These are a collection of photos taken a few years back of the sand deposits in the quarry on Hopwas Hill behind the Lichfield Transmitter mast taken at the dawn of the digital camera age. I remember it was my brother´s great idea to take up close up pictures of the dunes, capturing miniature desert landscapes. As quarries are constantly constructing and destroying landscapes, I don´t know what appearance it would have now but the quarry is still there in full swing.
The quarrying activity reveal and resurrect or at least evoke long dead landscapes. The sands and rounded pebbles in the area, so sought after by the quarries come from Triassic deserts and river deltas(250-200 million years ago). This is information I remember from geography lessons at school, so might not be entirely accurate but definitely made an impression on me and is now part of the story of the place for me( corrections are welcome).
Go back hundreds of millions of ago and find yourself surrounded by giant river delta in a desert setting reminiscent of pre-human Egypt maybe.
Tamworth Timehikes 250 million years ago
If you can´t do that find the next best thing and that´s taking a look and immersing yourself in the prehistoric landscapes created by the quarry. Below is a winding river in the desert created by the quarry, ideally with some large reptiles in the background.
Below are the photos of Tamworth timehike´s very own desert. There windows into a very ancient world, the oldest visible landscape in the Tamworth timehikes area, as well as some of the newest. The sands from those primordial times having a brief second life. Triassic sands again are being exposed to the elements and set free.
Below an oasis on the horizon
Abe and Ernst couldn´t resist the One thousand and one nights setting on their doorste.
There was something of The Planet of the Apes, Forbidden zone about the place too
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The demolishing of the Woodhouse is happening right now(see comment on post, woodhouse 1730-2010) , so thought it was time to post the authorities decision to allow demolition.
Below English Heritage have kindly allowed me to share the English Heritage advice report in response to my application and the reasons for it being denied. It’s quite detailed and has some fascinating new information on it´s possible use in WWII as a look out post and that maybe the remodelling of the tower dates from this period. For me this at least was not a reason to demolish it, but actually added historic value to the place. I understand that it was difficult case and that it was a difficult one to preserve and renovate, but if only the authorities had reacted earlier and were more open-minded in their criteria(it´s not all country houses!).
The Ministry of Culture didn´t think it was relevant to protect. I disagree, it was an impressive, highly interesting and unusual historic house, badly managed in the middle of an ancient wood. A little piece of magic and mystery has been taken away, I repeat this was an old historic house in middle of ancient wood= that´s special. It was a hidden treasure on Tamworth´s footstep for so many reasons .
At times it feels like some sort of Chairman Mao cultural revolution policy is in place in the area in terms of it´s past.
Disclaimer: This blog is not responsible for the views held in Abe and Ernst´s protest.
Here´s a link to UKurbanex´s photo archive on the woodhouse, many of them interior photos. There´s some great pictures there, those photos are now historic! There´s even photos of the Woodhouse cellar. Ok the place needed tidying up and there was some really dodgy paintwork but with some imagination…..
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With the whole Don Quijote theme running through the last posts it seems appropriate to put this link to a great new idea in theory from Spain to participate in reading out loud the Cervantes classic Don Quijote on youtube(I think in Spanish). It’s a hefty book and anything that makes Cervante´s all time classic more accessible is welcome.
Moneymore mill(formerly known as Weeford Mill, formerly known as Canwell mill)
In the quests for windmills, this is one of the furthest locations Ernst and Abe will have to travel in Tamworth Timehikes, it’s located to the south of Weeford(look for the windmill symbol in the present ordnance map below)
This has got to be one of the top 10 strange locations for a windmill, smack bang in the middle of a working quarry. Don´t know how they did it, but somehow someone managed that the tower survived in the midst of quarry HQ. With the dilemma of how could they get the pictures of the place ( they couldn´t ask for obvious reasons ) Ernst and Abe paraglided over the quarry and managed to take this picture below.
taken from http://www.multimap.com
To get in closer Abe and Ernst decided on using one of the bulldozers as cover, in all the excitement they didn´t take any pictures, a poor excuse.
According to Windmill World , it was first mentioned in 1818 and consists of surviving windmill tower. Taking a look at the first ordnance survey map below of the area, dated to 1817, it´s clearly marked out as Canwell Mill(map taken from british library website).
Did it have any relation to nearby Canwell hall, which was previously the site of the medieval Canwell priory? Priories were working institutes and would often have a ‘mill’ in their property. The mill itself was from the late 18th/early 19th century, connection to an earlier mill is pure conjecture and can´t find anything out there. Apart from that according to English Heritage it was used as a flour mill.
Below is an image of Reads Flour Mill in nearby Burton, demolished in 2000, to give an idea of a functioning mill in the area. The image is taken from Staffordshire past track.
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