We went to London last weekend to visit my daughter. On the way we called in at a random part of Epping Forest. I noticed that Spring is a tad further on down there, so we were travelling forward in time, and will get a second chance as Spring progresses “Up North”. Here’s some shooting Hornbeam, a species we don’t have much up in Yorkshire.
It makes for rather an unusual leaf litter, reminded me of home-made tobacco:
This 12 mile stretch of woodland has a fascinating history, sadly littered with enclosure and destruction of woodland by the rich and loss of rights by the poor. Epping Forest was used variously for wood fuel, royal deer hunts and grazing cattle:
There has been a reintroduction of grazing in the 21st century in the shape of a dozen Longhorn cattle, but unfortunately they were still tucked away in their Winter quarters.
We spotted an interesting-looking building on a little hill which turns out to be Queen Elizabeth I’s Hunting Lodge, built by her father:
It used to be open at the top two galleries for shooting at deer passing by on Chingford Plain (driven there, I’ll bet!). It’s a timber-framed building, and there are some mighty timbers used in its construction, probably brought in for the job from further afield
The upper floors have been made to shed water getting in through the open galleries and have an amazing bow towards the outside walls. Like many buildings of this age it has gone through many uses but is now set out as a museum, and in a corner I found some authentic looking turned plates and bowls
On closer inspection I found they were the work of my friend Robin Wood (see link aside)!
There was also an interesting large elm bowl, I’m not sure of its provenance:
This leathern jug took my fancy too:
My late father used to be fascinated by these when he used to visit a friend at Chelsea Hospital for retired army chaps.
The roof timbers were very decorative and these sections were supposed to be reminiscent of deer antlers.
Down into London and we were surprised to see that there are no builders’ cranes over docklands!
Walked past a fine terrace, St John’s Church Road, on the way to the National Trust’s Sutton House, quite unlike the terraces in Brooklyn
Mind you a shed at the bottom of the garden takes a lot of beating: