Sunday, 17 December 2017

Peoples Palace Glasgow.

The People’s Palace is set in historic Glasgow Green. It is home to a collection of objects, photographs, prints and film which give a unique view into how Glaswegians lived, worked and played in years gone by to the present day. Opened on the 22nd January 1898 by the Earl of Roseberry it is home to a unique museum that is dedicated to the social and political life of the great Scottish city
Side view including the Winter Garden.

Constructed in red sandstone and French Renaissance in design it was built by Glasgow architect A. B. MacDonald.

Winter time in the Palace grounds. 

Barras Market.
The Steamie.

Various Political Banners.

Keir Hardy.

Thatcher Teapot. 

The rear of the building comprises a huge glasshouse construction known as the Winter Garden that includes a grand display of exotic palms and plants where you will also find a rather nice seating area where you can enjoy something to eat and a cup of coffee.

Exotic Plants and Palms in the Winter Garden.

Large Seating Area.

Coffee Shop and Restaurant. 

A bust of the late great Alex Harvey.

In 2005 the Doulton Fountain was extensively refurbished and relocated to its present position in front of the museum. At 46 feet high and 70 feet across at its base, it is the largest terracotta fountain in the world. It was originally gifted to the city in 1888 after the International Exhibition of Science, Art and Industry by Sir Henry Doulton to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, and is decorated with a figure of the Queen and groups from Canada, Australia, India and South Africa representing Britain's Empire.[1]

The Doulton Fountain.

Queen Victoria with a pidgin on her crown. 

Templeton on the Green.

Carpet Factory. 
The building opposite the palace was designed and built as a carpet factory for James Templeton and Sons. Completed in 1892 for the manufacture of Axminster Carpet. In 1984 bit was converted in to the Templeton Business Centre. Its current use includes office space, apartments’ and the West Brewery, bar and restaurant.

[1] Wikipedia.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Rosslyn Chapel Roslin.

In 1446 Sir William St Clair founded Rosslyn Chapel to spread intellectual and spiritual knowledge, and, like others of his station, to ensure his place in heaven. The building you see today is only part of what was intended to be a larger cruciform building with a tower, but as this took 40 years to build and Sir William died, it was never completed. What we are left with is a building that must be one of the most distinctive religious buildings in Britain.

I first learnt about this Chapel in one of the Ian Rankin’s Rebus novels, Set in Darkness published in 2000. It involves a murder of a MSP and Rosslyn Chapel and the eight feet high Apprentice Pillar form an interesting part of the plot. This pillar is one of the best known of all the wonderful stone carvings inside the chapel. In an Account of the Chapel of Rosslyn written in 1774 by the Bishop of Caithness he describes this fascinating legend as follows:
The Apprentice Pillar.
The Master Mason, having received from the Founder the model of a pillar of exquisite workmanship and design, hesitated to carry it out until he had been to Rome or some other foreign part and seen the original. He went abroad and in his absence an apprentice, having dreamt that he had finished the pillar, at once set to work and carried out the design as it now stands, a perfect marvel of workmanship. The Master Mason on his return, seeing the pillar completed, instead of being delighted at the success of his pupil, was so stung with envy that he asked who had dared to do it in his absence. On being told that it was his apprentice he was so in flamed with rage and passion that he stuck him with his mallet, killed him on the spot and paid the penalty for his rash and cruel act
Some of the many carvings.

Most people where introduced to the chapel because of its inclusion in the film The DaVinci Code that was based on the Dan Brown novel. Apparently the visitors have increased so much because of the movie that the Trust was able to build the modern visitors centre.

As well as an abundance of uniquely magnificent carvings the chapel is shrouded in legend and mystery involving, amongst other things, the Knights Templar and Masonic associations.  Rosslyn Chapels Guides do a grand job of explaining the history of the building and the carvings as well as the St Clair dynasty.

Various elevations and views of the castle.

Once you have visited the chapel and before you leave the area, I would suggest a stroll into the Roslin Glen and on to the site of the ruined Roslin Castle. Access to the ruin is down a rather steep narrow pathway and can only be accessed by foot. There’s not much left of the 15th century building where Mary Queen of Scots stayed on her tour of the south west of Scotland in 1563. Although not open to the public there is still a habitual building that has been a holiday let since 1980, if you have the nerve to stay there? The castle is reputed to be haunted by a black knight on horseback and a phantom hound. But to be fair there aren’t many old castles’ in Scotland that is not haunted by something or other!

Autumn in the lovely Roslin Glen 

There’s no information on site so to find out more about the castle one must rely on the Internet and you will find out that there has been a castle on the site since the early 14th century when the St Clair family, Earls of Caithness and Barons of Roslin fortified the site. It was after the destruction of the castle, during the many wars between England and Scotland, in 1544, that it was rebuilt into the cliffs of Roslin Glen.
The famous Rosslyn black cat William.
A worth while visit next time your in Edinburgh, a number 37 bus goes right into Roslin village followed by a very short walk to the visitors centre. It is likely that the village initially grew up to house the large amount of craftsmen who were employed to build the chapel over the 40-year period.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

East Riding of Yorkshire.

After reading a very good review of Blue Rose Holiday Park just south of the wee village of Brandesburton and north of Leven it was decided to give the area the once over. The adult only campsite was excellent, well organised, and well laid out and has good clean warm facilities and is highly recommended.

Blue Rose Camp Site.

Brandesburton has a post office, a small supermarket some restaurants and most importantly a fish and chip restaurant/take-away. The name of the village is an old English word meaning the fortified farmstead of Brandr that is reputed to be a Scandinavian name.

St Mary's Church.

The Church of St Mary’s had a major restoration in the later part of the 19th century and this is probably the building we see today although from its appearance the church has been kept in good repair ever since. There may have been an earlier religious building on the site according to the Doomsday survey in 1086. As this looks to be a moneyed area I would imagine that the plate on a Sunday would be quite heavy and help towards the upkeep.
Medieval Cross.
On the village green you will find a medieval cross, which a wee information board informs the inquisitive visitor that this marked the site of a weekly Thursday market and a annual fair held on the 3rd May each year. This 14th century cross is alleged to be the best preserved medieval village cross in the East Riding of Yorkshire. In the 19th century the village stocks stood against the cross and it was also a regular meeting place for the local hunt that in my opinion was the ideal people to put in the stocks, but that another story. Restoration work we see on the base of the cross took place on November 2011 by the Parish Council.

Beverley Minster

Poppy Display inside Minster.

Thankfully there are cycle paths that allowed us to travel the eight miles from the campsite to Beverley. The roads leading to the town are very busy; full of non-stop traffic and the town itself is also very hectic.  As well as the normal market town shops there some very nice Georgian and Victorian buildings most of which surround the Beverley Minster. A minster is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as ‘a large or important church, typically one of Cathedral status in the north of England that was built as part of a monastery’. Our visit to this grand building was cut short as the afternoon we visited a funeral was to take place, the poor departed must of had a lots of friends and family as the body of the Kirk was very busy. Apparently this is the third religious building to be built on the site. The latest reincarnation was started in 1220 and is reputed to a grand example of English church architecture, although an imposing building both internally and externally I have visited much grander church property.
Dominican Friary.
Just across from the minster is the beautifully restored 14th century Dominican friary that houses the local YHA.

St Mary's Parish Church Beverley.

Equally as nice looking as the minster, but on a much smaller scale, is the Parish Church of St Mary’s the opposite end of town. Continuous building took place over a 400-year period between 1120 and 1530. The building contains many interesting features including a carvings of a rabbit dressed as a pilgrim, which is said to have inspired Lewis Carroll’s White Rabbit.

Cafe Velo.

Opposite St Mary’s is the Cafe Velo a specialist cyclist coffee shop and restaurant where you can hang your bike on the wall while having your coffee and cake.

St Michaels Church Catwick.

Another recommended bike ride that can be enjoyed on mainly back roads is in the opposite direction via Bewholme, a wee village with rather unusual looking church built in 1900, to Atwick, an area said to be haunted by a headless horseman who better stay away from the cliffs at the shore line because of some very dangerous looking erosion. After Atwick turn south on the B1242 for 2 miles to the sea side resort of Hornsea which like many other seaside towns came to prominence due to the introduction of the railway which lasted 100 years until closure in 1964. The town has a very nice sea front promenade, which seemed very busy even for November.

The wee village of Atwick.

The dangerous cliffs - not a place i would want to park our Motorhome!

The very nice sea front at Hornsea.

The East Riding of Yorkshire has some very flat and uninteresting countryside, nearly all is arable farmland and beasts are rarely seen, mind you the aroma of pigs is quite strong so there must be a specialist farms in the area - but we have been spoilt by our wonderful countryside north of the border.