A New Year at Clopton


About sarahw

A zoologist who draws, a spinner who weaves, a person who thinks.
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6 Responses to A New Year at Clopton

  1. Lynn says:

    It is astounding sometimes to think who lived in a place before nowadays – how many people, and how they lived their lives, and what of their activities can still be seen on the land. Even here in New England, with a much shorter period of European occupation, there are many, many 1700s and 1800s house visible now only by their stone foundations. The same for the many old mills on the small, fast streams around here; I'll have to go find some this spring, when the snow's gone. Thanks!


  2. Emily says:

    I'm in awe of how you point out the details in the landscape. I'd never have realized there was a manor house, nevermind that it had a moat. To me, a mounded shape like that means rock underneath.


  3. frau holle says:

    thanks for all the historical detail. i skimmed through your blog but caught one phrase about how you come from the Prairies.I too spent the first years of my life on the Canadian Prairies before moving to germany, the land of my mother.and here i thought that you were from the u.k., because you knew such details of your surroundings…now i moved continents again, and live in british columbia's lower mainland where “old” means approx. 100 yrs.! (it's much newer than eastern canada).


  4. Mardi says:

    What a lovely drawing that is!And when I read your blog, not only am I fascinated by the details and the history, I keep saying to myself I have to always take my camera even when I just leave the house for the dogwalk in the scruffy downtown. I'm always seeing something I could take a picture of, except – the camera's at home. And there are these little inspirations, little glints of hope all around.Perhaps tomorrow I'll remember. But then it will be snowing.


  5. lovely post, we just walked part of the Clopton Way past this DMV. Now I know better what we saw! If I may add something as an amateur medievalist, what was it built halfway uphill, surely not for the view?! You say it's a market village, and those are built along roads, could that not be a Roman road it's along? Such roads were built for military transport and most often halfway uphill, a to avoid the muddy valley bottoms, b to avoid ridge lines that silhouette troop movements to enemies. What do you think?


  6. sarah says:

    Hi Andrew, it's a walk I enjoy, especially as I remind myself of the age of the track I'm walking and the variety of people who would have used it over the centuries; as you've guessed, it's a very old road, the original prehistoric (and Roman) route along the valley. The current main road on the valley bottom is much later, an 18th (I think) century toll road. As for reasons that the road and settlements (Croydon is at the same level) are halfway up the hill, my guess is that it's because that's where the spring line is, at a point where the junction between the Chalk and Gault Clay (below) is exposed. Croydon is also located at a spring, and the 1948 OS map show several more rising roughly along the line of the track. Many of these have disappeared as abstraction lowered the water table. The higher hillside is capped by heavy till, glacial clays and gravels, so settlements such as East Hatley rely on wells or much smaller springs based on gravel lenses in the clay.I hope this is useful!


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