Erected in 1998 alongside the A167 road overlooking the A1 near Gateshead, Tyne & Wear, The Angel of the North monument was erected to commemorate the millennium at a cost of some £800,000. The 65ft high monument has a wingspan of 175ft.
An eerie post mill, fully restored, stands in the attractive village of Great Gransden near St Neots in Cambridgeshire. In the 1860’s, the mill was owned by one William Webb, who found a book called The infidel’s Bible amongst the belongings of his deceased brother – all about black magic! Webb hid the book away in the mill which promptly stopped working, and it stayed that way for three years until the book was removed and burnt. Apparently, at that time the sails started to turn again.
A house built over the entrance to a railway tunnel can be seen just outside the station at Whatstandwell in Derbyshire. This is a modern house which one wonders why it would be built on such and unusual plot, and hopes that it is well sound proofed.
This unique ‘cloth hall’ is the last of those which graced many towns in the West Riding of Yorkshire and only narrowly avoided demolition in 1972 by just one vote by Halifax Council. This fine building was built in the centre of Halifax in 1779 at a time when the textile industry was growing at a rapid rate, and provided 350 rooms, each 30 yards long, where merchants stored their ‘pieces’ of cloth, hence the building’s name. Strong classical themes were used in its design with pillars supporting arches on the ground floor; square rustic columns above and topped by Doris columns, around a central square. Restored in the 1970’s the building now houses a variety of shops and galleries, whilst the courtyard hosts markets and the like.
In 2011 a builder paid more than £100,000 at auction for a redundant Victorian toilet block on the sea front at Sheringham in Norfolk. Situated at the foot of the cliff over the promenade alongside the beach, the builder intends to convert the substantial building into a beach house for the use of his family.
An enterprising Scarborough businessman bought a rather nice old Edwardian building from the local council when it became redundant. Nestling into the side of the cliff overlooking the North Bay, the building was ideal for use as a café and he called it ‘Lou’s View’. It was formerly a public toilet.
A disused toilet has also been put to good use at Malvern in Worcestershire. A former Victorian gents toilet now houses the world’s smallest commercial theatre. It covers and area of just 109 square feet and seats just 112 people.
Lord’s cricket ground is now recognised as the headquarters of cricket. Thomas Lord was born in this unpretentious cottage Kirkgate in the tiny North Yorkshire town of Thirsk in 1755, the son of a labourer. When the family moved to Norfolk, young Thomas became a useful cricketer and subsequently found work at the White Conduit Cricket Club in Islington. Lord was soon given the task of finding a better ground for the club and he eventually obtained the lease of some land which became known as ‘Lord’s’, and the club changed its name to The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), This land was subsequently sold for development and after a move to Regents Park, Lord eventually established the club at its present home in St John’s Wood in 1814.
Lord died in 1832. A commemorative plaque marks the cottage where he was born and now houses Thirsk Museum.
The Text House in the main street at Denholm near Hawick in the Scottish Borders is an unusual building, quite out of keeping with its neighbours, which was erected by a local eccentric, Dr Haddon. He also embellished the sides of the unusual bay window with four texts within diamond surrounds : ‘Tak TENT In Time’ - ‘ALL WAS others’ – ‘Ere Time be Tint’ – ‘ALL WILL BE others’.
Round houses were traditionally built with the Devil in mind. It was believed that the Devil likes to enter a building from the north wall and like to hide in corners.