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Friday, October 31, 2008

Alms houses - Sherborne

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If I didn't win the lottery, or I come across hard times maybe I would be lucky enough to end up here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

When I win the lottery!!!!

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The title says it all!
On second thoughts I doubt it, far too big!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Mayor of Casterbridge - his house

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I always say you should only ever read one Thomas Hardy book a year. Whilst he's a great writer, he is not exactly uplifting! The Leonard Cohen of writing?.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Cerne Abbas giant

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When you pass this you have to stop and take a picture.

The Cerne Abbas Giant, Dorset.

The Cerne Abbas Giant or the 'Rude Man' is the largest hillfigure in Britain, he (the figure's gender is beyond doubt) is one of two representations of the human form, the other being the Long Man of Wilmington in East Sussex. The giant, carved in solid lines from the chalk bedrock measures in at 180 feet high, and carries a huge knobbled club, which measures 120 feet in length. The first written record of the giant appears in 1751 in a letter by Dorset historian John Hutchins, he suggested that the figure was cut in the mid 1600's. Another slightly later reference to the figure can be found in the Gentleman's magazine of 1764, where the figure is described and depicted with a navel, that has long since disappeared. The lack of earlier references is frustrating but does not mean that the figure dates to the 17th century, and its style and proximity to an Iron Age earthwork suggests a much earlier origin.
There are numerous theories as to when and why the giant was created, one of the more popular is that he is the Greek-Roman god Hercules, who is often represented with a club and an animal fur. It has been suggested that the figure was once depicted carrying and animal fur in his left hand. It is possible that worship of Hercules arrived in the early part of the Roman invasion, which was then became amalgamated with a god of a local Celtic tribe. The theory given the most weight by historians is that it was created during the reign of the Emperor Commodus between 180 - 193 AD, he believed himself to be a reincarnation of Hercules and allowed the cult to revive. Other stories suggest that the monks at the nearby monastery cut the giant as a joke on an Abbott called Thomas Corton, who was expelled from the area for malpractice. This is unlikely but its close proximity to a ecclesiastical house is strange, how could such an obviously pagan symbol have survived for so long? especially through puritanical times and the reformation. It may be that the religious buildings were built close to the giant as a form of amalgamation of the pagan site. This was common practice, and many churches are built on, or near to, sites that were once Pagan religious centres. FolkloreAccording to one tradition, recorded from a farm labourer in the Gentleman's Magazine, the figure is the representation of a Danish giant who had led an invasion of England from the coast. He had fallen asleep on the side of the hill, and the local villagers had taken advantage of his slumber and cut off his head. They had then drawn around his prone body in the manner of a gigantic police chalk line, to show where he met his doom. However, the chalk figure sometimes rose from the dead on dark nights, to quench his thirst in the local stream, a habit also common to certain standing stones.
The giant's obvious sexuality and virility was put to use in fertility folk magic. Local women who wanted to conceive would spend a night alone on the hillside - most productively within the confines of his giant phallus, and young couples would make love on the giant to ensure conception.
Copyright Cerne Abbas Giant

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ice House - Stourhead House

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Before refrigeration the Victorians managed to keep food fresh and chilled nearly all through the year with these Ice Houses.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Stourhead - Autumn

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Stourhead is a National Trust property about 60 miles from Cardiff. Click here for more information. Whilst the house is beautiful the landscaped gardens and grounds are something else. The house was owned by the Hoare family who were bankers.

Yew hedges

These are some shots I took whilst visiting some National Trust properties. Its interesting how the gardeners have pruned them.

The bottom photo shows the yew trees pruned as the "12 apostles".

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Panarth Head

This is a view taken from the barrage looking towards Penarth Head and the church.

Click to enlarge.

Penarth Head with St Augustine's Church on its summit has long been an important landmark, and I am told the Admiralty has paid for the tower to be repaired so it would remain in existence.[Gordon Smith, Naval-History.net]

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Abseil for Charity

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Here's some pictures of my friend abseiling down the side of the office for the Breast Cancer Awareness charity.
Well done Cath.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

No more rain for a while .......please.

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This was taken on Sunday, in a park next to the river Taf, which must have overflowed during the night.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Early morning

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Sleepy early Saturday morning streets.