steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Neptune versus Neptune

Diana Wynne Jones once told me that this diagonal path through a graveyard in Clifton was a place she considered magical, and it's not hard to see why.


Part of its charm is the occasional Narnia-esque lantern dangling from the foliage, the copper-green arch supporting it almost invisible amidst the leaves.


I was walking that way to get to Goldney Hall, a place that has something of a Hunsdon House vibe, being open only one day per year. I think I posted pictures from here a decade or so ago, but much has changed since then... Then as now, though, it's a place of early eighteenth-century follies, including a gothic tower (built to house a beam engine) and a shell-lined grotto dedicate to Neptune.



Also, a statue of Heracles trying out for the Mets.


My favourite such monument in Bristol, though, is the statue of Neptune in Warmley in the east of the city. This clinker-cloaked god once stood in the middle of an ornamental lake in the grounds of the house of zinc pioneer William Champion, around the same time Goldney was being grottified in rich Clifton. Neither house nor lake survives, but clinker Neptune stands tall to this day, in the middle of a caravan park:

warmley neptune

I think we can safely say that the Warmley Neptune is the real deal. Clifton is pretty, but in terms of sea-gods it's just playing around.
Tags: bristol, real life
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