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Hardman and the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge

16/04/24
Capture
On the top of Helsby Hill
Ancient Yew Tree Peckforton Village
Burwardsley Hill
Beeston
Tattenhall
May in Cheshire

Today we include a more detailed article on the work of the renowned Liverpool photographer Edward Fitzmaurice Chambré Hardman who was born in Dublin in 1898 and who died in Liverpool in 1988.

The National Trust, in a race against time, is currently conserving and digitising the Hardman photographic collection before it deteriorates further. The Trust has already released a tranche of photographs to illustrate the extent of Hardman's work together with the work of his wife, Margaret, who was also an accomplished photographer.

Several of the photographs released so far, include landscape photographs of the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge, revealing a glimpse of parts of the Ridge in the mid 20th Century.

Born in Ireland, Hardman established a highly successful photographic studio in Liverpool, becoming the leading portrait photographer in the city during the 1920s-1960s. He had premises in Chester too.

Hardman is also noted for his photographs of the British landscape and for his photographs that depict the industrial and commercial transformations occurring in Liverpool. His most famous photograph is considered to be the 'Birth of the Ark Royal' at the Cammell Laird Shipyard.

Hardman's landscape photographs of the Cheshire Sandstone Ridge might be altogether different from photographs charting the social and economic history of Liverpool, but they give a rare glimpse of times past and of the changing landscape of this magical place. It is our intention to include these photographs in our 'Then and Now' Project, seeking to locate the exact spot where Hardman took the photographs and thereby documenting changes to the landscape. Click on each image to enlarge.

The photograph taken on the top of Helsby Hill is dramatic with trees lining the outline of the slope towards the summit of Helsby Hill. Large oppressive cumulus clouds fill the sky above.

The ancient Yew tree which was taken in the village of Peckforton, is quite remarkable. The tree is next to a half-timbered, thatch roofed, building. The tree towers over the building, so wide that it is almost half the width of the building.

The landscape photograph of Burwardsley was taken from Peckforton Hill near Dropping Stone Farm. In the foreground there is a large newly harvested field with trees lining it on the left as it boarders another field. The focus of the composition is the tree-covered hill in the middle distance which is much darker than the fields in the foreground. There are patch-work fields stretching out into the distance. This particular photograph was exhibited at the London Salon of Photography, 1964.

Beeston Castle has been much photographed. In this particular photograph, the tree covered hill on which Beeston Castle stands is the focus of the composition. The hill is now covered in trees, when viewed from all directions.

The landscape scene featuring a row of large poplar trees was taken in Tattenhall at Cawley's Hill. It was published in the Liverpool Post and Mercury on 4 July 1930 and was exhibited at the 'One Man Show', Bluecoat Chambers. in 1968.

And finally, the photograph of a man with a horse and foal, with blossom-laden trees behind them was taken at Moat Farm in Beeston and with Beeston Castle in the background. This image also featured on the front cover of 'Cheshire Life' magazine in May 1939.

Copyright The National Trust, Hardman Collection.

CLICK HERE to read more about the painstaking work of the National Trust in relation to this collection.

CLICK HERE to be directed to our Footprints on the Ridge which features Hardman.