Monday, 21 September 2015

Condemned Cell, All The Eights and Queen's Road Quadrant

Condemned Cell :- It looks like something you'd see in a film like "The Man In The Iron mask", "The Three Muskateers" or "The Prince and the Pauper". The fact of the matter is that this is no fiml set or mock up but the real Condemned cell of the Debtors Prison which is now part of York Castle Museum in the City of York in Yorkshire. The Debtors Prison was built (using stone from the ruins of the castle) between 1701 and 1705. It's a grim but fascinating place to visit as it drives home the reality of just how stark, bleak and brutal this place was. Everything you see in this room is original. The iron bed on blocks would have had a thin straw mattress on it but I doubt there was that much comfort and there's also a fireplace and a rudimentary toilet. For a very long time it was considered to be the final cell of the notorious highwayman John Palmer who was otherwise known as Dick Turpin. However new research has shown the condemned cells area (in this image) within the prison where they thought Turpin wad been held was in fact not the condemned cells area until the 19th century. The small day room where was actually kept is just down the corridor. A researcher by the name of Dr Katherine Prior found plans dated 1732 which showed the individual cells at the prison. The 18th century cells were clearly marked and showed where the condemned room was at the time of Turpin. The highwayman Dick Turpin was found guilty of horse-theft and was taken from his cell to Knavesmire where the gallows awaited him on Saturday the 7th April 1739. Before they could hang him he said a few words, turned and then threw himself from the ladder thus hanging himself before they had chance. Dick Turpin is buried in St. George's churchyard (near Walmgate Bar) in the City of York. His tombstone is still there in the churchyard but they are now questioning if he's actually under it.

All The Eights :- There's beauty to be found in most things, you just have to look at them in the right way. The minute I exited the stairwell door and found myself on the upper and exposed level of the multi-storey car park in Brighton Marina I saw this row of empty parking bays all lit up. But as I looked at the bays I sort of saw them mentally as if i'd processed the image in 'black and white'. It looked good to me so I took the shot (with the odd funny look from people in cars driving past).

Queen's Road Quadrant :- Brighton's famous for it's Regency, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture. It's famous Royal Pavilion, Victorian streets, alleyways and seafront. It's a hotbed of history and is rich with figures from the past who ruled, painted, wrote, acted and performed here. But there's another side of Brighton that's been taking over for the last 20 or 30 years and that's the onslaught of modern and unsightly archtecture. I don't mind new things being built at all. It's how things work as every town and city slowly regenerates and evolves as time endlessly trudges on. What I do object to is badly designed buildings that spring up in an otherwise beautiful town or city. I am baffled by a lot of modern architecture and designs. There's very little finesse or style involved anymore. Everything seems to be boxlike and angular, no embellishments are allowed. It makes me wonder how we went from the frilly and fancy Victorian designs through the curved flowing grace of the 30's and ended up here with our edges and angles.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill