Friday, 5 July 2013

Ancient Rural Scene

As my bike and I shook and clattered along the ageing path I stopped to cogitate on the farm in the distance.  I wondered how long folk had farmed this land?  Certainly there was a Celt Iron Age settlement around here somewhere when the Romans brought us roads, wine, revolting Boudicca and failed to take Scotland.  Interestingly enough Tacitus wrote of his father in law who was governor here twice in the 70's and 80's.  That's first century by the way!  His name Agricola, as in Farmer!  Good job his dad was into growing things and not a plumber.  Not that Agricola did much in the way of farming, unless you call dealing with rebellious Celts a kind of reaping.  Hunter gatherers from the distant past were in Essex 8000 BC and by 2000 BC some had become resident in the district.  It is possible the trees which covered the area were cleared soon after this time I guess and so for around three thousand years this area has provided fodder for the people in one way or another.  Not long when you consider Iraq has been doing the same for about ten thousand years but I find this strangely fascinating.  Not so the farmer who rushed past me in his Japanese 4x4 leaving the dust to settle on my almost clean bike.  I blame the EU!

That church has stood there for between 800 and a 1000 years also.  It may sit on a Roman cemetery, which may sit on a Celt one, and the Saxons may even have built the first church around 600ish there, or not as the case may be.  So rarely do i see this view it took me by surprise.

I also came upon this poppy sitting almost alone among greenery in a siding.  These excellent bright plants appear almost everywhere at this time of year.  The colour stands out and as they are found everywhere, and probably unstoppable at that, I suspect they will be around for a very long time.  I wonder if some Afghan will go around and make some money out of them in a wee while....? 



Lee said...

It certainly is a pretty area there where you live, Adullamite.

I had a similar thought re the poppy!

My landlords go to Orford once every year for a few weeks holiday...they did have a holiday cottage there but sold it a couple of years back; they now just rent it or another on their annual visits. They moved down here to the Land of Oz over 30 years ago but still have family over your way.

Is Orford near where you are? Just a general question.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Despite being a devoted student of history for as long as I can remember, hearing about something being thousands of years old still leaves me feeling somewhat dizzy. Alas, the oldest grave I can recall ever actually seeing was that of Benjamin Franklin's in Philadelphia, and it is only from 1790!

the fly in the web said...

I can remember when young thinking that Petilius Cerealis' name had something to do with crops...and as to what the young and impertinent mind made of Suetonius Paulinus...

A beautiful area you live in and some superb photographs.

Clearly, the only way is Essex....a county I like very much indeed.

Adullamite said...

Lee, I have been to Orford. We went there about a dozen years ago to climb into the old Norman castle there. If I remember I will see if there are any pictures. I have forgotten to look three times already today!

Jerry, Ah yes, Americans do feel this often. Mentally you see your history as beginning in the 1500's or so. However the Americas have been inhabited for thousands of years also.

Fly, I must emphasis I do NOT live in THAT part of Essex. Parts of it are indeed good.

Lee said...

I'm always reminded when reading your posts, Adullamite, just how young this country of ours down here is.

The First Fleet arrived here in 1788, sailing into Botany Bay following instructions from Joseph Banks who had been an officer under Capt James Cook's during his first voyage on The Endeavour. Banks, of course, later became Sir Joseph Banks; he was a noted botanist/naturalist/scientist.

A house or building aged 100 years old or 150 years old here is considered very old and many are heritage-listed!! They are babies compared with those in your country; in Europe and elsewhere.

It's nice to be reminded at times just how young we Down Unders really are. We've not even hit puberty yet! Sometimes we get a little too big for our boots and should pull our heads in...other times not! ;)