Photographing the Cheesden Valley by Andy Marshall. An introduction is at http://cheesden.blogspot.com/2005/11/cheesden-valley-project.html
Friday, December 30, 2005
Below the bridge at Cheesden
No, there wasn't a troll but there is a spirit of kinds - the spirit of mans endeavours and of civilisation lost. Not a soul in site - look into the distance and you can see 2k's worth of camera equipment left out in the open - just how isolated this location is.
Remember 'Planet of the Apes' - at the very end (or was it at the beginning?) when the man turns up at the beach and sees the Statue of Liberty derelict on the floor? Just what I felt like during the soggy hour I spent yesterday, beneath the crumbling C19th pack horse bridge.
See the carved and patterned coping? Testament to what our forbears thought of their utilitarian and industrial environment. Kudos to them eh?
Hiked it over to the Cheesden Valley today amidst the icy blasts and snow. The valley is time frozen, in a state of serene industrial archaeology ranging from the remains of an C18th waterpowered mill (with wheel shaft still intact) to the latest state of the art C19th mill further down the valley. All in all we have the full gamut of industrial development of the cotton industry represented in this 2 mile valley. Here we still have the tangled stone, slate and iron remains of over 14 mills. Here we have the remains of a Dickensian industrial landscape with lodges, tailraces, and weirs.
I spent a pleasurable hour photographing sculpted and patterned stone parapets, now half submerged beneath the pack horse bridge in the stream. Further down the valley near the remains of the Deeply Vale Mill there lies a classical stone pediment, once proudly situated over the door of 'the old house' .
The valley has survived because it is so difficult to get to. It is being allowed to decay over time and there is no central interest at present looking after it.
I particularly wanted to photograph one mill today called Washwheel Mill situated half way down the valley and built around the mid C19th. The chimney remains as well as the scouring becks and corroded pipe (photo above) linking the lodge with the mill.
I took a landscape photo of part of the valley today and I have put it onto my photoblog site. You can view it here.
Andy Marshall is an architectural photographer with a background in historic building conservation. His images are infused with an understanding of the historic environment and the built form. He is also a master of the montage whereby images are superlatively combined to convey exciting concepts.