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Secrets of the Tower

johnriley1uk

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Secrets of the Tower

15 Sep 2020 11:11PM   Views : 287 Unique : 155

It's always great to arrange access to places where people don't normally go, and it's not particularly difficult to do. It needs a bit of negotiation with the right person and, of course, a reason for the whole thing to happen. A camera club is ideal as it's perfectly reasonable to ask for access for a club shoot, and so it was when I approached Atherton Parish Church. Obviously there is the church itself, but there were two other areas that I was interested in. One was the area under the floor, accessed through a huge trapdoor. The second was the tower, accessed through a locked door. Locked doors cry out "Open me!" but I don't mean by breaking in, I mean be asking for the key.

The way up to the tower was, as is so often the case, by a very, very narrow spiral stone stairway and by the top we are pretty much down to crawling out onto the roof of the tower. Some of us didn't make it because of claustrophobia, but I did stagger out into the early evening light to shoot across the rooftops of Atherton.

Time for some pictures!

The Artist's Studio - one of the largest rooms in the tower
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View from the studio window
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The Bell Chamber
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View across Atherton town centre
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The Church Font
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Trap door to the underworld
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The Explorers, under the church
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Comments


altitude50 16 19.8k United Kingdom
16 Sep 2020 8:01AM
Excellent photos. That artists studio looks really interesting.
I suffer from fear of heights, there is a solo church tower at Shedfield in Hampshire which is occasionally open to the public. I am sure there is a great view from the top, I went there on a day it was open and climbed to the first level, but the access to the roof was a long ladder in the centre of a space. I couldn't face it.
I am alright in enclosed spaces such as the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, but put me on the first rung of the short step laddder at home and I start shaking.

(Thinking of the Battle of Britain celebrations yesterday, the films often shown on tv portray the tall radar towers built in the South of England. There were two remaining on Gibbet Hill, Hindhead in the early fifties, I with some friends climbed the ladders halfway up one of them, so I couldn't have been so frightened then (about 12 years of age)! I remember the view from there right across the Surrey/Sussex/Hampshire countryside.)

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