A picture taken yesterday during my weekly countryside walk with friends, this time during a walk which took in the ruined industrial village of Wilsontown in South Lanarkshire. Here two of my intrepid friends are heading across a little bridge towards the ruined remains of what was once the Wilsontown Inn, the only subtantial remains of what was once a vibrant and busy town built around an ironworks.
In the 1770s, Robert Wilson had a small coal mine here. The idea of starting an Ironworks occurred to him after he and his brother William by chance found some pieces of ironstone in a stream whilst out on a walk across the moorland. In 1779 they and their other brother, John, set up an ironworks here despite the fact that their family had mainly been merchants and lawyers.
This was only the second ironworks in Scotland to use coke, a new super-fuel that made it far more productive than the old charcoal-fired foundries. The land around was honeycombed with simple mines called "bell pits" to supply the coal and iron ore. A village of over 2,000 people grew up around the Wilsons’ business, attracting people from all over the United Kingdom to work in the noisy foundries. Coal mining, iron-making and the workers’ village were all squeezed together into the small valley, making Wilsontown one of the most unusual and interesting industrial sites in Scotland’s history.
Major breakthroughs that revolutionised iron-making were developed at Wilsontown before the works closed, due to financial difficulties, in 1842. A colliery continued mining coal nearby until 1955. Today there are few signs of all that heavy industry: the old buildings were unsafe and had to be demolished, leaving flowers and trees to cover the ground. This old Wilsontown Inn, which must have helped to slake the thirst of many workers in the foundries over the years, is pretty much all that remains above ground although there is still evidence of old mineworkings.
Nowadays, Wilsontown consists only of a very few modern houses in open countryside about half a mile from this spot.
I have included a view looking back from farther up the path as a workshop and a larger version of this picture can be seen on "beta" TE here.
Critiques | Translate
Nicou (146794) 2014-04-10 8:26
très très belle vue de ces randonneur dans la campange avec la ruine en fond quelle scène et compo superbe.
Bravo et amitié
williewhistler (16404) 2014-04-10 8:44
not only are there two really well composed pictures to peruse and enjoy but they are of course accompanied by the most interesting and informative of notes.
Your little Canon has come up trumps taking full advantage of the overcast conditions to display the features of the old Inn and it`s environment as well as giving a very interesting sky for both images,I do particularly like the WS with the lady in red.
Looking at it from both angles gives a very good idea of just how busy the Inn would have been in years gone by.
Kind regards Les.
saxo042 (37908) 2014-04-10 9:46
A very interesting note and a very well composed picture. People to bring life to the scene, a bridge that is placed as a diagonal line and an old ruined building to bring both interest and a balance. How many miles (or kilometres) are these weekly walks?
Royaldevon (40992) 2014-04-10 12:49
The conditions underfoot explain the need for sturdy walking boots or wellies.
The light is relatively low but that has not prevented you from capturing a shot which shows good, natural colours and sharp details.
Your viewpoint is perfect, for your fellow walkers to become guides. They, in tandem with the pathway, make an effective diagonal.
It's good to know you are still taking your weekly constitutional!
My warm regards,
Noel_Byrne (32536) 2014-04-10 13:18
A subject I truly love, abandoned places and villages. This is for me an absolutely fascinating scene, the old inn sitting there with do much history, by now no more than a ruin in a field to thoSe who care not for such things. I would spend so long at a place like this, and am I pleased to learn of it in your shot. A beautiful composition on the place too, you have given it a sense of desolation which is so apt, but by including your friends in the scene you have added the sense of excitement that I would feel in approach to a place like.
If those walls could talk. Amazing how bustling towns can just disappear. Then again, to think of the destruction of cities like Bam, Mussafrabad and even New Orleans, and I guess we can see how it can happen.
Beautiful shot and subject, thank you.
carlo62 (52078) 2014-04-10 14:47
non c'è modo migliore per conoscere il territorio se non quello di camminare. Purtroppo il mio lavoro non mi permette di fare questo tipo di camminate, ma ne faccio ogni giorno nelle città che visito per lavoro.
Quello che hai raccontato nella nota è molto interessante e la foto è un buon motivo per portarci a conoscenza di queste cose. Anche la composizione è piacevole e le due persone aggiungono interesse alla scena.
lousat (94730) 2014-04-11 3:38
Hi John,beautiful place for a nice and interesting walk despite the cloudy day,great choice of point of view and rich composition,beautiful colors too,i wish to tell you more but my english is very bad..ehehe...have a nice WE and thanks,Luciano
timecapturer (49288) 2014-04-11 5:51
this place looks wonderful, a real "if walls could talk" image this. It does not get any more enticing image-wise than this, despite the mud. Grey skies add to the mood here the clarity is as always superb.
Enjoy the weekend - B.
thanks for the geography lesson this morning, I could not alter the country without deleting and starting again, which was frustrating. B :-).
annjackman (21899) 2014-04-11 7:08
Your country walking is becoming a (good) habit. It is a great way to see things often by-passed by roads. The sky looks a touch threatening - I hope you were suitably clad! The ruined Inn is an interesting subject and I like the way that your two walking friends are walking towards it. Perhaps you found a 'non-ruined' pub later!
Best wishes, Ann
Romano46 (18472) 2014-04-11 7:51
il terzo escursionista sicuramente eri te e mi sembra di avvertire la tua presenza attraverso il tuo obiettivo.
La scena è molto viva e si avverte il piacere della scoperta tra radure, rovine, ruscelli ed un sano passeggiare nella natura.
I colori sono superbi, la nitidezza impeccabile e la composizione come già detto avvincente ed adeguata alla circostanza.
Complimenti: una foto straordinaria che coglie una bella istantanea di vita.
Ciao e buion fine settimana
photoray (13981) 2014-04-11 16:34
Interesting scene, for the walkers headed across the field towards the atmospheric Wilsontown ruins, and a bonus with your historical background.
macjake (70519) 2014-04-11 16:48
well, I don't think I can live up to Noel's critique of 'wet and squidgy' lol! All I can be is myself haha
hard to believe this used to be a vibrant and busy town.
there doesn't seem to be much of anything left.
I wonder what the population was at its peak, you're saying about 2000? thats nothing nowadays :)
a little bit of a history lesson here, and of course I really appreciate the map view too.
another fine shot in the grey atmosphere, looks great to me.
have an enjoyable weekend
jhm (156520) 2014-04-12 1:02
Thank you very much with these interesting note.
Also your workshop picture with the ruin and the warning of the danger of the ruin.
John, this must are very pleasant walk through these narrow paths, your picture gives a lot dynamic and very well perspective.
I am sadly, that I never yet shall can make a big walking, one second and it life is over, through an accident!
Excellent captured, nice presentation too.
Good contrast picture too.
Very well done, TFS.
Have a nice weekend,
RhodieIke (11744) 2014-04-13 12:22
Great photo of these two guys walking to the ruin of the Inn, I just had to look at the time of this to see if you guys had been to the pub yourselves as the front guy seems to be skipping along or some form of hop-scotch, he he.
Wonderful, gave me a smile on my Sunday evening.
delpeoples (59186) 2014-04-19 4:53
Ciao caro Giovanni
Jeez you've been doing a lot of walking lately my friend, and good for you: combining fitness and photography, I couldn't think of a better way to spend your "tyro". And what a fantastic subject you caught. That old ruin looks positively spooky even in broad daylight. I can imagine it would be a place that Noel would love to hang out at in search of his ghoulies and ghosties. I really like the soft colours, it gives it an ethereal feel. The addition of the weary walkers adds dynamism and a real touch of authenticity: you haven't just jumped out of the comfort of your car and taken some happy snaps, you've earnt the shot with hard work. Top job, have a very Happy Easter, may the Easter Bunny bring you everything you wish for. Bunny came early for me with an underwater camera for my Great Barrier Reef adventure. If we aren't blown away by the Grade 5 cyclone, I'll try and upload a few guinea pig shots.
holmertz (56159) 2014-04-19 8:20
This is a fine picture. The weather was dull and the colours are plain, which only makes this a very realistic and natural photo from northern Europe in very early spring. The ruins create an interesting backdrop to the view of the hikers about to cross the tiny bridge, walking along the path going diagonally across the composition. Fresh air was no doubt guaranteed that day.
mkamionka (39145) 2014-05-02 5:21
it does remind me of the walk which I had pleasure to do in your company. I think you have well captured here the essence of the British weather. It probably does not rain yet but the sky is dark and the landscape much affected by the lack of direct sunlight. I like the presence of the people here, it adds so much interest and action here. People are obviously prepared for the worst with wind proof jackets and heavy boots.
Picture full of unique atmosphere, very well done!
Have a great weekend,
adores (46079) 2014-05-05 15:56
I use to do that also:)! Good shot indeed, I like to see the ruins with the dark sky and the two trekkers are very well placed in the frame. Good light and quality, I like it!
- Copyright: John Cannon (tyro) (26138)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2014-04-09
- Categories: Nature, Architecture, Ruins, Decisive Moment
- Camera: Canon PowerShot G10
- Exposure: f/3.2, 1/640 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2014-04-10 6:21