Friday, 11 June 2010

Bath Rail


Yesterday I discovered Lansdown Tower, William Beckford's 1826 eyrie up on the downs above Bath. I'm keeping the photograph of it for the in-progress folly tower book, but just as a taster here are the railings of the cemetery consecrated soon after Beckford's death that adjoins the foot of the tower, and affords spectacular views down over the city. He and his architect Henry Goodridge are both buried here. Anyway, there are railings and there are railings, and these are simply superb. Also designed by Goodridge, they are heavily Romanesque, their elaborate detail only enhanced by the ivy creeping slowly over them. I do hope they don't trim it all off on the next maintenance run, which by the look of this and the cemetery thankfully isn't very often. Which is a good thing, as in and out of the sombre tombstones are profusions of wild flowers. These overgrown acres are a true oasis from modern life, one of those very rare places where it is still possible to reach out and palpably experience the distant past.

8 comments:

Philip Wilkinson said...

One of those places I've meant to seek out. Thanks for showing us these telling details.

American in Bath said...

I've lived in Bath for 4 years now, and I've still not made it up. Now I have even more impetus to do so.

Sue said...

The folly tower book sounds interesting - can you tell us more?

Peter Ashley said...

Sue: A book on 60 folly towers (and similar) has been in progress for some time. A limited edition book and trade edition will be available later this year I hope. I've got about 15 more to do, and the whole enterprise has been an utterly absorbing and joyful experience.

Sue said...

That sounds wonderful. I have always wanted to live in a folly tower - or at least stay in one. Don't the National Trust have one or two that they rent out? They are quite big on folly towers here in Germany or at least having a ruin built in the back garden.

Peter Ashley said...

Sue: You need the Landmark Trust. Lots of folly towers to stay in, and much more.

Sue said...

Oh yes, that's jogged my memory - thanks. Just had a look at the Landmark Trust website - this could provide hours of amusement.

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