Discover this beautiful place in lovely Lancashire just reservoirs, hills, moors, woodland, follies, ruined cottages/halls, my favourite local hiking area
It’s a great place near Chorley to visit and go for a walk.
Sam Rowena x
There was a great creative vibe at my embellished hair accessories and beaded flower wirework class at the weekend.
After teaching basic bead-embellished designs, we progressed onto using buttons, flower beads, diamonte, and then beaded flower designs in the afternoon. Everyone made something different – lovely and unique – experimenting more with their beads and buttons as their skills progressed during the day.
A super creative wirework class!
April-October 2015 group and bespoke classes at my Lancashire studio, and a new classes website from summer 2015… more classes info
Sam Rowena x
an ancient holy place
A few years ago on an afternoon visit to Knaresborough, I discovered this small ancient cave and chapel remains. Hidden amongst the trees on a dark rainy day and visiting it on my own, it felt quite eerie and foreboding. My next visit there was in the summertime with a friend, but it still had the same dark feeling and we were glad to step back into the light. On this visit, 2 weeks ago, it felt different, the darkness seemed to have lifted and it felt peaceful. I ventured into the cave on my own and spent a few minutes meditating in the darkness and my fingers were tingling with the quiet energy coming from the cave.
From the info board at the cave:
The cave is cut into the limestone cliff and originally it served as the chapel, inside the cave is a small shelf cut out of the stone, which may have served as an altar. Robert is said to have enlarged the cave himself, whilst his brother William had the small chapel built on the platform outside the cave. There are some remains of the small chapel, wall foundations, altar base and nave in which Robert was buried, his body was moved to the local priory sometime after 1250. At the far end of the site is the living area, outside the entrance to the cave, where a bench is cut into the rock.
Saint Robert’s Cave is a rare survival of a medieval hermit’s home. This site once attracted thousands of pilgrims to this North Yorkshire town. Robert of Knaresborough lived on this site in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. Toward the end of his life, pilgrims came to be healed of physical ailments, for spiritual guidance, or simply to be in close proximity to the home of a revered holy man and they continued to come to the cave in large numbers for centuries after his death in 1218. The site retains a remarkable atmosphere of distant times.
Knaresborough in Yorkshire is one of my favourite places to visit, it’s a picturesque medieval market town, with its ancient castle ruins, panoramic view of the Nidd Gorge, narrow streets, alleyways, nooks and crannies to discover and also lots of great places to eat.
Sam Rowena x
This is the first of my series of blogs on galleries and event venues visits
Signature Gallery was established in 1997 by Peter Blaskett.
Inside this quaint gallery is a changing display of original 19th Century watercolours and modern art. As well as a small selection of ceramics, sculptures and jewellery. There is a regular exhibitions program with solo artists and group shows (mostly local artists). The gallery offers a quality picture framing service, from simple photo frames to full museum conservation framing.
Signature Gallery is located across from Abbot Hall Museum and Art Gallery and car park in historic Kirkland. Abbot Hall is a restored Georgian townhouse, its stable block is home to the Museum of Lakeland Life and Industry, showing life in Cumbria over the past 3 hundred years.
Kirkland is known as the ‘cultural quarter’ of Kendal and its history can be traced back to the 8th century when the settlement of Kirkland was established near a crossing point over the River Kent. The church built here was given to St Mary’s Abbey in York and Kirkland became a monastic estate administered from a nearby manor house.
The name Kirkland stems from ‘Kirkja’ old Norse for church and ‘land’, which has the same meaning as today, an enclosure or area of land.
Kendal is known as the ‘gateway’ to the Lake District, is just outside the Lake District National park and only 8 miles from Windermere. Its a market town – it received its market charter in 1189 – and it developed to the north of monastic Kirkland. They’re separated by the ancient boundary of the Black Beck.
The local barons laid out the town of Kendal with long burgage plots behind the street frontages, these were accessed through archways, which developed over time to become ‘yards’ filled with weaving, dyeing, shearing, salting and tanning workshops. The market town of Kendal developed rapidly as a trade centre for local goods, especially the woollen industry.
Kendal is situated in a valley on the River Kent and this is where its old Norse name stems from. Kendal = River Kent Valley. It was originally called ‘Kirkby in Kendal’ or ‘Kirkby Kendal’; ‘Kirkby’ is old Norse for church village.
Kirkland remained an independent township of Kendal until it was absorbed into the borough of Kendal in 1908, the administrative centre of Westmorland. Kendal is now the commercial centre of South Lakeland.
After visiting the gallery, I enjoyed the rest of the afternoon in Kendal. I love wandering down the ‘gates’, small streets, lanes and alleyways and reading about the history of Kendal on its civic signs that are dotted about.
Its a lovely old market town and when I visit it in better weather, I take a picnic and walk up to the castle ruins or along paths by the river… and I’m looking forward to my next visit.
Sam Rowena x
Last week I had the opportunity to have a go at doing some studio photography with a small group of photographers from the Chorley photographic society, loved it…
It was great to work with models English Rose and Sally Anne, they both had a different look and lots of patience, whilst we experimented using different props, such as; vintage hats, a shawl, a cardigan and jewellery.
John at the studio in Horwich helped me with my camera settings and gave me a mini-lesson on lighting.
Considering it was my first go at taking photos of my jewellery being modelled in a studio, I’m really pleased with some my photos. It was actually quite difficult to get a good photograph of both jewellery and model. In some photographs, my jewellery isn’t in focus or there is light reflecting in the glass jewellery, but the model looked great. In other photos, I haven’t quite captured the model, but the jewellery looked good… anyway its a start!
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my first studio session photographs, Sam Rowena x
42 Graphs fine art studio in Horwich
Atmospheric lovely Lancashire location, a place that holds many memories for me…
I used to live next to the park and for 5 years had a lovely walk through (or around) Astley park to get to school. Being my local park, I would spend many hours hanging out there, climbing trees and jumping streams, walking and daydreaming. It was really a great way to experience the changing seasons in the park and woods. The atmospheric misty mornings, frosty scenes of a winter wonderland, scattered snowdrops and spring daffodils, followed by balmy summer evenings.
Astley Hall and parkland is known as the jewel in Chorley’s crown.
It lies between Chorley and its neighbouring villages of Euxton and Astley Village.
Astley Hall is of Jacobean origin and has 105 acres of parkland, its beautifully situated next to an ornamental lake and there are woodland walks, picnic areas, bowling greens, tennis courts, animal enclosures, and children’s play areas. A few years ago its walled garden and Georgian stable block were refurbished and it has a cafe (Cafe Ambio), classrooms and exhibition area.
The Hall and parkland were home to several important local families until it was given by Reginald Arthur Tatton to Chorley Corporation in 1922 to be used as a war memorial and museum for the benefit of local people.
Astley Hall and the park is a lovely place to visit. It’s free to enter (optional donation) and there is also free parking a few minutes walk away in Astley village. During the winter months, the Hall is sometimes closed or just open at weekends, its best to check the current opening times before visiting.
For more info on Astley Hall visit the: Chorley council website
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my photographs and discovering this lovely Lancashire place that inspires me, Sam Rowena x