Friday, September 14, 2012

Navigation Warehouse, Austen Fen, Lincolnshire

click photo to enlarge
Recently, as I crossed Austen Fen in North Lincolnshire, my attention was drawn to a building next to the road ahead. It was clear from the utilitarian grid of windows, centrally placed loading doors under a gable with the remains of a hoist arm, as well as the two louvred dormers on the roof, that it was an old warehouse. As I crossed a bridge over the adjacent Louth Canal and pulled over to the side of the road to take a photograph the question in my mind was, "How old is it?" I didn't have the opportunity to stop and examine the building in any detail, but my feeling was that it probably dated from the late eighteenth century or early nineteenth century. A little research at home proved inconclusive. A book about the industrial buildings and structures of the area calls it "late C18"; the official listing information that accompanies its Grade II status says "mid C19".

The Louth Navigation (i.e. canal) opened in 1767 so the late C18 is possible. A couple of details in my photographs that might push the date later are the slate roof (though this could be a replacement of a pantile roof) and the triangular heads on the window openings (segmental openings would be more likely on an earlier building). The next time I'm passing that way I'll try to stop for longer and have a more leisurely look at the structure. Whatever date it was built there was no doubt that it looked a fine sight in the low evening sun. I took some photographs of the canal with the building beyond and the main one of the facade reflected in the deep blue of the water with the thick reeds offering a framing of sorts.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo 1
Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 12.8mm (60mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f2.8
Shutter Speed: 1/160
ISO: 80
Exposure Compensation: -0.66 EV
Image Stabilisation: On