Archives for posts with tag: Ridgeway

Private road1My brother says it is just a private road. But actually it is The Private Road. There is a sense of mystery and ominous foreboding as the long linear line of trees overpower with their shadows and their height. But we still dare to use it, openly by foot or bike and if in an emergency skulking along in a car. It feels like such a bygone route running parallel to another ancient route – The Ridgeway.

And I wonder where the path ahead leads as we wait on the eve of a new year. May you travel courageously and safely remembering to enjoy the journey and slow down to appreciate the views. Don’t always let the signs stop you either!

Much love to all, Tessa

Private road2lr

About this post: I plan to have a countryside photo session once a month during 2015.

I had a marvellous opportunity to follow a drovers’ walk from Ginge. Droving peaked during the Industrial Revolution when cities grew exponentially but were not providing their own food so protein had to be brought in from the countryside. Drovers would travel along the Ridgeway to avoid paying tolls all the way from South Wales to the great stock markets of Ilsley. They would walk about 12 miles a day allowing the cattle to graze as they went and a good drover got the balance right so cattle were not skinny or out of condition for market. Drovers would travel down off the Ridgeway to Ginge to water their stock as it was the last reliable source of water before Ilsley. And then there is the tale of Gilbert’s Pond. Gilbert backed his cart and horse into the Spring, slipped and was never seen again… truth or village myth?

What a privilege it was to walk these ancient paths, to hear a lark’s glorious song and to see the dramatic scenery of tall thin trees slicing through the unrelenting oil seed rape.