Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Radcliffe Camera - Oxford

The Radcliffe Camera (Camera, meaning "room" in Italian)  is a building in Oxford, designed by James Gibbs in the English Palladian style and built in 1737–1749 to house the Radcliffe Science Library.
The building is the earliest example in England of a circular library. It is built in three main stages externally and two stories internally, the upper one containing a gallery.
Between 1909 and 1912 an underground book store of two floors was constructed beneath the north lawn of the library with a tunnel connecting it with the Bodleian, invisibly linking the two library buildings, something envisaged by Henry Acland in 1861.
After the Radcliffe Science Library moved into another building, the Radcliffe Camera became home to additional reading rooms of the Bodleian Library. The freehold of the building and adjoining land was transferred from the Radcliffe Trustees to the University in 1927. The interior of the upper reading-room houses a six foot marble statue of John Radcliffe, carved by John Michael Rysbrack.It now holds books from the English, history, and theology collections, mostly secondary sources found on Undergraduate and Graduate reading lists. There is space for around 600,000 books in rooms beneath Radcliffe Square.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Christ Church Cathedral College Oxford

Oxford University has many magnificent college buildings. This one, Christ Church is unique as it also cathedral of the of the diocese of Oxford, which consists of the counties of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire.
Christ Church (Latin: Ædes Christi, the temple or house (ædēs) of Christ, and thus sometimes known as The House), is one of the largest constituent colleges of the University of Oxford.

Christ Church has produced thirteen British prime ministers, which is equal to the number produced by all 45 other Oxford colleges put together and more than any Cambridge college (and two short of the total number for the University of Cambridge, fifteen).

The college is the setting for parts of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, as well as Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. More recently it has been used in the filming of the movies of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Bridge of Sighs - Oxford

Hertford Bridge, popularly known as the Bridge of Sighs, is a skyway joining two parts of Hertford College over New College Lane in Oxford.
The bridge is often referred to as the Bridge of Sighs because of its supposed similarity to the famous Bridge of Sighs in Venice. However, Hertford Bridge was never intended to be a replica of the Venetian bridge, and indeed it bears a closer resemblance to the Rialto Bridge in the same city.

The bridge links together the Old and New Quadrangles of Hertford College (to the south and the north respectively), and much of its current architecture was designed by Sir Thomas Jackson. It was completed in 1914, despite its construction being opposed by New College.
The building on the southern side of the bridge houses the College's administrative offices, whereas the northern building is mostly student accommodation. The bridge is always open to members of the College, who can often be seen crossing it.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Bicycle City - Oxford

We recently spent a few days in Oxford - a great place for photographs
Apart from the magnificent buildings, you will not fail to notice the number of bicyles in Oxford city centre - they are everywhere.


Saturday, 27 October 2012

Autumn in Roberts Park - Saltaire

Took these today as I strolled through Roberts Park. The autumn colours really glistened in the sun.


Friday, 26 October 2012

Grace Church - Nottingham

In cities you often find buildings converted from their original use. In Nottingham the former employement exchange ("dole office") building is now a church.

 Grace Church Nottingham is a Newfrontiers church. It began in September 2002 when Nick and Penny Sharp were commissioned to plant a church in Nottingham. Initially meeting in their Bramcote home before moving to public venues, the church outgrew the Rose and Crown Pub in Lenton and in turn, the John Carroll Leisure Centre in Radford. When Trent Vineyard Church moved out of Meadow Lane in 2003, John Wright (leader of Trent Vineyard) encouraged Nick to move Grace Church into the venue, which quickly became the new home. Being based at the stadium enabled the church to host the Newfrontiers youth festival, Newday, in 2005, attracting some 6,000 people and enabling a whole host of community projects to take place across the city, planned in conjunction with Nottingham City Council.
In November 2009, the church bought the former Ministry of Labour, Employment Exchange building on Castle Boulevard and renamed it 'The Ministry', a name which encompassed the heart of the church for the city. The story attracted significant local press attention and local incumbent MP Lilian Greenwood officially opened the building in September 2010. The church has based its Sunday gatherings, staff team and some of its community action projects there since.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Oldest Pub in England?

There are around 20 pubs that claim to be the oldest pub in England. Nottingham has three that make the claim - Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Ye Olde Salutation and the Bell Inn,

Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem

Its painted sign states that it was established in 1189 AD. However, there is no documentation to verify this date, and the main building, built on the foundations of earlier constructions, is about three hundred years old.
The Trip (as it is known locally) is at the foot of Castle Rock in Nottingham's City Centre. According to local legend it takes its name from the 12th Century Crusades to the Holy Land: legend has it that knights who answered the calls of Richard I to join the crusades stopped off at this watering hole for a pint on their way to Jerusalem. It is even claimed that Richard himself frequented the pub although this is probably merely legend as the king spent little time in the country. However, the word "trip" in the pub's name does not mean an entire journey; it derives from an older meaning of the word: a stop during a journey (i.e. "break in the journey to the Holy Land"). Others say that the pub takes its name from a religious group called the Philadelphians who used to meet in Brewhouse Yard (but this does not fully explain the name).

Ye Olde Olde Salutation

The current building was constructed as a workshop for a tanner with living accommodation above in 1240 on the site of an old alehouse known as The Archangel Gabriel Salutes the Virgin Mary. The name led local historian J. Holland Walker to speculate a connection with the local Carmelite monastery but no documentary has been found to support this.
Borough records from 1440 record a private dwelling belonging to John Alastre on the site.
During the English Civil War (1642–1646) both factions established recruiting rooms in the Inn. Following the Puritan victory the authorities objected to the religious implications of the sign and the Inn was renamed Soldier and Citizen. The original name was restored along with the Monarchy in 1660.
An investigation by the Thoroton Excavation Society in 1937 dated the caves to the 9th century and concluded that they were part of a Saxon farm later used for servants accommodation and brewing

Unfortunately I missed this pub when visiting, so this photograph is not mine but from Wiki

The Bell Inn

Foundation and early history
In 1276 a group of Carmelite friars established a Friary on what is now Friar Lane with lands that included a guesthouse on the site of what is now The Bell Inn.
The Inn was originally constructed around 1420 (according to dendrochronological dating of timbers) as a refectory for the monks of the monastery on Beastmarket Hill, but became a secular alehouse in 1539 (following the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII) taking its name from the Angelus bell that hung outside.
The earliest known written reference to the Inn is the 1638 Will of Alderman Robert Sherwin which bequeaths the leasehold of the establishment to the poor of the local parishes.
John White bequeathed the freehold of the Inn to his wife Mary in 1732 and two years later she sold it to wealthy local banker Abel Smith. The freehold subsequently passed down the Smith family line to the politician and banker Abel Smith, in 1756, and then to Robert Smith, 1st Baron Carrington, in 1782.

The 19th century
Jane Lart purchased the freehold from Lord Carrington in 1803 and the leasehold from the Church in 1806 combining the two legally. Under the terms of the lease she also undertook extensive repairs of the building and constructed a Georgian frontage that allowed for the preservation of the rare crown post structure to this day.
The cricketer William Clarke gave up his bricklaying job to become landlord of the Inn in 1812 before going on to marry the landlady of the Trent Bridge Inn where he established the famous Trent Bridge cricket ground.
Rioters protesting against the Reform Act gathered at the Inn on Goose Fair night 1831 and smashed the windows before going on to burn down many of the city's prominent buildings, including Nottingham Castle and Colwick Hall.
Tory politician John Walters established his campaign headquarters at the Inn for the 1841 British general election and had to take refuge here when he was set upon by an angry mob in the Square.
The Charity Commission sold the Inn in 1888 to A.W. Hickling for £7,210 (£595,540 as of 2012), and it subsequently became a tied house to a brewery for the first time in its history.
Joseph Jackson bought the Inn on October 21, 1898 for £12,500 (£1,032,490 as of 2012)
 The 20th century
Mary Jackson succeeded her husband as proprietor in 1913 and established the famous two course Market Dinners of Stilton cheese, beef and vegetables, and a pint of Nottingham ale for one shilling. Following her death a quirk in her will meant the Inn had to go for sale by public auction.
The Inn was purchased for £26,000 (£1,161,250 as of 2012), by her youngest son Robert who in 1928 converted the stable courtyard at the rear of the premises into the café bar style Snack Bar which included a large cabinet radio gramophone and catered to the workers building the new Nottingham Council House nearby.
Robert’s widow Dorothy continued the business following his death in 1934 and was joined by their son David in 1953. Extensive renovations opened up the family’s first floor accommodation to public use as the clubroom (now The Belfry Restaurant).
In 1957 the Jacksons established the Presentation of the President's Tankard ceremony which takes place on the first Wednesday in November and sees the President of the Nottingham University Students' Union receive an engraved silver tankard and a public banquet of two roasted pigs with stuffing, bread, and apple sauce. A plaque engraved with a list of all the Presidents since is on display in the snack bar
In 1982 the Inn became a Grade II listed building.
Dorothy died in 1984 and David continued running the business with his two sons Paul and Richard. Another period of renovation concluded with the extension of the Snack Bar in 1991.
The Jackson family celebrated 100 years of ownership in 1998.

The 21st century
The Inn was sold to Hardys & Hansons in 2002, which was in turn sold to Greene King in 2006.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Castle Rock Caves - Nottingham

Mortimer’s Hole is probably Nottingham’s most famous cave, and is reputed to have a vital role in British medieval history. The cave is a 105m-long tunnel which runs from the top of the Castle Rock - the Upper Bailey of the medieval castle - down to the Brewhouse Yard. In the middle ages the River Leen ran close to the bottom of the Castle Rock, and Mortimer’s Hole would have probably been used as a quick route from the river to the Castle. It is most reknowned as the tunnel through which Edward III’s soldiers entered the Castle and captured the dastardly Roger de Mortimer in 1330.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Nottingham Trams

Nottingham is one of a few cities in the UK that operate trams. It is a light-rail tramway called the  Nottingham Express Transit (NET). The first line opened to the public on 9 March 2004, having cost £200 million (equivalent to £229 million at 2012 prices).

The system has 15 Incentro AT6/5 trams, similar to those used in Nantes, built by Bombardier Transportation (formerly ADtranz) in Derby.
The trams run on 750 volts DC and have a top speed of 80 kilometres per hour (50 mph). They are 100% low-floor vehicles articulated in five sections, and are 33 metres long and 2.4 metres wide.
From a very early stage, the trams have been named after famous local people.

In 2010 Nottingham was named as England's least car-dependent city with around 9 million passengers using the trams every year.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Nottingham - Robin Hood

Following our day out in Liverpool, we had another outing, this time to Nottingham. Outside the walls of Nottingham Castle we came across a statue of Robin Hood.

Robin Hood was a heroic outlaw in English folklore, a highly skilled archer and swordsman. Although not part of his original character, since the begining of the 19th century he has become known for "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor", assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his "Merry Men". Traditionally, Robin Hood and his men are depicted wearing Lincoln green clothes. The origin of the legend is claimed by some to have stemmed from actual outlaws, or from ballads or tales of outlaws.
Robin Hood became a popular folk figure in the  period continuing through to modern literature, films and television. In the earliest sources, Robin Hood is a yeoman, but he was often later portrayed as an aristocrat wrongfully dispossessed of his lands and made into an outlaw by an unscrupulous sheriff.

The statue was cast in bronze by former Nottingham School of Art student James Woodford, a Royal Academy artist, at his studio in Hampstead.
It was given to the City by Nottingham businessman Philip Clay and unveiled on July 24, 1952 by the Duchess of Portland of Welbeck Abbey.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Liverpool - Statue and Mersey

Legacy Sculpture - situated on the Albert Dock overlooking the Mersey
This statue of a young family commemorates migration from Liverpool to the new world.
It was given to the people of Liverpool by the Mormon Church as a tribute to the many families from all over Europe who embarked on a brave and pioneering voyage from Liverpool to start a new life in America.
It is estimated that in total approximately nine million people emigrated through the port.
The sculpture by Mark DeGraffenried is cast in bronze. The child stepping forward at the front symbolises migration to the unknown world whilst the child playing with a crab at the back indicates a deep association with the sea.

Final photograph - looking seaward along the mouth of the Mersey

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Albert Dock - Liverpool

The Albert Dock is a complex of dock buildings and warehouses in Liverpool. Designed by Jesse Hartley and Philip Hardwick, it was opened in 1846, and was the first structure in Britain to be built from cast iron, brick and stone, with no structural wood. As a result, it was the first non-combustible warehouse system in the world.
At the time of its construction the Albert Dock was considered a revolutionary docking system because ships were loaded and unloaded directly from/to the warehouses. Two years after it opened it was modified to feature the world's first hydraulic cranes.
Due to its open yet secure design, the Albert Dock became a popular store for valuable cargoes such as brandy, cotton, tea, silk, tobacco, ivory and sugar. However, despite the Albert Dock's advanced design, the rapid development of shipping technology meant that within 50 years, larger, more open docks were required, although it remained a valuable store for cargo.
During the Second World War, the Albert Dock was requisitioned by the Admiralty serving as a base for boats of the British Atlantic Fleet. The complex was damaged during air raids on Liverpool, notably during the May Blitz of 1941.
 In the aftermath of the war, the financial problems of the owners and the general decline of docking in the city meant that the future of the Albert Dock was uncertain. Numerous plans were developed for the re-use of the buildings but none came to fruition and in 1972 the dock was finally closed. Having lain derelict for nearly ten years, the redevelopment of the dock began in 1981, when the Merseyside Development Corporation was set up, with the Albert Dock being officially re-opened in 1988.

Today the Albert Dock is a major tourist attraction in the city and the most visited multi-use attraction in the United Kingdom, outside of London. It is a vital component of Liverpool's UNESCO designated World Heritage Maritime Mercantile City and the docking complex and warehouses also comprise the largest single collection of Grade I listed buildings anywhere in the UK.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Liverpool - Statue2

Billy Fury (17 April 1940 - 28 January 1983 born Ronald Wycherley, was an internationally successful English singer from the late-1950s to the mid-1960s, and remained an active songwriter until the 1980s. Rheumatic fever, which he first contracted as a child, damaged his heart and ultimately contributed to his death. An early British rock and roll (and film) star, he equalled The Beatles' record of 24 hits in the 1960s, and spent 332 weeks on the UK chart.
In 2003 a bronze statue of Fury was unveiled at Albert Dock in Liverpool.
The sculpture, by Tom Murphy, a Liverpool sculptor, was donated by 'The Sound of Fury' fan club after the money was raised by fans.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Street Art - Liverpool

Found this as we wandered the colourful streets of Liverpool. If you look closely you can see it is actually a set of gates to a yard. Notice also the posters for the gentlesmen club which was situated a few yards away.


Monday, 15 October 2012

Liverpool Chinatown

Liverpool has one of the oldest established Chinese communities in Europe. There was a line of steamers with a direct connection from Liverpool to China, whose main trading goods were, tea, silk and cotton wool. Indeed it is probably this factor that Liverpool’s permanent Chinese community dates to around 1870 with the establishment in 1868 of a direct shipping service between Britain and China.

By 1880 Liverpool was granted city status by a Royal Charter. At this time Chinese sailors were to be seen regularly around the docks of Liverpool, London and Cardiff.

The Chinese settled around the dock area, most notably on Cleveland Square, Pitt Street and Frederick Street. But this changed when most of the area was destroyed during World war II. This prompted the Chinese community to move out into the suburbs, with a few moving to Nelson Street and George Square, where the shipping company Holts had established a new seaman’s hostel to replace the boarding houses lost in Pitt Street and Cleveland Square. From here Chinatown grew organically to take in much of Berry Street, Duke Street and Upper Parliament Street.

Today, Chinatown is still centred on Nelson Street and Berry Street. It has to be said, Chinatown has seen better times, but then, so has Liverpool. The size of the Chinese community has shrunk with many moving to more economically active areas such as Manchester and Birmingham. Nonetheless, there are hopes of a brighter future. In January 2000 the new Imperial Arch was opened, generating a new phase in Chinatown’s development.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Art Installation - Hope Street Liverpool

This installation, entitled 'A Case History', was created by John King, and first on view in 1998. It is in the heart of Liverpool's Hope Street Quarter.
Its positioning was altered in 2006 in the course of the upgrade of Hope Street's public realm, when the area was levelled and seating and a tree were added. The view down Mount Street to the River Mersey is stunning.
There is a noticeboard alongside this public art installation with a numbered diagram which gives information about who or where the some of the suitcases and packages 'belong'. Those cases with 'owners' are demarked by labels which are explained on the noticeboard. All the "owners" are either from Livererpool or are connected with Liverpool. They include Arthur Askey, Robert Cain and Chaerles Dickens along with The Beatles.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Hope Street Liverpool

Hope Street connects Liverpool's two cathedrals. The street itself is full of architectural interest.
One such building is the Philharmonic Dining Rooms. It is a  public house at the corner of Hope Street and Hardman Street. and stands diagonally opposite the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. It is commonly known as The Phil The public house has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building. The public house was built in about 1898–1900 for the brewer Robert Cain.

The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall is the home of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society and has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade II* listed building. It is not the original concert hall on the present site; its predecessor was destroyed by fire in 1933 and the present hall was opened in 1939.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Liverpool Cathedral

Liverpool Cathedral is the Church of England cathedral of the Diocese of Liverpool, built on St James's Mount. Its official name is the Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool but it is dedicated to Christ and the Blessed Virgin.
 The total external length of the building, including the Lady Chapel, is 189 metres (620 ft) making it the second longest cathedral in the world; its internal length is 146 metres (479 ft). In terms of overall volume, Liverpool Cathedral ranks as the fifth-largest cathedral in the world and contests the title of largest Anglican church building alongside the incomplete Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City. With a height of 100.8 metres (331 ft) it is also one of the world's tallest non-spired church buildings and the third-tallest structure in the city of Liverpool. The cathedral has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building.

The cathedral was built mainly of local sandstone quarried from the South Liverpool suburb of Woolton. The last sections (The Well of the Cathedral at the west end in the 1960s and 1970s) used the closest matching sandstone that could be found from other NW quarries once the supply from Woolton had been exhausted.
The belltower is the largest, and also one of the tallest, in the world (see List of tallest churches in the world). It houses the world's highest (67 m (220 ft)) and heaviest (31 UK tons; 31.5 tonnes) ringing peal of bells.

My photographs do not really show how large the cathedral is.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King (usually known as Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Liverpool.
The Metropolitan Cathedral is one of two cathedrals in the city. The other, the Anglican Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool, is about 0.5 miles south.
The Grade II Metropolitan Cathedral is one of Liverpool's many listed buildings. It is sometimes known locally as "Paddy's Wigwam" or the "Mersey Funnel".
The cathedral's architect was Englishman Frederick Gibberd, the winner of a worldwide design competition. Construction began in 1962, and took five years. Earlier designs for a Catholic cathedral in Liverpool had been proposed in 1853, 1933, and 1953, but none were completed.
Its futuristic circular design ensures that none of the 2000 people it can hold are more than 25 metres away from the alter.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Liverpool Statues -1

The statues of comedian Ken Dodd and late politician Bessie Braddock were officially unveiled on the concourse of Lime Street Station on June 11th 2009.
The 80-year-old “King of Mirthyside” was at the event with his trademark tickling sticks alongside members of Bessie Braddock’s family.
Sculptor Tom Murphy spent a year creating the statues which are called Chance Meeting and stand on the site of the former Virgin Trains welcome lounge.
Doddy is seen carrying an overnight bag and wielding his famous tickling stick, while Bessie Braddock holds a handbag in one hand and in the other an egg, as she was the politician responsible for putting the lion standard mark on British eggs.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Liverpool Lime Street Railway Station

Today we had a day out in Liverpool. We were there for 5 hours, and this was not enough to do the city justice. There was so much to photograph, we only got to explore a few areas of the city and at times rushing the photographs.
We went by train, so our first view of Liverpool was the railway station located in Lime Street.
The stations main feature is its vast iron and glass roofs dating from the 1880s.

Clock in Railway Station Concourse


Monday, 8 October 2012

Garden of Light - Bradford City Park

City Park in Bradford is lit up for a short while.
Bradford Council enlisted the help of French master light artists, TILT, to create the garden, which runs from dusk to approximately 10pm every night until Sunday, October 14.
The Council has created a special outdoor seating area within the garden and local businesses are offering special night-time menus so visitors can dine al fresco while soaking up the ambiance.

Stilt Walker