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Posted by
CElliottUK (Reading, United Kingdom) on 23 March 2012 in Architecture.

This is a bee shelter.
Built in the 1850's by Quarry Master and Stone Mason Paul Tuffley, each of the compartments(Known as boles) held a "Skep"(an old fashioned bee hive made of straw-you can see two in the middle of the bottom row).
The problem is that no one knows why he built it....One theory was that it was designed as an advertisement of his superior Cotswold stone, or as an exhibition piece. Another theory is that Tuffley, who had supplied the stone for the Palace of Westminster(Known to most international folk as the Houses of Parliament) was loosing to stiff competition to maintain his contract, and this was designed to show his superior stone mason skills.
Whatever the logic, it failed, and his house was repossessed a few years after he built this.
It's in Hartpury Churchyard, Gloucestershire.
Processed using Silver FX.

Panasonic DMC-G3 1/250 second F/5.6 ISO 200 28 mm (35mm equiv.)

Luke from Spokane Washington, United States

Very interesting history.

23 Mar 2012 5:17am

Jypyä Pop from Turku, Finland

I would not have that kind of did not know anything, if it were not Aminus be told. A really interesting story and photo.

23 Mar 2012 6:49am

Shaahin Bahremand from Tehran, Iran

good b&w

23 Mar 2012 7:13am

Lewis from Ljouwert, Netherlands

bees knees ;)

23 Mar 2012 7:17am

Nigel from Avening, United Kingdom

Born and bred in the county - never realised that this structure existed. When I think of the number of times I've been to Hartpury - what have I been doing ? Thanks for this - it's a lovely image.

23 Mar 2012 7:20am

@Nigel: But isn't that always the way? I've lived in Berkshire my whole life, and it wasn't until a few months ago that I went to Windsor Castle.

Christine from Ellemford, United Kingdom

I would never have guessed what it was, wonderful stone work and a great shot of it

23 Mar 2012 7:45am

Riccardo from Rome, Italy

Great light and excellent b&w!!

23 Mar 2012 7:49am

Doug from Burnham-on-Sea, United Kingdom

Fascinating structure and history behind it, and a nice image too

23 Mar 2012 8:50am

ursulakatariina from Leixlip, Ireland

Beautiful shot and interesting story to go with it.

23 Mar 2012 9:05am

J.R. from Urasoe City, Japan

If i had a bee I'd send him there cool place

23 Mar 2012 9:41am

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

Renders very nicely with Silver Efex, what an unusual find, how on earth did you get to know about it?

23 Mar 2012 9:58am

@Curly: I'm running a project for a manufacturing company based in Newent. I have to go there once or twice a week for various meetings. My journey from Reading takes 2 hours each way, and the last half of the journey is along the A417. I've noticed various "Brown" signs pointing out places of interest, so, if the meetings finish early, I divert to these places to break up the commute. That was how I found the place that did the falconry which I showed a week ago. Hartbury Church was also one of those places pointed to by these signs.

rick from brisbane, Australia

Very interesting commentary and great visual image. I love the tonal range you've got there Chris.

23 Mar 2012 10:04am

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Wonderful capture of this stone marvel and eccentric piece of design. Excellent tones you get with Silver Efex as well.

23 Mar 2012 10:05am

Jason Politte from Conway, AR, United States

Wow, what an interesting find. So, do those two that are in there actually have bees in them, or is it just for display? Excellent monochrome processing, Chris!

23 Mar 2012 10:45am

Jules from Drayton, United Kingdom

A wonderful find and I really like the processing you have achieved here. Although I have never seen a bee shelter/bole as ornate as this before they are in fact quite common as they were built and used before the arrival of the wooden hive. There is a superb brick built bee bole at the "Lost Gardens Of Heligan", Cornwall. The skep was ultimately used to ensure pollination of fruit trees in an orchard and would be returned back to a nearby bole after pollination.

23 Mar 2012 11:04am

@Jules: Sorry for mis-informing, I'll change the text at the top. I was parroting the blurb that I found at the church!

Lougris from Toulouse, France

interessante construction !!:)

23 Mar 2012 11:08am

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

an excellent bit of documentation Honey :)

23 Mar 2012 12:15pm

@grouser: Aw, that's sweet!

Ralph Jones from Detroit, United States

Beautiful B&W.

23 Mar 2012 3:06pm

Adela Fonts from Barcelona, Spain

A wonderful stone element. I never got to think it was a haven for the bees! You did a fantastic find ... A work of art ... A hug, Adela

23 Mar 2012 3:20pm

Mhelene from Paris, France

Wow ..Superb and very interesting !

23 Mar 2012 3:51pm

Isidro from Barcelona, Spain

un b&n excelente, edicion muy buena!!

23 Mar 2012 4:19pm

Jeff from Pembroke Dock, Wales., United Kingdom

Fascinating item and explanation,you've filled a gap in my knowledge I never knew was there.

23 Mar 2012 8:04pm

Baldwin VW from Bejuma, Venezuela

Fabulous bee shelter with wonderful details !!! great image, very interesting

23 Mar 2012 10:38pm

Karen Politte from Conway, United States

the image is excellent - the title is awesome.

23 Mar 2012 11:41pm

Chetan from Gurgaon, India

Quite an interesting history.

24 Mar 2012 2:27am

Sam from Chennai, India

Beautiful shot. And a very interesting history. :)

24 Mar 2012 4:59am

kiwisa from North Shore, New Zealand

I would never have guessed what this was. Great info - great shot.

24 Mar 2012 6:11am

David from Avranches, France

Never would thought it was for that. Great shot.

24 Mar 2012 9:54am

franz from Baden, Austria

what a find indeed ... superb and highly original crafrtsmanship connected with a sad human fate - stuff for legends!
and what a brilliant presentation you made of it !!

24 Mar 2012 6:33pm

daniela scharnowski from Berlin, Germany

Wow, what a classy bee´s home!! Befitting the rank´s of the bee queens I´d say! very cool in bw.

25 Mar 2012 10:01am

PRASHANT from Mumbai, India

Wonderful details...

26 Mar 2012 8:46am

Julie L. Brown from Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Interesting stonework.

27 Mar 2012 10:54pm

Panasonic DMC-G3
1/250 second
ISO 200
28 mm (35mm equiv.)