Lonely Church

St Mary’s Church, Lead

(near Saxton) Tadcaster, North Yorkshire (Also know as The Ramblers’ Church)

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This shot won the Awesome Architectural Shot (AAS) of the Day on Instagram

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The History (Via The Church Conservation Trust)

“Since being rescued by a group of walkers in 1931, St Mary’s has been known as the Ramblers’ Church. The repairs made then are recorded on the back of the church door. The church stands alone in the middle of a field filled with the bumps and furrows of earthworks that indicate the site of a Medieval manor house, for which St Mary’s was probably originally the chapel.

Nearby is Towton, the site of the War of the Roses battle, believed to be bloodiest in English history which brought the Wars of the Roses to an end in 1461. Ten thousand men are said to have been killed, and Cock Beck, the little stream which you cross to get to St Mary’s, is said to have run red with blood. You can find monuments to crusading knights in this tiny 14th-century church.

Despite its awesome history, St Mary’s is a peaceful place. The tiny rectangular building is very simple. It was probably built by the Tyas family, whose massive grave slabs are set into the floor. Carved with heraldic symbols and inscriptions, and dating from the 13th-century, they are an important and interesting collection.

Later additions were made to the church in the 18th-century, with a rustic pulpit, clerk’s pew, reading desk and painted texts.”

Floral Macro on Black

Some photography I took recently experimenting with black backgrounds or adding it in later via iPad apps and Photoshop Touch. I hope you like them as I do, they seem to really brings out the features of the flowers quite beautifully.


Click to Enlarge

The Knaresborough Ravens

Janette Igraine Hustwitt Skelton Her Majesty's Keeper of Castle Ravens Knaresborough
Janette Igraine Hustwitt Skelton, Her Majesty’s Keeper of Castle Ravens at Knaresborough, West Yorkshire UK

I took this wonderful candid portrait of Janette Igraine Hustwitt Skelton, The Queen’s Keeper of Ravens at Knaresborough Castle on a recent visit. You often find Janette and her ravens around the castle on weekends and bank holidays through-out the summer.

At first I thought the bird in the shot was a Crow, some thought Magpie, it could have even been a Magpie/Crow cross, but in fact he’s an African Pied Raven native to Africa and Madagascar. The one above is called Mourdour named after the necromancer in Ivanhoe, they only grow to crow size so are commonly known as Pied Crows. Janette really loves all her Ravens as you can see from the picture I captured, she’s also given them great names as well…there’s Elf, Gabriel & Izabella. Continue reading The Knaresborough Ravens

The Master and the Apprentice

Something sadly missed from my 80’s youth is the large and beautifully canvas of ‘album cover’ artwork, such a long-lost platform for artist of today, and at that time the king of the ‘Original’ Mondo style of art was Patrick Nagel who was synonymous for his unholy union with Duran Duran and their cover artwork, most famous of all Rio.
Patrick Nagel Duran Duran Rio Album Cover ArtworkI always liked his unique vision of the contemporary woman coupled with his style of handling colour with quite a rare originality and freedom in which he continually simplified his designs to great effect. Continue reading The Master and the Apprentice

Coronal Mass Ejection

Magnificent CME Erupts on the Sun - August 31
Most people will say that title sounds a little rude, but looking at these latest images from the Solar Dynamics Observatory of the Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) that happened on the 31st of August 2012, I have to say: there nothing short of being the sexiest pieces of Sun photography I’ve seen. Continue reading Coronal Mass Ejection