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St Martins Birmingham tiles by Woodlanda
St Martins Birmingham tiles, a photo by Woodlanda on Flickr.

Paid a visit to Birmingham last week and went to St Martins, a Victorian church in the Bullring. As all good Victorian churches should, it featured a pavement of encaustic tiles.

These are by Minton, who pioneered the manufacturing process for this technique and continued to be a leading manufacturer.

The symbols on the tiles in the shields in the lower right represent the instruments of Christ’s passion.


Outside Innside by the Fire

Rose Villa fireplace by Woodlanda
Rose Villa fireplace, a photo by Woodlanda on Flickr.

This is in the Rose Villa Tavern in Birmingham, a pub interior by Carter’s of Poole.

There are some fine examples of painted tile panels and tube lined tiles in this showcase setting.

However, I found the use of these chunky faience blocks in this room a bit disconcerting. It’s a bit like the building has turned itself inside out!

Corking Tile Pillars

Cork city tile pillars 2 by Woodlanda
Cork city tile pillars 2, a photo by Woodlanda on Flickr.

These have got to be the best example of architectural ceramics I saw in Cork. This is the frontage of the Metropole Hotel in McCurtain Street.
I can’t find out much about the history of the building apart from a couple of old photos dated 1900. These show these pillars as part of a row of enclosed shop fronts with the hotel above.
In a city where Victorian and early 20c buildings are everywhere, these pillars certainly stand out!

Cork City Pilasters

Cork city pilasters by Woodlanda
Cork city pilasters, a photo by Woodlanda on Flickr.

These were the only faience pilasters I spotted in Cork. Though much of their Victorian and early 20c buildings have been preserved, the wooden painted pilasters like the one on the left are much more common.

Although sometimes it’s hard to tell with all those coats of paint!

Barryscourt Castle Dresser

Barryscourt dresser by Woodlanda
Barryscourt dresser, a photo by Woodlanda on Flickr.

On our holiday in Cork we went to Barryscourt Castle, an Irish tower house built for defence. It has been extensively restored using authentic materials and techniques. These pots are replicas made as part of the restoration.

In contract to English historical buildings, admission and the guided tour were free, there was no gift shop and no pressure to join a national conservation body. I felt almost guilty at getting such a valuable experience for nothing!

Herringbone paths

Ballymaloe brick path by Woodlanda
Ballymaloe brick path, a photo by Woodlanda on Flickr.

This is in the Vegetable Garden in the Ballymalloe Cookery School Gardens near Cork in Ireland. The paths were laid by Frank Walsh.

Carters of Poole Tile Design 1004

Tile Design 1004 by Woodlanda
Tile Design 1004, a photo by Woodlanda on Flickr.

This is a drawing I made from the pattern books for the tiles made by Carters of Poole. When I originally accessed the books they were kept in the Pilkingtons factory at Hamworthy where I copied some of the designs in a peaceful setting next to the harbour.
The other week I went to see the books again after a 33 year gap. They are now kept in the county archives after the Poole Pottery Museum collections were dispersed. The archive worker who retrieved them for me was astonished at the contents of all the beautiful designs as as he hadn’t realised what the books contained. Sadly the first book is missing.