Taken with a Canon 50D, Sigma 17-70 lens at 17mm, F11, shutter speed 1/13 to 1/3 seconds ISO100, processed in Photomatix and tweaked in Photoshop

Whilst touring around the Yorkshire Dales during our Easter holiday we saw what looked like Thunderbird One on a hillside near West Burton. One evening when we had a stunning sunset I went over to investigate, there apperared to be no markings on it, there were no signs stating what it was. The only thing we could find out is that it was built by a wealthy land owner, the folly was by the side of his huge house before they dismantled the house….not sure how much of this is correct…..

I have been email the following update….

In the 18th and 19th Centuries Wensleydale was thriving. Scores of lead mines were in full production and a busy railway ran the length of the Dale. The sheep were eating grass and getting fat as if there was no tomorrow (which for them there probably wasn’t). In this entrepreneurial climate, and encouraged by the writings of Jules Verne, civic leaders embarked on a project that would ultimately be known as The Great Wensleydale Moonshot Fiasco.
The technology of the time and the limited availability of suitable materials meant that the rocket ship was constructed from local stone. It was ‘manned’ by goats, these creatures being considered more nimble in zero gravity and more adaptable in diet than sheep. Despite the ready availability of gunpowder from the lead mines the eight hundred ton stone rocket ship could not be persuaded to leave the ground for longer than two seconds. Many brave goats gave their lives in vain before the project was abandoned, and the distinctive stringy smoked donar kebab of the district remains to this day a local delicacy. The rocket ship still stands in lower Wensleydale, a monument to man’s folly, in the shadow of the West Burton TV transmitter.
…. from website tx.mb21.co.uk

Please view large


west, burton, yorkshire, dales, folly


  • Smudger
    Smudgerover 5 years ago

    I have no idea mate but in the dales there are loads of houses with these – great shot

  • Cheers Steve, I have added some text which I found on the web!

    – Shaun Whiteman

  • Ginny York
    Ginny Yorkover 5 years ago

    No clue Shaun. Just a gorgeous sunset though. Awesome!

  • Thank you very much Ginny

    – Shaun Whiteman

  • Martina Fagan
    Martina Faganover 5 years ago

    Lovely shot Shaun:)

  • Thank you very much Tina

    – Shaun Whiteman

  • jdphotos
    jdphotosover 5 years ago

    No idea either, but great shot. Love the colours, light and composition.

  • Thank you very much my friend

    – Shaun Whiteman

  • Jonicool
    Jonicoolover 5 years ago

    Great find Shaun! Gorgeous sunset colors!

  • Your are too kind my friend, thank you!

    – Shaun Whiteman

  • Karen  Betts
    Karen Bettsover 5 years ago

    Sorry i cannot help on what Thunderbird one was for, possibly just a folly. But beautiful sunset and tree is so striking against it.

  • Thank Karen, I have added soem additional information which is typical of mad Englishmen!!

    – Shaun Whiteman

  • Catherine Hamilton-Veal  ©
    Catherine Hami...over 5 years ago

    what a beautiful sunset Shaun well taken.x

  • Thank you Catherine, I love sunsets! x

    – Shaun Whiteman

  • rodsfotos
    rodsfotosover 5 years ago

    Such a beautiful sunset sky as a backdrop to this silhouetted composition Shaun, T-Birds One sounds pretty good to me, looks like the end of a perfect day, beautifully captured,
    Regards, Rod.

  • Thank you very much Rod, I have added some more information which you may find amusing!!

    – Shaun Whiteman

  • lorilee
    lorileeover 5 years ago


  • Thank you Lorilee

    – Shaun Whiteman

  • Kelly Robinson
    Kelly Robinsonover 5 years ago

    Stunning capture

  • Thank you very much Kelly

    – Shaun Whiteman

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