Month: July 2017

Lost in a Landscape: Wayland Wood

There is a darkness in woodland, hiding in the shade of the green canopy, something that retracts in the sunlight in the corner of your vision, beyond the growing and shrinking of the shadows with each revolution of the earth on its tipping axis. Beyond the sterility of the needle carpets of the pine stands in the managed farmed forests. It’s hidden in the words of folklore, poems, songs, fairytales and stories; esides in place names, leaks through into the names we understand, twisting them and changing them. These slabs of life in our sterile farmland carry a weight...

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Lost in a Landscape: Trunch

There’s a lot in a name, Trunch has one that doesn’t fit in in Norfolk, or in fact in England. Locally it sits uneasily with the profusion of ~hams and ~tons, and ~bys and ~thorps. East Anglia’s toponymy is that of the invaded, repeatedly settled. People who move into a new house tend to move a lot of the furniture and redecorate and we live in a landscape which shows very little of our deeper history in place names. Norfolk has relatively few surviving Celtic place names, Trunch may be one of them. If it isn’t it could be...

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Lost in a Landscape: Rich pickings – Swafield

‘Fruit picking’ and ‘Pick your own’, still seen on cardboard hand painted signs still wedged in hedges and gateways, were and are a summer long routine in Norfolk. The memory flickers up from somewhere as I drive, I’m here and not, between sunlight and cloud on dusty farm tracks and the straw-floored strawberry rows of the 1970s. We all went with mums, in groups, helping them. We mucked about eating strawberries, lipsticked our mouths, threw mouldy fruit at kids from the other school, engaged in mock war or had standoffs with the traveller’s kids. Ignoring the glowering farm hands...

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Geomapping: Norfolk Deserted Villages

A good few years ago Cameron Self and I were discussing DMVs or Deserted medieval Villages on Flickr, we’d both been to a few too take photos, thus began an obsession with them, not just the Medieval ones, actually all of them. There’s an oddly romantic notion about Medieval Desertion, pictures of lonely churches stood in the middle of nowhere, or grand churches that outweigh their modern population conjure with images in your head. Facts are rather different, and factors at play are many. Norfolk seems to be particularly susceptible to various sets of circumstances; emparkment, enclosure, erosion, engrossment...

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