Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Beach Board, Clayton Tunnel Cottage and Chichester Council House

"Beach Board" :- This image was shot way back on 5th July 2012 on a quiet Thursday morning. The beach board belonged to the life guard who was on duty and trying hard to stay attentive while guarding a very empty beach. I think t was more a case of the quiet before the storm as Brighton beach (UK) does indeed get very busy and packed with day trippers and holiday makers when the sun is out. Trying to keep your eyes on everyone can't be an easy job in a seaside resort.



"Clayton Tunnel Cottage" :- This is the famous north portal of Clayton Tunnel railway tunnel near the ancient village of Clayton in West Sussex, England. The tunnel itself is the longest on the London to Brighton Main Line measuring a pitch black 2065 metres (1 mile 499 yards). The famous turreted northern entrance/exit was built in 1841. If you look carefully between the two turrets you can see a couple of windows sitting under the roof of a small cottage which was built 8 years later in 1849. You can read more about this incredible looking Grade II listed building here :- Clayton Tunnel



"Chichester Council House" :- As the title suggests this is the council house in North Street in the city of Chichester located in West Sussex, England. It is actually a group of different buildings all connected together. The various buildings that make up the council house were built over a period of 150 years between 1731 and 1881.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Hogcroft Corner, Volks Station East and Passacaglia & Pier

"Hogcroft Corner" :- I love this corner of the field. It looks very English but also as if it's come straight out of some fairy tale of Tolkien adventure. The field in question is "Hogcroft Field" and it's in the historic village of Ovingdean just a few miles east of Brighton, England. The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086) and this field was once the site of a Medieval manor house. Many of the humps, bumps and undulations that you see in the field are hiding archaeological treasures. The wooden stile in the corner of the wall (just to the left of the leaning tree) takes a bit of climbing over as it's at head height when you get to it and you have to carefully negotiate your way up a few stone steps before making your way over and into the field above. It's a very beautiful and picturesque part of the village.



"Volk's Station East" :- Believe it or not this monstrosity of a structure is the Eastern "end of the line" station for the quaint and historical Volk's Railway on Brighton seafront. There's nothing aesthetically pleasing about this building at all and it's far from keeping with anything else in the area. The Volk's Electric Railway (VER) is the oldest operating electric railway in the world. Because of that fact it's seen a few changes and alterations since it first opened in 1883. The eastern end of the line was shortened in the late 1990's to make way for a storm water storage scheme to be built. The new station was built to incorporate the Southern Water pumping station and was officially opened in 1998. It was a controversial design and it's placing also ruffled a lot of feathers as it's off center with the ornamental terraces behind it. Needless to say it looks run down, unkempt and in need of a good lick of paint even though still operates as the station for the Volk's Railway during the summer months.



"Passacaglia & Pier" :- Somewhat of a rare shot and image from me as this one actually features a few people. This was the sunset as seen from Brighton (UK) seafront's lower promenade a few days ago on the 24th April 2014. The giant five meter high & 20 tonne "Passacaglia" sculpture (by Charles Hadcock) seemed to frame the sorry and forlorn looking ruins of the West Pier. The lighting was perfect, the iron was glinting and it was one of those moments that Brighton beach is known for.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Monday, 28 April 2014

Five Distant Benches, Waterlogged Car Park and Becalmed

"Five Distant Benches" :- This is an image of the cliff top path that runs between Saltdean & Rottingdean on the south coast of England. It was shot looking west with Rottingdean just over the brow of the steep hill, the English Channel can just be seen to the left. I like this image because there are many angles, lines and levels to visually explore within it.



"Waterlogged Car Park" :- A small gravel car park by Marine Drive (the A259) coast road at Roedean, Brighton (UK) has its pot holes and undulations filled with rain water. The harsh light causes the grass bank and lamp posts to fall into silhouette, beyond the coast road the sea (English Channel) stretches off for many flat miles.



"Becalmed" :- This image is very new as it was only taken on Thursday 24th April 2014 and then processed yesterday (Sunday 27th). It was shot from the very end of Brighton's famous pier just as the sun was setting around 8 pm. The sea was deadly calm and still which enabled the evenings hues to reflect and light up the surface. Bang in the middle of the image a small boat sits afloat drinking in the last light of the day.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Nature's Spotlight, Under Construction and Glynde Church & Gate

"Nature's Spotlight" :- An early evening shot from Brighton beach on a chilly January day. A break in the clouds allowed a shaft of sunlight to burst through creating a channel of light on the sea.



"Under Construction" :- A section of pavement / sidewalk is covered and boarded to protect those on the street (London Rd, Brighton) from the building work that's going on. The shiny boards reflect the light from the small square opening at the far end. More student accommodation is being built on a site that was once a grand Co-op department store which was built in 1931. It was a huge four storey building with the front measuring 54.86 meters (180 feet) with a couple of large doric styled columns over the main entrance. They recently demolished the entire building leaving only the frontage intact.



"Glynde Church & Gate" :- This is St.Mary's Church in the village of Glynde, England. It's an 18th Century Church (built in 1763) and is a rarity in that it's walls are knapped (squared) flints instead of the rough flint rubble walls that are usually found within Sussex. The interior has walls that are covered in printed hessian.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Persistence of Time, Landgate Tower and Black Arches

"Persistence of Time" :- A burnt umber sunset scatters light across a lake causing the land on the horizon to fall into silhouette. The body of water is Lake Siutghiol and the silhouetted land is part of the city of Constanța situated in Northern Dobruja, Romania. Constanța was actually founded around 600 BC which makes it the oldest surviving city in Romania. I took the image from Mamaia (a district of Constanța) which is a strip of land 8 km (5.0 mi) in length and only 300 m (328 yards) wide dividing Lake Siutghiol from the Black Sea. During winter up to 90% of the lake's surface can be covered by ice which is a huge amount as the lake itself extends over 20 km².



"Landgate Tower" :- The English county of Sussex strikes again with its rich and incredible history. Relatively modern buildings flank The Landgate Tower in Rye which is one of the best preserved medieval towns in England. In 1339 Rye was attacked by the French (due to the "Hundred Years War") and the town lost a mill and 52 houses as it burned. Defenses needed to be 'updated' and huge walls were built aided by ‘murage’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murage) granted by the King. The Landgate Tower was built somewhere around 1340 and in its original form had a portcullis that could be lowered (it was removed in 1735). Things didn't quite go to plan as in 1377 the French attacked once again and this time they nearly burned everything in the town with just a few buildings surviving the fire. The Landgate Tower was extended upwards with the addition of A third story and the towns walls were once again built to protect all. There were four way into Rye via the four main gates to the town which were named Landgate (pictured), Baddings Gate, Strandgate and Postern Gate. Believe it or not the French still weren't put of and proved that they were consistent by attacking Rye once again in 1449 and managed once again to burn a few buildings within the town. Just the Landgate Tower, Ypres Tower (now part of the Rye Castle Museum :- http://www.ryemuseum.co.uk/) and a few sections of the wall remain.



"Black Arches" :- A very dark, foreboding and moody image of Brighton's famous iron Victorian arches that run along the length of Madeira Drive between the pier and the marina. They are usually illuminated from both sides but for a reason unbeknown to me on this particular night (12th December 2013) they were in darkness. Just a silhouette of the ornate filigree lattice work could be seen, none of Brighton's traditional vibrant turquoise was visible. It's strange how the most familiar of places take on a different look and feel once they are consumed by the blanket of night. It was eerie wandering around the empty promenade. All my senses were heightened and on alert.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Friday, 25 April 2014

Jogging, Raindown and The Quadrant

"Jogging" :- An image shot on Hove's wide and spacious promenade on the south coast of England. It's an image that I have had lying around for some time (it was shot 12 months ago on 20th April 2013). Because it was shot into the sun there's an odd quality and lighting about it all that I quite like. It's certainly not one of my better shots but I find it therapeutic to experiment and post the results from time to time.



"Raindown" :- Shot from the top of the cliffs at Ovingdean Gap. The view is looking West towards Brighton's mighty Marina and the city itself. A huge storm cloud dwarfs the coastal resort as it releases its payload of rain over the sea and part of Brighton itself. At the same time the sun was starting to lower in the late afternoon sky creating a dramatic lighting effect.



"The Quadrant" :- In a world where modernisation equates to the demolition and systematc leveling of beautiful architecture so it can be replaced by nothing more than a box with windows it's refreshing that a few old buildings refuse to lie down and die. If you really want to see just how a real English Victorian pub looked then look no further. This is "The Quadrant" pub located on the corner of Queens Road and Air Street in Brighton, UK. It started of life in 1864 and was originally known as the Quadrant Hotel and believe it or not it's been serving alcohol and beer to the masses ever since! The ornate gold panel that sits over the door actually reads "Tom Bovey" and the gold panel above the window (far left of image) reads "Wine and Spirit Importer". Both signs are late-Victorian originals and Tom Bovey was The Quadrant landlord at the turn of the 20th century. You can read more about this wonderful Victorian establishment here :- The Qaudrant



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Monastery Steps, Spread Your Wings and Closed Beach Cafe

"Monastery Steps" :- Up until a few years ago this building was the home to "Cinque Ports Pottery" in the ancient village of Rye in East Sussex, England. Rye itself is shown on medieval maps and has a rich, vibrant and sometimes violent history attached to it. The Mermaid Inn originally dates from 1156 and was used as a meeting place for the notorious "Hawkhurst Gang" who were smugglers who were eventually hanged for murder. The old pottery building in this image has a fascinating history as it was once an Augustinian Friary! You can read about the history of the monastery building here :- The Monastery



"Spread Your Wings" :- This image was shot from a path along the South Downs Way not far from the village of Kingston in Sussex, UK. The view looks East over Kingston itself and out towards the chalk faces of the hills near Lewes and beyond to Mount Caburn (center of image). The distant hill to the right of the image is situated near the village of Firle (which is an old-English/Anglo-Saxon word meaning overgrown with oak). Firle was once part of the Abbey of Wilton's estate during the reign of Edward the Confessor (1042–66). This entire area is steeped in a thick and rich history that dates back many centuries.



"Closed Beach Cafe" :- This is the Meeting Place Cafe which is near the Peace Statue on the seafront by the boundary of Brighton & Hove on the south coast of England. The cafe has been run by the same owners since 1977 and is always busy (weather permitting). I'd been on a long walk along the promenade, I'd watched the sun go down from the far end of Hove Lawns and was making my way back towards Brighton when I noticed the cafe gently illuminated and all closed up for the night. I set the camera up on the tripod and patiently waited for the odd dog walker and roller skater to pass by and then grabbed the image with the sea providing a peaceful and calming backdrop.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Bored Boards, Gate on the Hill and Hard Light

"Bored Boards" :- It's very rare to find oneself on Brighton Pier in broad daylight without anyone else being around whatsoever. I had the place to myself. This was mainly due to a thick and cold sea mist that had swamped Brighton (Sussex, England) thus forcing most of it's tourists off the streets and into chip shops and amusement arcades. Of course I had to take full advantage of this and immediately wandered around the deserted pier with camera in hand and a contented grin on my face.



"Gate on the Hill" :- There are various routes you can take when walking into Brighton from the village of Ovingdean on the south coast of England. They all take varying amounts of time to complete so it often depends on how energetic I am feeling as to which route I find myself on. By far the quickest is the path that leads from the village, up past the farm and then up and over East Brighton Golf course (the public bridleway cuts right through the middle so you have to be aware and keep your head down in case of low flying golf balls). The path finishes at the Golf Club House where it turns into a proper road with pavement / sidewalk leading you down into Whitehawk and then onto Kemptown and eventually Brighton itself. The entire walk lasts for (approx) 50 minutes and shaves off quite a lot of time from the other routes you could take. This image was taken on 18th April (Friday) 2014 just where the path splits in two and heads off towards either Roedean or the Golf Course. Naturally I took the golf course route. Haven't been hit by a ball yet!



"Hard Light" :- Late November 2012 and wintry skies were casting a cold light on gun metal seas. I'd wrapped up to the point where I looked like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters but despite the gloves, scarf and various layers I was still feeling the chill of winter and my fingers were going numb. The waves were rolling in a quite a pace and seemed to be venting their anger against the shore as the white foam tried in vain to darken the leather of my boots!



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Pillar to Post, Trunk & Field and General Smith

"Pillar to Post" :- Shot on Brighton beach (Sussex, England) on the 15th November 2013. The sun had gone down and the last remaining light of the day was fading fast. Everything was either in silhouette or covered in a wonderful electric blue haze which n turn made the remains of the old West Pier (built in 1866) look as beautiful as ever.



"Trunk & Field" :- This is the beautiful and picturesque "Hogcroft Field" in the ancient village of Ovingdean which is located just a few miles East of Brighton, England. The field is primarily used for horses but many centuries ago it was the site of a medieval manor house as its remains were discovered there when archaeologists were given permission to dig there. The archaeologists have now returned and several trenches have once again been dug in an attempt to find out more about what was once there. I have tried several times to go down and see what they've discovered but on each occasion I have missed the archaeologists and found an empty field with a few trenches roped off. The village of Ovingdean has a couple of entries in the Domesday Book which was compiled and written in 1086. Right now there are plans to build a housing estate on one of the fields in the village and we need all the help and support we can muster to stop this from happening. If you so wish you can help us by signing the petition against the development here : Save Our Deans



"General Smith" :- This couldn't look any more English if it tried! This is "Glynde Forge", a traditional Blacksmiths in the village of Glynde in East Sussex, England. The forge was built in 1907 and still has its hand pumped bellows and working coke hearths! I love the giant wooden horseshoe that frames the open doorway and entrance to the forge. It's a throwback to the days before technology and when life was at a far slower and more pleasant pace. A picture of rural perfection.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Monday, 21 April 2014

Beauty and the Beast, Compressed and Copper Light

"Beauty and the Beast" :- Another shopping trolley/cart goes "AWOL" and stands discarded while 'Mother Nature' provides the stunning backdrop. This area was once a thriving and fun place to be. It was once the site for a large Art Deco Lido which everybody loved. The outdoor swimming pool was built in 1936 but it was eventually closed down in 1978 and demolished in 1979. Now the site stands empty and run down, broken concrete is strewn about the place and graffiti is on every wall and board. It looks disgraceful and it's disgusting that the area was simply flattened to then be left and ignored. It's an eyesore.



"Compressed" :- I am always fascinated by the way sound, wind and movement is flattened and stifled by mist and fog. It's an intriguing thing to watch and listen to. Obviously sound is affected because the fog interferes with the sound waves and also reduces the chances of anything echoing or bouncing back of wall and surfaces etc. But I am curious as to why it changes the sea. The tides still go in and out (nothing will stop that) but the sea remains flat with very little wave activity. I can only presume that the fog reduces the wind activity and thus calms the sea. It's a surreal landscape with no lapping water, no crashing waves, no gulls, no sounds and a stillness that envelopes everything. This shot was taken on the beach near Brighton marina during a heavy sea mist.



"Copper Light" :- Shot on the 16th November 2013 during an extremely low tide on Brighton beach. Things look so different when the sea decides to retreat more than usual. I'd love to see just how our planet really looks if all the water that filled our oceans, lakes and seas was removed. I know that most of our sea beds have been mapped but it's still hard to get your head around that there are grand canyon style areas under the water and submerged mountains. Then there are the 1000's of shipwrecks from throughout the ages and treasures and entire lost towns and ruins.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Golden Line, Down the Nave and Green Barn

"Golden Line" :- My favourite beach and hideaway. Ovingdean Gap is just a few miles East of Brighton on the south coast of England. It's away from the bustle of the city and tourists, it's quiet and it's also close to where I live.



"Down the Nave" :- This is the interior of Chichester Cathedral. It's an immense and highly impressive piece of architecture. It was founded as a cathedral in 1075 and was consecrated in 1108 so it's been a place of worship for 900 years! Chichester is the only medieval English cathedral which is visible from the sea and is a landmark for sailors.



"Green Barn" :- This large, old and worn barn door is located at the back of Stanmer Park within Stanmer Village. The village is a real throwback to a different age and time and is the only village I know of that's still part of a large estate.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Friday, 18 April 2014

Fresh Market Produce, Shining Through and Funtasia

"Fresh Market Produce" :- A market stall vendor catches 40 winks between customers. To be honest it's not an uncommon thing to see in Thailand. If you're not busy and business is slow why not have a snooze, especially when the heat is making you feel lethargic and tired. There are enough market traders in the vicinity to keep an eye on your goods while you doze and they are also just as ready to give you a shout when a valid customer turns up. I used to go to this market on a daily basis, I loved it. It's called "Pratu Chiang Mai Market" and it's located on the southern side of the old city of Chiang Mai (Thailand). "Pratu" means gate (as in entrance gate through city walls) and that's exactly where the market is situated, by the old gate in the ancient city walls by the southern moat. This market sold everything from shoes, shirts and jeans to paper lanterns and fireworks to pork, beef, vegetables, slushy sickly sweet crushed ice drinks of varying colours and some of the most delicious street food you could wish for.



"Shining Through" :- An unconventional view and image of Brighton's famous Victorian Pier and tourist attraction. Normally you'd find yourself well below on the beach with the pier thundering over your head but due to the severe storms the beach had been pushed back and up which in turn raised me to a height that was pretty much on equal terms with the pier itself. This meant that I was able to catch the sun shinning through the glass partitions on the pier as it was starting to set in the late afternoon sky.



"Funtasia" :- A grey, wet & windy afternoon on Eastbourne seafront. The day had started out sunny and bright so we jumped in the car and headed East for a drive over the famous East Dean Road (near Beachy Head) and down into Eastbourne itself. By the time I'd walked down to the beach a storm front had moved in and sucked all the colour out of everything as well as taking any remnant of warmth with it. This image shows a very quiet Eastbourne Pier (designed by Eugenius Birch and built in 1870) preparing for the downpour that was about to be unleashed on us all.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Platform Subway, Stone, Sand & Sea and Kings House

"Platform Subway" :- This is the pedestrian subway that leads underneath the train tracks from the southern platform to the northern (west bound) platform of London Road Station in Brighton, UK. It looks old and is old as the station was opened on 1st October 1877. The station was designed by David Mocatta (who was also the designer of Brighton Station). I stooped to take this shot as I liked the colours and old feel of the place as well as the play of natural light at the top against the illuminated section below.



"Stone, Sand & Sea" :- A bit of an abstract and surreal shot of the beach between Rottingdean and Saltdean on the south coast of England. The tide was beginning to make its way back in but the water still trapped from the previous tide was deadly still and calm as the rocks further out were acting as a natural barrier. I got reasonably low for the shot so I could make full use of the harsh sunlight giving the impression that a strip of rocks were floating in space.



"Kings House" :- This is the very grand looking "Kings House" situated on the corner of Grand Avenue and Kingsway in Hove. Originally "Kings House" was built as seven Italianate-style mansion blocks in 1872. It then became the "Prince’s Hotel" and earned the reputation of being one of the best hotels around with central heating in each bedroom and hot and cold seawater baths. In 1942 it was commandeered by the Royal Navy and named "H.M.S. Lizard ". The Navy used it as a shore training base and also for holding operation personnel before sending them on to other bases. Then in 1947 SEEBOARD (formerly South Eastern Electricity Board) made it their headquarters. Since 1996 it's been the council headquarters of Brighton and Hove City Council (it was the council that renamed the building "Kings House") and is now a Grade II listed building. There was rumour that the council were putting the magnificent building up for sale but nothing seems to have come of that (so far).



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Chair & Window, Wet Seats and Free Run

"Chair & Window" :- I didn't have far to go in order to create this image as it's actually my own living room. You'll normally find me out and about on the beach with the camera or wandering around Brighton but on this occasion I elected to stay in and be creative.



"Wet Seats" :- This is the sundeck / beer garden of "The West Quay" pub and restaurant within Brighton Marina Village in East Sussex, England. It had been raining throughout the day and everything was soaked and wet through including myself. I stopped to briefly to grab this shot as i liked the stark contrast of the dark wet wood with the white boats and clouds in the background.



"Free Run" :- Cold, damp and misty. In fact it was so dreadful that I found myself to be the only person brave enough to venture out onto Brighton's famous Victorian pier. I was in that very strange position of having the pier all to myself in broad daylight! Due to the sea mist the pier's illuminations had been turned on so there was an odd glow about everything. It was all very strange and highly surreal as it made me think of some of the old horror films where there's fog and you're all alone ... except that you're not all alone. I made sure I didn't say any names three times and got the shots I wanted reasonably fast before making my escape!



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Day Bowls, Slide Into Obscurity and Kipling's Tree

"Day Bowls" :- These are prayer bowls with the various days of the week painted on the side in Thai. The idea of this is that you pay respect to the Buddha statue representing the day you were born by placing some coins in the corresponding bowl and then praying. Each Buddha statue is posed differently for each day of the week. There are reasons for each pose but incredibly there are 110 official postures for Buddha images. You can read about them all here :- 110 Postures . This image was taken in a temple called Wat Chedlin (also Jet Lin) on Prapokklao Road in the city of Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand.



"Slide Into Obscurity" :- I didn't know at the time that this was going to be one of the last shots taken by me of the ruined West Pier in one piece. It was taken on a very sunny Friday afternoon in Brighton (UK) on 15th November 2013. A month after this and ferocious storms would be battering the coastlines of Britain, flooding much of its land and destroying properties, buildings and many tourist landmarks along the way. The West Pier was also a casualty as a section of her fell into the raging waters so she now stands in two parts, divided but still defiant!



"Kipling's Tree" :- A moody, twilight image taken from the village green in Rottingdean on the south coast of England. Beyond that high stone wall there is a garden. However, it's no ordinary garden as it was once the garden of Rudyard Kipling. The large house is called The Elms and the writer and poet rented and lived in it between 1897 and 1902 before moving to his 17th-century country home called "Bateman's" in Burwash. His Uncle was the pre-raphaelite painter Sir Edward Burne-Jones who also lived in Rottingdean. If you look across the green in this image you will see a round blue plate on the wall of a white house (far left of image). That house is called "North End House" and was created by merging "Prospect Cottage" and "Aubrey Cottage" together in 1880. "North End House" was where Sir Edward and Lady Georgina Burne-Jones lived.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Monday, 14 April 2014

Whatever Floats Your Boat, Metal Screen and Pioneer Trail

"Whatever Floats Your Boat" :- A shot of one of the apartment blocks located within Brighton Marina on the south coast of England. Construction of the Marina started in 1971 and much of it was completed by 1979 but bits have been added and altered ever since. It's a huge Marina covering (approx) 127 acres with 1,600 berths and is still the largest in Europe.



"Metal Screen" :- The title says it all really. This metal screen is deep inside the 11th Century Chichester Cathedral in Chichester, West Sussex and is part of the Choir and Presbytery. It's a fascinating place to walk around, rich in history with many treasures and artworks.



"Pioneer Trail" :- Do you see them? During low tide the rocks on the beach between the marina and Rottingdean village (on the south coast of England) are exposed and so are some unusual marks. Parallel lines running straight and true carved into the rocks. These are all that's left of Magnus Volk's Brighton and Rottingdean Seashore Electric Railway which ran between 1896 and 1901. You can read more about it here :- Rottingdean Seashore Electric Railway. There was a thick sea mist on the day that I took this which made the lines look like they go on forever.



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Searing Light, St John's Tower and Closing Up

"Searing Light" :- Another of those moments where things that are completely out of your hands all come together just at the right time as you 'click' and create an image. I knew the beams of light light were beginning to tear through the gap in the heavy clouds so I set up as quickly and as best I could without really keeping an eye on things and fired off the camera. What I hadn't banked on was that a gull would fly into shot just at the point where the beams really shone through with the old ruins of the West Pier (Brighton, UK) making a perfect and surreal background.



"St John's Tower" :- There are countless fairy tales, legends and old stories handed down over the centuries that tell tales of maidens locked in tall round towers. Most were in need of rescuing by gallant Knights on their trusty white steeds, some simply let their hair down or tied sheets together and the rest erred on the side of evil and plotted in their towers whilst staring into the odd full length mirror. OK, so this tower isn't one of 'those' towers at all but it looks as though it should be. It's a rare tower though as it's one of only three Norman towers in Sussex that were built round and not square (as was the Norman norm). This is the tower of St John's Church in the village of Piddinghoe in the Lewes District of East Sussex, England. The other two round towers also belong to churches and they can be found in Southease and Lewes, all three were built in the first half of the 12th century, are just a few miles apart and located in the Ouse Valley. Oddly enough the village of Piddinghoe does not have an entry in the Domesday Book (1086) but in 1220 it was documented that a "Piddinhoe Manor" had been in the hands of William de Warenne (5th Earl of Surrey - died on 27th May 1240). As for the round towers nobody knows why they were built that way and not square. There are various theories being put forward, many of which involve different 'experts' pontificating about a plethora of 'facts' none of which can be proven etc (as is the expected thing from experts). The bottom line is that we simply do not know, but they are wonderful to see.



"Closing Up" :- A twilight image of the beach cafe at Ovingdean Gap, the customers had long gone and they were just in the process of closing up for the night. I loved the orange / yellow light spill from the window on the front and side door so grabbed the shot before they had chance to shut everything. As many of you know I often walk this route between Ovingdean and Brighton (on the south coast of England) and only made my way home along here on Friday night which was a relatively close shave for me as last night (Saturday) a car somehow managed to leave the road and plunged 100 ft over the cliff. Thankfully the driver survived but I'm not sure that would have!



All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill