Tagged with architecture

Ruin Lust

This exhibition at the Tate Britain is absolutely brilliant – a mix of art and architecture including some of my favourite artists and some welcome discoveries. Ruins seem odd objects of desire, but they feature prominently in British history, from the 18th century when young men with wealth did the Grand Tour, usually ending among … Continue reading

English Gothic

It seems to be often the case that the best research is often done by people not involved in a subject. As far as I know, the world centre for Islamic Art is still Edinburgh, and the best travel writing is rarely done by people who travel for a living, and it is rare to … Continue reading

Architecture in Film

A lot of my posts sort of link together, often in quite obtuse ways, so here’s a cracker – Sam Palladio of Nashville’s surname is that of the famous Italian architect/engineer who inspired the grand Italian villa style of architecture popularised by Lord Burlington and others in the early 18th century. Palladianism is about clean, … Continue reading

A Forgotten Corner of Bristol

Eric Gill (1882-1940) was one of this country’s finest sculptor, stone cutter, typeface  designer and printmaker, as well as having a truly strange and original life. This is from Ian Sinclair’s book, Landor’s Tower. “Douglas Cleverdon, Eric Gill’s patron, had a bookshop in a turning off Park Street, on the road to Clifton. Easy to … Continue reading

Herr Moritz Goes to St James’s Park

Another part of Carl Philip Moritz’s account of his visit to London in 1782: “This park is nothing more than a semi-circular avenue of trees enclosing a large area of greensward in the midst of which is a swampy pond. Cows feed on the turf and you may buy their milk quite freshly drawn from … Continue reading

Kings of the High Cross

An earlier post described the High Cross of Bristol, yet another tale of arguments and incompetence. Fortunately, the original figures were saved and are now on display in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Few people in Bristol know this; they think the criss is at Stourhead, so don’t tell them. They might want it back. … Continue reading

Turnspit Dogs

Turnspit Dogs

I did a post on these poor creatures, one of many working breeds that have long since died out, in this case, their extinction has probably been an act of mercy. The dogs and their treadmills were replaced by clockwork and hot air driven spits, or jacks. Many years ago, I visited Abergavenny in Wales, … Continue reading

Transylvania to Wales

I had a flying visit to the centre of the second hand book world, Hay on Wye and spent too much on books, much of which you, dear readers will gain the benefit from in due course. The most wonderfully elvish bookshop is Addyman’s, where they claim the interiors come from a 19th century church … Continue reading

The Paty Family of Bristol

The Paty Family of Bristol

  Bristol’s Georgian architecture has always been in the shadow of the grand designs of the Wood family of Bath, who wer more developers than architects. Despite all the vandalism by the council over the years, Bristol still has more 18th century buildings than Bath, and they are generally better made, as they were mostly … Continue reading