warwick, which has one of the finest examples of a medieval castle to be found in the country

Literally in the shadow of Warwick Castle is Mill Street, a cobbled street lined with delightful cottages. The cottages towards the bottom of the street have a spectacular view of Ceasar's Tower in front of them.

The final picture of Mill Street is of the last cottages in the street directly under the castle ramparts

 

Another famous landmark at Warwick is the "Lord Leycester Hospital" next to Westgate. Some details of this old building are found on the noticeboard near the entrance.

Lord Leycester Hospital
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Rugby

Rugby is the place of my birth and early childhood.

Rugby is probably best known for it's school of the same name where the field team game of same name originated.

Rugby School, located in the centre of the town, has seen many famous people pass through it's doors including former Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and author of 'Alice in Wonderland' Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson).

However it is former pupil, William Webb Ellis, who has been imortalised by a statue in the shaddow of the school walls. It was William Webb Ellis, who with a fine disregard for the rules of football, as played in his time, first took the ball in his arms and ran with it. Thus originating the distinctive feature of the Rugby game. A.D. 1823

The final photo is of the Clock Tower in Rugby's town centre.

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Kenilworth

The Warwickshire town of Kenilworth is a gem in the green countryside of the midlands.

My formative school years were spent in Kenilworth before venturing to sea in 1970.

This impressive clock tower is at the top of the main road through the town center.

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Kenilworth Castle

Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire, was destroyed on the Orders of Oliver Cromwell. Before destruction the castle boasted the most complex water defence system, with lakes, moats and water gardens.

These views would have been dominated by the Great Lake before the dam was breached.

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Birmingham

Englands second city. Once a city of manufacture with hundreds of smoking chimneys as depicted by the skyline of this artists impression of Birmingham in 1886

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The Mailbox

Once the Birmingham Royal Mail sorting office. Now converted, it is a multifunction building including a shopping mall, hotels and the local BBC TV Studio.

Busy nightlife in the bars and restaurants, at the rear of The Mailbox, which overlook the canals.

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Birmingham's Bullring, takes it's name from the place where bulls were tethered in the Marketplace to be baited by dogs. The cruel entertainment of Bull Baiting has long since gone but the name associated with Birminghams central marketplace still remains.

The bronze Bull at the entrance to the new Bullring Centre

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Recent redevelopement of the Bullring has given the city a new look. Here the old statue of Admiral Nelson has the new architecture of Selfridges's department store behind.

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Birmingham's Canals

Birmingham is said to have more canals than Venice. At one time there were 174 miles of canals in the area, but now there are only 114.

This first picture is Gas Street Basin, the junction between the Birmingham and Worcester and Birmingham Canals.

Here is found the answer to the mystery posed on the Photo Challenge page of this site.

City centre fingerpost at "Old Turn Junction".

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Lynton & Lynmouth, North Devon

This is where the hills of Exmoor meet the North Devon coastline with the Bristol Channel. Dramatic steep valleys drain the waters down to the coast

From Summer House Hill looking towards Lynmouth, barely visible with the steeply sided valleys. The Ordenance Survey map of the area shows more contour lines than roads.

From Summer House Hill looking in the opposite direction. Wind Hill and Countisbury Hill are on the other side of the valley and to the east (right) is Myrtle Berry Cleave and Watersmeet is at the bottom of the valley.

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At Watersmeet there is a Victorian hunting and fishing lodge, owned by the National Trust. This building is now a Cafe and Gift Shop.

Here you can buy a traditional Devon Cream Tea and share your table and food with the not so timid local feathered inhabitants.

The Blue Tits will come and take crumbs off the plate and even from the hand if you are patient.

The Chaffinch is rather more wary but will still take crumbs off the table.

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Taking the riverside path from Watersmeet back to Lynmouth it is almost difficult to believe that this was the scene of catostrophic floods in 1952.

The steep sided valley of the East Lyn River maintains it's profile all the way to the coast, where it is joined by the West Lyn River.

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At Lynmouth is a small tidal fishing harbour where the old fishermens cottages have been converted into hotels and shops for todays tourist trade.

Looking back up the valley of the East Lyn River from the side of the Harbour.

To avoid a long steep walk, to the sister village of Lynton, one takes a ride on the LLCR ~ hhe Lynton & Lynmouth Cliff Railway. This is a hydraulic railway powered by water and gravity, very eco friendly, and has been in service since 1888. That's some 120 years and only the safety signalling and winter illumination uses electricity.

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My Home Town

Here I will add a few photo's taken in and around my home town.

Blossom in the church yard

Two photographs, above and below the blossomed boughs.

   

A winter's view of the church from across the recreation ground.

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Unusual decorative brickwork on the facade of one of the shops in the high street.

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Warwicshire county badge, 'The Bear and Ragged Staff', on the old Magistrates building.

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Hung on the front of a shop this old street gaslamp, now converted to electricity, still illuminates a narrow lane in the town centre

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Once the Manor House of the town, this old building is now the town Pharmacy.

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Now a scheduled ancient monument, the spring fed well that served the town of old.

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Pub Signs

Decorative wrought iron framework supports the sign at 'The Bull'

 

Confussion reigns at 'The Market Tavern' (formerly 'The Crown'). The bronze casting above the sign is indicatative that it should be called 'The George and Dragon'.

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