DP Weekly Photo Challenge – Heritage

via Photo Challenge: Heritage


Levant ‘Tin’ Mine, Pendeen, North Cornwall

Here in the UK we are blessed with a rich Heritage.  The country side and towns are littered with buildings from long before Stonehenge to modern times…every generation creating its own piece of history and leaving behind a footprint for those that follow.

I have to admit to having a preference for the architecture that has been left by the early industrialist.

Today Cornwall is perhaps best known as a holiday destination (and a great one at that) but in days gone by it was the centre of a mining industry.  Below the surface the land was rich in minerals, Lead, Arsenic, Coal, Fluorspar and China Clay… perhaps those familiar with the Poldark Saga will immediately think of Tin.

Levant Mine above was just one of many Tin Mines.  Dangerous places to work, rock falls, explosions, gasses and working in the dark with just a candle fixed to a felt ‘Hard Hat’.  The search for the elusive veins of mineral even so some mines extended their workings in long tunnels under the sea.

Levant Mine is now a Heritage Museum with a Beam Engine…well worth a visit but maybe like me you may just like to sit and take in the Heritage that is in the air, even today long after these mines were abandoned.

My suggestion for this weeks DP Photo Challenge.  It is fun to see what other have suggested, click on this link :- https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/heritage/

19th May

(C) David Oakes 2017

Sunday…So Off to Church. As its Easter its a Special Church


Hereford Cathedral, Herefordshire

Standing proud on the banks of the River Wye, Hereford Cathedral perhaps looks it best in the early spring light, with Weeping Willow and Daffodils gracing the gardens that surround the Cathedral.  It is a magical Cathedral, not the largest of British Cathedrals, however its layout and architecture lends much added character.

Of course like most Cathedrals early life was of a more humble Church.  Dating back to the 670’s and possibly earlier the Church was dedicated to two Saints.  Saint Mary the Virgin and Saint Ethelbert the King.  Ethelbert was beheaded in 792 on the whim of Offa, King of Mercia.  There is a tomb to Ethelbert in the Cathedral.

It has to be said that after that  Hereford Cathedral had both a violent part to play in history and was also subject to a great deal of rebuilding, extending and alteration. Being so close to the Welsh Border and Welsh Marches it did get caught up in the cross border conflicts and was burnt down by Welsh and Irish Forces.  Reconstruction started in 1079, with major adaption in 1409 and at frequent intervals over the centuries that followed.


The Lady Chapel

Today the Cathedral is always busy with visitors. Despite these numbers, many would find todays very real tranquillity within these high walls, a dramatic contrast to its turbulent history.


West Doorway

Herford Cathedral is also the home of the famous and unique Mappa Mundi.  Dating to the 1300’s this early map is a representation of the world as imagined. Information gleaned from ecclesiastic travellers and others.  Surprisingly places that supposedly were not know of at that time are represented on the map and even more surprising in reasonably accurate locations. A definite Bucket List addition.

As I cannot show you any images of this treasure you may find this link useful:-


16th April

(C) David Oakes 2017

Sunday……So Off to Church


Saint Michael and All Angels Church, Sheldon, Derbyshire

High on the Derbyshire Moors well hidden behind the main street of Sheldon Village is the village church.  As churches go it is not that old being built in 1865.  There once was a  small chapel in the village but I am unclear were that was located but in anycase it was demolished when the new Church, dedicated to Saint Michael and All Angels, was constructed.

Surrounded by trees to protect it from the high winds that often blow across the moors, the exterior is squat and plain with one rounded end but notably a very distinctive high roof…once you step inside you can admire the wood beams that are needed to support this high roof.



Note the suspended lights. They were originally Oil Lamps but when electricity arrived were converted.  Simple and plain St Michaels is a spacious and peaceful place of worship for the villagers.


But take time to explore the Graveyard ( I guess there are more folk buried here than live in the village today).  Read the stones and you soon can tell for yourself some of the history of the area.

Sheldon I have called a village but in reality it is one main street with houses each side and the odd farm.  At one time an Inn and a School were part of the street but these are long gone, though the old school is now the village hall.

 Sheldon like many Derbyshire villages in this area known as the White Peak, hides the fact that this was once a very industrious and busy region. Sheldon was one of the main Lead Mining Centres.  Walk in any direction and you will soon stumble upon an old Lead ‘Rake’ or  traces of a deeper mine shaft.  The gravestones provide testament to the dangers of being a one of the lead miners.

Lead Mining dates back to Roman times but at its height in the 17/18oo’s ….but Sheldons Magpie Mine regularly modernised and  managed to struggle on till 1958 when it finally closed….


Magpie Mine, Sheldon

Magpie Mine is now the centre of the Peak District Mines Historical Society a very fitting use for these old buildings.  There is the Agent’s House, Powder House, the Smoke Stack and Pump House where once stood a ‘Cornish Beam Engine’, Winding House and even a Horse powered winch.

Like Sheldon itself the mine and Saint Michaels will tell its own story for those who spend a little time to explore…..it will be time well spent.

16th October

(C) David Oakes 2016

Sunday…..So Off to Church (not this week)


The above location is Sunderland Point on the Lancashire coast, I published this image as one of my ‘Favourite Places” a few weeks ago.

Sunderland Point is reached after crossing an area of Salt marshes , the village being cut off everyday at high tide.  It is a lonely spot but one surrounded by spectacular views all around. On side the Bowland Fells and the other the expanse of Morecambe Bay. At high tide your feet can literally be in the water but once sea recedes you have an amazing view over mile after mile of sands and mudflats.  The sound of seabirds is everywhere and you can spend countless hours watching the frantic feeding of thousands upon thousands of waders probing the sands.

But above everything else Sunderland Point is a place that has a hauntingly yet powerfully spiritual atmosphere.

 Sunderland Point was  an important port in the 1600’s (and possibly earlier).  The Harbour Master House and Customs Office is still by the Quay.

It was for a great many years an important shipping link. But eventually the Ports isolation across the Salt Marsh made the inward and outward transport of cargo, by horse and cart, tedious. First Lancaster, up stream along the River Lune developed St.Georges Quay. Even with this developement Ships still had to wait up at Sunderland Quay for the tides to swell the river and allow access to Lancaster. Progress came again with the building of a new style of dock on the opposite bank of the Lune. Glasson Dock was  a dock with lock gates to control the water levels.  A canal was added and a new transport system had evolved.

So where does the Church come into this…well it doesn’t, not this week for the simple reason there is no church at Sunderland.

I mentioned the special atmosphere and indeed this small wind swept , sea surrounded isolated point in giant Morecambe Bay is very special… even the shadows of a modern Nuclear Power Plant takes nothing away from this barren yet enchanting place.

Sunderland Port though does have a dark secret, sadly it was once  a Port on the so called ‘Slavery Triangle’

I mentioned that there is a Spiritual feel and for me and many others there is.  Perhaps that feel is hightened by the following true story.


This is “Upstep Cottage” just off the old Quay.  It was here in 1736 that a Slave and Personal Servant to one of the Ships Captains died. Samboo (or Sambo) was the name he was known by.  By all accounts his ‘Master’ considered him  as both a faithful servant and a friend, they had sailed on may an ocean together. But as Sambo was not a Christian he could not be buried in any nearby consecrated grounds, so it was thought fitting that a grave amongst the sand dunes with his head towards his home across the seas would be appropriate.

The grave was respected for many years and indeed in 1796 it was felt fitting that a metal plaque and inscription be added.  The wording for the elegy was written by Rev James Watson a retired local Head Teacher. That wording I think expresses local feelings and respect well



At some point in the 1900s the plaque was desecrated but a replica was soon installed.  It is not clear why Samboo died, it might just have been illness after all the years at sea. But local belief is that he died of a broken heart.  His Master had travelled on business to Lancaster and left Samboo alone…it is said he had felt that he had been abandoned and left alone in a foreign land.

What is for sure is that Samboos Grave is still well cared for. I have never know it without flowers and by some local tradition decorated stones are added.

Now you must agree there is a spiritual feel to the place

2nd October

(C) David Oakes 2016