Tuesday, January 31, 2006

ARCHIPEDIA - I is for...

IONIC ORDER - Style of classical column capital with volutes originating in Asia minor in the mid C6th. Here used at Heaton Hall Manchester by James Wyatt in 1772. Here the capitals are a very early example of the use of Coade Stone.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Lead Craftsmanship

I spent some time with master craftsman Andy Livesey today who is working on a project for IBIS Roofing which involves the installation of lead collars to piping. I asked if I could photograph the lead burning process, whereby he burns two sections of lead together to form a watertight seal. It is an extremely difficult art . Andy started off with checking out the oxygen and acetyline (the gases used in the burning process).

Next he cut himself a strip of lead (this strip is melted onto the joint to form the watertight seal) and cleaned each side with a scraper.

Then he lit the torch. Andy spent some time regulating the flow of gas and acetyline to produce the right type of light and heat.

He then started to work on the lead collar (which wraps around a pipe to weatherproof it) by melting the strip into continuous circles - making it look really easy.

Upon completion it looks something like this.

Andy has to produce approximately 40 lead collars for this particular project.

Thanks to Andy Livesey

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Window to C16th timber framed house in Colchester Essex UK with close studded walls

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Good Old Sam

I took this photo for a project that I am working on in my home town. It is of a man called Samuel Bamford who was a political reformer from Middleton in the early C18th. The memorial is placed in the graveyard and is often vandalised. What sets him apart is the fact that he wrote a couple of books based upon his activities as a reformer. He is one of the few chroniclers of working class history of the exciting period 1800 - 1840.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Top Ten New Entries

There are now some new entries on my Top Ten Photo's page
Feel free to take a look and leave a comment:)

Monday, January 23, 2006

ARCHIPEDIA - H is for...

Lead Hopper detail at Former Bank by Edgar Wood at Middleton Greater Manchester UK

HOPPER HEAD - Receptacle for egress of water from a roof leading into a pipe, often decorated with pattern, year date or initials. Many survive from the late C17th and C18th.

See all of my hopper head images here

Friday, January 20, 2006

Chester Sale

Bridge Street Chester Cheshire UK at Christmas just sold to a magazine. The exterior of the Chester Cathedral doesn't come on my top ten list but get in on the inside and savour the remarkable nave, cloisters and chapter house.

All of my images of Chester are here

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Latest Sale

Here is one of my latest sales to a magazine. Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral by Frederick Gibberd was built between 1962 and 1967. One of the first cathedrals to have a centralised plan for the liturgy. Between 1963 and 1965 Gibberd also built an almost identical structure at Hopwood Hall College near Middleton, but without the flying buttresses.

See all of my photos of the Metropolitanc Cathedral Liverpool

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Cheesden Lumb Lower

More notes on my Cheesden Valley Project....

Cheesden Lumb Lower


Cheesden Lumb Lower was one of the first mills in the valley built in or before 1786. It was water powered and originally set up as a woollen mill. As times changed it became a cotton mill. In an advert of 1809 it is listed as having a perching mill, blueing house, teaster and belonging tenters, and a stove house where sulphur dioxide fumes bleached woollen cloth for blankets. A carding engine was also introduced in this period. In 1838 the mill still had a set of stocks (fulling?) but the teaster and percher were abandoned. Spinning machinery was introduced.

Remaining Archaeology

As is visible in the photograph above, the facade remains to much of the front elevation. Photographs do exist of the full mill in Heywood Library. North of the facade there is an indentation which is possibly where the stove was situated. Remarkably, the axle to the waterwheel still survives, now embedded in overgrowth. Look out for the Dolphin carved in stone at the bottom of the front facade near to the water. Apparently a local artist did this.

Project Links

Cheesden where?

Lightbox (updated regularly)

Images of Cheesden Lumb Lower


You can view all of the Cheesden Valley mills on my Google Earth archi-map.
Access is from my archi-map page on my website.

Satellite image of Cheesden Lumb Lower, courtesy of Google Earth

Do you have more information?

Please post a comment if you have more information or any corrections are required


There are a number of references which require acknowledgement. Firstly the pioneer book by A.V. Sandiford andT.E. Ashworth called The Forgotton Valley is an important source of information and is available from the libraries at Heywood or Rochdale. For a general background Owen Ashmore's Industrial Archaeology of Lancashire is a must. There is also a good archive at Heywood Library.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


It's great to see that craftsmanship is still alive and well in the UK. Here we have a burgeoning trade of skilled stonemasons. This beautiful piece of stonework is a pinnacle made for the medieval church of Saint Chad's in Rochdale.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Archipedia - G is for....

Gargoyle - sometimes also known as a Grotesque, a gargoyle is primarily used in the Gothic style in ecclesiastical architecture. Often representing the full gamut of human, animalistic, or mythical characters at the artists disposal. Designed to provide decorative 'full stops' to features such as hoppers or water spouts, they often had either a didactic or symbolic role in warding off evil spirits. Contrary to popular belief, Gargoyles are still being made today in modern forms, as below at Chichester Cathedral:

Go here to see all of my images of Gargoyles..

Friday, January 13, 2006

Archi-Maps Update

There's a lot been happening with my
archi-maps project recently. The maps include photographs and links to relevant information. To use the archi-maps you need to have the free Google Earth installed. If you haven't seen Google Earth you'll wonder why you ever did without it. To get into Google Earth there's a great blog here. To download any of the maps go to my archi-map page : buildings are being added regularly so use the update feature on the page to keep up to date.

Manchester, UK archi-map

Manchester was the industrial hothouse of England during the Industrial Revolution and is now at the forefront of urban design with new structures by world renowned architects such as Calatrava and

More buildings have been added to my
Manchester archi-map , the latest being the Victoria Bridge near the Cathedral. All buildings have been placed in relevant timeline folders so that you can view, for example, just buildings of the C19th etc.

Cheesden Valley, UK archi- map

Cheesden Valley with all mill locations and other features courtesy of Google Earth

The Cheesden Valley is, in my opinion worthy of World Heritage Status, it is a little known valley which witnessed the early stages of the industrial revolution (more here)

If you want to immerse yourself into the English early C19th then the
Cheesden Valley archi-map is for you. Go to my Cheesden Valley blogspot and learn about the mills whilst you have the archi-map up and running. Ramp up your ELEVATION EXAGGERATION to the max (3) in 'Tools' /'Options and you will be able to fly through the valley and over the mills. Make sure you switch 'Terrain' on. I am updating each mill with a photo and data file - the latest addition being Cheesden Lumb Lower - the archaeological remains of a water powered mill dating from the C18th.

Medieval Lavenham

If the C19th is not your bag and you prefer your medieval to mills and Manchester then put your cod piece on and get on down to
Lavenham, Suffolk. Here we have a significant number of historic timber framed buildings with some archaeological and architectural features noted, including a potential archaeological site - do you know what it might be? Check out the red alert symbol on the map.

That concludes the update, more maps will be added shortly. Please make a comment if you find them useful.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Touched by the hand of God

Light over Cheesden Pasture from Four Acres Lodge by Andy Marshall
Touched by the hand of God it might be, but the communities which lived in this location 200 years ago might not have been aware of such stark beauty.
I have learnt such a lot about the people of the Cheesden Valley through the many years I have trudged up and down with camera and tripod. My first perception was of a valley full of industry in a state of perpetual lavaic flux, amidst the volcanic explosion of the industrial revolution which had its epicentre only 10 miles away in the dark and satanic murk of Manchester.
Yet, the photographic process has allowed a slow absorption of the lichen clad stone and rusted lodge pipes, which in turn has helped me recognise the intangible links between each mill and the community which built them.
This valley was no typical conglomeration of manufactories. The activitiy and culture which grew up in this valley over 200 years ago lies on the cusp of the industrial revolution, it hangs onto the large hunk of urbanisation by a sinew. It is a distant cousin, a transitional phase between the medieval workshop and the multi-disciplinary factory.

The 15 or so mills built along the full length of the valley with disparate roles such as bleaching and fulling are the conduits of a community isolated from the industrial mammon by the deep cut and thrust of the valleys of the North Pennine Moors. There is something noble about their activities: to organise and produce a loose conglomerate of structures, which in many ways complemented each other, and provided the answer to much of the cotton process from spinning to bleaching and finishing.
P. S. Barnwell sums it up intuitively in his text entitled 'Workshops, industrial production and the landscape' : "...unless production was concentrated in a single workshop or manufactory, articles had to be moved, often many times, from one workshop to another during the course of manufacture. For this to be economically sustainable required a density of businesses within a restricted area, so that the network of interdependent workshops created a kind of dispersed factory, with specialist workers working like a dispersed machine. The result was the creation of tight-knit communities with a sense of common purpose, fate and identity, living in areas dominated by the buildings, often individually undistinguished, of the local trade: the mass of such buildings often transformed the local landscape and , where they still exist, create a dominant sense of local distinctiveness" (Taken from 'The Vernacular Workshop - from craft to industry, 1400-1900' CBA 2004)
The Cheesden Valley in a nutshell.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

My Photo Blog Top 10

For those that don't know - I also have a photo blog site called fotopromenade where I post one of my images on a daily basis. Have just compiled the Top 10 favourites (via the viewing figs) which will be updated regularly.

Monday, January 09, 2006

ARCHIPEDIA - F is for....

Lead decorative finial on Alfred Waterhouse s Gonville and Caius College building Trinity Street built in 1868 Cambridge Cambridgeshire UK

FINIAL - Decorative end flourish to a ridge gable, conical roof or cupola.

More images of finials....

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Four Acres

Walked up to the site of Four Acres Mill today with my son Sam who is here stood on the southern rampart of the mill lodge which was built several feet above the mill to provide the pressure to drive the water wheel. The wheel pit still remains, although much filled in with stone. At the site of the exit for the water from the pit (now much covered) there is a singular hole now occupied by a fox or badger.

In the photo, behind the tree you can see the spurs of the banks of the Cheesden Brook which sidles its way down the moors.

You can view the archi-map with four acres mill highlighted here.

Cheesden Valley Project

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Up to Cheesden Pasture Mill yesterday for the first time. It lies north of the Edenfield Road and you have to get over a high stile into the field to be on your way. I just about made it after falling over the stile and almost losing all my camera equipment. It was worth all the effort though, because the site still shows the remains of the mill and lodge which started its life in around 1810 and finished in the 1890's.

Now within the lumps and bumps is another vernacular curiosity. Built of concrete (I would say post war) a shippon lies to the southern end of where the mill was. I loved it - almost cathedral like in its form with its nave like arches spreading upwards to shroud the sheep in warmth and solitude. To the exterior its bitumined hide which reminds me of the
upside down boat cabins on Holy Island (photo courtesy of p smithson).

You can see all the mills on my archi-map of the Cheesden Valley

Cheesden Valley Project

Friday, January 06, 2006

Cheesden Archi-Map

For those who have been wondering what I have been going on about over the last few blogs - heres a Cheesden Valley Archi-Map to check out the mills of the valley. The mills developed in rough chronological order, from north to south.

Try tilting the google earth map to see the terrains lumps and bumps (check the terrain radio button to have this work). You can boost the terrain bumps by going to Google Earth Options and increasing the elevation exaggeration to 3. This way you can fly through the valley in 3d and see the mill locations. I am updating each location with detailed information. Just the washwheel mill is ready (look for the 'i' symbol)

Also have added a data-sheet about the Washwheel Mill on my Cheesden Valley blog.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Cheesden Home

Just to let those that are interested in my Cheesden Valley Project I have set up a separate blog which will act as a conduit for all my Cheesden information. I will carry on posting about this remarkable valley here but also post it on this site so that the information is all together in one place.

The above picture is of the remains of
Deeply Vale Mill which is one of 15 sites in the Cheesden Valley.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

ARCHIPEDIA - E is for.....

C13th Early English window St Mary Magdalene Woodstock

Early English - Period of English Gothic ecclesiastical architectural history roughly dating from 1250 to 1350 AD. The term was coined by Thomas Rickman in the early C19th after he discovered that there was a common pattern and phasing to ecclesiastical architecture. The use of the lancet window, plate tracery (see photo above), stiff leaf mould and the pointed arch are all common factors in the Early English movement. Perhaps the best and most complete example of Early English architecture is Salisbury Cathedral

Above are some of the opening pages of my battered 1825 version of Rickman . It is hard to believe that his book is the original source for most of the terms we know today - When reading it he sounds to innocent but we mustn't forget that he was one of the very first people to notice differences in ecclesiastical architecture. For instance on Early English he states " distinguished by pointed arches, and long narrow windows without mullions; and a peculiar ornament, which from its resemblance to the teeth of a shark, we shall hereafter call the toothed ornament"

Toothed ornament found at Holy Trinity Micklegate York Yorkshire UK

For more of my Early English images go here

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Lavenham Archi-Map

My medieval google earth map of Lavenham is now almost complete you can get it here. You need to have Google Earth installed to view which you can access from the link above also.

Lavenham is a remarkable survival of a medieval town with primarily timber framed buildings dominating and a beautiful Perpendicular style church. It has over 300 listed buildings. In the map I have tried to show some interesting medieval features of timber framed houses.

On the map I have marked an interesting series of lumps and bumps which look like the archeaological remains of some dwellings to the west of Saint Peter and Saint Paul's church. I noticed them when I was compiling the map. I'm sure that there is some information about them out there - please comment if you know any more information. Great site for a dig!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Gruesome Find

Another trip into Cheesden today and found the carcass of a deer at the back of Washwheel Mill. I didn't know we had deer in the Cheesden Valley.

The light was dull and morbid today much in keeping with my gruesome find, but the day nevertheless was invigorating. I spent much time taking photo's of parts of the industrial remains of a site called Deeply Vale. There was no sun, so I took photo's of parts that the sun never reaches - like under the packhorse bridge which leads onto the damhead of the lodge.

Getting into the Cheesden Valley isn't easy. Take the Elbut Lane and you have to walk around a mile uphill and then take a steep traverse into the valley before getting close to the first mill. I like this reverential space around the valley - it keeps it special. It reminds me of the Greek and Roman classical temples which have a hierarchy of space which imbues them with mystique and spirituality. The valley is just like this and I can't wait to get back there as soon as possible.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Medieval Lavenham

As an architectural enthusiast a pilgrimage to Lavenham UK has always been on the cards and I spent a heady day there in the summer trying to get to grips with the cacophony of crown posts and cavetto's.

Lavenham is quite simply a dream of a place for me. It has one of the largest intact groupings of medieval timber framed structures as well as a church which is a jewel in the Perpendicular crown.

I have started to put together an archi-map of the place which currently extends to about 10 properties and interesting features. I have some more work to do and I envisage the maps completion over the next week or so. You can get the map here which needs Google Earth to view.


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