Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


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The Village

The Village starts tonight on BBC1 at 9pm.

Image for The Village

I’m sure you will enjoy the scenery, it is going to look more than a little familiar to regular readers of this blog. Enjoy.

The drama sets out in 1914, here is the Uphilldowndale homestead in around 19006-1910

Home sweet home-2

I’d planned a longer post with a few links to ‘The Village’ landscape, but  that will have to wait. I’ve not been so well for the last few days, all those antibiotics came at a price, Joe tried to cheer me up, ‘At least it is better than the tooth ache Mum’. I certainly hope the reaction doesn’t last as long as the tooth ache.


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Barn and Spire

A quintessentially British landscape.

Barn and Spire -1 

If church buildings are your thing, pop over and have a look at some more of Derbyshire’s finest  religious buildings (and of course, there is this blogs ‘novelty contribution’ to Derbyshire’s church heritage ).

Or if fields are more your fare, pop over and look at Noel’s training blog, and the further adventures of moles in the meadows (we are fond of moles on this blog).

(I think the church spire is in the village of Butterton)


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All Mixed Up

I’m still here, there, and everywhere; wearing, as a colleague is fond of telling me ‘more hats than  they’ve got at John Lewis’.

This afternoon I drove to the village of Waterhouses  in Staffordshire, to collect Joe, he’d spent the weekend helping a Cub  Scout pack have a high old time at Orchard Farm. Mr Uphilldowndale took Joe there on Friday evening, through thick fog, not a pleasant journey. This was whilst I was at a rather  feisty public meeting, wearing one of my many hats, that wasn’t particularly pleasant either.

Waterhouses is set in the midst of beautiful countryside, but it was the nearby Cauldon Cement works that I wanted to photograph.

Cement works -1

But there was no time to stay and play,  as Joe needed to get home and get his homework done before his ‘weekend high’ slumped into Sunday night angst.

I’m looking forward to reclaiming some ‘me time’ to loiter around with the camera, but I’ve a sneaking suspicion its not going to be before New Year. So for the time being, ‘happy snaps’ it will have to be.

Joe was particular taken with the silos at the cement works,

silo -1

he said when they were out in a nearby field, they could hear the echo’s of their shouts (of which I’m sure there were many) echoing around the inside of the silos.

We’ve discussed cement works before…


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Beacon of Light Part II

A few more images from my tripod-less trip up the hill to the lighting of the Diamond Jubilee Beacon on Monday night.

All resemblance to the Wicker Man is purely coincidental. Honest.

The community gathers at dusk

Gathering -1

The ‘special’ people arrive

Gathering 1-1

Some were there only in spirit

Gathering 5-1

From the distant city, a signal

Gathering 4-1

It is time.

Gathering 8-1

They have spoken

Gathering 6-1

It is done

Beacon 2-1

The next gathering will be at the pub.

Thanks to the local mountain rescue team for hauling the beacon up the hill and generally  taking charge of the situation!


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The Bare Bones of Winter

The snow has gone, for now, these images were taken as it took its leave.

Winter fields 2-1

The houses at the foot of the shot  above must get no sun all winter… we have often thought how lucky we were to end up with a house on sunny side of a hill,  mind it was more through good luck than good management; buying as we did, at the height of summer it was something that never entered our busy little heads.

At this time of year its a landscape that is lean and emaciated or textural and fine boned, depending on your point of view.

Winter fields -1

Note the ugly white industrial building, bottom left of shot. When the snow is on the ground  it is at least it camouflaged, the other 50 weeks of the year it stick out like a sore thumb. Planners please note.


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Land Lines

I took Tom over to Bamford today, I was hoping for a bit of photo time on the way back, but the weather wasn’t very inspiring. But I’ve had my eye on the this spot for a blog post for a while and I doubt I’ll ever be there when the ‘light is right’ So here they are.

Walls sheep buttercups-1

I just like the geometry (or lack of it ) from the drystone walls and the colours, from different of grazing and pasture management.

Both shots are taken just outside Castleton, at the foot of the Winnats Pass

Looking down on the village from surrounding hills, you can see a distinctive pattern of narrow fields near the village. Dry-stone walls trace curving lines that preserve part of Castleton’s medieval open field. Different families had rights to share use of the field between them. Over time, this changed so that parts of the field came to be for the sole use of individual farms. Then the walls and hedgerows were built.

Fields and walls-1

Eagle eyed readers will note a snake of petrol blue smoke, just above the sky line, that will be from Hope cement works, somewhere I’ve photographed before

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