Category Archives: architecture

Halifax bus station

Sunday 20th September 2020, 4.45pm (day 3,314)

Halifax bus station, 20/9/20

Another weekend ends at Halifax bus station.  After 11 different places in the last 12 days — only Hebden Bridge has been repeated as a location over this time — it’s time to stop wandering around for a while and spend some time at home.

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The Crescent, Buxton

Thursday 20th August 2020, 1.20pm (day 3,283)

Buxton Crescent, 20/8/20

Every British spa town worth its salt in the 18th century — Bath being the archetype — included a great sweeping crescent like this.  Buxton, a little town stuck a thousand feet up in the hills of north Derbyshire, therefore has this magnificent monument to Georgian good taste plonked in the middle of it. Buxton Mineral Water is mined literally from underneath it.

This Crescent has been empty for a long time, then years of wrangling about who would foot the bill for its restoration ended with it being converted into a hotel, due to be opened in May until you-know-what. But as its rebuilding is not yet over, that means there are no cars or other accessories defacing its facade — once the camera is lifted over the fencing in the way, anyway (visible to bottom left).

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Paranoia

Friday 7th August 2020, 11.00am (day 3,270)

Paranoid house, 7/8/20

Here is a house occupied by someone with several problems. I’ve been passing it for a couple of years without it changing much, and there is evidence to suggest it’s been developing like this for 23 years.  Thing is, it has, as a result, become a tourist attraction, and this probably just adds to the occupant’s paranoia.  I will forego identifying its location, although it’s not round where I live.

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King’s Cross, underused

Saturday 1st August 2020, 11.25am (ish) (day 3,264)

King's Cross, empty, 1/8/20

It’s been nice to come down to London for a couple of days, the weather’s been good and I have met friends and had decent exercise.  But there’s been something eerie about it, unnatural and wrong.  Difficult to do much else today than post another picture of somewhere that should be very busy on this day and time under normal circumstances, but instead, echoed like an empty cathedral.

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Watershed

Monday 20th July 2020, 2.15pm (day 3,252)

Watershed, 20/7/20

I went on a walk today along the Rochdale Canal from Littleborough to Walsden. Along that route one passes across the main watershed of northern England, which is marked by this sculpture, and poetry that you may enjoy (although the third and fourth lines are illegible on this reproduction — my apologies).  If I were to have passed water at this spot, random chance would have led to it either bouncing to the left, and thus flowing into the Irish Sea at via the rivers Roch, Irwell and Mersey.  Or, to the right — to flow into the North Sea, via the Calder, Aire and Humber.  A very real line — as the poem says, a “liquid equinox” — but not a visible one, not without this memorial.  Nice touch.

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Restoration project

Friday 17th July 2020, 10.35am (day 3,249)

Park House farm, 17/7/20

Bagged my second County Top in a week, a trip that took me through the urban delights of Wigan, which are more extensive than you might imagine. On the outskirts of town resides this ruin, still proudly marked as ‘Park House Farm’ on the map but now mouldering into decay. Urban explorers — catch it now before it is razed/incorporated into a new housing estate/featured on Grand Designs as a restoration project engaged in by those with too much money. It is presently a spooky, melancholy spot.

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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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