Tuesday, 3 November 2009

A walk around an English village

A quiet walk in the country at the end of the summer took me to this very typical village in the south of England.

Going up the lane heading into the village.

The village primary school hidden behind trees. The old tree stumps seem to be used to keep cars off the grass.

Thatched cottages. The traditional thatch would be long straw, but this is the shortest lived of the thatching materials. Wheat reed is next most durable at 40 years and longest lived of all is water reed. These cottages and the following ones all appear to be wheat reed because they have a protective covering to keep birds out (not, I think, visible in these smaller photos). Long straw gives a looser, shaggier, "tea-cosy" effect. Water reed doesn't need protection from birds because it's more tightly packed. It looks more angular.

A footpath, one of many criss-crossing the whole area, leading into nearby woods.

Houses along the "main" road.

Another thatch.

Pond, with fish!

The village church.

The school keeps the village alive, but the local shop and post office closed, and had to be re-opened staffed by volunteers. The local pub has also shut down, a combination of drink-driving laws and no smoking. I'm not sure that's the full reason - I think they could have adapted to stay with the times rather better than they did.

A very rural place, quiet and peaceful I wonder how much longer it can continue without becoming just a dormitory for a local town.


  1. A beautiful village, with many lovely old buildings... but I wonder how much of the traditional village life remains?

  2. Very lovely. I've always liked the look of English thatch, but I worry about the insect life - I'm not fond of spiders!

  3. Hi A. --

    Thanks for the lovely photo-essay. Is this really still a typical English village? It looks idyllic -- and gets me wishing once again that I had lived and gone to school in a more scenic part of England than I did! ;S

  4. @Sage, I don't really know, to be honest, but there were plenty of posters up about activities and events happening there.

    @Dragonstar, hi! How are you? I lived under a thatch myself once and it didn't seem any more spidery than any other house I've been in.

    @YTSL, yes, there are quite a few about in Hampshire at least and I'm fairly sure across much of the rest of the south it is similar.

  5. Thanks for sharing your part of the world

  6. It looks so typically and romantic this village.
    Thanks for the walk around. Really pleasant.

  7. I can't help but think it would be a pain to mow around the logs : /

  8. I think you may be having us on a bit about the stumps on the grass. :)

    Whenever I try to conjure up mental images of a rural English village, having never been to England, always the vision includes thatched houses and hidden ponds at the end of a quiet footpaths through a private wood, with sunshine streaming between the (perhaps beechnut) trees where it can find entry.

    I can never seem to match the vision with sounds, though. Birds, probably, and leaves rustling in the breeze. Don't tell me cars honking and chainsaws. That would spoil it altogether. :) Thank you for this wonderful tour post.

  9. @Joe, it was my pleasure, thank you for visiting.

    @Tor, yes very typical I think. Probably not so romantic day to day.

    @Emily, I hadn't thought about that!

    @Max, now would I have you on?The school will serve the outlying farms and smaller villages, so the children will arrive by car, but there wouldn't be too much traffic at other times. I don't believe I saw a moving car the whole time I was walking around. So cars, yes, and chainsaws too, during the season when they coppice the hazels. That doesn't happen all that often.

    The woods in the picture are mixed. So there are beech, hazel, oak and chestnut amongst others. Plenty of food for squirrels.


Forethoughts, afterthoughts, any thoughts. Tell me.


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