Category Archives: Inspiring Locations

St.Mary’s Guildhall

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www.elegantsavage.co.uk

A Fairy Tale by The Elegant Savage http://www.elegantsavage.co.uk

Creating Fairy Tale images (see picture to left) has become more than a wandering obsession for me, which I’m sure any good story lover can understand.  But, the most important thing is getting a great location…& there are hundreds…no thousands…of these gems dotted throughout the known universe. I could diversify & praise the simple dwelling place of the humble bedroom for its many ’emergency’ shooting backdrops, as I’m sure you’re aware that the more pushed for ideas/space/props etc we are, the more creative we have to be!

But leading on from this, I cannot help but sing the praises of buildings, gardens & woodlands that make life worth living…& our work as artists & photographers a damn site easier! So I shall begin with a little known & well kept secret called St. Mary’s Guildhall, built in 1340.  Located in the centre of  Coventry, England, its medieval splendour is in complete contrast to the rest of the concrete & glass gall that surrounds it…& the minute you enter this wondrous building, the serenity, calm & subtle creepiness will transport you immediately in time to wherever your imagination chooses to wander.

The Great Hall

I have been presently working on a relaxed photographic art study of La Belle Dame Sans Merci a la Frank Cadogan Cowper & was delighted to return to this fabulous place to start work on this piece. (See La Belle Dame post for more info) ….Anyway, enough of those ramblings I shall continue with a potted history of this magnificent building.

More than 650 years of stories, adventure, death & intrigue are hidden in the walls here.  Soon after it was built it became the adopted headquarters for the city’s mayor & other leaders, and it was still used by Coventrys council until the new Council house was built in the 1930’s.  During the War of the Roses, it served as King Henry VI’s court & was used as a temporary prison for Mary, Queen of Scots.  The letter sent by Queen Elizabeth I to the People of Coventry, requesting that Mary be kept here until further notice, still exists & is housed here.

William Shakespeare also staged his plays here & the writer George Eliot mentions the Guildhall in her book ‘Adam Bede’.  She would have been more than familiar with the surrounding area as the fourth school she attended ‘Nant Glynn’ was at 29, Warwick Row, just a stones throw away!

Well, its getting late & my eyeballs have wilted in their sockets, but I shall be back with a continuing history & a little bit of ghostly photographic evidence for you to scrutinise over the next few weeks….I hope you enjoyed this preamble & I look forward to returning to finish 🙂

Goodnight folks!

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