Carrick Roads

The shrine of Ben Ainslie at the Pandora Inn, Restronguet. The waters hereabouts are where he learned to sail. The post box was painted gold to celebrate his achievement as the most successful Olympic sailor, being the first person to win medals in five different Olympic Games. Continue reading “Carrick Roads”

Frames of reference

The Savill Garden

Last time we came to Windsor Great Park we tried to visit The Savill Garden but left it too late and by the time we got here it was closed, so we promised to return before too long. This time we got here in time for lunch at the Savill Building and just inside the the front door, opposite the ticket desk and beside a Diamond Jubilee display by a local primary school I made a surprising discovery. Continue reading “The Savill Garden”

Frames of reference

Frenchman’s Creek

We crossed the river by ferry from Helford Passage to Helford Village. The Shipwrights Arms was tempting but we passed by determined to return there at the end of our circular walk. The pub had recently fallen on hard times and been threatened with closure until a consortium of anonymous locals from around the Lizard Peninsula bought it from the liquidators. It is presently being run by volunteers. We wish them every success. Continue reading “Frenchman’s Creek”

Frames of reference

Messing About On The River (3)

This is The Oarsman’s and Angler’s Map of the River Thames from its Source to London Bridge. It comes rolled in a tube and at one inch to one mile it is 2.5 metres long. It was engraved by E G Ravenstein and first published in 1893. This edition has an introduction by Richard Way, specialist bookseller from Henley on Thames:

…. The Thames flows roughly north west to south east but Ravenstein cleverly elongated this dimension by ironing out the river’s NE SW meanderings. The river is thus contained within an artificial boundary 5 miles wide. The map however retains a true scale along its length. If Ravenstein had represented a geographical reality at this scale the map would be shorter but 4 times wider. Ravenstein presumably selected London Bridge as the end point of the map because it was the last bridge on the river. Tower Bridge opened the year after the map was published.

It would be a difficult piece to frame and an awkward piece to hang. I thought it might be best presented here. Continue reading “Messing About On The River (3)”

Frames of reference

Citius, Altius, Fortius


Joseph Silcott has used a map of the Olympic Park, published by Ordnance Survey and the Institution of Civil Engineers, to create this piece entitled Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger). He has released a flock of butterflies from it to signify the arrival of the world’s athletes to this previously overlooked part of London. You can read Joseph’s account of making it here and you can see the finished artwork at The Rowley Gallery.

Frames of reference

Vale Of Yew

We arrived at the village of Stoughton in a remote valley of the South Downs via a single track road from the north. It felt like we were coming to the back of beyond. We left the car by the Hare & Hounds and began the long slow climb along this farm track up to Stoughton Down. Continue reading “Vale Of Yew”

Frames of reference

Windsor’s Great Park

The enormous equestrian statue of George III looking down over Windsor Castle from the top of Snow Hill, pointing out incoming aeroplanes on their way to Heathrow. Continue reading “Windsor’s Great Park”

Frames of reference

Radcot & Kelmscot

I’d been curious about the Swan Hotel at Radcot for years, ever since we framed this memorable painting. In fact it doesn’t look much like its portrait at all, but it’s a good place to start from and a welcome spot for a riverside drink upon the return. This walk was inspired by a chance meeting two years ago at Jazmin Velasco’s house with Ron Emmons, author of Walks Along The Thames Path. I arrived just as they were about set off on the Richmond walk. In his description of this Radcot & Kelmscot walk, Ron says ‘This is a walk for when you really want to get away from it all’. Though there’s no escaping the jubiquitous Union Jack these days. Continue reading “Radcot & Kelmscot”

Frames of reference

Hatfield Forest & Hatfield Broad Oak

This is one of my favourite trees, an ancient Hornbeam pollard at Bush End Plain, an area of wood pasture in Hatfield Forest. This place has been grazed by cattle and sheep for at least 1000 years, and these trees pollarded to keep their green shoots out of reach of grazing livestock. There are also deer here and Oliver Rackham has called this The Last Forest because it is the only surviving example of a Royal Medieval Hunting Forest, meaning forest as a place where the monarch had the right to keep deer and to kill and eat them. This maintained environment has been shaped with rides, chases and woodland by continuous managed development over the past millenium. Continue reading “Hatfield Forest & Hatfield Broad Oak”

Frames of reference