Teaser : Something old but now new #exhibition

Back in 2008, there was bad news for the population of Western Super Mare, with the fire of the Grand Pier.  I was privileged in being granted access after the fire.

I never did anything with the images, they have been sitting on my hard drives.

It’s now time, I feel to review the images and tell the story of the fire, perhaps with a local exhibition?

#Dunster Castle in the Autumn Sun

The medieval village of Dunster within the English county of Somerset, just within the boundary of the Exmoor National Park. Lying on the Bristol Channel coast just 2.5 miles from Minehead.

The stunning iron age hillforts testify to the occupation of the area for thousands of years. The village of Duster grew up around the castle which was built on the Torby the Norman warrior William I de Moyon, shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066.

The Castle is mentioned in the Domesday Book and has been remodeled on several occasions by the Luttrell family who was lords of the manor from the 14th to 20th centuries.

Dunster village became a center for wool and cloth production and trade. There existed a harbour, known as Dunster Haven, at the mouth of the River Avill, yet today the coast having receded is now about 1/2 miles from the village.

Dunster has a range of heritage sites and cultural attractions which combine with the castle, scores of Exmoor craft shops and tea rooms, restaurants, makes the village a popular tourist destination with many visitors arriving on the West Somerset Heritage Railway.




Since 1976, the castle has been owned by the National Trust.

Ever visited Dunster or the Castle? Please do leave your comments below of your experience of Dunster and I would love your feedback on my image.

Don’t forget, you can purchase a copy of this print to hang on your wall, just click on the photo.

Mark’s visitor experience score for Dunster and the Castle : 7 out of 10.

© Mark Stothard

Exmoor 4 All

Longues Sur Mer Battery #france

If you don’t know already, I travel across Europe, with France being one of my favourite European countries, although lots more to explore in Italy and Germany.

While visiting the Normandy coastline, we visited the Longues-sur-Mer battery, a World War II artillery battery constructed by the Wehrmacht. It formed a part of Germany’s Atlantic Wall coastal fortifications.

The battery was completed by April 1944. Although constructed and manned initially by the Kriegsmarine, the battery was later transferred to the German army.

The site consisted of four 152 mm navy guns, each protected by a large concrete casemate, a command post, shelters for personnel and ammunition, and several defensive machine-gun emplacements.

It is said when the Americans landed that the guns were mainly unmanned, which still remain in place today, although some destroyed.

Have you ever visited Longues Sur Mer Battery? Please do leave your comments below of your experience of the battery and I would love your feedback on my image.

Don’t forget, you can purchase a copy of this print to hang on your wall, just click on the photo.

Mark’s visitor experience score for Longues Sur Mer Battery : 6 out of 10.




Sorry To See You Go !

As a tribute to the Land Rover Defender which cease production yesterday, here’s one I found in a drive on Exmoor National Park. 

I’m pleased to say that I was privileged to owner a Land Rover defender 90 Van some years ago, one of the best vehicles I ever owned.

Through the Trees #exmoor

Sometimes we can’t see the wood through the trees?

Here on Exmoor at Wimbleball Lake Country Park you can see the wood, trees, lake and have a fun time, whether it’s just a walk along the waterfront, paddle in a canoe, an adventure on their high wire or just a sit down for a cup of tea in their coffee shop, you will have an enjoyable time.

Mark’s visitor experience score for Dunster and the Castle : 7 out of 10

Unnamed Grave

I was honoured, proud and privileged back in 2013 while in France, in having the time to visit the Bayeux War Cemetery.

Spending several hours with my children, reading together the names of the soldiers from all over the world and explaining to Kyla (10), Duncan (9) and Fenton (7) that these soldiers paid their ultimate price by sacrificing their lives so we could live the way we do today.

I was amazed to say that the place was so clean, with over 3800 grave’s of fallen soldiers from all over the world in immaculate condition.

This emotional moving place is so worth a visit, just a little over 30 minutes drive from the port of Ouistreham which is currently operated by Brittany Ferries.

Then across the road from the cemetery, with a large car park and picnic area, is the Museum of the Battle of Normandy, housing several tanks, jeeps, they will, of course, tell you their story and, of course, the Bayeux Tapestry, so you could make a day of it. Their twitter account is @BayeuxMuseum.

Ever visited Bayeux? Please do leave your experience of your visit or perhaps of my image in the comments below.

Don’t forget, you can purchase a copy of this print to hang on your wall, just click on the photo.

Mark’s Score for visitor experience Bayeux : 8 out 10.



#Lynrock Bridge to be Restored

Back in March 2011, while on one of my regular walks on Exmoor, I came across the Lynrock bridge that was damaged by a fallen oak tree back in 2009.

The National Trust was awarded a £20,000 grant, a share of a £100,000 grant fund competition offer by Bovril Great Outdoor Revival.

The bridge was built in 3 weeks by local craftsmen just over a mile away and once completed, the National Trust had the tricky task of transporting the new bridge and lifting it into place.

It’s never dull on Exmoor.

Ever visited Watersmeet? Please do leave your experience of your visit or perhaps of my image in the comments below.

Don’t forget, you can purchase a copy of this print to hang on your wall, just click on the photo.

Mark’s score : 7 out of 10.

Exmoor 4 All

Returning to Film #filmisnotdead

After spending a year at a local college, testing myself, whether I would like to return to education, with the idea of studying for a degree in photography, I rediscovered my love of film photography.

What a fool was I to sell all my Hasselblad 503cxi and Nikon Film bodies and AIS lenses; I will now have to re-buy this gear again.

Nice to chat at the history village #Dunster, #Exmoor

A stunning example of the quality of life on Exmoor, people care and have time to stop and have a chat.

This British Rail Class 115 DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) running on the West Somerset Railway stopping at the historic village of Dunster.

DMU 51880 was preserved by the West Somerset Railway in 1995 for use on off-peak services. The railway had previously run a variety of different DMU sets but wished to standardise their maintenance, so acquired five Class 115 power cars along with several trailer cars as a direct replacement for the earlier sets.

#Dunster Castle Under Cover

In 2006 – 2008 Dunster Castle had repairs to its roof, costing around £1 million pounds. Structural changes to the mansion in the 19th Century failed to make adequate gullies and guttering.

Infestations of deathwatch beetles were also discovered in the roof space.

The mediaeval village of Dunster within the English county of Somerset, just within the boundary of the Exmoor National Park. Lying on the Bristol Channel coast just 2.5 miles from Minehead.

The stunning iron age hillforts testify to occupation of the area for thousands of years. The village of Duster grew up around the castle which was built on the Torby the Norman warrior William I de Moyon, shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066.

The Castle is mentioned in the Domesday Book and has been remodelled on several occasions by the Luttrell family who were lords of the manor from the 14th to 20th centuries.

Dunster village became a centre for wool and cloth production and trade. There existed a harbour, known as Dunster Haven, at the mouth of the River Avill, yet today the coast having receded is now about 1/2 miles from the village.

Dunster has a range of heritage sites and cultural attractions which combine with the castle, scores of Exmoor craft shops and tea rooms, restaurants, makes the village a popular tourist destination with many visitors arriving on the West Somerset heritage Railway.

Since 1976, the castle has been owned by the National Trust.

Ever visited Dunster or the Castle? Please do leave your comments below of your experience of Dunster and I would love your feedback on my image.

Don’t forget, you can purchase a copy of this print to hang on your wall, just click on the photo.

Mark’s visitor experience score for Dunster and the Castle : 7 out of 10.
iPhone Photography © Mark Stothard

Exmoor 4 All

I treated myself – film is not dead

Some 15 years ago, I made a big error of judgement in my photographic career, selling all my film camera equipment, what a mistake !!

Today, there are digital images and narratives everywhere, we can have a camera in our pocket every moment of the day.

As a story teller, what makes your narrative different to others? As a photographer you a capturing and creating light within an image. Exposing on film captures this light in an emotional way that digital doesn’t.

Living most of my life in France, currently building and old fashion traditional darkroom, complimented with modern technologies, yes we can embrace new digital imagery and analogue with these two workflows working together.

I have been re-purchasing, slowly but surely film camera and darkroom equipment, with my latest addition the above Nikon F80 film camera with AFS 24-85mm lens, which I purchased used for around £125.

Feeling happy 🙂