Northwood: be part of the art at the start

We start carving on 29/30th November as new trees are planted (as small bare-rooted ‘whips’ a few feet high) around the area where the red dot is shown on the 1979 map below; the landscape is still similar.

These are the sort of things which start lively, ambiguous narratives developing in the artist’s mind. The regression of maps back through time show interesting actions have taken place, but without explanation. What was the Plain and why did it disappear? Perhaps a deer lawn in the forest – we shall see in future posts. And what was the huge access track that links to The Plain built for? Imagine standing at that immense forest cross-roads shown on the 1912 map. What does it look like today?

It is ironic that the former Northwood fields that National Trust is to re-afforest is seemingly represented today largely by trees which have grown on the track which was cleared sometime before 1912. Role reversal has occurred, with the rest of the wood decimated for wartime then agricultural production.

Times change. Come and join in the Rise of Northwood activity on 29/30th November. Be part of the art at the start.

Slindon Past is an excellent developing resource set up by the partnership of the National Trust Slindon Estate, Worthing Archaeological Society and Slindon History Group. See what you can find there, and use your eyes when you come and visit!

The Plain Northwood revised

Copyright: OS maps may be used when over 50 years old.


2 thoughts on “Northwood: be part of the art at the start

  1. Really interesting mapping of the history of the trees. Something I tend to think of as ‘permanent’ is so very transient (eg what was a wide path between trees just a 100 years ago has swapped over – with trees on the old path and clearance where the trees were).

    The WW1 link was a key reason for the clearance – creating pit props for the war effort, rather than for agricultural reasons. And do you know about the amazing overhead log transporter system that took whole tree-trunks out of Northwood. Went all the way to the station at Lavant! (on a now-closed branch line). It was very controversial at the time – questions in Parliament about the ‘waste of money and effort’ I have a grainy pic…..


    • The intriguing bit to me is that those track ways are there presumably at a time before wartime production was even remotely envisaged? Yet they seem far too clinical and purposeful to be adding forest edge for deer. Perhaps others will add to the debate!


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