Monday, 4 July 2011

Death by shooting... and a Lorimer church

Click to enlarge

Plumpton, a small village in Cumbria, has this intriguing memorial stone set in the wall. I took this pic in 2005, when it was in a field wall. The field has since been built over with a new small housing estate but the memorial still stands.

Here is the history of the memorial and the tragic shooting of Constable Joseph Byrnes by "three hardened London criminals" in 1885:

Also a surprise is the local church, a small gem by Lorimer built in 1907. It was supposed to have been larger but the benefactor ran out of cash.

Internally it is very finely crafted and certainly worthy of a visit:

The Church of St John the Evangelist at Plumpton Wall is a good modern (1907) building by Sir Robert Lorimer, with sharply battered walls, and a pele-like tower. The interior furnishings, and the windows by William Morris & Co and Powells of Whitefriars, are of a uniformily high standard.


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Hardware to housing Picture by kind consent of @studioklaschka

Click on the Yfrog link to see this gem of a historic commercial building in greater detail, size huge if required,  formerly the premises of Harding & Son Hardware Merchants & Japanners, Southwark.

The building is newly listed at Grade II and has just been granted LBC &  permission for conversion into a three bedroom house.

The ground floor is a cart opening and the current boarding up will be removed and an iron gate put in its place.

I gather that internally all there is of interest is staircase from ground to first floor, which is being retained.



Saturday, 28 May 2011

Tallinn architecturambling

Willie Miller @williemiller of WMUD

has been to Tallinn for an INTA  conference

and today sent these quick iphone pics of a few buildings.

The interesting:

And one to add to the collection of what not to do to a historic building:


Friday, 25 March 2011

Nanananana ... SAVE news...

One of the Sheerness buildings

Bit of a childish crow there, but news from SAVE Britain's Heritage shows the war against nasty developers and those who should be in charge of protection of our built heritage but frequently aren't is unceasing. Some battles you lose, some you spectacularly win.

Will put up full Press Release and pics later on Nemesis Republic blog, but the Spitalfields Trust rescue (with a great deal of SAVE assistance, it's been a longstanding SAVE concern, and SAVE was behind the addition on the World Monuments Fund Watchlist last year) of TEN listed buildings at the Royal Naval Dockyard Sheerness is worth cracking open the fizz for.

Details and slideshow here

Another great piece of news, with wide impact, is a win in the Court of Appeal  v The Secretary of State over demolition controls re historic buildings.

Bishopsgate Goodsyard, demolished...
Read more

SAVE Britain’s Heritage has secured a landmark judgment against the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which will introduce new controls over demolitions of buildings and structures under UK planning law.

Great news folk. Well done all.


Update: here's the gov's response


Monday, 21 March 2011

A new look at the New Town

Charlotte Square Edinburgh

Edinburgh's New Town isn't so very new, and it is packed full of interesting buildings and history.  It would be reasonable to assume, as part of one of the most popular World Heritage Sites, this would be a major place of exploration by visitors. Yet according to this fascinating mapping by Eric Fischer (I first came across this last year when someone Twittered a link)

based on research of where photographs of various cities are taken and posted on Flickr and Picasa sites,  while locals take and post pics of the whole city, tourists rarely venture much beyond Princes Street.

As he says on his Flickr page:

Some people interpreted the Geotaggers' World Atlas maps to be maps of tourism. This set is an attempt to figure out if that is really true. Some cities (for example Las Vegas and Venice) do seem to be photographed almost entirely by tourists. Others seem to have many pictures taken in places that tourists don't visit.

(Click Detail to see the city names)
Blue points on the map are pictures taken by locals (people who have taken pictures in this city dated over a range of a month or more).

Red points are pictures taken by tourists (people who seem to be a local of a different city and who took pictures in this city for less than a month).

Yellow points are pictures where it can't be determined whether or not the photographer was a tourist (because they haven't taken pictures anywhere for over a month). They are probably tourists but might just not post many pictures at all.

The maps are ordered by the number of pictures taken by locals.

So armed with that information, Edinburgh World Heritage is intending to make a big push in promoting the New Town.

Athens of the North

Edinburgh World Heritage will launch a new learning campaign this spring based on the New Town

Mar 14, 2011
The campaign will explain how Edinburgh became known as the "Athens of the North", highlighting its classical architecture and everyday life in the New Town.

In contrast to the Royal Mile, the Georgian New Town is not as well known by visitors, as demonstrated in a recent project by digital cartographer Eric Fischer. Using photos uploaded to Flickr he has constructed maps showing where visitors and locals have taken pictures in a variety of cities around the world. His photo map of Edinburgh clearly shows that most tourists rarely venture further into the New Town than Princes Street.

However its architecture and streetscape is well preserved.  There are 1089 listed buildings in the New Town area, of which over 500 are category A listed. Combined with nearby attractions such as the Gallery of Modern Art, the Dean Gallery, the Botanical Gardens, and independent shops in places such as William Street, and St Stephen’s Street, the New Town offers a unique experience for the visitor.

A heritage trail will link key locations from Calton Hill to the Dean Village, Charlotte Square and Stockbridge. The trail will include neo-Greek buildings such as the Dugald Stewart monument, the Burns Monument, the Royal Scottish Academy and National Galleries of Scotland.

To support the trail there will be a programme of events, talks and guided walks. It is hoped that some of these will be hosted at the Burns Monument, recently restored as part of the Twelve Monuments Project, but not normally open to the public.

The EWH office at 5 Charlotte Square will also be opened for special events, where visitors will be able to learn about life in a Georgian New Town house.

Hopefully an eventually rewarding use of a piece of contemporary research, digital technology and the internet to help promote the past.

Eric Fischer has a huge collection of  interesting pictures and docs on his website; well worth exploring.

#Architecture #maps #transport #trams #roads #urbanism #planning #history

From the set Historic Maps & Planning Documents:


Sunday, 20 March 2011


Detail: St Mary, Moulton, copyright Andy Marshall, iphone pic, March 18th 2011; the glories of an ancient building.  The CCT Photo project 2011


Yesterday architectural photographer Andy Marshall ended his journey around the country photographing churches in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust with these words on Twitter:

Well that's it folks. The end of the #cct2011 project. Hope it's eased you into the Spring. With much gratitude for your support. @fotofacade

 It has been a privilege to have instant pics and brief vids of whatever church Andy was visiting that day, taken with his  iphone, pinging into my inbox and Twitter feed, such wonderful places, and I will miss the excitement of not quite knowing what we would be shown next.

I  should and will write a longer post for NemesisRepublic blog, but today here is a link to Andy's Posterous and all those beautiful photos and short videos:

Thanks and Goodbye

Have reached the end of the project. It has been a remarkable and enriching journey. Not to say the least for the interaction with others about these beautiful places. Thanks all for your support and a special thanks to the CCT.

And thank you Andy, for sharing.


Saturday, 19 March 2011


OK I know I have other blogs, Nemesis Republic and Archibollocks, and yes I need to update those, but this is intended to be a quick blog of random stuff connected with buildings old and new, people, campaigning, and wider urbanism issues I found of interest and feel worthy of sharing. I also reserve the right to add anything else I like (history, transport, design...).  A tea break blog.

If you have anything to add please do, I hope this is a collaborative effort: @NemesisRepublic on Twitter, there's an e-mail link on my profile, or a comments box below posts.