My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

The Gothic subculture is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, and looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Tim Burton, Siouxsie Sioux and Anne Rice et al.) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. Goth should not be limited by what is considered "goth", inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Graveyards, Buildings & A Competition

I have entered the raffle at Bethezda's Preoccupations for nail-polish and eye-shadows in glorious colours. It is ::here::. Part of the terms of entering the raffle is mentioning it on your own blog.

Earlier today I went to Inverness city, and visited several graveyards and churches and took quite a few photographs. I've been into the city before to take photographs of the architecture and suchlike and this post will be a conglomeration of the two visits. Next time I am there in good weather I may take more photographs. I am going to give location details within Inverness for these graveyards and statues so that if anyone is holidaying there or lives in the area and likes visiting graveyards and historical buildings then you can visit these ones. 


This is a mausoleum at the very old graveyard at the end of Academy Street in Inverness. It is in a far corner, over towards the main road, at the opposite side to the entrance, tucked in the corner backing against the Longman Road. I like this graveyard, it's gated and makes an idyll of tranquility in the middle of the city. It has some very, very old graves, dating back to at least the 1700s, some I think are even older. What I've noticed about the graves in Inverness is that they have unusual decorations, often incorporating skulls, bones, angels of death and other decided Gothic motifs. I really need to go back and take more pictures because many of the ones of said designs did not turn out very well. 

There's a sailing-ship on their crest

This is from the graveyard associated with The Old High Church, which is unsurprisingly on Church Street, near Bank Street. It is a church on a natural mound, higher than the other churches along the river - and there are a LOT of churches and chapels along the river. Most of them are gothic architecture, and the Catholic church on the opposite side o the river is especially ornate. By the time I'd walked to that church it was too dark to take good photos, sorry. I did try, but it was really rather dingy and I couldn't hold the camera still enough. Sorry. 


I did, however, get a picture of The Old High Church against a rather dramatic sky. I took a colour photo of this church that turned out well earlier this year, but I think I'll stick to photos in black and white, or at least in dark shades otherwise it will clash with the rest of the entry and the page design. It's hard to imagine, looking at it from this angle, that this is pretty central in the city and surrounded by other buildings!


This is a different church, along Bank Street. This is the Free Church of Scotland North. It has some of the fanciest architecture on Bank Street, and lots and lots of Gothic detailing - note the street lights aren't even of a modern design. I haven't ever been inside this church, maybe that should be my next project - although that will probably be sketches as many churches consider it disrespectful to take photographs inside, so unless I can find someone to ask and OK it with them first, I generally stick to drawing. I have noticed that it is best to wear more conservative (although not necessarily less Goth) clothes for church visiting. 


This is a hostel, and it is built over the alley into Lombard Street in the centre of town. I stood on one of the stone decorations/seats to take this photo above people's heads because below are shop fronts, and lots of people being people and therefore scruffy, mundane, with shopping bags from Primark and Currys and bad hair and that doesn't quite have the right atmosphere. A lot of people walk straight by buildings like this, maybe out of familiarity, maybe because they just don't realise how nice the stuff above eye-level can be. A lot of people walk around looking downwards. How they avoid bumping into people is beyond me. 


This is a rather nice building somewhere off across the Bridge Street/Young Street bridge... I actually can't remember where I was when I spotted this. Oops. Usually I've got an amazing memory for places. I liked the ironwork on the roof, probably Victorian, and the fact that someone thought to make this mini-turret and gables. Inverness was once rather affluent, looking at the architecture, as there are rather a lot of very fancy houses, guest houses, hotels, civic buildings, etc. etc. Old Town especially, but all across town there are lovely buildings. Yes, there are quite a few mid 20thC ugly buildings, but there's some stunning modern buildings too, although they don't really come under the scope of this blog. 


This is a gargoyle on the Victorian Market (back on Academy Street) and it is a ram. I thought it was a goat, but Raven, who used to live on a farm in Wales, says it's a ram. I'm going to defer to his judgement on that. Whatever he is, he's got amazing curly horns. The Victorian Market is basically a Victorian market building that houses a variety of independent retailers and cafes and has lovely architecture inside as well as out.  It has some rather funky modern details too, including some interesting murals and canopies which I am also going to have to photograph. 


This is part of an archway (yes, with an inverted curve) to the side of Falcon Square, which is pretty much the centre of Inverness. This is another case of things spotted on looking away from the obvious. The designers of the square have picked the clock, the entrance to the Eastgate Shopping Centre (the mall) and the statue as the foci of the area, but that doesn't mean that the rest should be ignored. I love designed spaces, because they really don't need much to make them look nice - if the architects have done their jobs properly they look nice from just about every angle. That said, unplanned places that have evolved and been built over long centuries also have a special sort of eclectic attractiveness, but one that tends to appear more amongst older buildings rather than 20thC ones. 


8 comments:

  1. good luck :-D

    show us some of your photos?

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    1. Oops! That wasn't supposed to happen, my bad. I'll fix this post today, complete with pictures!

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    2. teehee thanks for adding the pictures! they look like they were from a movie!

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    3. That's Ok :) Thankyou. All the places are real, just old buildings from the City of Inverness :)

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  2. Thanks for the photos. Your excellent pictures just remind me of how much I'd really like to visit your country and Europe in general.

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    1. Scotland has more than its fair share of castles and historic buildings, if you're thinking of visiting the UK. Wales is also worth visiting for castles and historic buildings and such like. This is my first post of photos of this sort, but there will be more as I take more and when I get the data from my old computer. Europe is quite vast, and each country has its own long (millennia) and rich history. I've only really been around England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and France, but there's a LOT to visit! One day I'd like to do a road trip of Europe - with lots of castles, graveyards, cathedrals, abbeys, museums and other fancy places!

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  3. Found your blog through the Vampire Day Soiree bloghop. These pictures are amazing. I totally want to use them as the setting for some dark, Gothic story. Really awesome.

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    1. The UK has a lot of its old architecture remaining, and while few cities are like say, Oxford, where there is predominantly older buildings in the centre, a lot still have several old churches at least, and usually a few other nice old buildings. Even towns like Reading, which does not have the best reputation, has a few snazzy buildings (The Old Town Hall, several churches, etc). I try my best in the photographs to have some sort of gothic atmosphere, because that is the aesthetic I find pleasing, but in actuality, apart from the graveyards, most of these places are just part of the rest of town, fairly normal, just prettier.

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