Hopwood Hall: Palace of the Soul

January 29, 2016

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I'm writing the script for the short film to accompany my latest print Palace of the Soul.

 Palace of the Soul

The photograph was taken right at the heart of Hopwood Hall within one of the original late C16th/ early C17th rooms - this was originally part of the Open Hall of the manor house. A spere-truss still survives which is visible in the upper rooms.

The hall is derelict, dark and damp - yet, remarkably - it is full of wonderfully detailed carvings from the late Jacobean period - some may be older. 

Plans have been afoot for some time to try and save the Hall - but the dereliction still remains and it saddens me.

The title of the print: 'Palace of the Soul' was taken from Lord Byron's poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage - a poem which he is reputed to have written part of at Hopwood Hall. The verse it comes from is quite relevant to the Hall in many ways:

'Look on its broken arch, its ruined wall,

Its chambers desolate, and portals foul:

Yes, this was once Ambition's airy hall,

The dome of Thought, the Palace of the Soul.

Behold through each lack-lustre, eyeless hole,

The gay recess of Wisdom and of Wit,

And Passion's host, that never brooked control:

Can all saint, sage, or sophist ever writ,

People this lonely tower, this tenement refit?'