Sunday, July 18, 2010

Castlerigg by T Allom & H Alard. circa 1835

Although very fine things

Although very fine things,
I think some great giant was playing at ninepins,---
And leaving the place, ere his ball he could swing,
Has left all his ninepins stuck up in a ring!

John Ruskin (1819-1900)

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Druid

From the opening of autograph unpublished poem by William Stukeley, 1758.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Wheat ready for the sickle

Not a poem, but a beautiful piece of prose from the 18th century about Marden Henge - especially relevant in light of the dig presently being undertaken there. See -

"... near the village of Marden, is a remarkable tumulus called Hatfield-barrow; the only work of the kind, I believe, to be found in this lowland vale, although so very frequent on the elevated downs on both sides. It stands in an enclosure, and is above the usual size, and nearly hemispherical; it is surrounded by a broad circular intrenchment, which, from being constantly supplied with water by innate springs, forms a sort of moat, which does not become dry even in the midst of summer; a circumstance I have never found attending any other barrow. In this water ditch, the Menyanthese trifoliata or bogbean, plentifully grows: a plant which I have not seen elsewhere in that neighbourhood. The whole of the barrow is at present ploughed over, and is said to be more fertile than the surrounding field. I have seen it clothed with wheat ready for the sickle; when the richness of colour, and the beautiful undulations of the corn, formed an object as pleasing as it was uncommon."

From part of a letter by James Norris Esq dated 9 February 1798. Thanks to Rhiannon for her TMA entries on Marden Henge and Hatfield Barrow and to Moss for her info on the six-week dig that started close to the village on June 28.