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Genius Loci Digest - 22 April 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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From My Photo-hoard
Jacobean butterfly hinge with heat-hammered nail heads.
Jacobean butterfly hinge with heat-hammered nail heads.
Words
“Keep your face towards the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.” Audrey Tomlin. (Garden Diaries)
Observations
All photos shot on iPhone.
The view down to the village of Arncliffe from Old Cote Little Moor.
The view down to the village of Arncliffe from Old Cote Little Moor.
Between the fungi and the fallen tree. 
We head out to walk the Kettlewell, Arncliffe loop. The view down to the village of Arncliffe from Middlesmoor Pasture has to be one of the best in England. The C15th Church tower of St. Oswald, set in a nook of the river Skirfare, rises from behind a copse of sycamore. 
In the village, we walk across the stone bridge, edge nervously past the village stocks and head towards the church. From the road the view of the church is percolated through a lych gate and sentry of ewe trees. 
We sit beside the porch and take in the churchyard. Whilst we rest, billows of dust plume out of the porch entrance. The dust-busters are in. We chat to a volunteer that cleans the church every week. She tells us that she recently lost her husband and that he now rests between the church and the river. Her loss sits on my mind whilst I walk along the banks of the Skirfare. Skirfare comes from old norse meaning clarity of water. The churchyard brings a clarity to the line between life and death. This place is polarised, a vessel built for beginnings and endings. 
Shortly before we visit St. Oswald’s, we trek through Park Scar: a rare concoction of larch and oak and moorland - it is a marginal place, a place that’s in-between. The place feels otherworldly - a realm bounded by erratics. It is from places like this that fairy tales are born. It is a place for Little Red Riding Hood, Orpheus and Eurydice, Macbeth and Heathcliffe. It isn’t one thing or the other - it isn’t a moor, not quite a wood - not light, nor shade, not good, nor evil. 
Park Scar
Park Scar
After leaving the scar I take a little of its wonder with me into the churchyard at St. Oswald’s, but it isn’t until I speak to the dust-buster that I realise why I carry the magic from the hillside. Unlike the polarity of the church at Arncliffe, Park Scar is a living continuum. The transition between life and death is hard to define. Between the fungi and the fallen tree, I can’t find where the beginning begins or the end ends. Indeed in this liminal place there is no beginning and there is no end.
The Kettlewell/ Arncliffe loop
A wonderful walk over Middlesmoor Pasture to Arncliffe, then along the Littondale valley through Hawkswick and back to Kettlewell. 6.25 miles. Allow 4 hours - with a lunch stop at Arncliffe or Kettlewell (See Hotspots below).
Map courtesy of Ordnance Survey.
Map courtesy of Ordnance Survey.
Karst Landscape
The horizontal lines of stepped limestone are beds of sedimentary layers of rock formed from the remains of sea creatures. The layers can be seen in the photo below behind the town of Kettlewell. It’s a unique landscape where the edges have been scraped along by passing glaciers in the last ice age. The walk takes you into the heart of this landscape.
Virtual Reality through the Ordnance Survey App.
Virtual Reality through the Ordnance Survey App.
Andy Marshall 📸 on Twitter:
Although it was a warm day - the heights still retain dregs of snow
Although it was a warm day - the heights still retain dregs of snow
Char at the top of Middlesmoor Pasture.
Char at the top of Middlesmoor Pasture.
View back to Kettlewell from Middlesmoor Pasture.
View back to Kettlewell from Middlesmoor Pasture.
Sedimentary walking along the River Skirfare - on the way to Hawkswick.
Sedimentary walking along the River Skirfare - on the way to Hawkswick.
Hotspots
The last couple of weeks have been interspersed with walks and work. Including some fascinating trips out to the East Riding of Yorkshire and a photo shoot in Hampshire (more on that next week).
All photos shot on iPhone.
Arncliffe, Littondale, Yorkshire Dales.
If you want to get a feel for a medieval planned village (with a Norse influence) visit Arncliffe. The village is based around a large square green with tofts (land that belongs to each house) behind. Arncliffe comes from the Norse meaning Eagle Cliff. The church of St. Oswald lies next to the river Skirfare. The village was the original location for the English soap, Emmerdale and has some lovely vernacular agricultural and domestic buildings ranging from the C17th to the C19th. It also has an early over-light….
The Falcon Inn is the ideal respite on the loop.
The Falcon Inn is the ideal respite on the loop.
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The Door Light
Notice the rectangular window over the door above in Arncliffe? It’s quite an early example in the evolution of the fanlight. Over-lights were originally utilitarian in their use - to bring light into the hallway - but, during the Georgian period, became stylised and loaded with status. The earliest over-lights were actually in the door itself - see below. The styling of over- lights helps you read a building and give clues as to its age, but is also a marker in the development of human expression through architecture.
Early door light in Wickham, Hampshire. Compare with Arncliffe - not hard to see the evolutionary leap.
Early door light in Wickham, Hampshire. Compare with Arncliffe - not hard to see the evolutionary leap.
Early door light in Worcester.
Early door light in Worcester.
Regency door light in York.
Regency door light in York.
Decorative Victorian door light with lamp insert in Marlborough.
Decorative Victorian door light with lamp insert in Marlborough.
100 English Door Lights Digital Print Large – Photo Wellness - These Things Matter.
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The village green at Arncliffe.
The village green at Arncliffe.
C17th and C18th agricultural buildings
C17th and C18th agricultural buildings
St. Oswald’s Church, Arncliffe
There’s evidence of a church being here in Saxon times. The current church is C16th and C18th. The views from the moor of the church and village are spectacular.
Note the markings on the hinge - derived from the saltaire cross.
Note the markings on the hinge - derived from the saltaire cross.
The interior is much restored.
The interior is much restored.
Hawkswick, Littondale, Yorkshire Dales
Kettlewell, Upper Wharfedale, Yorkshire Dales
On our final stop at Kettlewell I noticed this lovely depiction of a bird (thrush?) over a window. During our walk we were accompanied by a barn owl, skylark, curlew and oyster catcher, not to mention the blue tits, robins and pheasant in the churchyard. Our final destination was the Racehorse pub for lunch - I do recommend the fishfinger butty.
The Racehorse Pub
The Racehorse Pub
The hearth at the Racehorse.
The hearth at the Racehorse.
Vanlife
The carpark at Kettlewell is quite large - but you'll need to get there early at weekends.
The carpark at Kettlewell is quite large - but you'll need to get there early at weekends.
V'envy
Overlanding Land Rover at Kettlewell.
Overlanding Land Rover at Kettlewell.
On My Coffee Table
So good I've shared this book twice...
So good I've shared this book twice...
From The Charo's
Eric de Mare’s photography taught me how to see spatially. What I love about this book about photography is how they’ve ditched the idea of a photograph for the front page and articulated the power of graphic design to communicate an idea. Our facades are just as communicative - and our over lights are the vowels and consonants in our architectural grammar.
Eric de Mare's photography taught me how to see spatially.
Eric de Mare's photography taught me how to see spatially.
Bookmarked
Hit the road: the rise of photography vans - Amateur Photographer
A great walk to a great pub – The Old Post Office, Ingleton, Yorkshire Dales | Yorkshire holidays | The Guardian
Scientists find fossil of dinosaur ‘killed on day of asteroid strike’ | Dinosaurs | The Guardian
Film and Sound
BBC iPlayer - Walking With... - Series 1: Walking with Steph McGovern
Time Team Is Back
From the Twittersphere
Andy Marshall 📸 on Twitter: "One for the early birds: heavenly glimpse of the west door and nave at Beverley Minster.… "
Response
JfA:Architect on Twitter:
Sue Harpham on Twitter:
Curt Milam on Twitter:
Become A Member
These things matter...
These things matter...
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And Finally...
Context
Remember the barn I visited on my last Dales walk? The one with numbers etched on the window? They say it’s good to get to know a place - to understand its context, to develop a visual relationship with it. Here’s the barn from the side of the moor (centre). It’s surrounded by the lumps and bumps of previous ages (medieval field systems). Notice the curve of the u-shaped valley from glacial erosion and also the point where pasture ends and moor begins.
The field barn (centre of the image).
The field barn (centre of the image).
Thanks for coming along - see you next week. Andy.
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Andy Marshall
Andy Marshall @fotofacade

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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