Where is Woldgate and where are Woldgate Woods?
Woldgate is a narrow Roman road that runs from Bessingby Hill on the outskirts of Bridlington west to the village of Kilham which is 7 miles away. It was on this road that David Hockney observed many different seasons and recorded what he saw using his iPad and on canvas with paints.
Woldgate offers panoramic views south across the Holderness Plain towards the North Sea and Kingston upon Hull, so it is possible to see as far as the Humber Bridge, Hornsea, Beverley. To the north the view is just as good looking over the rolling fields of the Wolds towards Scarborough across the Great Wold Valley.
With the arrival of spring, Woldgate takes a whole new look with elderflower, hawthorn and wild garlic breaking the winter chill.
The main body of work at the Royal Academy Exhibition was created on Woldgate. As well as Woldgate Woods, the area around the Trekking Centre was seen as a great subject for a number of art works using the iPad.
One of Hockneys earlier works of Woldgate was a water colour created in 2004 called ‘Lovely Day with Puddles‘. The farm on the right is Wandale Farm.
Travelling from Bridlington, just before Wandale Farm one of the first subjects that I found was for the water colour ‘Lovely Day with Puddles’, 2004, and then approximately 100 yards further up Woldgate is a painting titled ‘Woldgate Tree‘, 2006.
This tree I believe is an ash and is quite old. Throughout the years it has lost quite a few branches which adds to its appeal. The tree is just beyond Wandale Farm.
200 yards further along Woldgate on the right hand side, Hockney painted another tree titled ‘Woldgate Winter Tree, 2006’ :
Continuing along Woldgate down the hill stop at the cattery and Hollowkiln Paintball and you will find one of the iPad paintings entitled ‘The Arrival of Spring’, Hockney shows what he does best by using bright colours. When last did you see purples, greens and black presented in such a wonderful way.
BBC Countryfile presented a portion of the programme from this location and David Hockney was describing how different times of the year presented a totally different view of the same subject.
In the photo above the area hardly gets to see any sun, especially during the summer months when the trees are in full leaf and the light is kept out by the trees canopy. This area is located near the Woldgate Trekking Centre and fishing lakes. The location of the small bridge is called Fond Bridge and is part of the series of art works called ‘The Arrival of Spring’.
A lot of works for the Royal Academy exhibition were created around this location.
100 yards from the bridge location above, Hockney also painted the following location:
The view above looking under the tree formed tunnel towards the bridge that was painted in the direction of Bridlington.
Continue up the hill and you will arrive in Woldgate Woods. The woods have a track running through the middle of them down to the picturesque village of Boynton to the right, and to the left the track leads to Carnaby. In the woods Hockney created one of his 6 canvas paintings known as ‘Woldgate Woods’ . Hockney repeatedly visited this location through the different seasons to paint the changes that he was noticing as the year progressed. He also painted ‘Woldgate Mist’ at this location in 2005.
A little further along Woldgate the painting ‘Felled Trees on Woldgate’ was painted in 2008. The trees have now been cleared away from the roadside, but the main feature of the painting is still there which is a tree stump which is approximately 10 feet tall. Also within the same area the painting ‘Felled Totem, 2009’ was created – he did quite a few of these.
It was along Woldgate that Hockney created a video installation for viewing at the Royal Academy. The video was created by mounting a number of high definition digital cameras on a jeep and then driving down Woldgate using them to film Woldgate through the different seasons.
There is a lane that goes from Carnaby to Boynton which crosses Woldgate, as you head down the hill from Woldgate in the direction of Boynton through Sands Wood you will soon leave the woods and it is here that Hockney painted another picture as part of the series ‘The Arrival of Spring’. The farm in the distance is Binsdale Farm. In the foreground the woodland to the left is called Six Acre Plantation and through this runs the stream Gypsey Race which flows to the coast into Bridlington Harbour:
Continuing to drive from the Bridlington end of Woldgate a little beyond the cross roads of Carnaby to Boynton there is the location of the painting ‘Early Blossom, Woldgate’ painted in 2009.
Driving towards Kilham there are plenty more locations where Hockney used to create art work. Many of these places can be spotted in the film ‘A Bigger Picture’ by Bruno Wollheim available published by Coluga Pictures. Visiting the Coluga Pictures website here you will find some clips from the film.
Below is Fond Brig Lane now called Woldgate as pictured in 1910. The cottage on the left is what is now the cattery, just beyond is the bridge that Hockney painted. According to a map from 1854 the bridge is called Fond Bridge. It is said that this is the location where Queen Henrietta Maria sheltered in 1643 when after arriving in what was then Burlington (Bridlington) on a Dutch ship laden with arms and aid for her beleaguered husband, Charles I. Parliamentary naval vessels were in hot pursuit and having failed to capture their quarry, bombarded the town. Their cannon balls actually hit the Queen’s lodging. Henrietta was forced to take cover in a ditch where, as she reported in a letter to her husband, ‘the balls sang merrily over our heads, and a sergeant was killed not 20 paces from me.’ At this point Her Majesty deemed it prudent to retreat to the safety of Boynton Hall, three miles inland and well beyond the range of the Parliamentary cannons. More information including paintings of this event can be found in the Bayle Museum near Bridlington Priory in the Old Town.