Tuesday, 23 June 2009

ABC Wednesday - W

W is for Wall

Celebrated by the poet Norman Nicholson in his poem called simply 'Wall' (complete version here)

The wall walks the fell-
Grey millipede on slow
Stone hooves;
Its slack back hollowed
At gulleys and grooves,
Or shouldering over
Old boulders
Too big to be rolled away.
Fallen fragments
Of the high crags
Crawl in the walk of a the wall.
Dry stone walls criss-cross uplands, pastures and climb moors and fells. Many of Britain's field walls were built between 1500-1900. The greatest construction would have been between 1760 and 1845 during the 'Enclosures Act' when the larger landowner were avaricious for the more land in the fertile areas of lowland Britain. The long walls stretching over the hills of the uplands are probably the most recent. They are a testament to the craftsmen who climbed carrying stones and tools, both they and the walls standing up to all the elements.

Some walls are in better shape than others, this one climbing the slope has seen better days and has been replaced by a barbed wire fence. The old gate post still stands.
An old caravan used to stand in this corner by a farm and it was used by walkers as a way marker. Over the years it became more and more derelict as it gently rusted away now all that is left is the wall.
Looking over the estuary on a hazy day, notice the hole in the bottom of the wall. This is a hog hole or sheep creep so they can move from field to field. This little group seem quite settled.
Lastly, I thought there was a little too much grey stone in these snaps so here is a nice red rose in front of a rebuilt dry stone after it collapsed. Seems to be doing quite well so far as it is still standing. Its an ongoing amateur project, not mine I hasten to add. My role is just to make encouraging noises.
Waltz over to see more Ws at ABC Wednesday

11 comments:

Paula Scott said...

Very lovely! Very clever too, to have such a befitting poem for the images (and vice versa)!

Grace and Bradley said...

These are some amazing photos of English countryside. I like the composition of the second photo especially. Well done!

James said...

The wall pictures are so great and the poem and information are like icing on the cake.
This was put together very well.

Carol said...

This is a wonderful W post...with great photos...I like the sheep creep....a beautiful poem too!

photowannabe said...

An amazing wall. I love the aged look and the thoughts that go with it.

Life with Kaishon said...

These walls are very lovely! I especially love the garden wall : ).

Janie said...

I love your walls. There's so much history in them. Great poem, too, and I love that red rose bush.

Hildred and Charles said...

When we have traveled through England I have always been fascinated by the beautiful walls. They sustained me when I was picking rocks off stony fields, but alas, we never built a wall.
Thank you for a great posting and lovely pictures.

Q said...

Wonderful walls!
Someday I want to wonder the English Country side. The sheep creep is delightful...
Sherry

Karyn said...

I love these walls! My favorite photo is the one with the sheep laying in the field.

The poem is perfect!

Jay said...

I love dry stone walls, and that was a wonderfully informative post!