Grace, Darling

I read up on the story of Grace Darling before I travelled to Bamburgh. I wouldn’t say it particularly gripped me at the time, but it defiantly stuck with me whilst I was there as I was reminded of her name and her (almost unexpected) heroism when seeing it dotted about the town.

Then when taking the boat tour from the harbour of Seahouses around the Farne Islands, it was at the point where the softly spoken tour guide with his soothing north east accent told us about her story whilst passing the Longstone Lighthouse (her home, and famously where she looked out from an upstairs window one stormy night to spot the wreck of the Forfarshire) it dawned on me exactly why this story captured the imagination of poets like William Wordsworth and artists like William Bell Scott.

I’m not too sure if either of the mentioned artists visited the area but for me, there’s certainly something about the desolate and rough nature of the place, coupled with the historic castles and tales of St Aidan and St Cuthbert that inspires. As a place, I found it full of romance and couldn’t put the camera down in the hope that I would capture it’s mystic.

The image below is my pick of the bunch from that day. It shows the view from the waters around the Farne Islands looking back towards the Bamburgh shore with the castle visible on the middle right of the shot. What captured me most is the tranquillity of the sea which even on what was a blustery and cold spring day, it’s a contrast from that night that Grace and her father risked their own lives to save that of the survivors of the wreck. Looking at the sea here with the water full of Puffins that are native to the islands, it’s hard to imagine such a scene of turbulence and wreckage. Thankfully, we have the work of Wordsworth and Bell Scott to help us visualise.




… Jonny