Tuesday, 29 July 2014

A Grand Ruin, Old Shoreham Tollbridge and Centered

"A Grand Ruin" :- It looks uninhabitable. The roof's largely missing, the windows are devoid of glass, there are no upper floors at all. The biggest surprise is that downstairs a few rooms survived, were lived in and are now open to the public. This is Nymans House and once home to the Messel family. It started off life as a grand Regency house but was slowly transformed in the 1920's into a Medieval Manor House. Unfortunately a fire tore through much of the building in 1947, gutting out a huge percentage of the house and leaving it as you see it now. The Messel family simply continued to live in the few rooms that remained unscathed. The house has huge Royal connections attached to it as the last of the Messels to live in the house was Anne, the 6th Countess of Rosse. Her first marriage was to Ronald Armstrong-Jones with whom she had two children, Susan (born 1927) and Antony Charles Robert (born 1930). Her son Antony Charles Robert Armstrong-Jones is better known as Lord Snowdon. He is the 1st Earl of Snowdon, GCVO RDI, an English photographer and film maker. He was also married to Princess Margaret, younger daughter of King George VI, and younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II.

"Old Shoreham Tollbridge" :- Hard to believe that this old wooden bridge was once part of a major road! This is Shoreham Tollbridge and apparently it's the last of its kind in Sussex and one of the last of its kind anywhere in the world. Before the Shoreham flyover and bypass was built this wooden bridge carried the the (A27) coastal trunk road. When it finally closed to traffic on the 7th December 1970 it was the last public road bridge in Sussex to be controlled by a toll. In 2008 the bridge was fully retored with pilehead crossbeams, deck support longitudinal beams and handrails with selective replacement and reinforcement of components of each of the 27 pile bents being replaced. The bridge is a Grade II listed building and is preserved as a building of historic interest.

"Centered" :- Brighton and Hove must be pretty unique. Flanked by the English Channel to the south and then completely surrounded by rich, lush, green countryside to the North, East and West. It's hard to think of anywehre else quite like it. This tree is but a ten minute drive to a sprawling, bustling busy seaside resort and city and yet standing by it the silence is deafening. Natural, unspoiled, protected countryside. A rarity and a must.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill