West end of the nave with bellcote
Located on Cautley Road in the Yorkshire Dales National Park stands the Church of St Mark. Built in 1847, the church is constructed of random rubble in the Decorated style. The church was designed by the English Gothic Revival architect William Butterfield and was one of his earliest commissions.
View along the nave to the chancel
The simple plan incorporates a nave with west bellcote, chancel, north vestry and a south porch. The chancel is slightly lower than the nave and features a large three light east window with ogival headed lights and geometrical tracery. The chancel also has a double chamfered arch with a Perpendicular style wooden screen.
Fine detailing from the pulpit
The walls of the interior are plastered with a panelled dado and plain panelled wooden pews grace the nave.
The Church of St Mark is Grade II Listed.
Built on the site of a medieval hall is the imposing country house ruin of Lowther Castle. Constructed of calciferous sandstone ashlar, the Castle was the design of the English architect Sir Robert Smirke. Lowther was built between 1806 and 1814 and designed as a majestic castle viewed from the outside and a luxurious contemporary home on the inside.
Lowther Castle is positioned 800 feet above sea level between barrows and earth mounds which date to the time Neolithic people roamed the area and are 5000 years old. Iron Age settlements from 2000 years later have been found and deep below the Castle, an old river still courses. Vikings inhabited the lands at Lowther and legend has it that in 925AD, a Viking named Dolfin stayed by the river and named it lowth-a which translates as ‘foaming water’.
Lowther was the seat of the Lowther family from the 12th century and defending their lands during the Middle Ages, Lowther knights fought Scottish armies. By 1300, the head of the family went into battle carrying a shield painted yellow with six black rings (annulets). Although the Lowther coat of arms has evolved with successive generations, the annulets remain dominant in the family estate. The Lowthers were a prominent family in Westmorland from the 13th century.
Generations of the Lowther family made their mark on the landscape over the next 400 years. A symmetrical country house was built by Sir John Lowther early in the 17th century which was later rebuilt by John, Viscount of Lonsdale. John commissioned a great Baroque house and a massive series of formal gardens were created around 1700 in the symmetrical style of the French Baroque. William, Earl of Lonsdale, was a Tory politician, nobleman and coal magnate who was made Knight of the Garter in 1807. It is this Earl of Lonsdale who commissioned Smirke to build the Castle we see remaining today.
Following the death of his father in 1949, the 7th Earl Lord Lonsdale inherited the abandoned castle in 1953 with considerably large amounts of debt. With the castle a financial drain, the 7th Earl tried to find a buyer for the castle. Faced with no alternative, the Earl had the roof removed to avoid paying rates on the property.
In 2008 a charitable trust was formed to rescue Lowther from neglect. The Trust secured funding in 2009 with the desire to create a contemporary overlay on the historical gardens. The Castle and Stable Courtyard were condemned as unsafe and effectively had to be deconstructed before restoration could begin. Additional structural steel has been inserted into some of the more unstable elevations to reduce the risk of collapse with Wattscliffe Lilac sandstone (quarried in Derbyshire) used to provide new stone.
Beautifully decorated tiles were uncovered on the Winter Garden floor in 2013 having been covered in moss and elder for decades. Research is currently underway to establish the best way of preserving the tiles for future generations. Lowther Castle is Grade II* Listed.
The Anglican chapel at Stapenhill Cemetery was built in 1866 by Simpson and Lynam of Nottingham and was designed by the architects Lucy and Littler of Liverpool. The chapel is Decorated Gothic in its architectural style and is typical of the period.
Varied window tracery and mullions adorn the chapel which features a five sided apse at the west end.
The steeple is asymmetrically placed at the south west corner. The large east window (above) illuminates the main chapel with smaller windows used to light the side chapels.
The south entrance with high pointed Gothic style arch and stone coping. The chapel is Grade II Listed.
Located on Stapenhill Road is the cemetery and chapels of Stapenhill, now in the parish of Brizlincote. The stone archways at the entrance of the cemetery lead to the original 12 acre site (now over 30 acres) which was purchased from the Marquis of Anglesey in 1864. The Gothic archways feature poppy head finials, a central carriage arch, High Victorian Gothic pedestrian side arches and are Grade II listed.
The town coat of arms beneath a winged angel sits above the central archway
A flight of stone steps lead to the Gothic style gatehouse lodge (above)
Holloway Lodge dates to 1810 and was built as part of an extensive restoration programme at Tamworth Castle. The single storey gatehouse originally had battlemented crenellations which were raised when the Borough Council added another floor. Built in a Gothic Revival style, the gatehouse has a central carriage entrance and round angle turrets. Constructed of ashlar, Holloway Lodge is Grade II Listed.
Located at Claife Wray is Wray Castle, the former home built for the retired Liverpool surgeon James Dawson. The elaborate house was designed and built by the 19th century accountant John Jackson Lightfoot. With an interest in architecture, Wray Castle is the only building he designed and following his death in 1843, another architect (thought likely to be H.P.Horner) completed the building. Built between 1840-1847, the building is constructed of slate with ashlar dressings and features embattled parapets, towers and turrets.
The octagonal entrance hall has encaustic tiles and segmental pointed heads to doorways which lead to an imperial staircase.
Wray Castle became a private residential college for Merchant Navy Radio Officers in 1958 with all of the rooms renamed to reflect the Merchant Navy life. The gallery landing was known as the Boat Deck with rooms on the ground floor used for teaching.
The building features a first floor gallery with panelled detailing and is Grade II* Listed.
The rebuilding of the west front of Lichfield Cathedral was began shortly after 1285. The central doorway is richly decorated and features sculpted figures on the central pillar and sides of the porch. The west front remained unaltered and escaped damage during the Reformation of the 16th century. Many of the statues were damaged during the 17th century parliamentarian siege and occupation with a large number of medieval statues being removed during the mid 18th century.
The sculpted figures which remain in the porch are the work of the 19th century British sculptor Mary Grant. The statues date to the time of the Victorian restoration work of George Gilbert Scott with figures of Moses and Aaron on either side of the doorway. The central pillar has the figure of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus with the figure of St Mary Magdalene on the left.