This is the classic view of West Tanfield, a charming village in North Yorkshire just a few miles north of Ripon. Lots of people have photographed or painted this view and it regularly appears in Yorkshire calendars. This week I finally took my own photo. I was surprised to discover just how much I had to dodge the traffic to get this picture. The bridge is reasonably wide but there is no pavement. Lorry drivers tutted at us as we squeezed ourselves against the wall, just at the spot where the road curves onto the bridge. If any driver had failed to make the bend in that moment, we would have been toast! We were soon joined by a cyclist who had come to take a photo of the same view.
Still, with no-where proper to stand, let alone put up an easel, I do wonder how on earth so many people have painted this view. I assume they “cheated” and painted from a photo. I don’t blame them.
Marmion Tower, West Tanfield
Also in West Tanfield is Marmion Tower, a small English Heritage building with no entrance fee just next to the church. This gatehouse is the only remaining structure from a 15th Century manor. I have wanted to visit for years because other local photographers have mentioned it as a great site for a photo shoot. It has a stunning oriel window on the first floor. My daughter Fizz is studying photography at GCSE. She needs shots of light falling through some ancient windows as part of her project. I thought Marmion Tower would be ideal.
Well, it might have been perfect if we had arrived in the early morning. (Dawn would be beyond the standard abilities of any teenager though, right?) The oriel window faces east and we got there in the late afternoon with the sun low in the west. On the west side are some other nice windows. I took just a few photos before being rushed out of there by Fizz who couldn’t bear the dreadful unsuitable-ness of the site for her photography. We left in an unseemly hurry because apparently it was all SO AWFUL (it wasn’t).
On a happier note we spotted that the local pub is charming and has a stunning tiered beer garden going down to the river. It serves food and has won awards. So there’s my excuse to go back.
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