Old, Secluded Stone | 35Chronicle

35mm, black & white, full-spectrum, photography, ruins, rural, structures

The Temple of Cally Woods.

This one was another rare find… and again, I can’t take any credit! What can I say? Bumble finds ’em and I shoot ’em!

In 1779, a landscape gardener by the name of James Ramsay built this beautiful gothic ‘temple’ from which, at the time, fantastic views over Gatehouse and the open parkland of the Cally Estate could be breathtakingly enjoyed. Now, it stands hidden within the Cally Woods, a stone’s throw from the A75 yet, invisible from it. Surprisingly, however, it was found to be a mere two-minutes walk from a side-road – barely visible through the trees until we we almost upon it. Some work had been undertaken in around 2005 to restore this building and this was evident in some very obvious modern materials and techniques used, but its aura matches its era – and offered a very enjoyable half-hour for one particular gent. Oddly, its main facia and entrance to the south is identical to the west face, albeit that the doorway and windows on the west side are bricked up now. It seems a little odd and I wonder if Ramsay had changed his mind while building it or, perhaps, was it altered at some time in its future? One William Todd was a known resident here, for ten years, whilst he was in charge of drove cattle belonging to James Murray. I can’t imagine how cosy this place would have been with the open fire roaring. Of course, it would have had a roof, back then! 

I hope you’ll enjoy these few grabs and, thank you again for reading.


I | To the Trees [Ricoh GR III – VIS] | ISO:1600

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II | The South Entrance [Ricoh GR III – VIS] | ISO: 800

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III | The West Wall [Ricoh GR III- VIS] | ISO: 640

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IV | The South Entrance [Ricoh GXR – LTFS] | ISO: 673[!]

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V | Roofless [Ricoh GXR – LTFS] | ISO: 2810[!]
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10 thoughts on “Old, Secluded Stone | 35Chronicle

  1. I do little non-nature photography but am very envious of these old buildings that you get to photograh. So much character and design that would never be repeated today. I am curious about that feature seen above the door in the first and fifth images. Is it simply structural design or has it significance of the times? The first is my favorite also.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Steve, sorry to not reply sooner, my friend! We are so lucky that so many of these old buildings are not only left standing after hundreds of years but also, maintained (as closely as possible to their original state anyway) to stand today as reminders (or perhaps, trophies?) of our past. Whole sites are preserved and given protected status often, in order that they are preserved and, there are quite a lot and not always as hidden as this Gothic Temple – the design of which I know nothing at all but, perhaps, as art has developed over millennia, in seeking to create the art of symmetry without brush, canvas, charcoal or camera, instead – they made it with stone and air built into a structure of purpose. I’m sure, if design awards for architecture were given out back in 1779 – this one would have been on the shortlist! I’d like to think so! Hope you have a great weekend ahead, Steve. And thank you as always for you kind words! Very best, Rob 🙏📷


  2. Your framing in the first image keeps haunting my thoughts, pushing me to wonder how I can be more creative with composition. These images all tell secret stories that evoke a sense of wonder.

    I agree with Alessandra, here in Oklahoma the oldest abandon church nearby was built in the 1930s.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Christen! Your comments are a real pleasure to read and as always, I am extremely grateful to you. Thank you! I think perhaps that compositionally, in subjects like this little tower, come a little more naturally when instead of just shooting it, taking a walk and a look around without the camera in hand – develops a kind of excitement for the frames I’ll make as I see them in my head whilst I’m taking it all in. Stepping in, stepping back, moving around it and feeling its space in time and surroundings before I grab a camera… I guess this is why I don’t mind slower cameras; it’s very beneficial to create the time to think and absorb before the making of an frames. The creative process starts on first contact with one’s senses. The shutter – the finale. Secrets are everywhere. In everything and everyone, I’m certain. Great fun to seek them out, don’t you think?! Have a great weekend and sorry to reply so late – life gets in the way sometimes. Very best, Rob. 🙏📷


    1. Alessandra, thank you! Here in the UK we always love to be reminded of where we came from – how we used to live, how life was – ideals… keep us very grateful for the way we live today. History is the only reason we’re all here. Cool too, yes, you’re absolutely bang on, there! Very best, Rob. 🙏📷

      Liked by 1 person

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