Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Queen's Terrace, Fleetwood, Lancashire

click photo to enlarge
John Wood the Elder (1704-1754) was the first English architect to bring to England the Renaissance idea of a terrace of houses designed in the form of a symmetrical facade composed to suggest a single, palatial building. His works at Queen's Square, Bath, were on a grand scale, and provided fine houses for the well-to-do of the city. Other architects in England took up the idea which continued into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Queen's Terrace at Fleetwood, Lancashire is an example that was completed in 1844. It was built by the architect, Decimus Burton (1800-1881) as part of the design for the newly created town. Along with the North Euston Hotel, other imposing buildings, impressive lighthouses, a radial street plan, public parks, a railway station and a docks estate, the Queen's Terrace was designed to add substance and style to the bold venture. It was to be the first building that visitors would see after disembarking from the train. However, the money ran out and only parts of the grand vision were built.

The three-storey, ashlar facade of Queen's Terrace has a projecting, pedimented centre with pedimented windows, and pavilion-style wings that are also pedimented, though here the windows are less emphasised. The ground floor is slightly elevated above a basement level, and is reached by steps that lead to the doors. Iron railings form a perimeter at pavement level, and ornate metal-work forms a balcony along the length of the first floor of the building. Money was spent to make the main elevation impressive, though interestingly no columns were used. Inferior materials were used elsewhere. The final result is a building that is undoubtedly impressive in terms of size and style. It has adapted to many uses over the years and currently houses flats and offices.

The scale of the building makes it a challenge to photograph. This is my best effort. It required quite a bit of work correcting converging verticals. I liked the way the raking morning light was illuminating the facade, and how the strong perspective was emphasised by the windows and metal-work of the building.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Olympus E510
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 12mm (24mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/320
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On

2 comments:

Jim B said...

That's a very dramatic shot. I like how you've used the light. It nearly gets into the image too much, but you've controlled it well. When you say "newly created town", how new? I was under the impression that British towns were old.

Tony Boughen said...

Thanks for the comment Jim. There are a number of new towns in Britain as well as many old ones.Fleetwood was brought about by the endeavours of Peter Hesketh-Fleetwood who wanted to create a port, resort and terminus the northernmost terminus for the railway, where passengers would embark on ships to continue their journey to Scotland. He was outflanked by the railway builders who continued the lines all the way to the Highlands and beyond!

Regards, Tony