Friday, 12 June 2009

Bench of the Week 5: Durham Riverbanks


Another Durham bench this week. Standing on the bridge, gazing at the view over the river and towards the Cathedral, I was not at first aware of the presence of a bench! Can you spot it?



Here it is - a beautiful arched bench of weathered stone!

I do not know it's history - I will add it to the post if I learn anything. Since taking the photo I have noticed that it is a very popular seat. This is not surprising as it commands a wonderful view of the River, and must be a prime spot for watching the rowing for which Durham is well-known.

Bench of the Week was begun by RuneE of Visual Norway. Do visit his beautiful blog and see what intriguing bench is there each Friday. Other regular participants include: Barbara Martin, PERBS , Malyss and Ackworth Born.

32 comments:

PERBS said...

Oh my gosh! What a magnificent bench to sit on and view the river!!!!!!!!!! I would feel like a queen sitting there!

My bench post is up on my bench blog--drop by if you can.

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

That bench is very throne like.

cheers

Barbara Martin said...

I would never have guessed from the first photo there was a bench; and now once it has been revealed--it is a perfect bench with which to gaze at the lovely river and scenery. My bench is up.

RuneE said...

No wonder everyone will try that one - it looks like a throne! I could imagine a statue having sat there and just left.

PS There seems to be some kind of pattern in the back of the "throne"?

Ackworth born said...

It doesn't look all that comfortable but the view is magnificent.

Phoenix C. said...

It does look rather magnificent, PERBS, and a good wind shelter too depending on the direction!

I'll drop by and see your bench.

Phoenix C. said...

Hi Rob - I'll look into the history of it - maybe it was a throne!

Phoenix C. said...

I thought at first from the distance it was some sort of drinking fountain, Barbara! It was only when I kept seeing people sitting there that I realized it was a bench!

Phoenix C. said...

RuneE - it would be strange if next time I'm there there is a statue sitting there!!

I'm assuming the pattern is weathering of the stone - I will have a closer look!

Phoenix C. said...

Ackworth born, I find most benches, especially stone ones, are not all that comfortable!

(I think I'll do a 'Most comfortable Bench of the Year' post!)

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I didn't see the bench in the wide view, but I was looking for the wooden kind. Love this stone one. Great post!

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you Monica!

Sometimes I don't notice things in situ, but when I look at my photos at the end of the day, there are interesting elements I was not aware of!

Malyss said...

Simply beautyful and unique! Stone benches are not often seen. This one really makes think of a throne, especially with the castel behind.No matter if it is not comfortable, the view is so great, I would accept to carry my own cushion to sit there..Ü

Phoenix C. said...

I will look out for some more interesting stone benches, Malyss.

(Now there's an idea - maybe I should start carrying a cushion round with me for the not-so-comfortable benches!!)

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

That is just beautiful. I'd love to sit on that bench and watch all the activity. It looks like a perfect day there too.

Phoenix C. said...

It was a perfect day, Catherine - and we're lucky with another one today, all sparkly after all the rain yesterday!

Prospero said...

Great river view. Today's bench is something unusual. My first impression is that it looks more like a tombstone than a bench. You probably want to bring your own pillow, too.

Phoenix C. said...

Hi Prospero,

The bench is unusual, and I imagine there is some history to it which I will try and find out.

Dina said...

It makes you wonder who designed such a solitary throne-like seat and what he was like.
Your blog is so lovely. I'm glad to join the bench-posters today . . . such good company!
Shalom from Jerusalem.

Phoenix C. said...

Hi Dina and thank you!

I really must find out the origins of this bench - maybe it'll be something mundane, like the Council put it there, or maybe it'll have an intriguing romantic history!

Pacey said...

Wow, what a good find you had. That's one unique bench, looks like a throne or a confession seat we have here. Great! I'm glad you came by, or I wouldn't have seen your beautiful posts here, I'm following now.

Diane C. said...

At first I thought it was some type of fountain. It sure is mysterious looking, I wonder how old it is. Beautiful light and shadows in your pictures.

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you Pacey, and thank you for following!

This bench may well be some kind of throne or confession seat associated with Durham Cathedral - I will try and find out.

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you Diane. The light in the afternoons at this time of year here is nice and mellow, and casts interesting shadows into the valley of the River.

Bim said...

A very interesting bench - it's probably popular not only because the view is great but also because one can secretly pretend to be queen or king :)

Phoenix C. said...

What a great idea, Bim! I must visit it again as soon as possible ...

lynn'sgarden said...

How beautifully captured, especially with the Cathedral in the distance! I too thought the bench was a statue at a distance. Are there others throughout the river? Strange that there is just that one. Btw, I love your post on the 'Klondyke' azalea...such a beautiful plant :)

Phoenix C. said...

Thank you Lynn!

I will have a look to see if there are any more along the river - I haven't yet walked along all the paths.

Glad you like my Azalea 'Klondyke'!

Anna said...

Now that's a most fine and solid looking bench which looks as if it has been there a good while. Your top photo bought back happy memories of punting in Durham when I was a student many moons ago :)

Phoenix C. said...

Glad to bring back happy memories of Durham for you, Anna! It was the Regatta over the weekend - I was intending to go and take photos, but got distracted!

Roger Cornwell said...

The seat is Kathedra by Colin Wilbourn, who was sculptor-in-residence at Durham Cathedral. The best known result of his residency was The Upper Room. Here is the entry in the Public Monument and Sculpture Association catalogue.

Phoenix C. said...

Thanks Roger - I'll do a further post on Kathedra. I took some photos of it's other side later in the summer.