Watch Tower, Eston Nab, North Yorkshire


Watch Tower, Eston Nab.
Postmarked 1906
Publisher: Brittain & Wright, Stockton-on-Tees

Google Street View (approximate).

In the south-eastern section of the hillfort, where a modern monument marks its position there are the remains of a square, stone beacon. This is situated within a small quadrangular enclosure and is believed to have been erected in the early 19th century when it served as a beacon or lookout post during the Napoleonic wars.
Historic England

With the advent of ironstone mining in Eston Hills, the beacon was used as a house and survived until 1956. It was then demolished and later rebuilt into its present form. A plaque on the side of the monument reads:

This monument is placed here to mark the
site of the beacon tower which was erected
by Thomas Jackson of Lackenby about 1800 as
a look-out post against invasion during the
Napoleonic wars and which again served the same
purpose in the second world war of 1939–1945.
It stands within a Bronze Age fortified
camp whose outer defences can be seen.
Erected in 1956.
Wikipedia.

Leeds Castle, Kent


Leeds Castle | near Maidstone
1900s

Google Street View.

The Royal Manor was originally built in 857AD and owned by a Saxon royal family. After the Norman Conquest, work began on building the first stone castle on the site. In 1278 the Castle became a royal palace for Edward I and his Queen, Eleanor of Castile. Major improvements were made to the castle during the reign of Edward I. The Barbican, constructed during this time, is unique in that it is made up of three parts, each having its own entrance, drawbridge, gateway and portcullis. The medieval Keep, incorporating the Great Hall, is called the Gloriette, in honour of Queen Eleanor.

In 1321, King Edward II gave the castle to his Royal Steward. When Edwards’ Queen Isabella arrived at the Castle seeking shelter however, she was refused admission and even fired upon by archers. Edward II was not amused and successfully lay siege to the castle. Six years later Edward was murdered but Queen Isabella kept the castle until she died in 1358.
Historic UK

Her grandson was King Henry VII, the first of the Tudor dynasty, and it was his son, King Henry VIII who ordered major alteration to the castle between 1517 and 1523. The castle was hereby transformed from a fortified stronghold to a magnificent royal palace. In 1552, after nearly 30 years of Royal ownership, Leeds Castle was granted to Sir Anthony St Leger for a yearly rental of £10, in recompense for his services to King Henry VIII in subjugating the uprising in Ireland. During the next two centuries, the castle changed its ownership numerous times. Unlike many other castles, Leeds was left relatively undamaged during the Civil War. It suffered however, major damages during the 1660s, as it was used as a place of detention for French and Dutch prisoners of war, who at one point set fire to the Gloriette, causing destruction which was only repaired in 1822.
Castles Today

After the 7th Lord Fairfax’s death in 1793, the castle was passed onto various distant relatives until in 1821 Fiennes Wykeham Martin inherited and commissioned architect William Baskett to survey the castle. The report was devastating. The mill and barbican were in ruins, the gatehouse and inner gatehouse in disrepair, the Maiden’s Tower was in imminent danger of collapse, the main Jacobean house was decaying and the Gloriette was more or less a ruin. Wykeham Martin decided to demolish the main house and replace it with one in the Tudor style. The resulting New Castle, externally changed little today, was finished by 1823, an extraordinarily swift process. The gaping hole that had disfigured the Gloriette since 1665 was repaired and the internal walls rebuilt in stone and the moat was cleared and cleaned. Unfortunately the cost of the rebuild caused Wykeham Martin financial difficulties and he was forced to sell the contents of the Castle at auction.
Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle is a very peculiar structure. It stands upon three rocky knolls, of which two are islands in a lake of 15 acres, and the third occupies the central part of the artificial bank by which, as at Kenilworth and Caerphilly, and in some degree at Framlingham and Ragland, the waters are or were retained. . . . The domestic buildings occupied the north end of the two wards, and are replaced by a modern house, excepting only a vaulted cellar, which may be late Norman, and is certainly the oldest known masonry in the place, and a bracket which supported the ancient oven, and is placed near what is described as “Una coquina juxta pedem pontis de la Gloriet,” which kitchen was not long since removed. In this ward also, or rather partly in this and partly in the outer ward, near a building of the age of Henry VIII., is a very remarkable bath,—“balnea domini regis apud Ledes,” as it is designated, which was constructed for the use of Edward I. in 1291–2. This is now used as a boathouse.
Mediæval Military Architecture in England, Vol. II, George Thomas Clark, 1884


The Castles of England: their story and structure, James Dixon Mackenzie, 1896-7, pp.24

The Leeds Castle which Horace Walpole visited in 1752 is not altogether the place we see now, with its towers and walls rising so splendidly from the lake, which water Walpole, in his misleading way, calls “the only handsom object;” for in 1822, in place of the sixteenth century mansion erected on the central island by Sir Richard Smith, the existing buildings were constructed in the Tudor style, a great part of the inner bailey and of the keep having been the work of Henry YIII. The Len stream flowing through the property afforded the one great element of defence on which our ancestors chiefly relied ; here some twenty acres surrounding the castle might by means of sluices be turned into a lake if occasion required.

The situation of this fortress was a most suitable one in the days of water defence : it occupies two natural rock islands in the lake, a third artificial one being formed at the land end by the bank and sluices which controlled the water, and on which were placed the barbicans and the castle mill. The whole of the centre island was reveted with an outer or curtain wall, 15 feet high, rising from the waters, liaving four rounded bastion towers, and drawbridges at each end, admitting at the S. end from the barbican island, and giving passage at the N. point to the furthermost island, called the Old Castle or ” Gloriette,” which was the keep of the fortress. . . . The domestic buildings, which occupied the N. end of this island, are now replaced by a fine modern mansion, having vaulted Norman cellarage. On the E. side is the Maidens’ Tower of Henry VIII., before alluded to, and also the interesting bathhouse built by Edward I. in 1292, and now used as a boathouse. Baths were an innovation at the close of the thirteenth century, which Edward may have brought in from the East.

Entering the citadel from the modern mansion, one passes by the entrance through the Curfew Tower, which contains an ancient bell, that has sounded the eight o’clock curfew for four and a hall centuries and does so still . . . The bridge had formeiy two openings, with lifting bridges operated on by a central tower of two storeys ; it was called the Pons Glorietta. On the left, in entering the keep, is the chapel, built by Edward I. in 1380, having good Early English windows. The walls of these buildings rise out of the water to a considerable height, and are placed round a small central court. Much of the work is of the fourteenth century. This part was severely injured by a fire during its occupation by Evelyn’s Dutch sailors, so that a good deal is modern. There is, however, the great dining-hall of Henry VlII.’s castle, now converted into the kitchen, while the ancient kitchen has become a larder. Overhead is the Queen’s bed-chamber, with a line mantel- piece and an immense bed.
The Castles of England: their story and structure, James Dixon Mackenzie, 1896-7, pp.27-8

Pagoda, Kew Gardens, London


Pagoda, Kew Gardens
Postmarked 1906
Publisher: Millar & Lang, Glasgow

Google Street View.

Kew’s Pagoda was completed in 1762 as a gift for Princess Augusta, the founder of the Gardens. It was one of several Chinese buildings designed for Kew by Sir William Chambers, who had spent time travelling and studying the architecture of East Asia. A popular ‘folly’ of the age, it offered one of the earliest and finest bird’s eye views of London
Royal Botatanic Gardens, Kew

The Great Pagoda was completed in only six months. The speed of completion and the quality of construction were points of pride for Chambers; “the walls of the building are composed of very hard bricks…neatly laid, and with such care, that there is not the least crack or fracture in the whole structure, notwithstanding its great height, and the expedition with which it was built”. 80 gilded dragons decorated the roofs of its ten storeys although these had been removed by 1784. The height of the building impressed contemporaries; in 1762, Horace Walpole wrote to a friend, “the Pagoda at Kew begins to rise above the trees and soon you will see it from Yorkshire”.
Wikipedia.

At the time of its construction it was considered so unusual that people were unconvinced it would remain standing. Chambers studied oriental architecture in China, but when he designed Kew’s pagoda he ignored the rules. Pagodas should have an odd number of floors, traditionally seven (rather than ten), believed to represent seven steps to heaven. The Great Pagoda was the most accurate reconstruction of a Chinese building in Europe at the time. It was originally flanked by a Moorish Alhambra and a Turkish Mosque, follies that were all the rage in the great gardens of the time.
Wordl Heritage Journeys

The dragons are back at Kew after more than two centuries, tails curled, wings neatly furled to make them less of a wind catcher, gazing down with glittering eyes on the acres of gardens and thousands of visitors far below. . . . Legends insisted they were made of gem-studded enamelled bronze or even solid gold, and that they were stripped off the pagoda to settle the Prince of Wales’s gambling debts, or to decorate his extraordinary oriental-styled in Brighton. The truth was more boring. Chambers took them off when he restored the building in 1784, because although they looked magnificent, they were made of cheap pine and after a spell of atrocious weather – the Thames froze over in 1783 – they were rotten.

Their replacements, blazing in green, blue, red and gold, guard a secret. The eight at ground level were hand carved from cedar wood, but the 72 dragons on the higher floors were produced on a 3D printer. “The biggest engineering problem we had was attaching the dragons to the roofs,” Putnam said. “They didn’t worry much about health and safety in the 18th century, but the biggest of the printed ones weigh less than 10 kilos, and the wooden ones weigh a quarter tonne – to make them all in wood we’d have had to punch the original structure through and through with steel-reinforcing rods to hold them.”
The Guardian

Stone Castle, Stone, Kent


Stone Castle
c.1910
“Snowden’s Series”

Google Street View (approximate).

Mediaeval and circa 1825. In the south-east corner of the building is a mediaeval, probably late C12, square tower of 3 storeys faced with knapped flints with some stone quoins. Parapet over it. Two arrow slit windows in the north wall and a circular stair turret. The other windows are modern. To the north-west of this is a house of circa 1825 which was altered by Henry Hakewill (died 1830).
Historic England

Stone Castle is located in the village of Stone, 10 km away from Gravesend. Dating from the mid 11th century, the castle was thought to have been built without licence during the reign of King Stephen, but later allowed to remain by Henry II on his accession to the throne. In 1165 Thomas A Becket stopped at Stone Castle on his way to Canterbury. It is believed that the castle fell into disrepair and was rebuilt in the 13th century. . . . In 1660 the Stone Castle changed owners again when it became the property of Dr Thomas Plume, Arch Deacon of Rochester. The existing house was built onto the old tower in 1825 and further extended 13 years later.
Castles and Palaces of the World

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. 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.

Marble Arch, London


The Marble Arch, London
Postmarked 1908
“The Auto Photo Series”

Marble Arch is a 19th-century white marble-faced triumphal arch in London, England. The structure was designed by John Nash in 1827 to be the state entrance to the cour d’honneur of Buckingham Palace; it stood near the site of what is today the three-bayed, central projection of the palace containing the well-known balcony. In 1851, on the initiative of architect and urban planner Decimus Burton, a one-time pupil of John Nash, it was relocated and following the widening of Park Lane in the early 1960s to where it is now sited, incongruently isolated, on a large traffic island at the junction of Oxford Street, Park Lane and Edgware Road. . . . Nash’s three-arch design is based on that of the Arch of Constantine in Rome and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in Paris. The triumphal arch is faced with Carrara marble with embellishments of marble extracted from quarries near Seravezza. . . . Construction began in 1827, but was cut short in 1830, following the death of the spendthrift King George IV—the rising costs were unacceptable to the new king, William IV, who later tried to offload the uncompleted palace onto Parliament as a substitute for the recently destroyed Palace of Westminster. Work restarted in 1832, this time under the supervision of Edward Blore, who greatly reduced Nash’s planned attic stage and omitted its sculpture, including the statue of George IV. The arch was completed in 1833.
Wikipedia.

Street View

Perth, Scotland


Perth from Bridgend
Postmarked 1905
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View (approximate).

The northernmost structure is Smeaton’s Bridge (also known as Perth Bridge and, locally, the Old Bridge), completed in 1771 and widened in 1869, which carries the automotive and pedestrian traffic of West Bridge Street (the A85). [Shown in top postcard.] A former tollbooth building, on the southern side of the bridge at the Bridgend end of the bridge, is a category C listed building dating from around 1800. It was J. S. Lees Fish & Poultry Shop later in its life. Next, some five hundred yards downstream, is Queen’s Bridge, which also carries vehicle and pedestrian traffic, this time of South Street and Tay Street. Queen’s Bridge was completed in 1960, replacing the old Victoria Bridge (1902–1960), and was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in October of that year. The third bridge in the centre of Perth is a single-track railway bridge, carrying trains to and from the railway station, 1⁄2 mile (800 m) to the north-west. It was completed in 1863. [Shown in bottom postcard.]
Wikipedia.


Perth from Barnhill
Postmarked 1905
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View (approximate).

Colwick Hall, Nottingham, England


Colwick Hall, Nottingham
Postmarked 1907

Google Street View.

Colwick Hall Hotel.

Colwick Hall was an English country house in Colwick, Nottinghamshire. It is now a hotel. The building is Grade II* listed. Colwick Hall is constructed of red brick, with ashlar dressings and hipped slate roofs with a 2-storey central block and single-storey wings. The frontage has four Ionic pillars surmounted by a pediment. . . . John Musters replaced all of the older buildings with the present Hall in 1775–1776. The new house was built by local builder, Samuel Stretton, from designs of John Carr of York. It was enclosed with a moat, crossed by drawbridge on the north side. . . . In 1896 the Hall was sold to the Nottingham Racecourse Company – the racecourse opened in 1892, the Hall became a public house and the rest of the buildings were used to accommodate grooms and jockeys.
Wikipedia.

London Bridge, London


London Bridge after the 1904 widening. Copyright G. D & D. L.
c.1910
Publisher: Gottschalk, Dreyfuss & Davis, 1909-1915
(Image is crooked on card)

Bridge built 1831, widened 1902, removed 1968

Approximate location, Google Street View.
Tower on the right is St Magus the Martyr and the white building with columns just to the left of the bridge is Fishmongers’ Hall

Wikipedia
London Bridge Museum & Educational Trust (might have to increase zoom on browser to make page bigger)


London Bridge
c.1910

Suspension Bridge, Conwy, Wales


On the suspension Bridge, Conway

Not sure on date. Maybe 1920s.

Built by Thomas Telford, the 99.5-metre-long (326 ft) suspension bridge[1] spans the River Conwy next to Conwy Castle, a World Heritage Site. The bridge was built in 1822–26 at a cost of £51,000 and replaced the ferry at the same point. It is in the same style as one of Telford’s other bridges, the Menai Suspension Bridge crossing the Menai Strait. The original wooden deck was replaced by an iron roadway in the late nineteenth century and it was strengthened by adding wire cables above the original iron chains in 1903. The following year a six-foot-wide (1.8 m) walkway was added for pedestrian traffic.
Wikipedia

Google Street View.