Bamburgh Castle

 

I love Bamburgh Castle.

The village of Bamburgh itself is always a great place to stop off, have a cuppa and do some exploring; this is a beautiful corner of England, best explored with a rangefinder camera and a waterproof coat (or a surf board and a wet suit)

Bamburgh Castle

A walk up the drive to Bamburgh Castle is the best place to stop and take stock; this is a fantastic castle and an important site. Not many places in the UK can match this, if you close your eyes and listen to the sea, you can hear history unfolding in your head.

Banburgh Beach goes on and on and on
Bamburgh Beach goes on and on and on

The beach walk to Seahouses

These dunes go on forever and ever.

Some Wikipedia history on the castle itself

Built on a dolerite outcrop, the location was previously home to a fort of the native Britons known as Din Guarie and may have been the capital of the British kingdom of the region (see Gododdin, Bryneich and Hen Ogledd)[2] from the realm’s foundation in c.420 until 547, the year of the first written reference to the castle. In that year the citadel was captured by the Anglo-Saxon ruler Ida of Bernicia (Beornice) and became Ida’s seat. It was briefly retaken by the Britons from his son Hussa during the war of 590 before being relieved later the same year.

His grandson Æðelfriþ passed it on to his wife Bebba, from whom the early name Bebbanburgh was derived. The Vikings destroyed the original fortification in 993.

The Normans built a new castle on the site, which forms the core of the present one. William II unsuccessfully besieged it in 1095 during a revolt supported by its owner, Robert de Mowbray, Earl of Northumbria. After Robert was captured, his wife continued the defence until coerced to surrender by the king’s threat to blind her husband.

Bamburgh then became the property of the reigning English monarch. Henry II probably built the keep. As an important English outpost, the castle was the target of occasional raids from Scotland.[citation needed] During the civil wars at the end of King John’s reign, it was under the control of Philip of Oldcoates.[3] In 1464 during the Wars of the Roses, it became the first castle in England to be defeated by artillery, at the end of a nine-month siege by Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick.

The Forster family of Northumberland[4] provided the Crown with twelve successive governors of the castle for some 400 years until the Crown granted ownership to Sir John Forster. The family retained ownership until Sir William Forster (d. 1700) was posthumously declared bankrupt, and his estates, including the castle, were sold to Lord Crew, Bishop of Durham (husband of his sister Dorothy) under an Act of Parliament to settle the debts.

The castle deteriorated but was restored by various owners during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was finally bought by the Victorian industrialist William Armstrong, who completed the restoration.

In 1944, during the Second World War, the Royal Navy corvette HMS Bamborough Castle was named after it.

The castle still belongs to the Armstrong family, and is opened to the public. It also hosts weddings and corporate events. It has been used as a film location since the 1920s, featuring in films such as Ivanhoe (1982), El Cid (1961), Mary, Queen of Scots (1971), Elizabeth (1998) and both the 1971 and 2015 adaptions of Macbeth.

Alnwick Castle is a fantastic day out!

Alnwick Castle is a fantastic day out! Having not been here since I was a small child, I was pleasantly surprised by how much there was to see and do here – and I am not even a Harry Potter fan.

Alnwick Castle is a fantastic day out!
Alnwick Castle is a fantastic day out!

The Castle is in fantastic condition and still lived in half of the year by the Duke of Northumberland and his family. You are not allowed to take photographs inside but there is plenty to see outside with activities and demonstrations ranging from archery to falconry.

Harry Potter Broomstick flying lessons
Harry Potter Broomstick flying lessons

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Alnwick Castle is a fantastic day out!

There are photo opportunities for young and old – even if you don’t need a lesson on flying your broomstick, you can’t help but be charmed by this magical place and the effort the staff obviously put into their work in entertaining visitors young and old.

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Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves
Autumn Leaves

I took these pictures at Fountains Abbey yesterday, they reminded me of the words to one of my favourite Frank Sinatra songs

“Autumn Leaves”

The falling leaves
Drift by my window
The falling leaves
Of red and gold

I see your lips
The summer kisses
The sunburned hands
I used to hold

Since you went away
The days grow long
And soon I’ll hear
Old winter’s song

But I miss you most of all
My darling
When autumn leaves
Start to fall

Since you went away
The days grow long
And soon I’ll hear
Old winter’s song

But I miss you most of all
My darling
When autumn leaves
Start to fall

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And that is the end to this musical blog post.

 

Studley Royal rutting

Everybody is out this weekend looking to photograph some Studley Royal rutting.

Seeing some Studley Royal rutting yesterday was the high point of a man-flu laden weekend. A short walk on an autumnal Sunday in this majestic space was a lovely way to get some fresh air and see the beautiful deer inhabitants of this great park.

Studley Royal Deer
Studley Royal Deer

Lots of deer on view as well as all the best Autumn has to offer, some words below from the NT website.

Autumn at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal

 © Richard Jemison

Autumn has arrived with an explosion of colour in the garden and deer park at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal in North Yorkshire. Known for its autumn colour, the grounds are breath-taking each autumn, and this year is no exception.

The months of October and November are perfect for a walk through the acres of red, orange, gold and green woodland which surrounds the ponds and canals of the Georgian Water Garden. Run through the crunchy fallen leaves, find the biggest conkers and acorns, and discover some fantastic fungi from shaggy inkcaps to chicken of the woods!

Use one of our wildlife spotter sheets to discover birds that make the estate their winter home, spot which deer is which by the colour of their rumps, and take a look inside a fallen tree to see what bugs you can discover.

Please remember that during the months of October, November and December it is the annual deer rut in the park. The mating season can make the male stags and bucks aggressive and territorial so make sure you keep your distance and do not approach the deer.

We’re open every day apart from Fridays in November, December and January.

The daddy sits on his own
The daddy sits on his own

 

Oh deer…. here are my more inferior snaps

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountains-abbey/wildlife/

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Studley Royal Deer
Studley Royal Deer

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The daddy sits on his own
The daddy sits on his own

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Nunnington Hall is fabulous!

Entrance to Nunnington Hall
Entrance to Nunnington Hall

Nunnington Hall is fabulous!

Nunnington Hall is fabulous!
Nunnington Hall is fabulous!

Nunnington Hall is a proper great day out for all the family – on a recent visit we reflected that we have not been back here for about 20 years; while the the children are all grown up now, there is still so much to do for a couple of empty nesters!

Something for everyone at Nunnington Hall
Something for everyone at Nunnington Hall

Nunnington Hall has beautuful gardens that have something for everyone

Lovely wild frowers at Nunnington Hall
Lovely wild frowers at Nunnington Hall

 

 

 

 

 

 

Famed for its picturesque location, organic walled garden with spring-flowering meadows, flamboyant resident peacocks and a changing programme of exclusive and high profile art and photography exhibitions, Nunnington Hall offers something for everyone to enjoy.

http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/nunnington-hall/

There is a lot of stuff for kids in the grounds and gardens – especially liked the working ‘cutting’ garden part with a mud pie kitchen and potting sheds for the children.

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The male and femaale scarcrows in the cutting garden are a sight to behold!

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Wild flowers provide a home for all the insects and butterflies, some of which are amazing even on a rather overcast last day of August.

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The peacocks roam free in the grounds, both males and female with her two little chicks tucked under the wing for safety.

Mother Peacock at Nunnington Hall
Mother Peacock at Nunnington Hall

 

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One of the highlights is the amazing Carlisle Collection of miniature rooms on the top floor – these incredibly complex room sets were put together with such skill it is hard upon examination to differentiate them from the real thing – I took some pictures below of the study, the nursery and one of the sitting rooms.

Carlisle Collection at Nunnington Hall
Carlisle Collection at Nunnington Hall
The Nursery - Carlisle Collection at Nunnington Hall
The Nursery – Carlisle Collection at Nunnington Hall

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The National Trust have a changing programme of exhibitions in our Top Floor Gallery. This year including, the British Wildlife Photography awards, World War One Centenary, Children’s Illustration, Matt the Daily Telegraph Cartoonist and a new feature – Art for Christmas.

Inside the house there is a lot to see

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And outside, the walled gardens include a lovely open tea room area as well as the riverbank and lawns with ample spots for picnics and easy access to the grounds from an adjoining carpark via a small footbridge over the river.

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All in all a great day out on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park and away from the tourist traps of Kirbymoorside and Helmsley.

Well Done National Trust – nothing changes in 20 years, and that is a good thing!

Easy to get to via the A170 in North Norkshire
Easy to get to via the A170 in North Norkshire

Rievaulx Terrace – not too exciting…

Rievaulx Terrace is not the most exciting NT trip we have taken; in fact it was a bit of a let down.

I would go as far as saying the artwork on the woodland walk was probably the highlight…

Artwork in the woods
Artwork in the woods

 

 

Rievaulx Terrace – not too exciting…

Apart from a couple of views of the Abbey coupled to two tired old buildings at either end of the terrace, there is not a lot happening.

Rievaulx Terrace - not too exciting...
Rievaulx Terrace – not too exciting…

On our quest to take in all 25 national Trust properties in Yorkshire this year, we have to visit the good, the bad and the ugly…

Rievaulx Terrace - not too exciting...
Rievaulx Terrace – not too exciting…

This terrace is tedious, I think you will agree having looked at these snaps.

It’s almost as though the NT felt they had to get one over on the Abbey in the bottom of the Dale below – would have been better not to bother in my humble opinion.

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Brimham Rocks

Brimham Rocks.

It always sounded good as a kid, and having returned today probably for the first time in 30+ years, it was just as good as it sounds, in fact, it was better than it ever was.

The National Trust have scored a bullseye here

Brinmam Rocks, as good as ever 30 years on...
Brinmam Rocks, as good as ever 30 years on…

Brimham Rocks are balancing rock formations on Brimham Moor in North Yorkshire, England. The rocks stand at a height of nearly 30 metres in an area owned by the National Trust which is part of the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Wikipedia

They can be found here – Ripon Road Barn Blazefield, Pateley Bridge, Ripon, Yorkshire HG3 4DW

Honestly, i have not been for so long they really amazed me today – a fantastic 2 mile walk around the edge of the moor, away from the crowds, there are some amazing rocks and the views across Nidderdale is awesome.

Here are 20 photos that should get you interested – everyone should go!

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Brinmam Rocks, as good as ever 30 years on...
Brinmam Rocks, as good as ever 30 years on…

Beningbrough Hall and Gardens

Beningbrough Hall is a great day out!
#OneImageOneDayOneLife

Beningbrough Hall and Gardens as seen through the huge wooden NT pictureframe
Beningbrough Hall and Gardens as seen through the huge wooden NT pictureframe

 

 

Beningbrough Hall and Gardens

Glorious gardens surround this baroque mansion with National Portrait Gallery paintings – ands it’s number 2 of 18 National Trust locations we will visit in Yorkshire this year.

From the National Trust website

Inspired by his Grand Tour, John Bourchier created Beningbrough , an Italian Palace nestled between York, Harrogate and Leeds. The impressive rooms are a perfect backdrop for the rich collection of portraits on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, Beningbrough’s long-term partner. The paintings feature people who have made, and are making, British history and culture, and in 2015 include contemporary portraits in a display of ‘Royals: then and now’.

A working walled garden, grand herbaceous borders, sweeping lawns and a play area for children to let off steam, creates a year-round garden. Picture-postcard views can be seen from the garden and the parkland offers opportunities to explore riverside walks, ancient trees and discover hidden wildlife.

The stable block and shop at Beningborough hall
The stable block and shop at Beningborough hall

Beningborough Hall

The farm shop at Beningborough Hall
The farm shop at Beningborough Hall

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden

One of the best places in Yorkshire to spend any weekend…

Fountains Abbey National Trust Visitor Centre, built 1992
Fountains Abbey
National Trust Visitor Centre, built 1992

Beautiful conditions for a walk at Fountains Abbey this weekend, so we have been on both Saturday and Sunday to make the most of this lovely weather and take some snaps along the way – I don’t think anyone has taken photo’s here before!

The National Trust are managing a national treasure here!

Fountains Abbey National Trust Visitor Centre, built 1992
Fountains Abbey
National Trust Visitor Centre, built 1992

 

Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey

A lovely spot indeed, and what better way to get there than in a demonstrator Discovery from Land Rover Ripon – I really want one of these!

Land Rover Ripon lent me a Discovery for the morning - what a great vehicle!
Land Rover Ripon lent me a Discovery for the morning – what a great vehicle!

We walked our legs off around the deer park this weekend, taking in the beautiful scenery and amazing wildlife.

Sheep grazing on the walk don to the Abbey
Sheep grazing on the walk don to the Abbey

There is a lot to see for groups, with an activity centre, playground and picnic area, I can imagine returning in warmer weather to sit and watch the world go by.

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A great place for a school trip I should think – if only I was 40 years younger!

After descending the hill to the west entrance, the magnificent Fountains Hall can be visited.

Fountains Hall
Fountains Hall from the West Entrance

Fountains Hall

The house was built by Stephen Proctor between 1598 and 1604, partly with stone from the abbey ruins. It is an example of late Elizabethan architecture, perhaps influenced by the work of Robert Smythson. After Proctor’s death in 1619, Fountains Hall passed into the possession of the Messenger family, who sold it to William Aislabie of neighbouring Studley Royal 150 years later.[1] Fountains Hall became redundant as the Aislabie family remained at Studley Royal. It was leased to tenants and at one time parts of it were used for farm storage.

The hall was renovated and modernised between 1928 and 1931, and the Duke and Duchess of York (later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth) often stayed there as guests of Lady Doris Vyner, wife of the Marquess of Ripon and sister to the then-current Duke of Richmond and Gordon.

During the Second World War, Fountains Hall and other estate buildings were used to house evacuees. Studley Royal became the wartime home of Queen Ethelburga’s School from Harrogate and the school’s sanatorium was at Fountains Hall. The stable block and courtyard, was used for dormitories while one corner became the school chapel, at which Sunday Evensong was regularly said by the Archdeacon of Ripon. The hall has a balcony although it cannot be used because the staircase is considered unsafe for the public.

Fountains Hall in the winter sunshine
Fountains Hall in the winter sunshine
Fountains Hall in the winter sunshine
Fountains Hall contains some holiday homes let out by the National Trust

 The Vyner Family

Vyner Memorial Window in staircase

 

The Vyners lost a son and a daughter in the Second World War; Charles was a Royal Naval Reserve pilot missing in action near Rangoon. Elizabeth was a member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service and died of lethargic encephalitis while on service in Felixstowe, Suffolk. There is a sculpture remembering them which can be seen as one comes out of the house down the stone steps.

Elizabeth Vyner WRNS – Died on Active Service June 3rd 1942 Aged 18 years. Also her brother Charles De Grey Vyner Sub Lieut (A) RNVR Reported missing from Air Operations Off Rangoon May 2nd 1945 Aged 19 Years.

We will remember themWe will remember them

Once you have mavigated the Hall, it’s time for a cuppa and a look around the Mill – this is where the monks milled their wheat and contains many working models and a waterwheel.

Stop and have a look around the Mill
Stop and have a look around the Mill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then it’s time to walk around the Abbey, although you will not be alone if it’s a sunny day like today!

The Abbey from the Mill
The Abbey from the Mill

Fountains Abbey is one of the most photographed sites in England, for good reason.

Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire, Saturday 31st January 2015 Leica M, Summilux 1:1.4/50mm ASPH, f3.4 1/2,000 sec, ISO 800
Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire,
Saturday 31st January 2015
Leica M, Summilux 1:1.4/50mm ASPH, f3.4
1/2,000 sec, ISO 800

Fountains Abbey Fountains Abbey Fountains Abbey Fountains Abbey Fountains Abbey Fountains AbbeyBut there is a lot more to this place than the ruined Abbey.

The Water Garden at Studley Royal

Don't lose your footing walking across here
Don’t lose your footing walking across here
Beautiful
Beautiful
Pavillion in the water garden
Pavillion in the water garden

The water garden at Studley Royal created by John Aislabie in 1718 is one of the best surviving examples of a Georgian water garden in England. It was expanded by his son, William who purchased the adjacent Fountains Estate. The garden’s elegant ornamental lakes, canals, temples and cascades provide a succession of dramatic eye-catching vistas. It is also studded with a number of follies including a neo-Gothic castle and a palladian style banqueting house.

St Marys church in the Studley Royal Estate

The Anglican church of St Mary’s was the religious masterpiece of architect William Burges.

St Marys church
St Marys church

The richly decorated Victorian Gothic church was commissioned in 1870 by the first Marquess and Marchioness of Ripon to commemorate the Marchioness’ brother who had been allegedly murdered in Greece.

St Mary’s Church was one of two, late Victorian, memorial churches in Yorkshire, built by the family of the First Marquess of Ripon in memory of Frederick Grantham Vyner. The other is the Church of Christ the Consoler at Skelton-on-Ure, and the architect of both wasWilliam Burges. Vyner was murdered by Greek bandits in 1870 and his mother, Lady Mary Vyner, and sister, Lady Ripon, used the unspent ransom, gathered to obtain his release, to build two churches in Vyner’s memory on their respective Yorkshire estates. Burges’ appointment as architect was most likely due to the connection between his greatest patron, John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute and Vyner, who had been friends at Oxford. St Mary’s, on Lady Ripon’s estate at Studley Royal, was commissioned in 1870 and work began in 1871. The church was consecrated in 1878. As at Skelton, Burges’ design demonstrates a move from his favoured Early-French, to an English style.Pevsner writes of “a Victorian shrine, a dream of Early English glory.” The interior is spectacular, exceeding Skelton in richness and majesty. The stained glass is of particularly high quality. St Mary’s is Burges’ “ecclesiastical masterpiece.”[3]

So what is stopping you? I can’t recommend Fountains Abbey enough, have a look at the National Trust website and make some time to get there this year, I will finish with some more photos and I look forward to snapping more deer and the open spaces for my next visit to Studley Royal.

Water gardens of Studley Royal, Fountains Abbey Saturday 31st January 2015 Leica M, Summilux 1:1.4/50mm ASPH, f3.4 1/1,000 sec, ISO 800
Water gardens of Studley Royal, Fountains Abbey
Saturday 31st January 2015
Leica M, Summilux 1:1.4/50mm ASPH, f3.4
1/1,000 sec, ISO 800

Fountains Abbey Fountains Abbey Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey Fountains Abbey

Chair in grounds of Fountains Abbey, Studley Royal
Chair in grounds of Fountains Abbey, Studley Royal
Multi colours at Fountains Abbey
Multi colours at Fountains Abbey

Multi colours at Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey

 

 

OK, I could not resist including some of my photos from a visit earlier in Autumn 2014, and Boxing Day also…thanks for reading and let me have your comments.

 

Fountains Abbey and a Boxing Day walk

Little Red Robin
Little Red Robin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pictures should say it all, fresh air, no shops, no sales, no internet, no crowds,no television; just the beautiful countryside.

Every year on Boxing Day, after a short service, hundreds of pilgrims walk from Ripon Cathedral to Fountains Abbey, Studley Royal, just as the pilgrim monks did in1132; what better thing to do but join them?

Our Christmas presents to each other were to renew our NT membership and get out and about more across Yorkshire in the new year, so lets start on our own doorstep at this amazing place.

Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey
Fountains Abbey

Multi colours at Fountains Abbey

Multi colours at Fountains Abbey
Multi colours at Fountains Abbey

fountains abbey mrs B in grounds of Fountains Abbey, Studley Royal

Swans in grounds of Fountains Abbey, Studley Royal
Swans in grounds of Fountains Abbey, Studley Royal
Chair in grounds of Fountains Abbey, Studley Royal
Chair in grounds of Fountains Abbey, Studley Royal
Studley Royal
Studley Royal
Studley Royal gardens
Studley Royal
Studley Royal gardens
Studley Royal gardens
Food and drink in Studley Roger for pilgrims on Boxing Day
Food and drink left out for pilgrims on Boxing Day