Monday, October 31, 2005

Phenomenal Fenestration

Talking about Georgian windows yesterday reminded me of one of my favourite projects which was to photograph the stained glass of St. Mary and St. Barlok Norbury in Derbyshire.

The project was commissioned by Cornerstone, the flagship magazine for the Society For The Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB). The glass is of international importance and has recently been conserved by specialist Stephen Clare. It consists of eight windows dating from about 1306 commissioned by the Fitzherbert family. The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings was founded by William Morris in 1877 to counteract the highly destructive 'restoration' of medieval buildings being practised by many Victorian architects. Today it is the largest, oldest and most technically expert national pressure group fighting to save old buildings from decay, demolition and damage.
You can view all my images of Norbury here

Sunday, October 30, 2005

English Georgian Fanlights

Most people have a soft touch for Georgian architecture and I have to admit I am a fan, especially of the fanlight. There is so much beauty and variety in the form which can be seen across the length and breadth of the British Isles (and the USA).

In the UK the fanlight began to appear in the 1720's and had a simple design with the given function to light the hallway behind. As the century developed, designs became more complex and hierarchical.

Many styles were incorporated into the fanlight design including Rococo, Adam and Gothic styles. The fanlight reached its peak in Britain in the later C18th. Fanlights continued into the C19th but became simpler and heavier in design.

The images above were taken over a period of 2 years in places such as Liverpool (which has a remarkable Georgian heritage), Richmond (Yorkshire), Bury St Edmunds, Leeds and Colchester. My favourite is the simple Gothic fanlight top middle.

Another favourite for its sheer exuberance is in the photo I took in Amsterdam in early 2005. It is the entrance to West India House.

You can see all my fanlight photos at Alamy

The compilation above is available as a print in the formats indicated below:-

Framed Print
Greeting Card

Some useful links for Georgian architecture are as follows:

The Georgian Group
The Georgian Index

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Silk Unravelled

The visit to Macclesfield was an eye opener. I find that to understand a building you need to understand the processes which are behind the building's original intent. Our original aim was to establish if some of the buildings in the Middleton Conservation Area were used for silk weaving. Here are a few interesting facts about the silk industry.

Silk weaving originated in China over 4000 years ago and was a closely guarded secret until the middle ages.

Canterbury was one of the earliest centres of silk weaving in England. Huguenot weavers settled there in the 1570's.

All silk processes were originally carried out by hand. The powered throwing of silk was introduced to England in 1718 at Derby.

Hand silk looms were common in England until the 1930's.


The buildings in the image on the right were originally silk weavers

cottages, with the top floor used to weave silk. Good light was needed thus the large windows. These buildings are at Paradise Street in Macclesfield. Some buildings were known as Garrets where the third floor rooms were accessed by a trapdoor or external staircase.

Please feel free to post a comment if you can add any more to the characteristics of silk weaving cottages.

Friday, October 28, 2005

The Silk Road

Today I am taking the 'silk road' down to Macclesfield to carry out some research on the Silk Mills there. One of my current projects is contributing to a local conservation area appraisal for Middleton, Greater Manchester.

It's great to be involved with my own locality. The appraisal is aimed at defininig a place which has special architectural or historic interest which is worth enhancing and preserving. Middleton is an oasis of historic interest in an area which has been affected by the industrial revolution. Part of Middleton's story is silk weaving and we potentially have a number of surviving weaving cottages. Thus the trip down to Macclesfield. The aim is to try and establish the form that a weavers cottage might take as opposed to a normal weaving cottage (eg for cotton). This might give us some clues as to the origin of some of our historic buildings. The photo is taken from the Macclesfield Silk Museum's excellent website

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Photo Choice

This is one of my favourite photo's. Taken outside the south transept of York Minster, Yorkshire, UK, besides the bronze statue of the Emperor Constantine (whos hand you can see). The cloud formation was perfect as were the light conditions.
The image was taken on 645 transparency film.
You can view a larger photo here:

The south transept of York Minster is Gothic and of the Early English style which dates to around the C13th. You can see more of my images of the Minster here: .

This image is featured in my 2006 Calendar.

Here is a link to the York Minster Website

An Introduction

Well with this being my first post I had better introduce myself. My name is Andy Marshall and I am an architectural photographer with a background in construction and historic building conservation. I am based in the UK in the north west of England near Manchester.

You can find a bit more out about me at my website here I also sell prints online here . I also have almost 6000 images with the image portal alamy and you can view a selection of them here


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