View Full Version : Archived: St David's ruins, Cottingley, Bradford Jan '09

27-01-2010, 05:48 PM
Cottingley is a small village outside Bradford. Less than a hundred years ago it became the centre of an international mystery, on a similar scale to the Loch Ness monster or the beast of Bodmin, taxing some of the greatest minds of the time. In 1917, two girls, Elsie Wright and her cousin Frances, told everyone that they had seen fairies in a place called Cottingley Glen. Astonishingly, they had taken photographs of the fairies. Perhaps, even more astonishingly, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, of Sherlock Holmes fame, endorsed the snaps and said they must be real. Here is one of the five pictures that fooled the world.

Experts on the forum will clearly have noticed the shutter speed used has blurred the water on the waterfall behind, but not the fast flapping fairy wings. Doh. Apparently, they were cut out of a picture book. Suckerz
However in private woodland outside Cottingley, the magic continues.
These readers, are St David's ruins.

They were built in 1796 by Benjamin Ferrand, a rich character in nearby Harden Grange. Like many at the time, they were built as gothic ruins for wealthy estates. Today, they are grade II listed.

It was a shame that the early sun had disappeared behind heavy cloud, leaving the woodland dark and gloomy. These would look great in misty autumn sun. A carved flight of steps leads down amongst the rocky outcrop.

Carved into the rock are the initials BF. They stand for Benjamin Ferrand, not Barry, as initially thought. I have no ability to make a humourous Boxfrenzy joke either.

It's nice to imagine Barry, riding a horse near a his house whilst smoking a claypipe looking up at his "ruin". Clearly today, he wouldn't be able to see it because there are too many trees and he is dead.

Luckily it probably looked like this, taken early last century.

Not the most exciting of reports, I hear you say. Fairy nuff.