Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Saturday, 12 January 2013
Less than the sum of it's parts
At Box Hill - near Bath - there is a big hole in the ground from which they extracted 'Box Ground', the stone used to build all the really important buildings in Bath, including the Royal Crescent, which - up until fairly recently - was the largest domestic dwelling in Europe.
It is quite a large hole, but when you stare down into it, it doesn't seem large enough to have provided the building blocks for all those massive, honey-coloured structures for which the city is famous.
Bath stone is 1.25 cwt per cubic foot. This may explain why my neck is out of kilter and my recent bout of back pain. In my youth, I thought very little about carrying up to two cubic feet of it up a scaffold, and now I may be paying the price.
So it is very pleasing when a building appears to be light and airy - a filigree which defies the tonnage it is constructed from.
Have you ever seen the towers of the cathedral of Freiburg, in the Black Forest of Germany? A building made of lace.
I sat beneath it once, watching a family of hawks chase families of pigeons - both of whom were resident in the stonework about 150 feet above. The Falcons were in the upper story, and their lunch lived in the lower middle section. Neighbours from Heaven.