The Rollright Stones

The Rollright Stones is a complex of three Neolithic and Bronze Age megalithic monuments in the Cotswolds, the postcode address for it is OX7 5QB if you want to visit.

The complex consists of three main elements, The Kings Men stone circle, the King Stone, and the Whispering Knights.

The oldest, the Whispering Knights dolmen, is early Neolithic, circa 3,800-3,500 BC, the King’s Men stone circle is late Neolithic, circa 2,500 BC; and the King Stone is early to middle Bronze Age, circa 1,500 BC.

The Stones are made of natural boulders of Jurassic oolitic limestone which forms the bulk of the Cotswold hills. This stone has been used extensively in the region for building everything from churches and houses to stone walls. The boulders used to construct the Rollright Stones were probably collected from within 500m of the site.

In 2012, inspired by the legend of the Witch and the King, the environmental artist David Gosling created a wooden sculpture of a witch. This was made of the branches of Wellingtonia trees that were donated by The National Trust’s Compton Verney property, and held together with wire. The sculpture lasted for over a year but eventually succumbed to the forces of nature.

(text from the Rollright Stones website)

There is another temporary sculpture there now, also created by David and his son Adam – The Three Fairies 

Cloth, or gifts, tied to trees is an ancient tradition.  I believe it is a physical representation of a prayer or wish in which the help of Nature Spirits and Deities is asked for but I haven’t been able to find anything that explains this fully so if anyone knows more about it please let me know. The trees around the Rollrite stones are adorned with ribbons, flowers and other gifts. Some people see this as litter which I think is sad, as long as people consider the environment when choosing what to leave and don’t damage the trees I don’t see the problem and the wishes and prayers will mean a lot to someone and I believe should be left where they have been placed.

It’s a very peaceful pace to visit and a lovely place to go for a walk. The Stones are famously uncountable and it is said no one ever counts the same number twice.

 

 

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Massa Marittima

We recently spent a lovely, very relaxing, week in Tuscany. We stayed at the beautiful Valdonica Winery (more about Valdonica in a post to follow) nr Sassofortino. We spent the week touring the area and visiting some of the beautiful, mediaeval, walled towns and villages and enjoying the hospitality, the rejuvenation and the wine of Valdonica.

One of the cities was Massa Marittima, founded by the Etruscans, with it’s history closely linked to the Copper and Silver mines nearby.

At the centre of Piazza Garibaldi is Saint Cerbone’s Cathedral, first built in a pre-Romanesque style in the 12th century in order to shelter the remains of St. Cerbone.

It’s a stunning building, indicative of the many Churches and Cathedrals throughout Tuscany, a grand design, steeped in history and a focal point of the town.

(Artistic Temperament Scavenger Hunt – Something Old)

Abandoned – Building #1 ICI Plant Protection Building, Fernhurst.

ICI Plant Protection Division is a British company founded in 1926 and developed a wide range of Paints (Crown, Delux etc) and ‘Specialty chemicals’. They were a very large FTSE100 company at their peak.

In 2007 the acquisition process of ICI by AkzoNobel began, eventually being bought for the sum of £8 Billion in the August of 2007. The adhesive side of ICI was sold to Henkel to appease the European commission in ensuring they didn’t overly dominate the market.

‘At 8 a.m. on 2 January 2008, completion of the takeover of ICI plc by AkzoNobel was announced. Shareholders of ICI received either £6.70 in cash or AkzoNobel loan notes to the value of £6.70 per one nominal ICI share. The adhesives business of ICI was transferred to Henkel as a result of the deal, while AkzoNobel agreed to sell its Crown Paints subsidiary to satisfy the concerns of the European Commissioner for Competition’

Strangely, the CEO of ICI at the time, Sir John Harvey-Jones, died only 7 days later on the 9th of January 2008 at the age of 83.

The offices and laboratory in Fernhurst were closed at some point in mid 2008, and look like they were cleared by contractors in August 2008, almost exactly a year after the acquisition process begun.

There have been multiple plans for turning the site into housing over the years, yet 9 years later nothing has happened.

Text – courtesy of Gromr123 at Derelict Places

These are my images from a brief exploration of the site in February 2018. I didn’t go inside, there was a local resident watching us with suspicion and even though we stopped and talked to him to explain we just wanted to take some photographs I wasn’t comfortable going in with him near.

The building felt ominous and threatening but then that may just have been the presence of the watcher and too many horror movies, whatever the reason my photographs were all taken from outside – this time.

 

Mad March Hares

Did you know that male and female Hares are known as Jacks and Jills?

Did you also know that ‘boxing matches’ between Hares – which you may be lucky enough to catch a peek of at this time of year– are not Jack against Jack?

Jills actually tend to be bigger and stronger than Jacks (go Jills!). The boxing you see is the Jills batting away the jacks until they select the fittest mate, not unlike a Saturday night in most city centres.

Hare-rs

This was taken at The Sculpture Park in Churt in 2010, using a Canon EOS 500 35mm and I developed the film myself using the College darkroom. I first visited in 2006 and although it’s changed a lot since then there are still some sculptures that have been there since the early days changing and moving with time and seasons. They’re all for sale and they sit in over 10 acres of arboretum and the mixture of woodland, water, wildlife, gardens and sculpture is a favourite place for me when I feel like a walk and a few hours with a camera. (My Gallery from The Sculpture Park)

IMG_2745

(Taken on my first iPhone – iPhone4 in 2011 and post-processed in Hipstamatic)