Saturday, January 03, 2015

Ash, mud and the vanished

click photo to enlarge
Yesterday I grew by two inches. In case you think I over-indulged on the turkey, Christmas cake and assorted festive fare, I hasten to add that it wasn't my girth that grew, but my height. The cause of this was a walk across two fields of winter wheat to the pasture that holds the deserted medieval village of Walmsgate on the Lincolnshire Wolds. The mud of the field stuck to the soles of my shoes to the point where, not only was I taller, but I felt that I was shod with a diver's boots.

The remains of the village are, as is typical in England, very spare. The undulations of the field on the south-west facing slope reveal to the tutored eye the hollow ways (see small photo) that mark roads and tracks, house walls and enclosures and little else. At Walmsgate, unusually, the bottom few courses of the walls of the medieval church remain, here in a fenced off area that includes the graveyard with some nineteenth or early twentieth century graves - it is probably still consecrated ground. The village is recorded in 1377 as having 30 people who paid poll tax. This had declined to 8 families in 1563 when the last priest is recorded. The muddy walk was worth it for what we saw of the deserted village, but also for the experience of the wonderful light that, following a gloomy couple of days, lifted our spirits. The old ash tree of the main photograph made a fine sight with the cloud-studded blue sky, the green grass and the long afternoon shadows.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Photo 1
Camera: Sony RX100
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 10.4mm (28mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f8
Shutter Speed: 1/250
ISO: 125
Exposure Compensation:  -0.3 EV
Image Stabilisation: On