Sunday, January 10, 2016

A humble Hampton Court

click photo to enlarge
Humble isn't a word that is usually found in the same sentence as Hampton Court. The reason being that most people immediately think of the royal palace of that name in Richmond, London. This was originally the property of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, was restored by Thomas Cromwell in the early 1500s, and was seized and enlarged by Henry VIII in 1529. Its early ornate brickwork and later extensions by Sir Christopher Wren are ostentatious to be sure, but not humble. Nor can Hampton Court in Herefordshire be so described. It started life as manor house in 1427 but today is a castellated country house, the result of work done in the mid-C19 to make it grander and more comfortable. Today it is well-known for its gardens that are open to the public.

However, when I look through the timber-framed archway of Hampton Court on Nelson Street in King's Lynn, the word humble seems quite appropriate, and not just because of the comparison with its two namesakes. Though parts of it were once owned by relatively wealthy people it has been extended and re-built over the years, and has usually been the home for multiple families. It is today subdivided into 15 flats. My earlier photograph is accompanied by a piece that tells something of its history.

When I came to take the mouse-eye view photograph above I decided not to do the obvious and focus on either the buildings or the nearest cobbles. Instead I set the aperture to f1.8 and focused a metre or so away leaving near and far out of focus.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo Title: Hampton Court, King's Lynn, Norfolk
Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 17mm (34mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f1.8
Shutter Speed: 1/1600 sec
Exposure Compensation: -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On