Roman Forum, Rome


ROMA – Foro Romano.
Postmarked 1898

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Roma Antiqua: 3D Virtual Tour

The Roman Forum, also known by its Latin name Forum Romanum (Italian: Foro Romano), is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum. For centuries the Forum was the center of day-to-day life in Rome: the site of triumphal processions and elections; the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial matches; and the nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city’s great men. The teeming heart of ancient Rome, it has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world, and in all history. Located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavations attracting 4.5 million or more sightseers yearly.
Wikipedia.

Three columns on the left:
The original Temple of Castor and Pollux was built in 484 BC by the roman dictator Postumius who vowed to build the temple if obtained a victory over the Tarquin Kings who had previously ruled Rome. According to the legend, Castor and Pollux, mythological twin brothers, helped the Roman army to victory. In republican times the temple served as a meeting place for the Roman Senate, and from the middle of the 2nd century BC the front of the podium served as a speaker’s platform. and announced the victory at the forum. Only three pillars remain of the Temple of Castor and Pollux, the current ruins dating from its last reconstruction in 6 A.D
Tribunes and Triumphs

In the centre:
The Basilica Julia (Italian: Basilica Giulia) was a structure that once stood in the Roman Forum. It was a large, ornate, public building used for meetings and other official business during the Roman Empire. Its ruins have been excavated. What is left from its classical period are mostly foundations, floors, a small back corner wall with a few arches that are part of both the original building and later Imperial reconstructions and a single column from its first building phase. The Basilica Julia was built on the site of the earlier Basilica Sempronia (170 BC) along the south side of the Forum, opposite the Basilica Aemilia. It was initially dedicated in 46 BC by Julius Caesar, with building costs paid from the spoils of the Gallic War, and was completed by Augustus, who named the building after his adoptive father. The ruins which have been excavated date to a reconstruction of the Basilica by the Emperor Diocletian, after a fire in 283 AD destroyed the earlier structure.
Wikipedia.

Media Centre for Art History: panoramas

Netley Abbey, Netley, England


Southampton – Netley Abbey
Publisher: J. Baker. The Camp Stores, Hazeley Down, Winchester

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Netley Abbey is a ruined late medieval monastery in the village of Netley near Southampton in Hampshire, England. The abbey was founded in 1239 as a house for monks of the austere Cistercian order. Despite royal patronage, Netley was never rich, produced no influential scholars nor churchmen, and its nearly 300-year history was quiet. The monks were best known to their neighbours for the generous hospitality they offered to travellers on land and sea. In 1536, Netley Abbey was seized by Henry VIII of England during the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the buildings granted to William Paulet, a wealthy Tudor politician, who converted them into a mansion. The abbey was used as a country house until the beginning of the eighteenth century, after which it was abandoned and partially demolished for building materials.
Wikipedia

Sir William Paulet’s mansion was occupied until 1704, when the owner sold it for building materials. The abbey was only saved when a demolition worker was killed, causing work to cease. When this house was abandoned, however, and the neglected site became overgrown with trees and ivy, it came to be celebrated as a romantic ruin. As the ‘Romantic Movement’ grew in strength, many authors and artists visited the abbey to find inspiration. Set among the wild, wooded slopes above Southampton Water, overgrown Netley appeared to be the perfect medieval ruin. John Constable came to paint here, and writers such as Thomas Gray enthused about the abbey.
English Heritage

Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe


Worlds View in the Matopos
1905-1910
Publisher: R. O. Füsslein, Johannesburg (1905-1910)

Google Street View (approximate).

Malindidzimu (“Hill of the Ancestral Spirits” in Ndebele) is a granite inselberg and a national historical monument situated in the Matobo National Park in south-west Zimbabwe, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Bulawayo. It is considered a sacred place by nationalists and indigenous groups. Controversially, Cecil Rhodes is buried on the summit of Malindidizumu, together with Charles Coghlan, Leander Starr Jameson, Allan Wilson and several other white settlers. he English name of the site is “World’s view” which is not to be confused with World’s View, Nyanga.
Wikipedia.

McDonald wrote: “We sat for some time afterwards in the shade of the vast round boulders that seemed to have been thrown up from the bowels of the earth and Rhodes was very silent for a time.” Then he said to himself really: “The peacefulness of it all, the chaotic grandeur of it, it creates a feeling of awe and brings home to one how very small we all are.” Then back he came to the present: “Grey, I call this one of the world’s views.” We all agreed to that, hence its name today: “The World’s View.”
ZimFieldGuide.com

Chatsworth House, England


The Painted Hall, Chatsworth House.
1900s
Publisher: A.P. Co (Artistic Publishing Co?), 9 Bury Court, Mary Axe, London

Chatsworth House is a stately home in Derbyshire, England, in the Derbyshire Dales, 3.5 miles (5.6 km) north-east of Bakewell and 9 miles (14 km) west of Chesterfield. The seat of the Duke of Devonshire, it has been home to the Cavendish family since 1549, standing on the east bank of the River Derwent, across from low hills between the Derwent and Wye valleys. The house is set in expansive parkland backed by wooded, rocky hills that rise to heather moorland.

The 4th Earl of Devonshire, who would become the 1st Duke in 1694 for helping to put William of Orange on the English throne, was an advanced Whig and forced to retire to Chatsworth during the reign of King James II. This called for a rebuilding of the house, which began in 1687. Cavendish aimed initially to reconstruct only the south wing with the State Apartments and so decided to retain the Elizabethan courtyard plan, although its layout was becoming increasingly unfashionable. He enjoyed building and reconstructed the East Front, which included the Painted Hall and Long Gallery, followed by the West Front from 1699 to 1702. The North Front was completed in 1707 just before he died.

Wikipedia.

In 1549, at the behest of his wife, Bess of Hardwick, Sir William Cavendish bought the land from the Leche family (relations of Bess’s) for £600. Recent
work for the Chatsworth Master Plan (2005-2018) has uncovered possible traces of this earlier Tudor house in the Baroque building’s northern cellars. William and Bess started construction of their house in 1552, but William did not live to see its completion, as he died in 1557. Although Bess of Hardwick completed the building work, the house was entailed to the eldest son from her marriage to William Cavendish, “my bad son Henry” and she made Hardwick her primary residence in 1590. Henry sold the house to his younger brother William (who became the 1st Earl of Devonshire in 1618). The Elizabethan house was successively rebuilt by the 1st, 4th and 6th Dukes, obtaining its current form with the 6th Duke’s major additions and alterations as designed by Sir Jeffry Wyatville, which were implemented c.1820-1841.

Timeline of the Cavendish amily and some of their major properties” (PDF)


Chatsworth House–Great Hall
c.1910
Publisher: Thomas Taylor & Son
“From Photographs taken by special permission of His Grace the Duke of Devonshire.”

First impressions count. When guests are welcomed to Chatsworth, this is one of the first rooms they see. William, 1st Duke of Devonshire built the Painted Hall between 1689 and 1694, the only original feature is the painted decoration on the walls and ceiling. Whilst still Earl of Devonshire he chose to flatter the monarch by decorating the hall with scenes from the life of Julius Caesar, he was elevated to Duke in the year the room was completed.
Chatsworth House: room cards (PDF)

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Great Laxey Wheel, Isle of Man


The Great Wheel, Laxey, I.O.M.
Postmarked 1905
Publisher: Frederick Hartmann (1902-1909)

Google Street View (approximate).

The Laxey Wheel, The Mannin Folk (song)

The Great Laxey Wheel (Queeyl Vooar Laksey) or Lady Isabella (as she is also known) is the largest working waterwheel in the world. A brilliant example of Victorian engineering she was built in 1854 to pump water from the Laxey mines.
Manx National Heritage

The Laxey water wheel was designed by the Manx engineer Robert Casement. The wheel’s axle was forged by the Mersey Iron Works of Liverpool but the cast iron rims were made on the Island by Gelling’s Foundry at Douglas. The timbers of the wheel were shaped by Manx artisans and the whole structure was assembled here on the Island. The official opening of this huge wheel took place in September 1854 and it was set in motion by the Honourable Charles Hope, the Lieutenant Governor of the Island. The wheel was named “Lady Isabella” in honour of the Governor’s wife. The wheel has a diameter of 72 feet 6 inches, (over 22 metres), and a width of 6 feet. It is capable of pumping 250 gallons of water per minute from a depth of almost 1,500 feet. The mine shaft from which the water was pumped was sited about 450 yards from the great wheel. The power from the wheel was transmitted to the pumping mechanism by a series of rods supported by and running along an imposing masonry viaduct.
Isle of Man.com

Well House Donkeys, Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight


The donkey in the wheel, Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight
c. 1910
Publisher: T. Piper, Carisbrooke.

Google Street View.

British Pathe: Carisbrooke Castle Donkeys, film 1963

English Heritage: Plan of castle

The well house at Carisbrooke was once the main supply of water for the castle. Built in the 1580s, a huge oak wheel would be turned to draw a bucket down to the water and back up again. For one bucket, the wheel must be turned 255m, a job that is thought to have originally been performed by prisoners. Since at least 1696 however, it is known that this role was performed by a team of donkeys,
English Heritage: Meet the Carisbrooke Donkeys


The Well House, Carisbrooke Castle
1900s
Publisher: Frederick Hartmann (1902-1909)

Fire, Brussels International Exposition


Bruxelles-Exposition
L’Incendie des 14-15 Août 1910
L’Avenue des Nations

c.1910

The Brussels International Exposition of 1910 was a World’s fair held in Brussels, Belgium, from 23 April to 1 November 1910. This was just thirteen years after Brussels’ previous World’s fair. It received 13 million visitors, covered 88 hectares (220 acres) and lost 100,000 Belgian Francs. . . . There was a big fire on 14 and 15 August which gutted several pavilions in the Solbosch part of the exhibition. Part of the Belgian and French sections were destroyed, but the worst hit was the English section. After the fire, some destroyed parts were rebuilt at a rapid pace. This event attracted the attention of the public and the organisers were able to successfully use it for the promotion of the exhibition.
Wikipedia.

The results of the fire were horrifying in the rapidity with which they followed upon a trifling cause. A chance spark from a watchman’s pipe or the hot glow from a fused electric wire. Some such trifle as this originated the trouble. Then, at about a quarter to 9 on Sunday evening, an attendant saw a curtain smouldering in the Needle work hall. He called a gendarme to help him and tried to pull the burning curtain down. But, within a few seconds the roof was ablaze and, five minutes later the Exhibition was itself illuminated by the fiery glow.

The British Commissioner-General, who was in the midst of it all describes the scene thus:-
“Portions of the roof fell quickly, and flames ran along the facade with extraordinary rapidity, as they were sure to do in a building made of lath and plaster and stocked with light inflammable materials. Near the heart of the fire–if not in it–there were wax mannequins of Brussels dressmakers and these aided the furnace, but on breaking into the British section at the other end, where the offices are, it looked for the moment as if the flames were not coming our way, but might pass along the facade, and leave us time to save at least the more valuable contents. Beyond the great arch at the end of the section, however, there was an unbroken sheet of flame and in the absence of firemen a quarter of an hour decided the fate of everything.

“A dozen members the staff either attracted by the fierce light or already in the grounds the grounds worked hard and without confusion to save the moneys and all valuable papers particularly the plans of the Turin Exhibition. Mr Balaam, the treasurer, Mr Harries, representing the Board of Agriculture, who were exhibítors and other members of the staff lent willing hands and nothing of value was left behind. But the work was hardly done when men were crying ‘Sauve qui peut’. Entering the hall one saw a great body of flame leap along above the Bradford and Huddersfield tableaux and the priceless loan collection of furniture, flash through the light velarium, and scattering brands upon the show-cases. A great gust of wind came through the falling roof, and all was over. One had to leave the masterpieces of Bernard Moore and Howson Taylor exposed to a greater fire than that of the potter’s furnace.”

The fire was not sated. Like a torrent it rushed on, catching the velarium, and making the roof appear like “one tongue of fire”. An  onlooker states:- “The flames now reached the bridge which spans the Avenue Solbosch, between the French and British sections. With the sound of broken glass, tho roaring of the flames, the fall of girders, the bridge broke own into the avenue, and for a time it seemed as if the French section might be saved. There was, indeed, a kind of lull. Hero it may be said that the seeming incompetence of the Belgian firemen, the absence of any official with adequate common-sense, the multiplying of little jacks-in-office to bar the way were almost entirely to blame for the subsequent loss of the French Alimentation section, the Ville do Paris, and six houses on the Avenue Solbosch. Mr. Hotchkiss, the representative of the Underfeed Stoker Company, actually offered to lead a gang of men with axes and sledge-hammers to cut down the bridge three-quarters of an hour before the flames became too strong. To his offer the following reply was made: ‘We have no axes, no men, and no hammers.’ It was then proposed to blow up the bridge. ‘Dus aliter visum.’

“The bridge fell at about 10, but the French section had already caught. The fire ran along the Restaurant Duval incredibly fast. The French wines, the French chocolates, and other stalls for edible or potable wares disappeared like magic. The roof fell in, the walls collapsed, and the heat was so great that those who were on guard in the gardens below with articles rescued from the flames were forced to hide their faces behind the rose and apple trees. Taking, as it were, a second wind, the fire seemed to cross over and seize upon the brick houses of the Avenue Solbosch, and six were speedily tending heavenwards columns of smoke. In the French Industrial Hall, too, the flames began to make their way. The cases of jewellery were smashed and the valuable jewels conveyed across to a restaurant on the other side of the gardens. In the hurry and bustle amidst the red glow of the fires, the showers of sparks, and the clouds of smoke there was one found who endeavoured to steal from a showcase His fate was pitiable. Running at full speed, he was bought up by a cowboy with ‘punch’ on the jaw, and was seized by his infuriated pursuers. The police saved him with difficulty.”

Some of the most terrible scenes were witnessed in “Old Brussels,” where Bostock’s well-known wild-beast show was an attraction. The poor beasts were maddened with fear as the flames invaded the section. Someone fearing that they might escape and cause a panic in the now frightened crowd suggested shooting the creatures. Eight gendarmes were hurriedly sent for, and took their places with loaded rifles. Then it was remembered that the bullets would go beyond the open cages. A colony of monkeys were giv6n their liberty, but the rest were left to their fate. The charred remains of lions, bears, panthers, crocodiles, and the rest were found among the ruins next day.

“Old Brussels” itself was one of the most picturesque corners m the Exhibition. There were the narrow streets
twisting and turning with their courtyards and wooden bridges, which one instinctively associates with, old Flanders. The old wooden houses, with painted shutters, carved doorpost, and overhanging gables were fine fare for the fire fiends. Over the doorways of some were little niches with painted statue of the Virgin. These perished too. Within the leaded mullions and green panes one could see the benches set with tankards of Flemish beer. It was a picture such as the Brothers Grimm have made familiar to us all from childhood but all so substantial. When the flames came, they reduced everything to white cinders and black debris within a few minutes. The most dangerous moment from the human standpoint was when the fire reached Old Brussels and the crowds in the narrow streets were panic-stricken. Fortunately, beyond some serious cases of crushing all escaped.
The Mercury, 29 September 1910

Aberdeen, Scotland


Aberdeen from Craiginches
Postmarked 1904
Publisher: Frederick Hartmann (1902-1909)

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Aberdeen’s Craiginches Prison – where the last man to be hanged for murder in Scotland lies buried – will close its doors for the last time today. The prison, once one of the most overcrowded jails in Scotland, is being closed as part of plans for the new £140 million “super jail” HMP Grampian which will open in March in Peterhead. The last inmates at the Victorian prison, built 124 years ago, left Craiginches yesterday. Over recent weeks an estimated 200 prisoners have been transferred to Perth Prison and Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow.
The Scotsman, 10 January 2014/a>

St. Augustines Cross, Ramsgate, England


St. Augustines Cross | Ramsgate
Postmarked 1908
Publisher: E.S.

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The cross was commissioned in 1884 by Granville George Leveson-Gower, 2nd Earl Granville, at the time Minister for Foreign Affairs and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.
He was inspired to erect it after hearing the story of a massive oak tree felled within living memory and known as the Augustine Oak, one of a group of trees fringing a field which he owned.

According to local legend, under this oak in AD 597 the first meeting was held between King Æthelberht and the monk Augustine, newly arrived from Rome. Augustine had recently landed on the Isle of Thanet, having been sent by Pope Gregory to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity and thereby re-establish the faith in a country in which it had faded with the fall of the Roman Empire. Not far to the south-east was the stream in which, the legend tells us, Augustine baptised his first convert and which subsequently became known as St Augustine’s Well. Tradition holds that Æhelberht was converted to Christianity and Augustine baptised him on Whit Sunday in AD 597. On Christmas Day of that year, according to a papal letter of AD 598, more than 10,000 baptisms were carried out.
English Heritage

Bridge of Don, Aberdeen


New Bridge of Don, Aberdeen
Postmarked & dated 1917
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View (approximate).

The Bridge of Don is a five-arch bridge of granite crossing the River Don just above its mouth in Aberdeen, Scotland. In 1605 Alexander Hay executed a Charter of Mortification for the maintenance of the 13th century Brig o’ Balgownie further upstream, which later became the Bridge of Don Fund, which financed several bridges in the north-east of Scotland. This fund having accumulated a value of over GB£20,000, the patrons of the fund, the town council, sought an Act of Parliament to permit construction of a new bridge in 1825. The original design by John Gibb and John Smith was modified by Thomas Telford, and construction work started in 1827.[4] Problems with the foundations meant it had to be partly taken down and have additional piles sunk. It was opened free to the public with no toll in 1830 and later gave its name to the suburb of the city on the north bank.
Wikipedia.