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Andy Marshall's Genius Loci Digest - 27 May 2022

Genius Loci Digest
Welcome!
I’m an architectural photographer and writer. 
On my van-life travels through the British Isles I’m building up a word and photo-hoard of material culture that celebrates the value and distinctiveness of our built heritage and contributes to a sense of place.
My van is my time-machine, it gives me fresh perspectives on our remarkable places, shared here on a weekly basis.📸🚐🏛
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Photo-hoard
The medieval town house at Avoncroft Museum
The medieval town house at Avoncroft Museum
Words
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
Mark Twain
Observations
What lies beneath. 
A unique landscape in Lancashire
We are on a walk from Chipping in Lancashire taking in a circular route besides the Whitewell gorge. The landscape is a mix of ancient deer park, woodland-copse, river-ford and agricultural hamlet. It’s hard to believe that the 358.9 million year old Carboniferous holds sway just a few feet beneath my boots. 
Our walk places a sandstone landscape cheek by jowl with a karst of limestone. Chipping sits on sandstone formed in shallow seas of sedimentary layers of silt, whereas the hamlets to the north sit upon limestone created from seas rich in carbonate, corals and shelly fauna. The change is sudden and distinctive: in one moment I’m taking in the long view down to the Hodder and the next I’m deep within a gorge surrounded by knolls dotted with bluebells and the sound of a cuckoo. 
Lime Kiln near Knot Hill
Lime Kiln near Knot Hill
The clues are there for all to see: the roofs that protect the older buildings of Chipping are made from sandstone. The yawning expanse across the ancient deer park at Leagram wouldn’t be possible without its stable sandstone base. Whilst the limestone walls that carve up the landscape around Dinkling Green and Fairy Holes are supplemented by lime kilns and sink holes. Chipping has the feel of the Peak District whilst Fairy Holes has a splash of the Yorkshire Dales. This landscape is unique. 
The former deer park at Leagram
The former deer park at Leagram
Hotspots
Chipping, Lancashire
Vernacular delights and two churches
Still laid out on it’s C17th plan, Chipping shows signs in the decor of its facades of former wealthy times. One of its occupants, John Brabin was a wealthy cloth merchant and funded the building of the school (now a private residence)and almshouses.
There is ample parking in Chipping although the largest car park is height restricted. Some parking spots for camper vans adjacent.
Buildings
The former school (rear) and almshouses (right)
The former school (rear) and almshouses (right)
Porch to the former school
Porch to the former school
Porch to the former school
Porch to the former school
Almshouses
Almshouses
Door to almshouse
Door to almshouse
Fire mark?
Fire mark?
Notice the blind window - which is part of the chimney flue
Notice the blind window - which is part of the chimney flue
The Sun Inn from the church
The Sun Inn from the church
Door to the Sunn Inn
Door to the Sunn Inn
St. Mary’s Catholic Church
A luxurious interior and a grisly find
This part of the world was a Catholic stronghold after the dissolution of the monasteries. Many farms and halls had priest holes. Leagram Hall, nearby had a secret chapel. I came across this building by chance - tucked away beyond the former school house. Nothing prepared me for the sumptuous interior. Built in the 1820’s.
Inside the church, this bag is said to have contained the decapitated head of a priest after he was slain whilst celebrating mass in 1848.
St. Bartholomew
Stone carved delights
There’s nothing as beautiful as a dalliance of steps leading the eye up to an ancient tower. Our senses are being cajoled by the built environment -herded like the sheep that made Chipping’s wealth into a frame of mind.
I was prepared to be disappointed with the church at Chipping. I had read that its earliest fabric had been lost to Victorian improvements. It was wrong and, if its countenance is anything to go by, this little Church has everything going for it. 
The font of 1520 displays several symbols including instruments of the passion. Around the base are the inverted letters AMGPDT - Ave Maria Gratia Piena Dominus Tecum
The carvings on the capitals are distinctive and of equal delight. Here a jocular grouping of faces followed by a bear. Shakespeare was alive when these stones were carved.
This is something I’ve never seen depicted in such a fashion before - the Gothic tracery of a window.
A serpent with a long tongue.
A serpent with a long tongue.
Did you hear the one about the two footballers wives?
Did you hear the one about the two footballers wives?
This trough is said to be Anglo-Saxon
This trough is said to be Anglo-Saxon
Chipping Farm Shop
Full of local produce and lovely coffee. They also do a take away menu.
Chipping Whitewell Gorge Walk
A hidden gem besides the river Hodder
Shhh, don’t tell anybody about the Hodder Valley area! Let them keep driving past onto the Lake District and beyond. The only fly in the ointment is the walk passes nearby the Inn at Whitewell - there is the chance you might bump into Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan - 8 miles, moderate walk.
View from the walk.
Vanlife
Things are warming up and it’s great to be able to get the awning out and sit outside. My midge defence is a Sari bought in Ripon.
I’ve been a digital nomad on and off this last few weeks. So much so I took my iMac with me to speed up post production.
I’ve been asked how the van gets its electricity to power all my equipment. It has a 240V plug - but it can only be used when it’s ‘hooked up’. A cable runs from the van to a plug point - normally supplied by the campsite. When the van is off grid - I have a power bank and a solar panel. The leisure battery still charges the lighting and the fridge. I can last for a few days on the leisure battery - longer if I’m travelling around, because it is charged by the motor as well.
On My Coffee Table
Journeys Through Brigantia: The Forest of Bowland
Journeys Through Brigantia: The Forest of Bowland
From The Charo's
Bookmarked
Welcome To The Preston Geotrail | GeoLancashire
Home | Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings
Rare stone circle found at prehistoric ritual site in Cornwall | Cornwall | The Guardian
‘Our ancestors are in the rocks’: Australian gas project threatens ancient carvings – and emissions blowout | Fossil fuels | The Guardian
Film and Sound
01 The Inn At Whitewell
From the Twittersphere
Response
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Andy Marshall
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Join me on my van-life travels in the British Isles as I build a photo-hoard of material treasures that celebrate our built heritage and contribute to a sense of place.

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