Filed under sculpture

The English Garden

The English are notoriously fond of their gardens, and some claim that the style that emerged in the early 18th century is the only genuinely English art form, a layout that replaced rigid lines and vast intensely cultivated plots with sinuous paths and more naturalistic design. This is from “The Georgian Triumph, 1700-1830”, by Michael … Continue reading

Royal Censorship

The grand annual fairs were generally seen as places beyond official control, but it depends on who the audience was, and insulting the dead is never going to win friends. This is from John Evelyn’s diary of 1692: “15 Sep. there happen’d an Earthquake, which tho’ not so great as to do any harm in … Continue reading

Old Signs

British shops used to have ornate signs hanging out front advertising their wares. On some inns they were huge, hanging across the road, but from The 1760s they were outlawed as they sometimes fell on people. Here are two from Bedminster, Bristol. A former fish shop. Now they seem to sell everything but This used … Continue reading

Scrivens Conduit

Scrivens Conduit

This is a companion piece in Hillfield Park, is also listed as grade II* and a scheduled monument. It was originally on Southgate Street in 1636 as a public water outlet, paid for by Alderman John Scriven. The water came from Robinswood Hill springs, possibly following a Roman conduit It is an odd mix of … Continue reading

King’s Board

King’s Board

This is an extraordinary survivor, and is now in Hillfield Park, on London Road. Its origin is unclear, but seems to have been erected as a rectangular structure in the 14thcentury in Westgate street in the town centre. Tradition is that it was presented to the city by King Richard II. It may have been … Continue reading

Crucible – Gloucester Cathedral

Crucible – Gloucester Cathedral

This is an amazing free exhibition of site specific sculpture by some of the biggest names in the business, in and around Gloucester Cathedral. They include the likes of Eduardo Paolozzi, David Nash, Henry More and younger artists like Gavin Turk, Damien Hirst, Antony Gormley, Angust Fairhurst and my favourite, Peter Randall-Page, whose work is … Continue reading

An Irish Clock

John Wesley was with his brother Charles, the founder of Methodism, but he is les well known for his interest in technology and science. This is from his journal. “On Monday April 27 1762, being at Lurgan in Ireland, I embraced the opportunity which I had long desired, of talking to Mr Miller, the contriver … Continue reading

Perpetual Motion Clock

Perpetual Motion Clock

Most people have heard of the battle to win the Longtitude prize, to find an accurate timepiece to allow accurate measurement of Longtitude by ships at sea, which was so important in founding the British Empire. But the problem with all clocks before batteries were invented, was that they had to be stopped in order … Continue reading

Abney Park

This was the first of the big London cemeteries to be entirely for non conformist, so open to all non Anglicans, with the ground not consecrated, though there is a big ruined Gothic chapel in the centre. This is lovely, includes a sundial, just in case. This one is full of water, topped with broken … Continue reading

In a Far Away Field

Over the years I have gathered a huge collection of pamphlets and information on places I have visited; this is an article on Clevedon Church, to the south of Bristol on the coast. Once a tiny fishing village, it became a Victorian resort and is now commuter belt. The graveyard is large, with the oldest … Continue reading