Prepared for Action

One of the joys of living in the UK is the Ordnance Survey map (I have no idea whether other countries have something similar).  They vary in scale but the ones I use nowadays are 4cm to 1km (2 1/2″ to 1 mile) and they cover every inch of the UK.  They’re marked up with all sorts geographical features, many of them antiquities.

One of the sites I found nearby was a ring fort called Rougemont Castle, reported as the site of a 13th/14th Century fortified manor.   There’s nothing there now but some lumps and bumps in the wood that now covers it.  But, for me, these are the sites to visit for photography – there’s something of an implied romanticism in the resulting photographs.

Wandering around in the wood at Rougemont Castle, I took a few shots of nothing much, following the well trodden paths through the wood – unfortunately because of the population density in the UK, there aren’t many places which remain unvisited regularly, people have to walk their dogs somewhere, I suppose.  At some point I usually crash through the undergrowth to explore the less visited parts.

As I rounded a rather dense Holly bush I came across this bow and arrow.  It had been laid down just as you see it here, notched.  I looked around to find any evidence for a den or some other hidey hole but this was all there was.  I have to presume the owner had planned to return to continue their game but circumstances were against that happening.  Perhaps they lost the spot where they left it.   Needless to say I left it exactly where it was – though I was sorely tempted to have a try with it.


13 thoughts on “Prepared for Action

  1. Ow, Robin of the Woods! 🙂
    But that was another part of the UK, wasn’t it?

    It tickles my fantasy 😀 And reminds me of my (very much) younger days when I would try to get lost in the woods (in Europe? No way!), meanwhile composing all kinds of Indian stories in my head… 😀

    • Ah, Robin Hood! That was the first name that came to my mind, when I saw it – and I think the same would be for any Brit.
      Nottingham Forest was where he was supposed to hang out, but I’ve seen references where he could have ventured up as far as my site!
      Those were the days, time to let your mind play innocent games in the woods. 😉

  2. Reference “unfortunately because of the population density in the UK, there aren’t many places which remain unvisited regularly” – I have often thought that here in Canada it’s possible, just maybe, there are places to be walked that have not been walked. That fascinates me but I find it just as fascinating that there is likely no part of Britain that has not been walked and that in fact, so many have trod the pathways – what their purpose was and what their destination and what their story was is so intriguing.

    • It’s my understanding that what we have in the UK is a totally man made landscape, except for some specific parts of Scotland. From what was a forest covered land we have to search for a decent bit of woodland, dykes have drained the wet lands, etc etc. But you’re right the ancient marks and changes we encounter in the ‘countryside’ have their own stories which we can only speculate at.

    • I doubt it. If you consider the Broads were man made being the result of peat digging, the Fens have been drained by man made ditches and dykes. Which reminds me of Peter Henry Emerson, one of my heroes, who photographed life on the Broads and Fens. 😉

  3. You can’t believe how spoilt we are with maps in the UK. In Austria they are hopeless, they omit things like power lines, or when ski lifts are installed, ignore older paths that aren’t under the national scheme, or update to show when new paths are cut in the woods= many times getting lost!

    • Well, you know us Brits, we like to bring order to the world – where everyone else is, perhaps, a little more willing to go with the flow! 😉
      I tell you, our OS maps bring to us a world of the identified and catalogued. And now with Google Earth we can even get a birds eye view of places before we get on our bike to go and suss them out! Brill.

  4. Yep. That’s exactly what I do. Leave things in place and take the photo. Something about the Star Trek mantra has stuck with me all these years. Besides, there’s a story in every photo. The trick is for the viewer to use his/her knowledge and experience to unlock the treasure box.

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