Dunblane Cathedral, Stirlingshire, is one of the few medieval cathedrals of Scotland to have remained in use. Commenced in the 12th century, most of the current building dates from the 13th century. After the Reformation services were conducted in the chancel and the nave became unroofed and remained this way for 300 years. The roof was restored in the late nineteenth century (1889) by Sir Robert Rowand Anderson. John Ruskin wrote of it in 1853 “I know not anything so perfect in its simplicity and so beautiful, as far as it reaches, in all the Gothic with which I am acquainted”. It is indeed an elegant building particularly its east gable shown here. This dates from the fifteenth century with nineteenth century tracery and has a power in its simpicity that makes it very special. It is complemented by a low scale cathedral close around the graveyard and the cathedral hall. This was designed in the seventeenth century scottish style with crow stepped battlements and an ealborately decorated east window but was in fact constructed in 1903. It was designed by Anderson as well.
The Golden Lion Hotel, Stirling. Comissioned by James Wingate, a Stirling business man, and said to have been designed by the architect Gideon Gray , the hotel opened in 1786 on the site of a former tavern. Robert Burns stayed here in 1786 and scratched a poem on the window of his room but is said to have come back later and smashed it becuase of its anti - royalist sentiment. Alterations to the front at ground level were carried out in the early 19th century and a significant remodleling and rebuilding of the interior and rear extension was carried out in the late twentieth century. Today, the hotel retains much character and is worth a visit.
The Engine Shed in Stirling, sketched from the Golden Lion Hotel in the town. The Shed was comprehensively renovated and extended in 2017 and now houses Historic Environment Scotland’s ‘dedicated building conservation centre’ and as well as a good shop and exhibition space. It hosts many talks and events aimed at professionals and the public year round. Well worth a visit if you are ever in the area.
The Trent Building, the formal centre piece of the University of Nottingham ‘University Park Campus’. Constructed between 1922 and 1928 and very typical of the period. Reminiscent of the Ulster Museum and some of the London town halls - like Hackney. A classical building in Portland stone with an elegant and formal relationship to the boating lake below. The narrow clock tower, however, bringing a strong vertical emphasis, marks the building out as early 20th century. A pleasant place to visit.
Heritage Angels NI is on this Tuesday in the Guildhall. It should be a great night with specially comissioned songs and video clip associated with each of the awards. Last year in Belfast was inspiring. There may be some free tickets left at: https://www.ulsterarchitecturalheritage.org.uk/event/heritage-angel-awards-2018/ …
The dramatic hillside of Cifton Wood in Bristol, marked by its colourful houses, looks accross the ‘Floating Harbour’ to Brunel’s SS Great Britain on Spike Island. The harbour is so named because dams at each end prevent the loss of water at low tide. This allows ships to remain afloat in the harbour. Its completion in 1809 was a major innovation for a city where water levels can change by 12 metres between tides. Half way up the hill is Old School Lane, a residential development of the mid 2000′s. It picks up the colour and plot width of the terrace above while being boldly of its own time. It is a very successful insertion into a sensitive context.
Marks of Time
Sketches of buildings in the North West of Ireland and further afield with a little information about their history.