Penrhyn Castle Country House: PT.I | 720nm IR | 35Chronicle Photography

black & white, fine art, history, infrared, photography, ruins, rural, skies, structures, trees

Serving Pennants?

It is said that Wales is the castle capital of Europe and has more castles per square mile than any other country on the same continent – as you can imagine, if you’ve followed my pages for any length of time, this became music to my ears, for one and yet, a little disappointing also; I was convinced that Scotland would hold that particular crown. Nevertheless, a week in North Wales with a good choice of camera set-ups, a family who don’t really do beaches but prefer a little history instead and a hankering for road-trips – well, I was in my element. One of the castles we stopped at was clearly here, at Penrhyn, near Bangor. With views to Snowdonia, Puffin Island and the Menai Strait, which separates the mainland from the Island of Anglesey, Penrhyn Castle sits in a proud position of not only elevation, but also of its architectural authority; due to its utter splendour – Penrhyn has become one of my most favourite historic structures to visit, and photograph. But it’s huge – and that can make it tricky!

I | The ‘Tease-Frame’ | Penrhyn Castle – 720nm Infrared.

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Penrhyn’s history is long and varied and dates back to around the fifteenth century. Of particular note however, after 1833 (when the Slavery Abolition Act came into being) its owner George Dawkins-Pennant, who was an opposer to the emancipation of slaves, was compensated for being deprived of 764 slaves to the tune of £14,683 17s 2d (17 shillings & tuppence for anyone not au fait with old sterling). This compensation happened also to be the approximate cost of the building of the original, unfortified Penrhyn Castle. One can can only imagine the level of local outrage at the knowledge of this, that such a house could be thus constructed almost entirely from the proceeds of slavery. 

II | Through Trees to Towers & Turrets | 720nm Infrared

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In 1951 the property and its 40,000 or-so acres passed to the treasury in lieu of death taxes after the death of Lady Jane Douglas-Pennant and is now owned and maintained by the National Trust; and this makes any visitor extremely fortunate. The awe on the approach up the shallow incline towards it is simply breath-taking, and from here, I will do my best to demonstrate without the use of further words. I can only hope that these frames (and those to follow in future posts) will speak for me; if you’ll forgive me the prevailing blankets of grey clouds which lingered, from time to time. 

III | A Little Wide-Angle Drama | 720nm Infrared.

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Thank you so much for reading and, I hope you will have enjoyed these first few IR frames from my Penrhyn Series. 

If you would like updates, please click Follow. All Images & Posts © Rob Lowe | 35Chronicle Photography  (2018-2021) except where specified. No Copying or Redistribution of any kind is permitted without prior consent from the author, unless links to original work is clearly provided. All images are resized prior to posting.

14 thoughts on “Penrhyn Castle Country House: PT.I | 720nm IR | 35Chronicle Photography

    1. Hi Steve. Critique is just fine and no need to apologise; I’m just very deliberate about composition and am absolutely my own harshest critic. You probably touched a nerve but that says more about me than you. No sweat and sorry for not responding sooner! Best, R.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I generally don’t critique unless someone mentions they would like it. And I certainly make enough compositional errors that I am no authority. In reality nobody is because it is all subjective. Thanks for the reply, Rob.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. As a descendant of slaves I want to thank you for highlighting the fact that the profits from slavery were very large. I suspect that many people today don’t have any idea of how much slavery profit fueled the British, American, French and Spanish economies! BTW, great photos, I very much enjoy your IR photography.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Firstly, thank you for your comments here. I do think it is important to know as much of our history as is possible – and it’s important to know where much of our past comes from especially when that past has moulded our present. As indigestible as it can be. I am so glad you enjoy some of my work here. I really am very grateful. Best, Rob


  2. More great shots of historic architecture, Rob. I really like the second and if it is okay to offer a critique I’d take one more step forward to separate the turret from the branch. The ivy(?) in the third shot is wonderful. The IR effect in all three is quite enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, Nth Wales, land of my mother!
    There are fantastic castles, my favourite is Rhuddlan on the banks of the Clywd. An Auntie lived about half a mile from it so it was a familiar sight.
    Lovely set, look forward to many more!

    Liked by 1 person

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