Review & pictures of latest venue
Buckland Abbey was originally a Cistercian Abbey founded in 1278 by Amicia, Countess of Devon. It remained an abbey until the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII in 1541. Henry sold Buckland to Sir Richard Grenville who began to convert the abbey into a residence. Sir Richard intended Buckland as a prestigious country estate for his son Roger, however, Roger did not live long enough to enjoy his new property as he died a few years later while commanding the warship Mary Rose. The estate then passed to Sir Richards grandson, also called Richard. Just four years after completing Buckland, Grenville sold it to his great rival, Sir Francis Drake. Drake had just returned from his voyage around the world and his pockets were flush with rewards bestowed upon him by Queen Elizabeth. As well as Buckland, Drake purchased about 40 properties around Devon. Drake only lived at Buckland on and off for about 15 years until his death in 1596. The house remained in the Drake family until 1946 when it was sold to landowner Arthur Rodd, who presented it to the National Trust in 1948.
On the 15th October Phil and I visited Looe, – a small coastal fishing port in North Cornwall. It’s divided by the River Looe, which flows down to the sea between East and West Looe through a steep-sided valley, teeming in wildlife and covered with mature-woodlands and rolling fields. We ambled along walkways beside the winding river of bobbing boats,- past the bridge uniting East and West Looe, (originally constructed in 1411) into the historic town centre with its bustling shops, restaurants, pubs and buildings of interest, such as, the 15th century Guildhall, (now a museum.) The ‘heart of the town’ fronts a small harbour with its prosperous fish market, cafes and gift shops. Beyond this, wandering through a labyrinth of lanes and along the river pathway, we came upon a broad sandy beach with the distinctive ‘Banjo Pier’ offering panoramic views along the coast and out to sea. The area behind the beach around St Mary’s Church is a haven of peace and tranquillity with its ancient tower and warren of narrow lanes dating from medieval times. Clustered along these lanes and alleys are quaint, well-aged-cottages, architecturally interesting and entirely captivating. This brief glimpse of East Looe was truly delightful … and there’s so much more waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.
Suzanne Byrne. 15/10/2019
Michael and Phil walked the Burrator Venue which they have pinned for the 1st October. This is a toe-in-the-water venue having not ventured into the moor previously, so slightly experimental though not too challenging. The starting point is the Dam then transport to the waterfall and onto Nosworthy Bridge and Leather Tor bridge and of course anywhere in between. From Nosworthy to Leather Tor Bridge there’s a steady ascent not to difficult, however those of the group less able the boys have walked an alternative route. After the waterfall Phil suggested he take some members by car up to Cross gates there the path to Leather Tor Bridge is primarily down hill as is the case for Nosworthy Bridge. All around the area are wonderful opportunities for pics, walking alongside the Meavy and Leather Tor Bridge, a flat stone with parapets and water rolling below, plus Nosworthy Bridge itself. Michael and Phil would also express the need for appropriate footwear as there’s minimal tarmac areas. Hopefully the weather will be good.
Michael & Phil.
www.parle.co.uk/dartmoor/index.htm (See Burrator pages)
Cawsand and Kingsand
Review by Pat Green, 19th August 2019
Just a few miles from Plymouth across the water lies the twin villages of Kingsand and Cawsand, this will offer the group lots of opportunities to photograph the pretty architecture and coastal views. Narrow streets filled with lovely pastel painted cottages, small village squares and the famous Clock Tower. Not very often that you find a village that is untouched by commercialism, there are a few shops selling the usual buckets & spades but I felt that I was stepping back in history as most of the cottages date from the 17th century when this was a fishing village and maybe even smuggling. These two small villages are a photographers delight but also a dilemma, so much to shoot one struggles to know where to start. The War Memorial on the top road gives you great views of both villages and far across the sea to Fort Picklecombe, Jennycliff and the Mewstone at Wembury.
A little bit of Trivia, amazingly, Cawsand and the adjoining village of Kingsand were once officially in different counties; Kingsand in Devon and Cawsand in Cornwall, one house near the Post Office still marks where the boundary lay. Nowadays both are firmly in Cornwall. I plan to find this mark on our group visit.
Buckfast & Holy Trinity
On Tuesday 6th August 2019 the group travelled to Buckfast to photograph both Holy Trinity & Buckfast Abbey Gardens. The weather started with a very heavy shower that lasted about 10mins it then abated to give us sunshine, someone was looking after us. Holy Trinity displayed it’s beauty and again welcomed us with three nesting swallow pairs. With the chicks almost fledged we witnessed the parent birds labouring away to keep their young fed. We stayed for about a hour hopefully all got the pictures they wanted. Buckfast Abbey a brilliant example of a relatively modern day Abbey architecture also maintains its soul from the twelveth century, we cannot eclipse here whats already written of the Abbey, we concentrated on the gardens this time and what an inducement how tranquil and relaxed you could very easily drift away. What a splendid afternoon of photography. Thank you all.
On 2nd July 2019 we visited the beautiful Mount Edgcumbe Country Park the weather was very good for taking photo’s. Having visited last year but mainly to the area of the garden and foreshore we offered to take some members up to the folly. Its a bit of a walk though you do take in the House and Camellia Way, themselves offering very good photo opportunities. Once through the gate and exiting Camellia Way the landscape opens out giving exceptional vistas over the Plymouth City shore line and beyond. The Folly, now in a ruin state, still allows access to its upper level that’s great for photographers especially those wanting panoramic shots. Alternatively just sitting and taking the views, which include the Moors and Mew stone off Wembury shore line.