Traces of the past

Over to the west of Dartmoor a thatched cottage is growing out of the earth, or perhaps it’s sliding into the earth. Built in the 17th century this curved house has a passage through the middle, which might have been a division between house and livestock originally. It was the old post office for a period, and although it looks abandoned, there are also signs of work being done and the thatch seems to be in good condition. I hope it’s restored to it’s former glory, that would cost an awful lot of money.

Paula’s Thursday Special this week is traces of the past.

Don’t jump from the bridge

Clifton Suspension Bridge was designed by the great Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It was his favourite project, but he died before it was finished in 1864.

 

If ever you’re in the area, for £1 toll fee you can drive over, but walk instead for free and enjoy the view of the Avon gorge.

1885, 22 year old Sarah Henley jumped off the bridge, but her dress billowed around her and acted like a parachute, gliding her to a safe landing. She lived into her mid eighties.

Between 1974 and 1993, 127 people committed suicide there. Barriers are now installed, but still around four people die each year, how terribly sad.

This is my entry for the weekly photo challenge of bridge.

The Strangest Pub I didn’t go in

First of all, I’ll confess that the title of the post was going to be the weirdest no the wierdest pub but I couldn’t make my mind up how to spell it. Do you ever get letter blind and unable to spell a word that you’ve written a million times? Please don’t all say no, you’re losing it G 🙂

Anyway, back to the strange pub. It’s called the Highwayman and it’s on Dartmoor. Here he is holding up a coach!

and a gallery, click for a bigger view.

Here’s the man himself, unless you want to risk highway robbery,get off the moor before night falls.

What a weird place, I’ve heard it’s even stranger inside. They have rooms if you want to stay, but of course it’s haunted.

A Forest walk

Ashclyst Forest is National Trust land on the Killerton estate a few miles east of Exeter. There are walks from 30 minutes, suitable for buggies, and various lengths up to about four hours.

I hadn’t been there for several years, but have many times in the past so I knew my way around. Just as well, the waymarked trails were totally confusing because paint had faded on posts and some signs pointed in more than one direction.

A wood is a wood perhaps, but we started off this way.


We’re well into spring now, everywhere is fresh and green.

I’m fairly sure these are different varieties of spurge

I’m a big fan of lichen and mosses.

Every so often there are glimpses through the hedge, under the shade of young leaves, to freshly ploughed fields.

At the lowest reaches of the woods, the distant sound of machinery could be heard, one of the culprits appeared eventually.

I’m usually driving some impossibly narrow lane when I see a tractor working, so this was a real treat for me, I even got a wave from what looked like father and young son.

There were wildflowers a plenty.

Even a baby dragon.

For those of you who like a bit of decay, last years beauty hasn’t quite faded away.

And still the views keep coming.

We’ve only walked a couple of miles, but with eyes wide open and camera ready, so it took nearly two hours.

The dogs can remember this as a mud wallow and were a bit put out, but no worries we’d brought plenty of water for them!

Now, the path is beginning to look a bit more civilised, I wonder what’s through the gate.

A fairy tale cottage, painted in regulation Killerton colour, what a lovely place to live.

Another fifteen minutes and our pootling walk was over. There are no facilities in Ashclyst, but Killerton House is a ten minute drive, combined with the woods it’s a lovely way to spend a day.

I’m walking with Jo for the first time in ages, are you?

 

 

 

Black and White Sunday

The them for Paula’s black and white Sunday this week is ‘through’. The possibilities are endless aren’t they? I love taking photos through garden gates and out of windows, but the view also has to work in monochrome. Hence, I’ve chosen a building, not any old building but Chichester cathedral.

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So there we are, a view through the cloisters, up through the vaults, through a pretty gate and through from outside to in.

Worth the wait?

After nearly ten years, the olive tree has started bearing fruit. Just a few last year, that never grew beyond the size of a currant. This year, they’ve survived the winter and are almost the size of the black olives I like. The birds have had a few pecks of them and spat them on the ground, so I guess they probably taste horrid.

I read somewhere that olives are cured for eating, I’ve no idea what with of how, but I expect they need a whole lot more heat and sun to be enjoyable. Some of you are in olive producing countries, perhaps you could tell me more?

A Victorian Post

My friend in Cornwall has a passion for post boxes, and I told her where to find a Victorian one, the oldest there are. Since then I’ve found several more very old ones, but never is pretty surroundings. This one is fifty yards from home and even though I’ve used it for years, I only recently realised it’s Victorian. I wonder how many other people have noticed.

It’s a shame that the Royal Mail doesn’t give it a nice new coat of paint, but if they painted all the boxes in the country they’d probably raise the cost of a stamp! Jude has a lovely collection in case you haven’t seen them . . .

Wild dream ponies

I’ve always loved this out of focus photo of Dartmoor ponies and I’ve posted it here before in black and white, but that was years ago.

img_3531aWhen I went hunting for it for Paula’s Thursday challenge, I found two more taken a few days earlier, it was a good year for ponies at Scorhill.

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All I remember about those days was wind and my cagoule blowing around, it’s rather exposed up there and I used a long exposure!