The St Mary de Castro spire appeal
The St. Mary de Castro spire appeal, Leicester
Using some of my architectural photography for a good cause
Photographs of St. Mary de Castro church in Leicester
The nearby church of St Mary de Castro has a wonderful spire, dating from around 1400. It’s built on a tower dating from 1300, that’s built from inside a church (lack of space) that dates from around 1100 – although it’s actually two churches joined together. The whole lot has been altered since with the usual Victorian embellishments…
That’s the sort of complex building history that’s pretty common with old English churches.
Here’s a view at night I created for an exhibition earlier this year.
Unfortunately, the attentions of inept repairers and time have left the stonework of the spire in a parlous condition. If left alone, it will collapse within 10 years.
I was asked if it was possible to get some shots from inside the spire, that could be used to demonstrate how bad things were, and show some of the emergency work aimed at stabilising the structure (internal steel bands in tension)
Here’s one of the shots from inside, showing just how bad the cracks have got.
It’s very dark, so this is a 2.5 second exposure.
The spire gets rather narrow by the time you are getting near the top, so I used a 180 degree fisheye lens to give a feel for the way the internal scaffolding has been set up. There is a great view of the city from over 200 feet up.
To raise money for the spire appeal, I’ve created some new images of the church, which are being offered as fine art prints to raise money for the church.
This first one shown the Norman (12th century) entrance door, just after it had stopped raining.
A view of the church and entrance to the castle precints
The photo above was created using Nik’s new HDR Efex Pro 2 software, for three different exposures. They were needed to keep detail in the very brightly lit areas. I’ll be writing more about this in an upcoming review of the software.
Inside the church I created several extremely high resolution images using a Gigapan and Autopano Giga software. This is a photography service I offer as part of our specialist high resolution architectural photography.
The first is of the high altar (this from an image around 1GB in size)
Lastly, a full 360 degree view – from a six gigabyte image (you can click on many of the images in this article to see higher resolution versions.
If you’re interested in more information about the prints, please visit the exhibition info page.
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