Sunday Triptych: Ruskin’s View.

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I know that I posted photos of this view only recently, but I thought you might like to see what it looks like when the sun shines and with an added dusting of distant snow.

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Ruskin’s view panorama. Click to see larger image.

The snow-capped hills are at the southern end of the Middleton Fells – Castle Knott and Calf Top. The prominent hill on the right of the first photo is Brownthwaite Pike, which is a bit of an oddity, because when you’re on it, it doesn’t seem very prominent at all: there’s higher ground just behind and then the ridge curls to the east and much higher tops. Still, it’s a great view point and a good place for a picnic on a summer’s evening. I’m intrigued by the Kirfit Hall in the middle distance, which looks to have some sort of tower incorporated into the building.

 

 

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Sunday Triptych: Ruskin’s View.

Sunday Triptych: an Early Outing.

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Saturday was another grey and damp day. I was taken in by the hype and watched the Six Nations opener, Scotland versus Wales, expecting a close match. Then was out for a late walk in the rain and the gloom and eventually dark.

When I woke up early on the Sunday and looked out to see completely clear skies, it was too good to resist and set off for a circuit of Hawes Water before the usual Underley Rugby trip.

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When I set off the moon was still high in the sky, although it wasn’t as dark as this photo suggests, since I’d switched the camera to black and white mode and dialled the exposure down to minimum, which seems to give best results.

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From Eaves Wood I could see mist rising off the land and the sky lightening in the East.

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Near Hawes Water, out of the trees, there had clearly been a sharp frost.

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Roe Deer Buck.

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Cormorants.

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This ruin in the trees by the lake has long been surrounded by a high fence and Rhododendrons. Both have now been removed, although to what end I don’t know.

I was aware that the sun had come up, although I couldn’t see it, or feel its warmth, because it was painting the trees on the slope above me in a golden light.

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Hawes Water.

Back to the house, quick cup of tea, off to rugby.

 

Sunday Triptych: an Early Outing.

Listed Lancaster: Town Hall

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On Thursday I had a parents’ evening, so had a couple of hours between finishing teaching and starting work again. I was eating my tea in the staffroom (very nice if I do say so myself: coronation chicken and a couple of salads) when I noticed that the light coming through the windows was glorious. I rushed up to Castle Hill but was too late for the sunset.

Castle Hill has a good view across Morecambe to the bay and the hills of the Lake District beyond, but it also has a fine view across the town.

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Here’s the view again, but this time from Friday lunchtime.

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You can make out three prominent tall buildings: the Ashton Memorial almost hidden by the branches of the tree, the tall spire of the Cathedral and the clock tower of the Town Hall. All of those are listed buildings as are pretty much all of the houses in the area around the Castle.

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Because time was short, I cut my usual route short, leaving out the canal, which gave me a chance to visit the Town Hall, where the low light was challenging for photography. The next day, I went back, but now the very bright sun was behind the building, which didn’t help much either.

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Pretty grand isn’t it? Quite nice inside too. It was built in the early part of the Twentieth Century and was designed by Edward Mountford, who also designed the Old Bailey. Apparently this is in the Edwardian Baroque style which he was noted for. That’s Edward VII in the middle of the carved figures. His mum is commemorated in the statue in Dalton Square in front of the town hall…

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The statue is from 1906 and is also listed, but there’s a lot of detail here to photograph, so I’ll come back another time.

That’s it for last week’s Lancaster strolls, except for the fact that I almost forgot the best moment: on Thursday lunchtime, when the sun was shining, I’d just joined the canal towpath when an unmistakable metallic green sheen, not dissimilar to the verdigris on Queen Vic only shinier, alerted me to a Kingfisher flying low over the water. First one I’ve seen in a couple of years. Marvellous.

Listed Lancaster: Town Hall

Listed Lancaster: The Music Room

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Hidden away on Sun Square, I think I worked in the town for quite a few years without really being aware that this curio was here.

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This is what the Wikipedia page on listed buildings has to say:

“This originated as a summer house, it was restored in the 1970s, and then used as a shop and a flat. It is in sandstone with a slate roof, and has three storeys, three bays, and a balustraded¬†parapet. The bays are divided by pilasters, fluted Ionic on the ground floor, fluted Corinthian in the middle floor, and panelled in the top floor. In the ground floor is a central round-headed archway, now glazed, flanked by doorways with architraves. The windows are sashes, the window above the archway having a swan-neck pediment and a central urn. Inside is richly decorated plasterwork.”

Some summerhouse!

I’ve never been inside to see the plasterwork, but now I’d like to. Good to see hardy customers enjoying the sunshine and sitting outside on the first day in February.

Listed Lancaster: The Music Room

Listed Lancaster: The Assembly Rooms

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Back to the eighteenth century. Once again, a building which I photographed on two different lunchtime walks; this time because of the difficulties posed by traffic, rather than by light.

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Built in 1759…

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…by the trustees of Penny’s Hospital, the rooms were used for social gatherings which raised money for the running of the almshouses. These days the Assembly Rooms houses a sort of permanent market with various stalls including a cafe and a secondhand book seller.

Nearby on King Street, this…

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…is Penny’s Hospital…

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…but that deserves a post of its own.

Listed Lancaster: The Assembly Rooms

Listed Lancaster: Natwest Bank

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Built in 1870 for the Lancaster Banking Company. This is also on Church Street very close to the older building in the previous post.

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Those columns either side of the door are pink granite apparently. Wandering round town this last week, it’s struck me like never before that, I suppose like everywhere, Lancaster’s buildings are characterised largely by the available local stone, which in Lancaster’s case is sandstone.

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I’m also realising how difficult it is to photograph buildings satisfactorily. This is a surprisingly large building, and I couldn’t get it all in frame. I wasn’t happy with this last photo which I took on a gloomy day earlier in the week, but then when I took new photos yesterday, realised that the strong winter sun was giving very dark shadows and therefore challenges all of its own. I also wished I had my camera with me rather than just the phone, both for the wide-angle capability, but also for the zoom to capture some of the detail. I’m learning a new vocabulary too: the doorway has a frieze and a pediment above the columns, the building has Corinthian pilasters and at the top a modillion cornice.

Lancaster has other large, grand, bank buildings, so expect more posts to follow. I wonder how long our high street banks will maintain large town centre branches like these?

Listed Lancaster: Natwest Bank

Listed Lancaster: 76 Church Street.

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It turns out that Lancaster is bursting at the seams with listed buildings. Any walk around the central part of town will take you past no end of them. Some of the very oldest, most striking buildings have appeared on the blog before. Wikipedia handily ranks the buildings by antiquity, and this building, part of which dates back to 1637, is one of the oldest I haven’t photographed before. It’s on what is becoming my ‘standard’ lunch-time route which takes me first along the canal, past the Cathedral (another listed building).

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This photograph, however, was taken because of the bright, cheery catkins which were catching the sun.

Anyway, 76 Church Street is still listed on Wikipedia as The Conservative Club, although it hasn’t been that for a while and is now clearly commercial premises.

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I have a feeling that these railings might be listed too.

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The building also has one of Lancaster’s (many) green heritage plaques. According to this¬†¬†fascinating account of BPC’s brief stay in Lancaster, he actually lodged in this building, whilst his right-hand men were both over the road in The Sun Inn. The Sun is still a pub and hotel, and still called the Sun. I may now have to include it in a post. Not a lunchtime workday visit though, they serve excellent beer and it would be rude not to sample one at least for the occasion.

Listed Lancaster: 76 Church Street.