Wandering into Antiquity

Chapman & Andre map of 1777

We live on the very edge of old woodlands. Very old woodlands, in fact, once attached to a royal manor belonging to King John. The lodge is long gone, but the coppice woodland is an established and much loved part of local life. Inspired by my weekend of working with the map shown above (and in my website header), a friend and I went walking in Coombe Wood this morning, following along an ancient track leading through the trees. Modern civilization has made its mark, with delineated paths that follow their older predecessors, but the hush of woodland is as inspiring and calming as ever. The bleak January weather doesn’t make for very inspiring photos, but perhaps this will be the start of regular postings as I wander through the seasons — it’s a lovely and comfortable place to walk.


Clearly, the animals enjoy the woods as much as the humans, making their lives there as they have done for centuries. This handy stump has apparently made an excellent food bowl for the resident squirrels.


My husband remembers playing in these woods as a child, and there are signs that nothing has changed – children still build huts by leaning old branches up against trees, and piling up the dead leaves to mark out territories and divisions. And who can resist climbing into a burnt out tree?


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