Photographs

St Magnus Cathedral – Kirkwall Orkney, Scotland

Iceland Cruise March 2018 – Continuing with our visit to Kirkwall, Orkney, we visited St Magnus Cathedral, where the door was open wide for all to enter.  Luckily there were only a few visitors, so I could take quite a few people free photos.  The building, to me, looks pink, a lovely rose pink, the stonework is a patched up here and there, but you are looking at a structure, that the earliest stages of building would have been in 1137.  Only fragments of the building that was based on Durham Cathedral remain, the walls, ceiling and pillars would have would have originally been plastered and painted with colourful floral patterns.  

By 1152 the choir and three pillars of the nave had been built, by the mid 12th century the apse was also in existence at the east end of the Cathedral  behind the high alter.  Many years later a gasket containing the bones of St Magnus was discovered in this area. Over the years the Cathedral has been restored, with the white washed walls, which happen during the Reformation, removed, and the lovely warm red sandstone was then revealed. Stained glass windows, replaced formally plain ones.  But in the 1960’s it became clear the the whole building was in serious danger of subsiding.  Sinking foundations meant that the nave was gradually leaning westward and the gable was endanger of collapsing into the street.  An appeal committee raised £300,000 and in 1974 restoration works were carried out with metal support girders, which are concealed by the nave and clerestory and the building was saved.  More restoration work has since been carried out, and wherever possible the red sandstone is retained.

St Magnus is a building that requires lots of exploring, I really only had about 30 minutes, but I think I have caught some of that lovely red sandstone.  I loved the carved pew ends, they are not medieval, but come from one of the more recent restorations.  The headstones on the walls, are so interesting, they once covered burials in the nave.  The stones contain many reminders of death, skulls, crossbones and hourglasses.  I did miss a few things, so this post will have to suffice, until I can returned to photograph the rest.

 

In The Shade, Little & Large

Just sorting some photos for Orkneys Cathedral, when I came across these two.  Up to no good, making plans for a quick get away…….no, really they were very good and stayed at their post on the canal boat, under the shade and on the cushions….a dogs life 🙂

West Pier Lighthouse 1854, Kirkwall, Orkney, Scotland

Iceland cruise March 2018 – When we were exploring Kirkwall, the chief town of Orkney, I found this small lighthouse down in the harbour.  The light was built in 1854, but creased working in 1994.  There is a new modern light, that has taken its place, but it nice to know the old one was kept, as it makes a nice focal point to the harbour.  Another one for the ‘Lighthouse Category’

 

 

The Italian Chapel, Lamb Holm, Orkney, Scotland

Iceland Cruise March 2018 – On my ‘want to do list ‘ was a visit to the Italian Chapel on Orkney, and guess what I got to see it, one of the coach trips included a tour…..so that was the one we went on, well husband got the whisky trip and I got the church.  I had always wanted to visit Orkney, as my great-grandfather was stationed there during WW1, teaching the Scottish ladies on how to make submarine nets.  He actually went to the Dardanelles and fitted them in place, but thats another story, maybe one day.  Well back to our visit, we travelled over a causeway to the small island of Lamb Holm and there, the only building left, is the beautiful Roman Catholic chapel which was constructed by Italian POWs during the Second World War.

In October 1939 a German submarine under the command of Gunther Prien entered Scapa Flow and sank the British battleship ‘Royal Oak’ with the loss of 834 lives. Winston Churchill, at that time First Sea Lord, visited Orkney and the decision was taken to construct barriers to close off four of the entrances to Scapa Flow to make the base for the home fleet more secure.  There was a shortage of manpower to build the barriers, so 550 Italian prisoners of war captured in North Africa, were transported to the Island of Lamb Holm to construction the barriers.

Following a request from the camp priest, Fr Giacobazzi, it was agreed that two Nissen huts would be joined together to provide a chapel. Among the Italians in Camp 60 was an artist, Domenico Chiocchetti, and he was given the task of transforming the two Nissen huts into a chapel. He was assisted by other tradesmen – in particular Giuseppe Palumbi a blacksmith, and Domenico Buttapasta a cement worker.  The chapel is the only building left of Camp 60.  I have added information boards at the bottom of the post.

For taking my photos of this beautiful chapel, I had to rush in before our coach party descended on the chapel, as it would then be impossible to take any people free photos.  My practice of taking photos in a very short time, came into full use and I got most of them, then just aimed for the ceiling.  For those few moments of just me, the chapel felt so serene.  

Chioccetti set to work on the painting of the interior of the sanctuary. The end result is a work of art that is magnificent, and must have been utterly stunning to those imprisoned here. Another prisoner, Giuseppe Palumbi, who had been a blacksmith in Italy before the war, spent four months constructing the wrought iron rood screen, which still complements the rest of the interior today.

Windmills, Minus Sails, Plus A Lot More

Four windmills that are quite local to where we live in the Fens.  None of them are now working, and only one has been restored into a home.  The first windmill is behind Mill House, which is really in need of being restored, if one had a lot of money to take on the task.

The next windmill is behind a garage and I suppose it will just all fall down one day, again such a shame.

Now this windmill has been saved and turned into a home, which is what could have happen to the other three.

Not from far from the above windmill, is this poor specimen, full of rubbish, I think it belongs to a small farm, there are old sheds nearby, which could have something to do with the mill.  But in the ten years we have lived here in the Fens, the mill has just got worse.  I just wanted to record them, while they are still standing.  There are many more dotted around, and I suppose you just can’t save everything.

Just a bystander, watching with interest.

Scapa Whisky Distillery, Orkney, Scotland

 

 

Iceland Cruise March 2018 – When we arrived on Orkney, one part of our coach trip was to see a whisky distillery, Scapa Whisky.  The weather was overcast and cold, also the windows of the coach were tinted and not that clean, so the photos I took out of the window were a bit hit and miss.  The tour was interesting and you got a wee dram and the glass to keep at the end of the tour, which pleased husband, and he was also pleased to add a new one to our ‘Whisky Distillery Category’

A little history……….Scapa has long been known as the ‘other distillery’ on Orkney, overshadowed in both reputation and popularity by the neighbouring Highland Park. This is hardly surprising, given Scapa’s relatively small annual capacity of just under 1 million litres. In recent years however, Scapa has enjoyed increasing popularity as a single malt.

The distillery was originally founded in 1885 by Macfarlane and Townsend, near the town of Kirkwall at the head of Scapa Bay. This location was significant during both World Wars, when it was used as a naval base for the British fleet. Following WWII the distillery was taken over by Hiram Walker & Sons, and then existed in relative anonymity for years before being mothballed in 1994. However, from 1997 until 2004 a small team of staff from Highland Park used the Scapa facility to distil small amounts of whisky and keep the equipment in use.

In 2004, Scapa underwent an extensive refurbishment worth over £2million and full-time production re-commenced. Ownership of the distillery transferred to Pernod Ricard in 2005, and they have helped to raise the profile of the Scapa brand considerably since then. Shortly after this takeover the traditional 12 year old Scapa was replaced with a new 14 year old expression. This was subsequently replaced again with the current 16 year old expression in 2008.

Bressay Island Lighthouse 1858 – Nr Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland

I nearly missed this lighthouse March 2018, too busy looking the other way.  We were on coach coming into Lerwick, and as we came over the top of a hill, my husband told me to look quickly through the other window.  There was a lighthouse, I took a quick photo and then it was gone.  What I had seen from a distance, was a Stevenson’s Lighthouse on Brassy Island, built between 1854 to 1858, and designed by brothers David and Thomas Stevenson.  You can visit the island, and there is quite a few places to visit, but as we didn’t have a car, and there was no way that we could go to the island, and get back in time for sailing on our cruise ship.  So one more reason to return and explore theses beautiful Islands.  The Lighthouse is going into my ‘Lighthouse Category’, until I return and take some close up photos.