Category Archives: architecture

The monument

Sunday 31st May 2020, 12.40pm (day 3,202)

Stoodley stones, 31/5/20

The monument on top of Stoodley Pike was first built to celebrate victory over Napoleon, but this version dates from 1856. Much of the graffiti on it may have been there for about this amount of time: who can tell whether the “MAN CITY” scrawled on one side is from the late 1960s Franny Lee era or has been added since the Sheikhs took it over and they became decent again? Are “R. Crowther” and “E. Mitchell” (visible here) still alive and proud?

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Not Wuthering Heights

Saturday 25th April 2020, 12.15pm (day 3,166)

Not Wuthering Heights, 25/4/20

Amongst the points of interest within walking distance of my house (honest, officer), there is this place, Top Withens, which sits way up on the moors overlooking Haworth, former home of the Brontë sisters. The plaque you can see on the wall here reads:

This farmhouse has been associated with ‘Wuthering Heights’, the Earnshaw home in Emily Brontë’s novel. The buildings, even when complete, bore no resemblance to the house she describes, but the setting may have been in her mind when she wrote of the moorland setting of the Heights. (This plaque has been placed here in response to many inquiries.)

In other words then, here we have a building that vaguely resembles a place in a novel. And that’s all.

But because popular opinion has it that Top Withens is Wuthering Heights, the structure, though abandoned for more than a hundred years, has been preserved as a ruin.  Left alone it would surely have collapsed by now but the walls are carefully cut and mortared together, as gone or complete, it would not be worth what it is to the Haworth tourist trade as it is in this half-life state.

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St Mary’s Cathedral, Lincoln

Tuesday 10th March 2020, 3.35pm (day 3,120)

Lincoln cathedral, 10/3/20

This is a truly monumental building, the first ever built that exceeded in height the Great Pyramid of Giza: and the only reason it lost its title as the world’s tallest in 1548 was because the spire was destroyed in a storm, and never rebuilt. Even today it can be seen for miles around, sitting as it does at the top of one of the few hills in Lincolnshire. It is proof that people 700 years ago can still show us a few things or two when it comes to engineering and architecture.

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Windsor Road, again

Thursday 27th February 2020, 8.10am (day 3,108)

Windsor Road, 27/2/20

Windsor Road, with its distinctive steepness and stepped houses, has featured on here beforetwice in fact — but not quite as pleasingly as today, thanks to another thin layer of snow in the morning. Third time can be the charm, then.

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The Chiltern summit

Wednesday 12th February 2020, 1.10pm (day 3,093)

Chiltern summit, 12/2/20

In my project to bag the county tops of Britain it has already become obvious that many of them are not prominent, airy summits lifted far above the surrounding countryside. Haddington Hill, at 875 ft (267m) above sea level, is not only the highest point of Buckinghamshire, but of the whole Chiltern Hills range which stretches through three other counties as well. But you wouldn’t know it, were this monument not located at some otherwise indefinable point, skulking under trees and definitely trying to not draw attention to itself. Still, that’s another one bagged. Eight down — 83 to go…

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Monument to megalomania

Sunday 2nd February 2020, 11.30am (day 3,083)

Palace of the Parliament, 2/2/20

Nicolae Ceausescu, who ruled Romania from 1965 until he spectacularly lost control in late December 1989, was one of the most unilateral dictators of any that have ever seized power, running the country like his own personal fiefdom. Towards the end of his reign he commissioned this monstrosity, the Palace of the Parliament, as a monument to his own ambition. Apparently it is the largest parliamentary building anywhere in the world, and also the world’s heaviest building at some four billion kilos (thank you Wikipedia). It was something to look at on my final morning as I prepared to leave Bucharest; the mare’s-tails in the sky suggesting that the very mild weather I have enjoyed there is coming to an end…

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People’s Salvation Cathedral, Bucharest

Thursday 30th January 2020, 11.45am (day 3,080)

Bucharest cathedral, 30/1/20

Welcome to Romania — a new country for me, and the 40th to appear on this blog (allowing for my splitting up the component parts of the UK: a move which may yet prove prophetic, of course). I did not leave the conference venue all day, so more intimate shots of the city of Bucharest will have to wait, but this building was in view from there, as it is from most of the city. This is the People’s Salvation Cathedral, proof that not all the big houses of worship in the world are medieval; this was being planned 150 years ago, but was not actually started until 2010 and as is apparent on this shot, is not finished yet. It is the largest Eastern Orthodox church in the world.

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Turing Building entrance

Thursday 16th January 2020, 9.40am (day 3,065)

Turing building entrance, 15/1/20

Two Manchester morning shots in a row. I must be working. There’s still not many people on campus, so let’s keep pointing the camera at buildings. I quite like the Turing building, in fact. A decent bit of architecture.

Lately whenever I have tagged anything as university-related on this blog, the posts have been ‘liked’ by accounts that are obviously providing contract cheating ‘services’ to students — “easyessayonline” for example. Hi, guys. Let me point out that detection of this kind of thing is becoming easier as we redesign our assessment processes to focus on the student, not their words. Put extra stages into the process, like the submission of drafts and preparatory notes, and milled essays stand out like sore thumbs — and are failed. We don’t bother going through tiresome disciplinary procedures. We just fail them for blatantly having not done the work. I wonder if you advise your clients of this likelihood, and return their money in such cases. I doubt it.

You might argue that it is a free market and you have the right to exploit processes of deliberate fraud in order to make your profits. Whatever. But in the meantime, kindly don’t exploit my blog for advertising purposes, and fuck off.

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Rooves of home

Sunday 15th December 2019, 1.40pm (day 3,034)

Birchcliffe rooves, 15/12/19

Less of a bleak theme today, and look, is that even sunshine making an appearance to top right? Time to spend some time at home, refamiliarise myself with its facilities and appeal.

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Moon and floodlights

Sunday 1st December 2019, 3.45pm (day 3,020)

Moon and floodlights, 1/12/19

December, and what endless delights this month is going to offer to us in the UK, beyond even just the usual encroachment of dusk into ever-earlier segments of the day. I did not find a huge amount to inspire me photographically today, but this one will do; the rule of thirds is met well enough. The floodlights illuminate Spotland, the home of Rochdale FC.

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