Barbondale, Brownthwaite Pike, Casterton Stone Circle

P1180748

St. Bartholomew’s Church, Barbon.

More glorious May weather and another post-work Lune-Catchment wander. This was on a Thursday evening, the day after my photos from Kirkby Lonsdale in the previous post. You remember that I pointed out how Brownthwaite Pike dominates the view from Kirkby? Equally, Brownthwaite Pike has a great view over the Lune Valley and Morecambe Bay.

Years ago, when I was single, my evenings walks rarely took me any further than I could get, under my own steam, from my front door, but just occasionally I would pack up a meal and head out for a picnic on an easily accessible hill with a good view. Brownthwaite Pike was, I think, the place I visited most often: I could park high, at Bullpot Farm, and it was an easy walk from there.

P1180747

The lychgate.

This time, I would do it properly, starting from the village of Barbon.

P1180750

Female Blackbird.

P1180751

Barbon Beck, another tributary of the Lune.

P1180753

Bluebells!

P1180754

The right of way initially follows a track which is heading up to Barbon Manor. It’s metaled and even has barriers. I presume that this is the course used for the Barbon hill-climb, an annual motor-sport event.

Soon though, the route parts company with the race-track and heads into the woods of Barbondale and more bluebells…

P1180756

Better yet to emerge from the woods into the sunshine…

P1180760

I initially assumed that this…

P1180761

…was a Hawthorn, covered in Mayflower, but it wasn’t…

P1180762

I think it might be an apple-tree. There were a couple more close-by. Maybe there was an orchard here once, when valleys like this one were more populous?

High on the hillside to my left, I spotted an unusual cairn, apparently with a chamber inside it…

P1180764

It wasn’t to be the last unusual cairn on the walk.

I chatted to a birdwatcher, who asked me if I had seen anything good? He reported Pied-flycatchers and could hear Willow Warblers nearby. I had nothing so interesting to share. But, soon after passing him, spotted a pair of Reed-buntings and then…

P1180765

…a Red-start. This was only the third time I’ve seen one and my best photo yet, although, obviously, still room for improvement. I waited to tell my new bird-watching friend, but then felt guilty because we couldn’t find it again among the trees.

P1180766

I also briefly glimpsed a raptor in pursuit of another bird just above the hillside, but soon lost sight of both. This heron…

P1180769

…sailing purposefully by, was much more obliging.

P1180773

Barbon Beck and Barbondale.

P1180775

A warbler. Could be one of those Willow Warblers?

P1180777

I heard some strange, harsh bird calls, which made me think of grasshoppers, and so thought perhaps they came from Grasshopper Warblers. I saw a few of the birds, low in the vegetation, but this is the only photo I managed. Having looked in my guide, I’m pretty sure that this is not a Grasshopper Warbler, but apart from that, am none the wiser.

P1180780

This stream, which feeds into Barbon Beck and is therefore another one of the Lune’s vast tree of sources, is not named on the map, but is, in turn, fed by several smaller streams including Hazel Sike, Little Aygill and Great Aygill. The road bridge which crosses it, however, is called Blindbeck Bridge, so I suppose this must be Blindbeck.

P1180781

Castle Knott and Calf Top.

P1180782

I was impressed with the situation of Fell House, in a remote position above Barbondale.

P1180783

I’ve seen lots of butterflies this month, but have struggled to photograph any of them. This one looks like a female Orange-tip, but has confused me because it has no wing-spots.

P1180789

The top of the beck obviously changed in nature, becoming steeper sided with outcrops of rock, I think because the underlying rock was now limestone.

I watched this bird of prey,…

P1180790

…presumably a Kestrel, hovering in roughly the same spot for ages as I climbed beside the beck. Later I watched a pair swoop across the hillside and both alight in the same tree, where I assume there was a nest, although I couldn’t see it.

P1180795

Bullpot farm.

P1180798

Cuckoo Flower.

P1180802

Female Wheatear.

The short road walk from Bullpot Farm was enlivened by numerous birds, mainly Wheatears and Meadow Pipits which were flitting around the drystone walls on either side. Also by the expansive views…

P1180805

Gragareth and Leck Fell House.

And by the calling of two Cuckoos. In fact, the sounds of Cuckoos had accompanied me most of the way up Barbondale too.

The highpoint of Barbon Low Fell is unnamed on the OS map, but I notice online that other walks have used the name Hoggs Hill, which is nearby on the map. In the absence of any better suggestions, I shall do the same.

As I approached Hoggs Hill then, I noticed another raptor, a Kestrel again I think, sat calmly on a wall, watching me.

P1180812

I scrabbled to get my camera pointing in the right direction and focused, but the bird was away before I managed that…

P1180816

Hoggs Hill.

P1180817

Middleton Fells from Hoggs Hill.

P1180819

Crag Hill and Great Coum.

P1180820

Forest of Bowland.

P1180825

Brownthwaite Pike.

P1180828

Close to the top of Brownthwaite Pike there’s an absolutely huge cairn. It’s so big that you can see it from Kirkby on the far side of the valley below. I can’t find any reference to it on the Historic England map, but there’s plenty of speculation online about the possibility that it might be ancient and perhaps a burial cairn.

P1180832

You can see why this spot might have been chosen as it commands clear views over the Lune Valley, the Bowland Fells and Warton Crag , where there was a hill-fort.

P1180829

I descended by this…

P1180834

….arrow-straight lane.

P1180836

Looking towards the hills of home.

From the lane I could look down on an ancient site which is recorded on the Historic England map…

P1180837

Casterton Stone Circle.

P1180848

Here’s another view of the henge from a little further down the lane. I’ve read that the stones only protrude slightly above the surrounding turf, but it certainly stands out from a distance.

Closer to hand, on the verges of the lane, there was lots of Lady’s Mantle coming into flower…

P1180839

And also many spears of Bugle…

P1180840

But what I appreciated particularly was the way the two were frequently growing together, intermingled…

P1180844

There was also a bit of what I think was Sheep’s Sorrel about. This one…

P1180845

…growing on a tree trunk.

P1180846

The leaves certainly had the refreshing, citrusy flavour characteristic of both Common and Sheep’s Sorel, and I munched on a few as I walked.

P1180852

The track brought me to the minor road which lead, ultimately to Bullpot Farm and I turned to follow it in the opposite direction, downhill.

P1180863

Crosswort.

P1180864

I think that this must be the wind farm which I photographed last summer from Burns Beck Moss.

I turned on to Fellfoot Road, another track, and found…

P1180870

…several small sheepfolds each with a large boulder inside.

P1180871

They are Andy Goldsworthy sculptures.

P1180872

There are sixteen of them in all, but I only passed four of them on this walk.

P1180873

I’m a big fan of Goldsworthy, but don’t know quite what to make of these. I’ve walked past some of them a couple of times before. One day, I suppose I will walk the entire lane and collect the full set.

P1180874

It was getting rather late now.

P1180875

So I was hurrying to get back to my car in Barbon and didn’t stop for long to admire Whelprigg…

P1180876

…a rather grand house built, apparently, in 1834.

Another glorious evening outing.

Screen Shot 2018-06-01 at 21.06.52

Screen Shot 2018-06-01 at 21.01.40

Advertisements
Barbondale, Brownthwaite Pike, Casterton Stone Circle

Tony Cragg (and others) at the YSP

P1110564

We went to a family wedding near Sleaford. Splendid affair, lots of catching up, lovely grub, a bit of a dance, oh….and a wedding. Marvellous.

On our way home on the Sunday we stopped off at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. We might have done this anyway, the YSP is a favourite day out for us, but this post over on Down by the Dougie definitely swung the decision: the latest Tony Cragg exhibition was something we wanted to see.

P1110565

First off, however, we wandered over to the old Chapel…

P1110566

P1110568

Iron Tree by Ai Weiwei

P1110580

There were several art works on display in the Chapel, but two particularly caught our attention. This large ‘wall’, ostensibly made of bricks, which are actually wax and have been partially melted….

P1110570

And Neither From nor Towards by Cornelia Parker….

P1110573

….made from bricks from a row of houses which have slipped over a cliff onto a beach.

This…

P1110581

…is an Andy Goldsworthy sheepfold which B fell off during a previous visit.

P1110586

71 Steps by David Nash.

P1110589

On the way home in the car we each went through our top 5 ‘things’ of the day – the bluebells in the woods featured on everybody’s list.

P1110596

One of three Andy Goldsworthy Hanging Tree.

Although we’ve visited the YSP several times before, we’ve never been over to the Longside gallery. Sometimes it has been closed, or we haven’t had time, or it has been too far to walk with the kids. Anyway, this time we put that right. It’s a very pleasant walk over.

P1110603

There was an exhibition there of 1960’s British Art. I can’t remember who this was by, but I liked it.

P1110606

This, I’m pretty sure, is by Bridget Riley, I think I might have seen it somewhere before. I always enjoy her very geometric paintings, maybe it’s my mathematical brain.

P1110608

We walked back over for a very late and enjoyable lunch in the cafe and then finally made it to the Underground Gallery to see some more Tony Cragg sculpture.

P1110618

I wish I could articulate what it is I like so much about these sculptures, but I don’t know even where to begin.

P1110615

P1110620

A and I took a lot of photos. Choosing a selection for this post has been difficult.

P1110622

I watched an absorbing documentary about both the creative process and then the fairly industrialised realisation of the sculptures. You can see part of it here – it’s in German, although Tony Cragg is English he has lived in Germany for a long time.

P1110626

P1110629

P1110630

P1110636

P1110637

It’s apparent from the film that many of these ostensively abstract sculptures are inspired by shapes from nature or elsewhere. You can see that here: this small piece, clearly the viscera of some alien species…

P1110655

Is, in point of fact…

P1110656

….a Church!

P1110659

Outside, there were several bigger sculptures.

The boys weren’t very impressed by all of this, but this…

P1110664

…was a hit. They loved the distorted reflections it gave.

P1110663

Our time was almost up. In our whirlwind tour we hadn’t found time to see any of the sculptures by Anthony Caro, or Barbara Hepworth, or Anthony Gormley, or any of the many Henry Moore’s dotted around the park…

P1110667

Well, not properly anyway.

The kids insisted on one final visit: to James Turrell’s Deer Shelter Skyspace…

P1110669

I like every bit as much as they do, and I certainly enjoy staring at the sky, but maybe we should come again when the sky is a bit less monotone…

P1110671

Tony Cragg (and others) at the YSP

Barrow Dock Museum

P1100807

We’ve been intending to check out the Dock Museum in Barrow for quite some time and, last week, finally got around to it.

P1100804

It’s a small museum, but it has model boats, which are pretty irresistible,

P1100803

…and The Furness Hoard, found locally in 2011 and including Viking, Saxon and Arab coins plus fragments of arm-rings and bracelets, not dissimilar in fact from The Silverdale Hoard.

P1100809

Having examined the area’s Viking treasures, you may want to dress the part…

P1100808

There are also axe-heads and arrowheads of Langdale stone which were apparently brought to the Barrow area for finishing and polishing.

P1100810

A big surprise for me, and a great discovery, was this furniture by the late Tim Stead.

P1100805

I’ve not been aware of his work before, but shall be looking out for it in the future. He was one of the artists who built the Millennium Clock, now housed by the National Museum of Scotland, and definitely added to my ‘too see’ list.

Whilst the boys hared around the playground in the museum grounds, I took a quick look at the docks themselves.

P1100811

Our trip to the museum was intended to be a precursor to a trip to the Wildlife Trust reserve at the southern end of Walney Island, somewhere I’ve long wanted to visit, much like Foulney Island in fact. But, having had my sutures removed early that morning, I now discovered that everything was not quite going to plan, and we spent the next three hours, or thereabouts, sitting around in A&E at Barrow Infirmary waiting to see what was to be done. Not much, it eventually transpired. Patience is the order of the day apparently. Ho-hum.

Barrow Dock Museum

Minimum Monument

P1080801

“Minimum Monument is a poignant and moving display featuring thousands of figures made out of frozen water by the artist, her team of technicians and volunteers – a public intervention artwork which is a powerful reminder of the fragility of our planet and the communities it supports.”

P1080726

“Néle Azevedo has be working from a temporary studio in K Village with volunteers and her creative team to make over 3,000 200mm tall icemen.”

P1080713

“We’ve been working on the moulds for the past two weeks – getting them filled and frozen, then the sculptures were de-moulded and fettled by hand before being stored in freezers and the process starts over again. ”

P1080714

“The icemen and women will be transported to Kendal Castle on Sunday morning.”

P1080768

“On Sunday Azevedo will invite members of the public to place the beautifully crafted sculptures on the ruins of Kendal Castle where they can watch as these tiny ice figures melt and return to rain water.”

P1080739

I’m not sure if this art is the kind of thing which Michael Gove recently derided as ‘modish crap’. Probably.

P1080749

“Is this = to Turner, Ruskin, even Holman Hunt – of course not.”

P1080750

Which limited frame of reference suggests that the underlying questions is: is this art Victorian?

Of course, Turner’s own art was controversial in it’s day. Had Twitter existed then, no doubt some self-publisizing, narcissistic, failed politician would have been using it to rail against Turner’s non-conventional vision.

(In a politically bleak year a lone high-spot was watching Gove skewer himself with his own back-stabbing machinations.)

P1080752

Anyway, we enjoyed Minimum Monument immensely and there were a lot of other people there who also seemed to be thoroughly engaged and appreciative.

P1080767

Naturally, I took a preposterous number of photos.

P1080771

P1080777

P1080789

P1080795

P1080797

P1080802

P1080820

It was interesting to see how people had chosen to group the figures.

Almost all of the sculptures were placed on the walls, facing in to the castle. This couple…

P1080741

…being a rare exception.

Eventually, we dragged ourselves away and walked down into Kendal…

P1080825

…where there were numerous other activities on offer.

We added to a large clay sculpture…

P1080830

…donned goggles for a 3D virtual reality flight over the Lake District, watched a three handed show (a mime I seem to remember) and visited St. Thomas’s Church to see this…

P1080835

…enormous model of the moon by Luke Jerram.

P1080836

A highly enjoyable day!

(The quotes at the top of the post are from the Lakes Alive website.)

Minimum Monument

Barcelona -Sagrada Familia

P1080371

You can’t really visit Barcelona without taking a look at the Sagrada Familia.

P1080375

It’s another place which TBH and I have visited together before, on our previous flying visit to Barcelona. We certainly didn’t book in advance then, and I don’t think we had to pay either, but these days both are necessary and it’s quite expensive. We’d saved a little by booking an early evening slot for our visit.

P1080384

Anyway, it was well worth it – it’s an amazing building. I’m sure my photos don’t come close to doing it justice.

P1080385

It’s also a work in progress. I would love to come back when it’s finished (current projection is 2026).

P1080386

P1080389

P1080392

P1080391

Serial masochists (i.e. regular readers) will know that I like visiting churches and cathedrals, and that when I’m there I’m particularly fond of stained glass windows.

P1080403

The multi-coloured windows of the Sagrada Familia, and the amazing way they lit the space, were the highlight for me.

P1080401

I’m not sure if you can get a sense of it from these pictures but it was stunning.

P1080404

P1080405

P1080406

P1080407

P1080413

P1080416

P1080425

P1080433

P1080434

P1080417

P1080444

P1080446

A magic square! I haven’t made good on my resolve to use it in a lesson yet. I wonder what the significance of the total 33 is – unless it’s the obvious one? I presume that the figures here are Jesus and Judas.

P1080450

If you are making a visit, it’s worth factoring in some time to take a look at the small museum within the Basilica which holds many of the scale models, some of them pretty big,  which Gaudi used when he was working on his designs for the building.

Barcelona -Sagrada Familia

Barcelona – Park Güell

P1080309

A lot of photographs in this post. You may want to put the kettle on.

P1080297

TBH and I have been to Park Güell before, on our previous fleeting visit to Barcelona. Back then it was free to visit and didn’t need to be booked in advance.

P1080298

Now, like almost everywhere we visited in the city, Park Güell has a not inconsiderable fee.  In general, Barcelona seemed pretty expensive to me. Although the beach is free and the transport system very cheap,  Museums and Art Galleries and the like, were far from cheap. I suppose this is one way in which austerity has bitten in Spain.

P1080299

You can’t really come to Barcelona, however, without a visit to Park Güell. TBH and I were both very keen to go.

P1080302

Count Eusebi Güell bought this land intending to turn it, with the help of Antoni Gaudí into a luxurious housing estate, with  sixty plots.

P1080303

The two buildings at the top of the post were the porter’s lodges at the entrance.

P1080305

There was one other building already on the site, which Güell moved into. Two more houses were built. When it couldn’t be sold, Gaudí bought one of them and moved his family into it.

P1080306

Gaudi made alterations to the house which was already on the site, but neither of the other  houses were designed by Gaudí.

P1080310

Eventually, the Park became a Municipal Garden.

P1080311

So in a way, it’s a giant folly. A failed commercial enterprise, now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Gaudí had some pretty radical ideas…

P1080315

…this was going to be the marketplace. Our kids found it adapted well for hide and seek.

P1080313

P1080317

The Porter’s Lodges. The right-hand one is a shop. The left-hand a museum. But the queue was 45 minutes, so we didn’t go in.

P1080321

P1080322

P1080324

P1080362

The famous serpentine seating on the terrace (the only clear memory I had from our previous visit) is the work of Gaudí’s regular collaborator, Josep Maris Jujol.

P1080328

P1080329

P1080330

The (mostly) hidden house behind the trees, is the Gaudí House Museum, the house where Gaudí and his family lived for twenty years.

P1080333

P1080337

P1080342

P1080350

P1080352

P1080356

P1080357

P1080358

P1080363

This is the ‘other’ house built in the park, the one which Gaudí didn’t buy. It’s in the free part of Park Güell, which is well worth a visit. There are lots of buskers…

P1080365

…this harp player was amazing.

And stunning views over the city, including views of Gaudí’s incomplete cathedral, the Sagrada Família.

P1080369

Our next port of call…

P1080370

Barcelona – Park Güell

Barcelona – Castell de Montjuic

P1070550

When we first arrived in Barcelona our taxi from the airport took us along the coast and beneath this hill, with it’s surmounting fort. Later we had good views of it again, when we boarded the Norwegian Epic for our cruise.

P1070553

Obviously, we had to visit when we returned to Barcelona.

P1080173

It’s quite a modern fortification, compared to most we see in Britain. It was completed in 1799, although there has been a fort here since 1640. It’s had quite a chequered past, having be captured by the British in 1705 and by the French during the Napoleonic wars.

P1080175

Situated as it is, overlooking both the city and the port, it would seem to be ideally sited to defend Barcelona, but it seems that more often than not its guns have been used to bombard the city itself to suppress unrest in the region.

P1080176

During the civil war both sides imprisoned and tortured captives here. Most infamously, Lluis Companys, President of Catalonia, was executed here in 1940 on the orders of Franco.

P1080177

Not a happy story then.

But the views are magnificent, both near and far…

P1080184

P1080187

P1080189

P1080191

We’d been concerned about just how hot it would be in Barcelona in the middle of the summer. In fact, aside from on the Metro, where it could be rather sweaty, it was mostly very pleasant. There generally seemed to be a cooling sea breeze and in the Gothic Quarter at least, the high buildings and narrow streets combined to make a deep, cool shade. On Montjuic hill however, it was very hot.

P1080204

So much so that many people were tempted to paddle in the pool above the mirador (waterfall).

P1080199

P1080206

We were wandering down the hill…

P1080213

…through pleasant parks…

P1080218

…and a sculpture garden…

P1080219

…to our next destination…

More to follow!

Barcelona – Castell de Montjuic