Saturday, 21 March 2009

Old slate quarries in Charnwood Forest near Swithland Woods

Part of Swithland Woods and the old slate quarries

This aerial view flattens it but this is an area of steep hills, a really lovely area of higher land. I want to do some sketching here as the weather warms up and my work committments hopefully ease off a little. It's a beautiful area of ancient forest (woods and open land) pitted with flooded deep slate quarries. A lot are on private land or inaccessible but this one is ideal - I can park next to it and sketch leaning on the old drystone wall.

That means I can take heavier media like oil paints with me.

Flooded (deep) slate quarry near Swithland Woods. Photo Vivien Blackburn

Today the dried leaves from last autumn had a pinkish hue against the ivy and murky green water in the quarry - the bank has the pinkish hue but its reflection is deep murky greens, not what you'd expect if you didn't go to observe. It was a lovely Spring day and you can see the blue sky reflected in the water :>)

The ivy coloured building must have belonged to the slate mine - it looks like the turret of a medieval castle :>)

So some time soon this will be another phase of my Leicestershire Waterways project.


Jeanette said...

This looks like a great place to do some drawing and painting. I love the woodsy area then finding little pockets of water with reflections and colours.

Great to see it on the map too, I was just doing something similar for a painting I'm doing.

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Like Jeanette says; a great place to capture. You have interesting nooks and challenges awaiting you here and I can see it ask for a hevaier medium like oil. Good luck, I'm lookign forward to this!

vivien said...


Gesa said...

Great - another pond :). I like the map; very useful! And I'm looking forward to whatever you'll do with it.

Laureline said...

You have the BEST places to go and paint! Well, you're very resourceful in finding them, I know, but still... . Can't wait to see what you do here, Vivien.

vivien said...

this one is deep and dangerous Gesa! not a pond, it's an old slate quarry and they went pretty deep. A larger one further south in the county is used for scuba diving and there's a death each year in accidents there even with supervision.

I may well try to sketch there some time as the divers would make interesting sketches.

I hope to get out there before too long - today is freezing though and I've been working so can't get out yet :>(

Lindsay said...

This is exciting! What a great spot and I can't wsit to see what you will do with your oils on the spot. I'm reading "The Map That Changed the World" right now. It's about the Englishman who practically invented modern geology. The slate quarry will be very righ for geologic observations, I imagine.

Sorry I've been quiet lately. I got back from the funeral and felt a bit "pale and thin" (as Bilbo tells Frodo).

muddy red shoes said...

oh, dont fall in...I always find these sort of places very moody and almost sad, but I think that deep still water will be an interesting subject

vivien said...

I've got a nice drystone wall to lean on so hopefully won't fall in! the quarry is on private land so I can't get any closer or look at it from the sides, which is a shame.

There is a larger quarry in the woods but it's fenced off and difficult to see much, though there are paths through the woods and I can walk there.

Lindsay I'm sorry you've obviously been going through a sad time :>( the geology is interesting there.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Ooooh - that looks really a really good to sketch and paint. Maybe we ought to hve a ponds offshoot blog?! ;)

Isn't it weird how all deep water is always almost black?