Sunday, February 18, 2007
Ware to Cold Christmas.
This walk was really interesting to me as it was not altogether obvious what the story was. The landscape was not obviously "Planned Countryside" created from enclosure of Champion landscape, or "Ancient Countryside" enclosed well before the agricultural revolution. Very large arable fields contrasted with "Severall" features such as sinuous hedgerows and a fair amount of woods - though nothing like the amount to the South of Hertford and Ware. The number of "Ancient Countryside" clues on the map, such as moated houses and lots of rights of way meant I had not expected the huge size of some of the fields.
My guess is that though this countryside was no doubt less wooded than the area south of Hertford around Broxbourne Woods, Wormley Wood, The Great Wood, etc, it was "Severall." The size of these fields may owe more to the subsidised destruction of hedgerows in the seventies and eighties than the Agricultural Revolution. In fact, in places you could see where hedgerows had been.
This is no more than an inexpert guess though and I would like to hear Caroline's opinion on the subject.