Sunday, 24 May 2015

Ashburnham Tower, Chalk Beach and Gated Saints

Ashburnham Tower :- I thought i'd treat you all to a colour image of the famous Ashburnham Tower that's part of the old Scotney Castle near Lamberhurst in Kent, England. This is no movie set or composite special eefect fantasy image ... this is the real thing. The castle was built between 1378 and 1380 by Roger Ashburnham (Conservator of the Peace in Kent and Sussex) due to widespread panic that was caused in 1377 when the French arrived by ship and raided the Sussex coast creating havoc and much damage. So whichever way you look at it this castle is over 630 years old. When you look at this exquisite and ancient structure it's hard not to have thoughts of princesses in towers, spinning wheels, strange little creatures asking you to guess their name and fairy tales in general. However, as I stated earlier this is no fantasy ... this is a very English reality.

Chalk Beach :- When the pebbles stop and the salt water pops out for a while there's san entirely different world to explore on the beach to the east of Brighton. Here you can clearly see vast white chalk beds that were once huge cliff faces that have been worn down and eroded over millenia. The chalk glistens and reflects the evening light to the point where it almost glows while the darker rocks just become black eerie shapes floundering about on the edge. It's peaceful down here. There's no thump of music, no scream from the rides on the end of the pier, no traffic horns, no shouting, no stag do's or hen parties, no lads down from London on a night out, no tourists and no drunks. Just the sound of the sea, the odd sound of the gulls and a gentle breeze. Bliss.

Gated Saints :- An unexpected stop on a drive from England to Romania a coupld of years ago meant that I was forced to stay a night in Hennef, a town in the Rhein-Sieg district of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Having booked into a room and freshened up I then grabbed the camera and ventured out to explore the town. After walking 5 or 10 minutes I spotted a large tall spire sticking up through some trees and went to investigate. The spire belonged to the Church of St Simon and Judas which is a neo-Gothic structure built in 1898. Because it was late afternoon / early evening I thought the Church would be locked up and closed to the public but much to my surprise when I pushed its large wooden door it swung inwards with a creak that echoed off inside. The two saints standing on their own individual platforms behind an iron grill caught my eye. The lighting seemed atmospheric and perfect with the addition of just two lit candles below. Shadows danced and even the silence itself within the large German Church seemed to be echoing off the walls.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill