Hermitage’s Chapel Ruin | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, infrared, landscape, photography, ruins, rural, structures

A Place in Time.

Friday’s are a fabulous day for scouting. We call it – the Long Friday. The littlest ‘un will finish school at 3 and will be collected by his after-school club, there to remain until around 5.30pm. It makes for one day in the week when we don’t have to get back too quickly during the afternoon and wherever we might end up, well, it gives us a little more time to explore. Such was the case last week when we made the journey to Hermitage Castle. 

Just five miles from the English border, in Liddesdale, the castle ruins stand as a forbidding, high-walled monument amidst wide and oppressive moorland – it’s huge arch facing to the hills to the west. Just a couple of hundred yards behind it, lay the ruins of the chapel, alongside the peacefully babbling Hermitage Water. Having spent over an hour around the castle (naturally, I will be sharing a few frames from there, too) and, with the sun gracing the early afternoon for longer periods than we’ve enjoyed lately, I was very excited to capture the chapel ruins. A more peaceful spot than this have I yet had the sheer pleasure to enjoy (aside perhaps from the beautifully secluded Morton Castle). 

I | Windows to the East. Fujifilm X100 720nm IR – 35mm – 1/140th – f8 – ISO:320

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II | Out to Hermitage Castle – Three Little Windows. Fujifilm X100 720nm IR – 35mm – 1/170th – f8 – ISO:320

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There really isn’t much left here by way of a building as such. A burial enclosure languishes in the far east corner, grave stones and markers dot the ground on the far side too, and, three little windows look out to Hermitage Castle and to the hills beyond. We stayed a while, trying our best to decipher carvings on old stones, making a few IR frames and generally enjoying the peace and the sound of the water, while the sun warmed our backs on an otherwise chilly day. If there was a day where I could wish time to slow down, this one would have been the day. The chapel itself is thought to have pre-dated the castle itself by up to two hundred years (there is little information to either argue or corroborate this) and was believed to have been built during the mid 12th century. I’m surprised that there’s any part of it left at all. But, I’m extremely glad of it. 

III | Burial Enclosure. Fujifilm X100 720nm IR – 35mm – 1/160th – f8 – ISO:320

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Not exactly landscape photography, nor structural either; just a few views from one beautiful place in time. I hope you’ll enjoy them. 


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12 thoughts on “Hermitage’s Chapel Ruin | 720nm Infrared | 35Chronicle

  1. Three good images, Rob. I like the third best as well with the tree keeping us grounded and the hills so inviting. What really strikes me about the structure is the amount of hard labor involved in gathering and stacking all the stone. Living in New England I am used to seeing similar evidence in the stone walls that I find in our woodlands as well where they are still used in open fields as property markers or livestock restraints.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Steve! Really glad you like this series. The whole place has such a peaceful feel to it but I gather in its hayday, this entire site was a den of mischief and disorder. The Border Reivers have a reputation well earned! Thankfully, a lot of sites like this exist, in varying states of decay though many are taken under the wing of Heritage organisations in order to preserve them. They’re a real treat! And I never could resist heavy stones with a scenic backdrop. Great to read your thoughtful comments, Steve. Thank you. Have a great weekend, my friend! Best, Rob 🙏 📷

      Liked by 1 person

  2. More beautiful work, my friend. I always love the archways, but the capture with the tree in the foreground and headstone in back – excellent. Not just in form and composition, but the images of both life (aged life) (yet looking dormant) and death combined in the same frame. Nice. Arguably, death is merely another dormant state depending on how one views the spirit 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Harold, I always love it when you comment. The transition is something that’s always fascinated me. I’m always heartened when even one person looks a little deeper than the two-dimensional image. The tree echoes a sentinal-like role over death.. almost taking care of it. Thank you for seeing. Not just looking. Made my night! Have a great week, my friend! Good to hear from you. Best, Rob. 🙏 📷

      Liked by 1 person

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