Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Girgenti Tower

This tower is to be found at Girgenti farm in Ayrshire - visible from miles around, even from the Ayrshire coast. It used to have a spire on top of it.

Captain John Cheap(e) built his eccentric mansion house at Bonnyton (as Girgenti was originally known) with plantations, shrubberies, a walled garden and the tower.

[Girgenti was a town in Sicily 'named' for the famous ancient Greek ruins of Agrigentum. The name of the town has been changed to Agrigento.]

There are many stories associated with it, but the most likely seems to be that Captain Cheape believed in reincarnation and, being sure he would return as a bird, built a large tower, with a dovecote on top. It was finished in 1843, is 80 feet tall, has four clock faces, a coat of arms and a motto - Didus Fructus (Let it spread its fruit abroad).

A more fanciful tale is that Captain Cheape was in league with smugglers and would light a lamp in the top of the tower when he knew the coast was clear.

The mansion was demolished in the early 20th Century, but there are also stories of Glasgow alcoholics being brought down to be immured in the extensive cellars of the mansion until they had 'dried out'.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fergushill Parish Church of Scotland

Fergushill Church is an attractive church with bell-tower and has a fine view west over the Ayrshire countryside and to Arran. It was built as an extension, required for the growing mining community, from Kilwinning Parish Church in 1879. The architect was William Railton of Kilmarnock.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Irvine - Trinity Church

Trinity Church, Irvine is a Venetian Gothic church (1861-1863)- Architect: Frederick Thomas Pilkington (1832-1898)- with polychrome stonework and pointed arches typical of the style. Built of bull-faced coursed rubble with contrasting stugged dressings, the faƧade features red sandstone ashlar band courses and alternating voussoirs, detailed with foliaceous carving, much weathered in places. Steeply pitched stone finialled gables with polychrome sunburst masonry support the steep roofs. The west entrance elevation features a polygonal stone spire with contrasting fishscale bandings recessed to the left with a gabled porch.

In a totally derelict condition which is a real shame.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Irvine - Town House Tower

The Irvine Town House, with its octagonal lantern, was built in 1859.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Ayr - St Leonard's Church of Scotland

As you now will be aware, Ayr and Prestwick have a wheen o' churches between them.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ayr - Town Hall

The Town Hall in Ayr boasts an impressive steeple some 225 feet in height. I've also included a more detailed picture of the section at the clock level.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Prestwick - St Nicholas' Parish Church

St Nicholas' Parish Church in Prestwick, built of Mauchline sandstone, was designed by Mr. Peter MacGregor Chalmers, a noted Glasgow architect of ecclesiastical buildings.

The final estimates were accepted in September 1907 and St Nicholas Parish Church was solemnly dedicated on Friday 20th November 1908.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Dunoon - St John's Church

I know it's not in Ayrshire, but St John's Church of Scotland Dunoon, an 1877 Gothic style building, has an excellent spire.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Largs - St Columba's Parish Church

St Columba's Parish Church in Largs, built of Ballochmyle sandstone with a 150 feet high clock tower, is a prominent local landmark.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ayr - St Margaret's Roman Catholic Church

St Margaret's, opened in 1827, was the first Roman Catholic Church in Ayrshire since the Reformation.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ayr - St Andrew's Parish Church

St Andrew's Parish Church of Scotland by John B Wilson was built of red sandstone in Perpendicular Gothic Style in 1893 and has a landmark 146 foot spire, visible from many points.

You may notice a theme starting - no not churches, although there are likely to be a fair few of them, but towers, spires and the like.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Ayr - Tower of Holy Trinity

The foundation stone of the current Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Ayr was laid in 1887 and the new church opened in 1888; this on the site of the church originally opened in 1839.

The design was by John Loughborough Pearson, RA, who designed mainly in England. His original ideas for a tower and spire (almost certainly very tall and very sharp) were not followed up and the current tower and 'spire' was added in 1964, 76 years after the church opened.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Madeira - Final

I'll get back to Ayrshire photos after this, but the last Madeira photograph I wanted to share with you is from Porto Moniz on the northern coast. It was not a stormy day, the sun was shining and it was very pleasant, but the waves battered into the shore. It would have been perfect for surfers apart from the fact that there was no beach so they would probably have been killed coming ashore!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Madeira Interior

A photograph from the interior of the island this time. You climb up a very long way before you get to look down into this area. Talk about clinging to the hillside? There isn't a lot of cultivatable land so it all gets used.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Madeira once more

I thought I'd post a daylight photograph. This one from Funchal fish market appeals since it shows how ugly the black scabbard fish is, but it tastes wonderful. Luckily I tasted the fish before I saw it!

I'll resume posting Ayrshire photographs next week after I've settled back into my routine, so you'll get a couple more Madeira ones first. [I've posted most of those on my flickr page.]

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Madeira again

Another night-time photograph from Funchal.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

More Madeira

Having given you a sunset shot, here is a night-time shot of Funchal.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Have some Madeira m'dear

I'm back!

Having taken a week break at the Quinta Perestrello hotel in Funchal, Madeira. This is the picture from the balcony of our room as the evening sun sets on Funchal.

I'll publish one or two other Madeira pictures over the next few days until I get back into the Ayrshire rhythm.