Easton on the Hill part 2: new habitation and ancient desertion

Photos and ramblings by Tony Attwood

In my previous illustrated review of the Easton on the Hill walk published on 22 May I hopefully gave you an insight into the countryside upon which our merry band progressed on that venerable day in the year 2024 (or last Thursday as we currently call it).

But of course that was not all, for our walks always end up back where we started, which is why I have never offered nor been persuaded to deliver to lead a walk myself.  For if I did it would undoubtedly involve a walk somewhere and then a desperate attempt to find transport to take ourselves back to the start.

However fortunately our walk leaders are more of sterner stuff and then know a circular walk when they plan one, and so it was that we progressed with the sight of mere gates doing nothing to put us off our stride.

Of course we glanced up at the housing of the gentry and indeed

being well-trained in such matters we knew our place and just gazed upon the big houses with their crafted trees and strongly worded notices describing the various forms of torture that might legally be used against us, should we venture off the agreed path that is designated for use by common folk.

And thus, knowing our place in the hierarchy of things rural, we skirted this land and simply took a few photographs along the way, perhaps happy in the knowledge that we were keeping up our fitness while they, doing no more than walk the yard or two from house to car, were not.

Indeed houses were there a-plenty among the trees and I did notice that several particularly tall woodland whatnots would, if blown sideways by a strong gust of wind fall upon a house and a car or two.

I would have ventured forth in order to tell the owners of the danger in which they lived while suggesting it could be worthwhile to ensure that their car insurance covered accidental damage from falling trees and that if they didn’t pay up sharpish I’d send the lads round, but I afraid of getting lost as the rest of the ensemble was progressing apace, so I left that little adventure for another day.

Besides by this point I had seen the stern notice making it quite clear that I should not venture forth, nor indeed should I venture fifth, and thus I withdrew, with not a single word spoken and no advice given.   However, I shall be interested to look again next time we walk to see if trees and cars are all freshly aligned as now and if there is any sign of encroaching poverty following some incident or other.  But of course I hope not and do indeed wish everyone and their cars, a peaceful and pleasant existence.

But enough of such matters I hear you cry, let us continue the journey away from the modern housing built into olden landscapes and find the actual landscapes themselves.

And this indeed we did, and most beautiful walking country it was too.  Full of green, green, and indeed some more green, with only the footpath and our stout fellow walkers offering a contrast in any of the colouring.

Indeed I found that strange, for nature via evolution has given us eyes that can see a rainbow of colours.  And so just as I pondered why people who buy expensive houses in the countryside to get away from it all then cluster together, and why nature is so fond of green – except when it is a footpath.

I must find a biologist and question her or him more closely on this topic.

But on walks there is always more and this building that popped up next really did fascinate me.  I mean this is to all intents and purposes a church, and yet it appears to be away from habitation, and indeed come to that away from a footpath.

Actually is a really beautiful ancient building, still standing proud although I suspect long since left to its own devices.  For the purpose of identification I named it St Michaels in the Bushes.

But where are the houses of those who dutifully worshipped here in days of yore?  Indeed come to that where is the footpath that led them from their modest homes to the grandeur of this building?

I would have loved time to look inside and confirm that it was indeed a church, for as we walked by I began to wonder if it could perhaps not be a building of another purpose.  Although, that does look like a clock owner at the end.

Perhaps a fellow walked can elighten me.  But meanwhile I shall return you to the safety of your normal reading, but will return anon with more from this wonderful walk.

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