Sunday, 13 December 2015

A Walk: From Peacock Tail To Rook End

On December 9th I went out on a walk in the North Essex countryside. I've been showing you the photos over the last three days. If you want to catch up you can do so here:

Day One: http://bystargooseandhanglands.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/a-walk-from-darkness-to-light.html

Day Two: http://bystargooseandhanglands.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/a-walk-from-beautiful-to-ugley.html

Day Three: http://bystargooseandhanglands.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/a-walk-from-motorway-to-byway.html




This fine fellow was strutting his stuff near to a place marked on the map as Mole Hall, though unless you are extremely tall and nosey you might never see the Hall as it's hidden behind a high wall.



Ah, there it is! A magnificent old farmhouse standing within its huge moat. These moats are fairly common around large old farms and manor houses and served a practical purpose as well as scenic value. They would have been stocked with fish which supplemented the diet during the winter months. Also a large supply of water would be needed for the farm animals. And the notion of an Englishman's home being his castle also gave such dwellings enormous prestige.


Just across the lane, behind another high wall, is Swayne's Hall, rather less posh with just a big pond outside.



Although I had a day off work the labours of the fields continued without pause. They were taking advantage of this fine, settled period of weather to spray our food with delicious chemicals. The operator very considerately ceased his work while I passed by.



I often read blogs from North America which frequently feature pictures of old barns very like the one above. In this part of England there are few isolated structures standing in the fields, everything usually being concentrated near to the farmhouse. 



A little further along I came to a small cluster of cottages known as Rook End. This neat little sports car was standing nearby and has clearly not been used for a while.



Beyond Rook End I found a wonderful little bit of country. I love it when that happens - on the map it doesn't look very promising but when actually there everything conspires to create something a bit special.



The path ran parallel to a tiny stream cutting a steep-sided little valley through a strip of woodland. I crunched about through the leaves for a bit, seeking out possible photographs. Suddenly it occurred to me that, though my walk was nearly completed, I was still carrying my sandwiches. I soon found a comfy tree-stump to sit on.



There I was munching away and wondering why no one else was here enjoying this magical little place. Suddenly a small, energetic terrier came scurrying towards me. Then I heard a shrill whistle and the little dog was gone. Clearly I was not as alone as I'd thought!



There's just a short distance to go now. See you tomorrow.


Take care.

19 comments:

  1. Enjoyed the information about the moat and loving the journey.

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  2. A peacock, a "castle" surrounded by a moat, a surprise cottage...a wonderful walk!

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  3. Sometimes the best discoveries are the ones that don't look like much on the map. Looks like you found a tiny bit of heaven in the countryside. Loved all the nice homes!

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  4. I like the spot you chose to eat your now soggy flatten sandwiches. Yes, that barn looks like you were sudden transported to our Midwest for a moment.

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  5. I love houses with moats. I'd feel like a King in one of those.

    Must remember to be even more middle aged and take sandwiches on my walks.

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  6. Lovely to see the country home and farm house.

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  7. I've enjoyed going off the beaten track to see the hidden beauty of rural England. 7th photo looks quintessential of English countryside, I think I know how you loved it. Really nice walk with pleasant surprises.

    Yoko

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  8. What a a wonderful peacock. The houses lok nice in the countryside

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  9. I have been enjoying your walk. You certainly have had some beautiful weather for it. I noticed the television antennas on the pretty thatch roofed cottage. Seems funny to see the two together!

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  10. That is a nice old barn! And I love the view in the 7th photo...looking at the end of a house. And just enjoyed all your photos.

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  11. The farm pond does make a lot of sense. Some farms around here have dug ponds for a water supply for their livestock. The water supply is also there in case of a fire.The car with the pine cone reminds me of the little critters that have twice this fall snuck into my car and chewed my air filter when they were stashing nuts on it.

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  12. Mole Hall sounds like a place in 'Tales of the Riverbank'.

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  13. Well John, these are outstanding photographs. I am loving them, thank you very much. Thank you also for identifying the poet of my poem I posted today. Appreciate your help very much.

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  14. Well John, these are outstanding photographs. I am loving them, thank you very much. Thank you also for identifying the poet of my poem I posted today. Appreciate your help very much.

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  15. What a thoroughly pleasant walk. I'm very envious.

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  16. Wow! Is this going to be a five-day walk!?

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  17. Great pictures, John. We are mild and moist here, and have been uncer a cloud inversion for the last ten days or so. These are a real treat, and I shall feast my eyes on the photos of your wonderful walk|!

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  18. What a great collection of beautiful photographs. All is so mild and the winter landscape still so colourful. I hope you continue to enjoy your walks

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  19. You have such a good eye. AND, steady hand. The farmhouse and hall are winners.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment. I'll try to answer any questions via a comment or e-mail within the next day or two (no hard questions, please!).