Thursday, March 30, 2006

Not a happy bunny

Sam is the subject of my latest sale to a weekly magazine with twins Francesca and Nicole

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


I love roof's. The abundance and variety of roofing materials with their different textures, aesthetic and required skills; provides our cityscape's with a rich visual and unique appeal. Roofing material's and skills are often underestimated, and I've often seen major refurbishments of beautiful buildings taking place without any consideration of the roof.

As you can see from some of my photo's above, the roof just isn't a functional piece of construction. It is a vibrant part of the whole architectural experience with a wonderful synergy between material and form.

Here's a whole raft of my roofing shots

Monday, March 27, 2006

ARCHIPEDIA - 0 is for.....

OGEE - Curvilinear form of arch or moulding or dome, made of a profile with a convex and concave section; as in this richly crocketed ogee head of the C14th south doorway to the Chancel of Saint Martin West Stockwell Street Colchester Essex

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Lodge at Four Acre

How about this for an archaeological profile? This must be an archaeologists dream with the full section exposed and not much digging to do!

This is an eroded section of the lodge bank at Four Acre Mill in the Cheesden Valley Heywood near Lancashire. It is adjacent to the outlet where the water would have driven the water wheel at the Mill situated a matter of yards lower down. The lodge was built before 1810 for the mill which started its life carding and spinning wool. Remains still exist of the mill amounting to a low rubble wall and much scattered debris. A hole which I think might come from the tail race in the bank below is taken up by a fox or badger.

In the photo above you can see the full outline of the lodge and the indentation where water would have collected to power the waterwheel.

The valley is full of the signs of mans endeavours to utilise the landscape to help him prosper. It was only recently that I noticed a whole range of
ridge and furrow around the area known as Tom Hill.

I am currently carrying out a project to photograph the Cheesden Valley and it has its own
separate blog.

There is a Google Earth map of the valley which I have created.
You can download it at my archi-maps page here.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Building Archaeology

In my line of work I get to see many buildings in various states of undress and I really enjoy seeing a building partly built (or sad to say) partly demolished.

Secrets that have been encapsulated within the plaster walls are suddenly revealed. Things move on and so do construction techniques, so I believe that it is really important to try and record how a window frame was incorporated into a brick wall, or a voussoir was placed.

When a building is demolished, to me there seems to be a process of undoing, a releasing of inert energy, mass and knowledge; and more significantly a cultural uprooting.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Delph is near Oldham in the West Riding of Yorkshire and it is a beautiful little village characterized by its abundance of traditional weavers cottages in the squat vernacular style of this area.

It is the subject of my latest sale. Above the church there is a wool wall which was intended to aid the drying of cloth. There also survives a row of stone tenters posts which were made to stretch cloth. Interesting ironwork in the grave yard of the church and also within the village.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Alison Thornton

I met Alison whilst working on a commission today and I think that she has a fascinating job. I really felt like talking to her all day but she needed to concentrate a little. Alison is a Paint Conservator and works for Hirst Conservation.

Today, Alison was peeling back a small section of wall to reveal all the previous layers of pattern and decoration. It must be a painstaking job and I imagine you need to be really patient (she was literally picking small flakes of paint away from the wall and depositing them into a bag). I imagine the job is much like a forensic scientist - but there is not only science involved, there is also an appreciation of art. It must be a lovely feeling stripping back time to see the work of our forebears. I believe that Alison's work is a significant part of our need to understand and be rooted into the culture of our ancestors - to really see and feel what they really saw and felt, to grasp their appreciations and anxieties.

Pattern and decoration can give us so much of an insight into this.

Monday, March 20, 2006

ARCHIPEDIA - N is for....

NAVE - The main central area or bay to a church (or Roman Basilica). Normally used in the liturgy for the congregation. The above example is at Kilpeck, Romanesque church in Herefordshire UK.

More images of Kilpeck

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Arc de Triomphe 2

The weather wasn't too much and perhaps this is why I took this shot of an iconic landmark. This structure is so huge it is hard to convey - I do believe that it is the biggest triumphal arch in the world.

More images of Paris here

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Arc de Triomphe

Shell like the spiral staircase rises ever upwards inside the Arc de Triomphe. It is a marvel in itself with a geometrical symmetry that borders on the golden mean.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Sainte Chapelle

Went to Paris over the weekend and managed to get this upshot of the stained glass at Sainte Chapelle. Having visited this little medieval gem, I never cease to be amazed at the beauty and majesty of the place - it really is one of the most remarkable pieces of medieval architecture in the world.

It was built by Louis IX in the 1240's to house the Crown of Thorns and he used the most technically advanced design of his period. There are over 1000 religious scenes depicted on the stained glass.

The chapel is most famous for its glass, but don't be tempted to go rushing through the ground floor chapel which was intended for lesser mortals. If you are English and wonder what our great Cathedral's looked like in medieval times - the ground floor chapel will reveal all. All its surfaces including stone vaulting are painted in gaudy colours.

Sainte Chapelle is one of Paris's best kept secrets - it is a matter of minutes away from its larger cousin Notre Dame, which in my opinion, pales into insignificance next to the glorious light show on offer from the upper floor of Sainte Chapelle.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

River Aire Leeds

I am amazed at the tide of redevelopment and regeneration of the industrial architecture along the River Aire in Leeds near to the centre. This photo is one of my latest sales to a magazine in the UK.

More photos of Leeds

Monday, March 13, 2006

Below the bridge at Crostons

This was the scene a week ago or two, below the bridge (more like a conduit) at the site of Crostons Upper Mill in the Cheesden Valley Heywood Lancashire UK

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Holy Cow!

I came across this bovine beauty during a walk through the Cheesden Valley - is it really a two headed specimen or something in disguise? More here at my photoblog.....

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Lodge at Mr John's

Here are the remains of the lodge used to drive the mill at Cheesden Lumb Higher (affectionately known by contemporaries as Mr John's). The lodge isn't so easy to see during the summer and the snow helps add a little relief to see the contours. It lies empty now, but I imagine it would be treacherous to try and walk into the centre. In the south east corner lumps and bumps reveal the site of the mill. Directly to the south a wall stands with holes inserted at regular intervals where the rafters would have been lodged to support the floor.

Andy Marshall is part way through a project to photograph the sites of the Cheesden Valley near Heywood Lancashire UK

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Rochdale Town Centre

This aerial image of part of Rochdale town centre is the subject of my latest sale to a trade magazine. Rochdale has a remarkable architectural heritage and was mentioned in Domesday.

You can view all of my images of Rochdale (and environs) here.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Lumps and Bumps

A light dusting of snow over the North Pennine Moors (near Heywood Lancashire UK) revealed extensive marks which look like ridge and furrow. What date they are from is difficult to say and whether they have been ploughed or produced for drainage is also difficult to say. I have looked on Google Earth and several field systems of ridge and furrow are visible crashing into each other at various angles to the south of Tom Hill between Cheesden Pasture and Cheesden Fold. Some respect the current field boundaries and some do not. Below are some pics I took on Saturday.

Below is a picture of Tom Hill which is covered in ridge and furrow. Ridge and furrow to the west are cut into by Victorian ventilation shafts showing that they pre-date this period. There is an unusual irregularity as to their positioning and pattern.

All over the area there are derelict farms and barns - the footprints now only survive. It would be fascinating to find out about the history of this area and how the landscape has developed. I'm sure it would add to an area which is poorly documented.

Interestingly, on the Google Earth map there is just visible beneath the pattern of one furrowed field a series of rectangular marks (enclosure?) which possibly predate the ridge and furrows themselves. They lie on the south slope of Tom Hill. I have marked the area on my google earth archi-map (Cheesden Valley) and you can see them for yourself if you download the map here.

Tom Hill from the South West

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Cheesden Lumb Even Lower

I went out the site of Cheesden Lumb Lower today because it had snowed the night previously and it helps define much of the archaeology.

Recently I have noticed a deterioration of the site which seems to have been made worse by a surge of water or flooding of some kind. Where the axle to the waterwheel was - we now have huge sandstone rocks and boulders. To the front of the mill the earth has caved in leaving a large circular chasm. The foundations beneath the doorway have been revealed and I can't help feeling that it wont be long before the facade collapses.

Andy Marshall is part way through a project to photograph the Cheesden Valley - more here...

Friday, March 03, 2006


For completing a questionairre for a well known north west photography organisation I was lucky enough to win £50 of books from Dewi Lewis Publishing.

Heres my choice -

1. 1999 - by Frank Horvat
2. Dialogue with Photography - Interviews by Paul Hill and Thomas Cooper
3. Prizes and Awards - The essential guide...
4. Teds - Chris Steele-Perkins and Richard Smith

Keep an eye open over the next few weeks for reviews.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Royal Armouries Leeds

The Royal Armouries (London and Leeds) house a remarkable selection of warfare weaponry and memorabilia.

This photo is one of my latest sales (to a magazine) and is of the Royal Armouries Leeds. It also shows some of the new development on Clarence Dock. Prior to the Leeds Royal Armouries being built the area was in poor condition with an urban industrial atmosphere. The introduction of such a significant venue has also enabled and encouraged other developments in the surrounding area, thus providing the spark for regeneration.

More pics of the Royal Armouries here

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Cheesden Pasture Ridge and Furrow

On Monday I talked about how our landscape has been changed by man over thousands of years; and noted that during a walk on Cheesden Pasture near Heywood Lancs UK that along the side of one of the ridges there magically appeared a series of ridge and furrow.

This was whilst the sun was setting and they disappeared after a few minutes. They're completely invisible to the eye most of the time. Anyway I took a hurried and shaky hip shot with the zoom lens and here they are - click the pic for larger view.

Image of the Day

Manchester Cathedral Clock Tower by Andy Marshall


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