Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Regency English Village - part of the second

Later today I am off to England to gather more pictures and to research more stuff, all of which I will share with you.

Last time I wanted to talk about a little village I pass by on the way to Old Sarum. So little, I didn't find a name. The only sign said "Ford" not suitable for motorized traffic. Needless to say we turned the car down there straight away.

We drove down hill by way of a twisty lane with high hedges, always fearing we might meet a car coming the other way. But my sister is an ace and did very well.

This is a picture of the road ending and then starting again. When we were there the water was high, and we definitely would not put a car through there. But one could imagine a horse and cart slowly making its way through the stream. And you can see the walkway, a bridge, for those travelling on foot these days.

Fords were important during our period. Many of the old medieval towns were built at places where the river could be forded - crossed. Oxford is an example that springs to mind. Mainly because I lived there as a child and had the whole concept explained to me by my mother. Stockbridge, which we saw last day, would have started as a ford, a narrow shallow place where the river could be crossed, but because of the marsh, it quickly became a "bridge".




These next two images show you where the river goes on each side of the ford. My guess is that the building once served as a mill. Or if it did not, then at one time a mill might well have stood here. You can see how fast the water runs out of the building, when the rest of the river looks quite sluggish.

Oh and don't forget - this is January. How green the grass and dotted with mole hills too.

As I say, I love fords, I saw one up by Hadrian's wall and my naughty mind has been playing with a story ever since. I posted a picture of one located in Kent last year, I beleive. I guess to me it is wonderful to see that the car hasn't taken over the lanes and byways in their entirety and we can still get a sense of what it might have been like to travel through the English countryside.

I used a ford in my first book, for a major conflict in the story. I am sure I will find a way to include one again.
This last picture shows a typical view of a stream running down the side of the road, into the river crossed by the ford. I lived in a village that had a stream just like this one, a home to tadpoles and newts and other water loving creatures. Of course, this can create some problems in your house, if the banks overflow! But that is a story for another day as are the pictures of my visit to Abbotts Ann, another wonderful village in Hampshire.

For the next little while I will pop in and tell you about my travels. Then we will get back to normal programing and Flora and Fauna for April and our beloved fashions.

Until next time, Happy Rambles.