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, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. 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.

Goth 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, the expression of that in Goth rock. It 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 (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, 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. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Friday, 7 October 2016

Gables, Clouds and Rainy Skies - Photographic Friday

Another instalment of 'Photographic Friday'. I haven't done these in a while, especially since I established my architectural photography blog on Tumblr - ::Architecturally Gothic::. If you like my photography work, I recommend looking at that. I'd like to get a few more followers, too! I've watermarked all of my architectural photography with that blog now - if it's going on Tumblr, it needs to be watermarked so attribution doesn't get lost if people reblog without source. 

Anyway, this is a set of photographs from over a week ago. I actually made myself ill by going out and photographing this set - or rather significantly accelerated the progress of a cold straight into the worst parts. I've ended up missing college and not really doing much for over a week, and I'm worried I will get behind. 

Columba hotel, named after the Saint. Dramatic skies. Photo by me.

This is one of a whole heap of photographs I took of Inverness for a university project, and the only day I had to go in take photographs happened to be one of frequent torrential downpours, and I got soaked (despite my umbrella and coat) and the following day felt like death, and have spent most of the following week ill in bed with some sort of bad cold, perhaps the flu. 

At least the Scottish Baronial gables are pretty. Note the stepped gables - these are called 'corbie-steps' or 'corble-steps' from the Scots word for crow; "corbie", or just 'crow-steps'. At some point I'm going to have to take a picture of some crows perched on them - there are enough crows about the place, but the seagulls keep chasing them off. 

Close up of Columba Hotel sign and gables and dormer. 

In a break from the rain the clouds were really rather snazzy. Again, the gables of the Columba Hotel (and a cute wee dormer window). Scottish Baronial architecture dominates Ness Walk, with the all narrow windows, many gables (and roof goes up to the wall and stops, instead of overhangs past it. This is very common with Scottish roofs. There's often a sort of hidden lead gutter called a raggle, behind the wall, otherwise water would get in.) These photos are for a college project. I’m doing an analysis of the current architectural context for a site, so I pretty much photographed the entire area around it…
Gables all in a row. Photograph by the HouseCat
Another photograph from Ness Walk. Many of Ness Walk’s gables all in a row, against the clearing clouds. It did rain again after that, but at least the weather was dry for a moment. The old parts of Inverness are beautiful and full of character - it’s a shame they demolished so much of it between the 1950′s and ‘70s and replaced a lot of it with ugly box buildings. A lot of Inverness’ older districts make me think of a scaled-down Edinburgh. There's even a prominent city-centre castle on a hill!

Gothic windows. Photograph by the HouseCat 

Gothic Revival apartments/offices/accommodation (I can’t remember which portions of this building are what), opposite the Cathedral, in Inverness. I took this photo because of the Gothic Revival details on an otherwise very Scottish Baronial building - bridging the Scottish Baronial style of most of Ness Walk (and the Castle across the river) and the Gothic Revival style of the (perpetually unfinished) cathedral.

Here's another combination of Gothic Revival and Scottish Baronial. I think the two columns either side of the gable might be chimney-pots, either that or they are purely decorative - I'm not actually sure! The blind round 'window' in the centre is a cinquefoil Gothic tracery, and the tops of the windows have been pointed to Gothic arches, but still retain the overall 'vertical rectangle' feel of Scottish Baronial windows. The crow-steps are capped wit fancy stone, but are still very much crow-steps. It's a well executed hybridisation of what in this case are two medieval-revival styles. I think this particular building is either offices or a hotel. 

Hopefully these pictures have been enjoyable. I think my architectural photography is certainly improving, and I really must update my Tumblr with more photography. 


  1. I really like the gloomy and the ominous atmosphere that's been captured in your photographs. I think my favourite has to the gable all in row. I like the angle of gables and the various shades of the black and grey work amazingly to create simple but dramatic photo.

  2. A dark and rainy afternoon, Gothic architecture, excellent's too bad the crows didn't show up. They missed out on something good.

    Get well soon!

    1. I'm already feeling much better... "already" - it's been 11 days of this damn virus.

      I didn't get any crows, but I did get a close-up picture of a young seagull who wandered up to see what my camera was (and if it was edible, probably). I don't like seagulls; they'll attack people for food and I've been attacked by them 3 times. You can't eat outdoors in Inverness, and it's all because tourists and idiots keep feeding them chips and burgers and stuff.

      To be fair, living in Scotland is a pretty good location for dark and rainy afternoons - I think "dark and rainy with the odd moment of sunshine" might be an apt description of the climate here... Oh, and snowy; snow will be happening soon.

  3. Nice photos. I have not done any architectural type photography for well over a year and that certainly inspires me to go out for a walk round town with the camera. Also given I've always been in Scotland I hadn't realised Corbies were Crows..... Which makes Corbiehill Crow Hill .... Hmmm :-)

    Scotland isn't that wet:-/ There are places in the lake district that are officially wetter I believe. The problem up here is it can never decide what to be. The old saying is that if you don't like the weather then wait 10 minutes. Particularly here in the central belt.

    Now, where is that camera.......

    1. I remembered "corbies" from the old ballad 'Twa Corbies" and when I checked it out with the architectural term, I found it again. Raven is 'corbeau' in French, and they're all 'corvids' so I guess it comes through from the Latin - I think the English word 'crow', while having a similar arrangement of letters, is more onomatopoeic.

      I think I feel Scotland is wet because a) I'm in the Highlands, where we get a fair bit of precipitation (especially if I venture out towards the West Coast/Islands...) and b) because the places I lived in England are comparatively dry - I've spent a lot of time in the home counties, especially. I remember Bristol being wetter than Oxford, London, Reading, however - but Bristol is also out towards the West and I think a lot of the rain comes in off the Atlantic - probably why Ireland and Wales also have a reputation for a rainy climate! I know by the time you get to Moray and (eg. Elgin) it's a lot drier than Inverness, and that Inverness is considerably drier than say, Skye - and warmer and less windy than anywhere North West. But I haven't spent any time on Skye or the Islands in AGES! I really must rectify that...

  4. First time here, and love the architecture!

    1. Thankyou :) I post architecture stuff up as a good segment of my content, so there'll be more. I also have an architecture Tumblr, Architecturally Gothic


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