Benjamin Brecknell Turner
'Ludlow Castle, Doorway of Round Church'
Albumen print from paper negative
Museum no. PH.30-1982
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
The round chapel of St. Mary Magdalene at Ludlow, built in the early 12th century, is an excellent example of Norman architecture. Turner photographed close up the richly ornamented doorway with its characteristic zigzag 'dog tooth' carving. Strong directional light picks out detailed ornament yet throws the portal itself into deep shadow. Concentration on the unavoidable gaping darkness makes this image less of an attempt to record an architectural feature and more of an emotive statement about standing poised on a threshold and gazing into the unknown.