project1 - 10 ART & ARCHITECTURE NORTH WEST WIRRAL...

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Unformatted text preview: 10 ART & ARCHITECTURE NORTH WEST WIRRAL Thurstaston The derivation of the place has been the subject of some controversy. Is it Thurstan’s tun or farm? Or does it refer to the huge isolated block of red sandstone, roughly 50 feet in length, 30 feet wide & 25 feet high, ‘Thor’s Stone Tun’, on the nearby common? Was the rock once used by the Danes as a sacrificial altar in honour of their God Thor? “The great stone of Thor was reddened with the blood of priests and captives”. or is it that Thor’s Stone is composed of much softer sandstone and was left untouched whilst the hard stone around it was quarried for walls and buildings. Time and weathering have given it the rounded shape we see today, or is it a Giant’s stepping stone, deep footholds for the ‘King of the Castle’? This is nature as architect, to see castles in eroded rocks betrays neither exceptional imagination nor artistic insight. From Thurstaston Hill you can look towards Heswall where, in the parish church in 1875, on a dark and stormy night lightning killed the organist and a boy. On windswept nights an organ can be heard playing and is it a boy you can see walking through the headstones in the churchyard? Thurstaston Hall dates back to medieval times and has the distinction of having remaining in the same family for at least six centuries. There is a ‘Tudor’ fireplace and carved panels in the main entrance hall which date from the late sixteenth century. In August 1971 workmen stumbled across an old ‘smugglers’ tunnel whilst laying a new water main. The tunnel appeared to run in the direction of Thurstaston Hall, perhaps from the old port of Dawpool. Possibly Dawpool was an anchorage point in the Middle Ages and the Red Bank was situated on the shoreline of the Dee estuary at Thurstaston. “In 1373 the dogs of Robert de Crouton, killed a doe in Wirhall forest between Greseby and Redbonk.” The present church at Thurstaston, dedicated to St Bartholomew, is the third known building on this site; until 1724, the church remained inside the courtyard of the Hall. The first church, presumably Norman, was described as ‘a small church’, with turret, chancel, ancient, semi-circular; narrow window in the depth of the wall but not pointed. 11 12 Hilbre Island ‘Hilbre island you will find on enquiry to be a ‘mere rock’, which never can become valuable for any purpose whatever, except for those of humanity and science to which it is at present devoted’. It is clear from early maps that at one time Hilbre was a single island. The Hilbre group now consists of three islets making a total of 16½ acres; Great Hilbre, Middle Island and Little Eye. The islands are known for their flora and fauna, in Spring some 200 species of wading birds visit the islands. The tide surrounds the islands approximately three hours before local high water and this means that they are isolated from the mainland for five hours in every twelve....
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This note was uploaded on 02/07/2012 for the course ART 110 taught by Professor Sami during the Spring '11 term at Miramar College.

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project1 - 10 ART & ARCHITECTURE NORTH WEST WIRRAL...

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