Day 30: improvisation and why things veer to the human form

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A fabulous bright day with buzzards and kestrels observing progress from overhead through 6 hours. One visitor late in the day, a returner I’d met at Gumber in June. It was helpful to talk through some of the now-resolving forms rather than just talking to myself. I’m cutting hard into the remaining areas, trying to get as much contrast into the forms through degrees of shade.

More on this post in the published book.

No Man’s Land (Part 2) – The Dawtrys

A full text on this Dawtrys post is in the published book.

Evocative developments around a name occur as language and pronunciation change. We saw Dawtry’s Hooks – a small woodland – in a previous post about No Man’s Land here. This map of 1724 shows no Man’s Land in green. There are many places with this name where parishes meet.

Slindon Budgen 1723
This 1805 map below shows Dawtry’s Hooks at the top right of the former expanse of North Wood before ownership was fragmented and parts of the Forest lost to logging then agriculture (Six Ways is evident just above the ‘W’). Dawtrys occupies the top bit of the green to the right of the Rape boundary in the earlier map. 

Slindon1805 Northwood

And here is a modern LIDAR map, which shows what underlies Dawtrys woodland:NoMansLand

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So what were the Hooks? Something to do with Justice? Or a reference to the shape of the woodland when mapped? Make contact if you know more.

Back at Slindon on 18th October, 1/2  mile from the Northwood carpark!

Parks & Power: Slindon & Arundel (Part 4) – Slindon inheritance leads to Grand Designs from a shrewd exchange

We saw in part 3 the argument in the 13th century between the Earl of Arundel and two successive Archbishops at Slindon over hunting and trespass. Tens of generations passed and in 1797, an agreement came about which could be seen as another coup for Arundel, now under the Duke of Norfolk.

More in the published book.

Old Sussex Mapped here

Hayley, Cowper and Smith – Eartham, Slindon and Bignor

There are a number of other important writers who lived bordering the Slindon Estate.TurnerSmith Charlotte Turner Smith (1749-1806) was a Sussex writer whose works have been credited with influencing Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. She revived the Sonnet form which was later used by Keats and Wordsworth. Bignor Park was her childhood home and remained a focal point for her poems. Professor Judith Hawley noted that not only did Smith grow up on the South Downs, but that she read up about them and wished to educate her readers about the natural and moral significance of the landscape. Writing in The Guardian (2004) Smith’s The Emigrants (1793) is noted as paralleling the fate of those driven out of France by the revolution with the sufferings of victims of the British state machinery. Book II opens on the Downs, which afforded to the South a view of the Sea; to the North of the Weald of Sussex  – a similar location to Belloc’s favourite, perhaps: Continue reading

On Sussex Hills – a chance survival

A full text of this post in the published book.

Hilaire Belloc’s novel The Four Men was conceived in 1902 and published in 1912. Several poems – songs – accompany their walk across Sussex.

The ‘first Drinking Song’ can be interpreted as Belloc intended 120 years ago, here from the South Downs Folk Singers archive:

The poem has also been set to the Irish rebel tune The West’s Awake by Martyn Wyndham-Read, and is here rendered – with accompaniment – by Youtube’s Holecene81.

Across Sussex with Belloc – In the Footsteps of The Four Men, Bob Copper (1994) Alan Sutton Publishing

Great Dynasties of the World – The Copper Family; The Guardian article here

Please make contact if you would like a pdf chord sheet.



Slindon and Halnaker Mills

In 1913, George Wyndham MP visited his great friend Hilaire Belloc in Sussex and they travelled on to France. They talked about immortality while walking round woods at Bougival. Wyndham declared that the soul was immortal. Belloc agreed he shared this view, but only through the cold acceptance of authority. After they parted, Wyndham sent a letter:

Now I would not for the world – a phrase, but let it pass – have missed revisiting with you the woods that were part of your boyhood, and therefore – à ma guise – an index to Man’s Immortality.

Several days later, Continue reading