Uncommon Ground promo

Uncommon Ground Promo from Dominick Tyler on Vimeo. I shot some video whilst I was photographing for the book and I’ve put together a couple of short promos with the footage. Here’s the first. The beautiful music is by Sam Hooper.

Sgwdd yr Eira – by way of an apology

I’ve been so busy writing and shooting for Uncommon Ground recently that I haven’t been able to update the glossary much. I’m really sorry about this because so many people have sent in words and terms. I’m very grateful for all the submissions and I will be adding them asap but that might not happen for a while. So by way of an apology I’ve made a short clip of some footage I shot at Sgwdd yr Eira (fall of the snows) in the Breacon Beacons last month.

Gaping Gill

For those who don’t suffer from claustrophobia, there are several routes into Gaping Gill, one of the largest and most spectacular underground chambers in Britain. The Southern slopes of Ingleborough in North Yorkshire are punctured here and there by holes big enough and deep enough to be given a wide berth by walkers and gleefully investigated by potholers. These are the entrances to a massive network of underground caves and passages, dissolved out of the limestone by the relentless flow of water. Dissapointment Pot, Bar Pot, Corkey’s Pot and Stream Passage Pot, among others, have all been linked by underground explorers …

Floodgates – opened

I’ve had an amazing response since the BBC put up a short piece about the project (see it here). Scores of people have sent in words, images and example locations to add to the glossary and many more have contacted me to offer support. A huge thank you to everyone who has been in touch, I’m looking forward to sharing the project with you and I’ll do my best to get all the submissions on to the glossary as soon as possible. Dom

Yorkshire Dales – windy day

I was up in Cumbria last week, shooting some work for the ‘Lakes and Dales’ section of the book and gathering more words for the glossary. I shot this film around Baugh Fell whilst looking for shake holes, gills and becks. The clouds were constantly chasing over the landscape in a way that just can’t be captured in stills. I also got to go down Gaping Gill and I shot a bit of film there too, which I’ll edit and upload soon.

Bunyan’s Dell

I took a drive out to the Chilterns yesterday to look for Bunyan’s Dell near Preston in Hertfordshire. For about 90% of the journey I was cruising along busy grey roads – M11, M25, A1(M) – and then, quite suddenly I took a turn and was enveloped by those luminous greens of late spring. Instead of the oily, dusty reek of car fumes the breeze coming through the open window held a mild musk of cow parsley and rapeseed. How quickly the balance can shift, in the city I feel like everything is built and dead but when I escape …

Monki Gras 2014

Here’s a video of my talk at this year’s Monki Gras. The event is billed as a conference for software developers but it goes way beyond the boundaries of this description and presents a kind of inter-disciplinary, cross-craft-culture, idea jamboree to it’s attendees, who, from what I could tell, are a remarkable bunch of tech experts with catholic interests and omnivorous curiosities. I was very honored and more than a little nervous but luckily the audience were in an amenable mood, perhaps as a result of delicious Bibimbap for lunch and an inspiring and enchanting talk from The Gentle Author …

Chasing waterfalls

This is a snippet from last week, when I spent a couple of days in Wales on a bit of a recce. I think waterfalls are going to play a major role in the Welsh section of the book and there’s lots of terminology to add to the glossary too, sorry TLC but it looks like I’m not going to be following your advice… This waterfall is Sgwd yr Eira, which is near Ystradfellte on the edge of the Breacon Beacons National Park.

Field trip: Scotland, part 1

With crampons strapped to my boots and an ice-axe in my hand I should have felt more like a mountaineer than an invalid, but on hands and knees, legs burning and shaky, hauling myself slowly up a steep, snow-covered slope and stopping frequently to catch my breath, I could hear the viscerally persuasive message my body was delivering: I still hadn’t recovered. My original plan was to make the journey to Scotland in February, part of a carefully organized schedule that slotted field trips amongst school holidays, and home and work commitments, but then the van’s gearbox broke beyond repair …

Tolmens, dolmens and lumbago

Tolmens are stones that are both objectively holey and subjectively holy. When they were found by prehistoric peoples in what is now Devon and Cornwall, the neat circular holes in these river stones would have been impossible to explain, and this imbued the tolmens with mystery and the possibility of magic. Healing rituals involving these stones persisted into modern times, often having been co-opted by Christians from pre-existing pagan rites. Here’s an account from William Bottrell’s Traditions and Hearthside Stories of West Cornwall published in 1873: IN a croft belonging to Lanyon farm, and about half a mile north of …