Sunday, 2 August 2015

Scrolls, Clifford's Tower and Pea Green

Scrolls :- Here's a shot that I really wasn't expecting to be able to take. The Middle Street Synagogue in Brighton is a hidden treasure. For the most part its doors are locked and its windows are boarded up and from the road it looks like a very mundane and nondescript building. But once in a while it's opened up to the public and the treasures within are revealed. The Middle Street Synagogue was opened in 1875 and it began as a rather humble building but due to its many benefactors who were renowned 19th century figures its interior started to flourish. Due to its preserved 19th century interior it's like walking tino the past. As I stood there in awe it felt like I was onboard Captain Nemo's "Nautilus", everything was gold, red velvet or marble and the floor was a chequered pattern of black and white. Only Brighton's Royal Pavilion challenges its grandeur, nothing else comes anywhere near it. This Grade II* listed building has been hailed as "One of Europe's Greatest Synagogues".

Clifford's Tower :- Patience and timing played an enormous part in me getting this shot. This is a busy junction in the City of York, it's where Clifford Street, Tower Street and Peckitt Street meet. It's also where a lot of tourists flock so I had to wait quite a length of time with the camera set up and ready to go before the area was free of both traffic and people. So what you see here is Clifford's Tower and it is Norman. Originally there was a wooden tower on top of the large mound and both were built by by William the Conqueror in 1068. Move on a hundred or so years and in 1190 anti-Semitic riots in York culminated with 150 Jews being massacred on the site when they took refuge in the tower and the tower was then burnt down. After this tragic and terrible event the mound was rebuilt and raised (between 1190 and 1194) to the height it stands at now. Somewhere around the middle of the 13th century Henry III rebuilt the castle in stone and the 'keep' was rebuilt to a 'quatrefoil' design (unique in England). The tower is (approx) 50ft (15m) high and 200 ft (61m) in diameter. In 1684 a huge explosion (which must have shaken the City considerably) destroyed the tower's interior and also blew its roof off. Nobody is sure as to hwy it's known as Clifford's Tower but one theory suggests that it may be because Roger de Clifford was hanged at the tower in 1322 for opposing Edward II. The tower is now owned by is owned by English Heritage and open (for a price) to the public.

Pea Green :- Shot from the undercliff walk somewhere between Ovingdean Gap and Brighton. This demonstrates the ever changing face of the beach and rocks. Whilst certain sections are highly polished chalk and stripped bare other parts are encrusted with thick weed and green algae. It's fun to wander out on the rocks but the algae acts like ice at the best of times and is lethal if you are not concentrating on your movements.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill