Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Wycoller Hall and Country Park,10 Jan 2016

At last we had a dry, no rain day coincide with our days off, so G, a friend of ours and I set off on the long planned, first trip to the beautiful, historic Wycoller in Lancashire. It is the starting point of the picturesque Bronte Way leading to the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth. It also has direct connections with Charlotte Bronte as the Wycoller Hall, a 16th century ruin today, is thought to have been the model for Fearndean Manor in the "Jane Eyre" novel.
We expected a lot of mud and large puddles of water everywhere, but it did not occur to us there could be snow as well. So we were surprised and rather delighted to see quite a bit of white dusting covering the landscape. The first snow we saw was from the car around Queensbury near Bradford, and from there onward there was more and more of it as we neared Wycoller.

Lovely winter scenery around the entrance to the Wycoller village. I was thrilled to be taking such pics, the more so because I was completely taken by surprise!

The ancient Pack Horse bridge over Wycoller Beck, which flows through the village, with the Hall in the background makes for a nice composition. However, I believe the shot would look more appealing taken in summer time. I know I will be back in summer as this is one of those places you just have to see and photograph in all seasons.

This is my favourite shot of the day. The Hall ruin with its varying geometric shapes against a white, snowy background, taken from a mid distance, lends itself well to a captivating winter image so I decided to play with it a bit. I added a snow texture layer and then "falling snow" effect too. A touch of Orton effect gave it more depth, contrast as well as some softness. I particularly like the forlorn looking, snow covered bench in the bottom right corner. This shot made me dream of real winter, something I seldom experience where I live.

Inside the ruin. The sun was slowly coming out and melting the snow on the ground.


The aisled barn sits behind the Hall. It is now a Visitors Centre. It is believed to be built in 1630 using timbers from the cruck barn previously on the site because more space was needed for threshing the corn they had begun to grow in the valley.
I took this with my mobile phone. It performs quite well in low light (apart from debatable
sharpness), and on this occasion I only wanted a quick shot of the barn.

I have recently heard a rather upsetting piece of information saying that The Lancashire County Council will have to introduce some cash cuts due to which countryside service around Wycoller will be at threat. It means the visitors would not be able to see the barn any more or use the countryside activity centre.  This of course caused an uproar among the friends of Wycoller and several thousand protesters, including myself, signed a petition to save the beautiful Bronte landmark.

There is a steep flight of steps near the ruin leading into the Wycoller Country Park. Of course, I had to climb and see what was at the top.

Atom Panopticon can be seen on the left in the distance. It is one of a unique series of 21st century view points designed to attract people into the countryside to enjoy the stunning landscapes. If I had had more time, and if it had not been so cold an muddy I would have walked up there to explore and shoot, but on this occasion I soon went back down the steps and into the village.

Another old bridge over the beck, called Clapper bridge, lying just yards behind the old Pack Horse bridge. There are no less than seven bridges crossing the beck which is something that adds to the quaint charm of the village. The winter sun was fully out by now and very low. I got a through-the- lens flare in the shot which I enhanced in post processing.

We could not leave the village without visiting the Craft Centre, gift shop and Victorian Cafe for a refreshing hot drink. The cafe is extremely charming and cosy as this photo shows. It is another quick mobile shot, I could not possibly distract the visitors by walking around with my camera and clicking away. The cappuccino was very good and inexpensive as well. And next time I come I shall try something from the yummy looking food menu too.

On our way back to Stanbury, where we stopped for a hearty Sunday lunch, there was not so much water on the road or snow on the moors as the sun had been out for a while. G spotted this view with its dramatic light from his driver's seat and asked me if I wanted to stop and take a few shots. Of course, the answer was never going to be no!

I took this from the same spot. It is the road we were travelling on in the same direction as the red car. We left behind some ominous looking sky but the sunshine continued to follow us.

It may be surprising but I took this from the same vantage point as the previous two shots within seconds of each other. It is just that the camera was pointed in different directions. Sometimes it is incredible how the light changes in very short space of time or how it differs within a short distance. These fleeting changes in light are one of the things that make photography such an exciting and forever challenging hobby.


  1. I love your shots of Wycoller Vesna. It's a place I often went as a child. You might be interested in this post which I wrote in 2011. It has photos of Wycoller in it.
    Sorry if I have already shared this link with you.
    Jacquie x

  2. I enjoyed reading this, Vesna . We are very lucky living just 2 miles from Wycoller in Trawden . We often walk up and feed the ducks on the pond , they are very friendly!!
    Thanks for a good read

    hugs Marie ( Maraymondo1 )

  3. Sounds like a wonderful day out. Your photographs are stunning. I love the interior of the barn and the cafe looks so cosy!

  4. I love Wycoller. That old barn is amazing. Lovely photos; the place has a different character in each different season.

  5. Hi, Really great effort. Everyone must read this article. Thanks for sharing.
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    1. Thank you, James! I am pleased you like my post.