Thursday, 20 November 2008

Skywatch Friday - 21 November 2008

These pictures were taken last December and the sky was every bit as blue as the photographs show. Looks more like a sky in the Mediterranean than the North East of England! Not a cloud in sight!

The foreground is Herrington Country Park. Until about four years ago this was the site of a huge coal heap, the remnants of the mining heritage of the industrial North East. Reclamation has created a park for everyone to use with no worries about running on the grass, that's what it's for!

The site is now a great venue for leisure activities such as charity fun races, nature watches and other environmental activities. The Race for Life takes place here every year. It's also a great place to walk as there are lots of trails which are suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.

There are lots of wild birds there including swans on the lake and the ponds.

There's a play area too!

Even in the middle of winter lots of people go there to walk or just to sit and eat their lunch. If it's raining they just sit in their cars and take in the peace and quiet.

The historic building in the background of the first picture is Penshaw Monument. Here's another view of it taken from the bottom of the hill. It's quite a steep climb but lots of people climb it with children as it's always open to the public.

On Good Friday children keep up the old tradition of rolling their boiled (paste) eggs down the hill. On Easter Sunday morning there's a service at sunrise. I have to admit I've never made it!

Penshaw Monument
The monument was built in 1844 and is dedicated to John George Lambton, first Earl of Durham and the first Governor of the Province of Canada. It was built as a half-sized replica of the Temple of Hephaestus, Athens and is 100 feet long, 53 feet wide and 70 feet high. The Monument is a listed building and the best preserved model of a Doric Hexastyle temple in Britain.

The Monument dominates the landscape and can be seen from miles away as it is 136 feet above sea level. You can just see it in the background of a photo, a View from the Bridge that I put in an earlier blog. My husband originally came from Northumberland but he says when he's driving he knows he's home when he sees the Monument.

It's certainly a beautiful sight in the evening when it is illuminated but sadly vandals have destroyed the lights on a number of occasions. My photographic skills don't run to getting a good picture of it at night.

Why not join us at Skywatch Friday and post your photos? We'd love to see them.


I don't know what's going on here with the photos, they suddenly have lines across the skies!
They were fine until I made the posting live. The originals are fine and I've reinserted them but they still have those strange lines across them.

I'm not going to worry too much as I can see them on other people's posts too. Must be my PC. Weird!


  1. beautiful blue skies for sure. I didn't see any lines across the pics.

  2. I see no lines in your beautiful skies! What an incredible place. I love the openness of it.

  3. Hi Winifred,

    Hard to believe that that gorgeous park was a coal heap only four years ago! The pictures are gorgeous, sky and all. And I see no lines either.

    Have a great day!


  4. Love the history and your pictures are super clear. Blue sky and lake.

  5. Great pics, that last one of the Penshaw monument is outstanding.

    Regina In Pictures

  6. I don't see any lines either, might be something to do with the resolution of your monitor. Pretty spot, don't know that I've ever seen skies that clear in the UK.

  7. Great photos Winifred - I love blue skies like that, especially in winter. Can just imagine it to be favourite place to sit and just gaze. I've heard of Penshaw Monument before but knew no detail about it, so thanks for that. Your photos look fine to me too.

    A x

  8. The sky is a beautiful blue. I see no lines in the pictures. All I see are your lovely pictures.

  9. Thank you for the information Winifred. At first sight of the Penshaw monument, I thought you were in Greece but the place is too verdant. I love the deep blue reflection of the sky on the water. Cloudless days are also beautiful for Skywatching, like these.

  10. The lambton worm comes to mine. Haven't see this for over 5 years .

    By the way the Isle Of Man are the world's biggest procarstinators - There motto - Time Enough.

  11. Beautiful blue skies. I don't see any lines on the photos. Have a wonderful week-end.

  12. great history, and a great make over for a coal pit.

    super photos......

    Gill in Canada

  13. The wonderful blue skies remind me of the winters in Arizona. I see no lines. I'm Intrigued with the Penshaw Monument. Must do more research on it. Thanks for the nice post.

  14. I didn't mention that the playpark was designed with the Lambton Worm theme.

    There's a factsheet about the Monument here

    I'm not sure what's causing the problem with the photos. Don't think it's my monitor as when I put one of the photos on my website to test it, it's fine.

  15. Great piccies Winifred and wow on the Pershaw Monument.

    BTW you're comment on Bon Bon made me LOL, the analogy to a sausage is quite appropriate!

  16. That's why I've heard of it before - The Lambton Worm.

    A x

    PS. My Dad was a Geordie!

  17. What a fantastic scheme, I love it when they do something like that, it should happen more often. The sky is fabulous too, and goes to show that England isn't always grey and sad.

  18. Beautiful pictures, no lines from my end either. I also thought (Penshaw Monument) looked like something you would see in Greece. You live in a beautiful area. It is really a shame when "pathetic thugs" destroy part of something that brings joy to so many. Hard to understand, isn't it?

  19. What a good use of an old pit area.


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