Sunday, August 13, 2006

Just Got Back From Hawksmoor

This weekend I headed up North to visit my mum. As we often do we took the trip up into the North Staffordshire countryside to visit Hawksmoor. As I've mentioned before it is probably my favourite place on Earth and the place that always feels like a sanctuary to me. The wood is a fabulous mixture of old and sympathetically newly planted woodland and open glades. I've also tracked down and scanned a couple of old family photos so you can see what the house my gran grew up in looked like, then and now :

My Grandmother with Joey the Owl
My Grandmother and Joey the Owl.

My Great Grandfather and Fox
My Great Grandfather and his pet fox. He was responsible for looking after Hawksmoor.

The Charlesworth House
The house as it was intact

All that's left of the house now is the hearth and a few bits of masonry but it gives me tremendous comfort and a sense of belonging somewhere to see even those fragments :

The Charlesworth Hearth


There's much wild fruit, especially bilberry bushes and damson trees in Hawksmoor and my mum and I did as my gran used to and picked enough bilberries to make a pie. It's another family tradition that ties me into my past and helps me to belong to something strong and permanent. Sadly the damsons were not yet ripe as you can make fantastic chutney with them.


Unripe Damsons

Silver Birch


Wooded Path

Whilst the house is gone and my family has no direct connection with the wood anymore it still resonates with me and every time I visit. When there's new growth on the trees and a new season of fruit I cannot help but smile. It comforts me deeply to know that this special place persists, that its magic is undimmed and that the goblins and beasties I imagined living there as child still dwell in my mind when I walk there now. Much has changed and yet so much more remains the same.


Blogger scruffylooking said...

I love finding the foundations of old buildings. It always make me wonder what kind of lives existed there.

4:34 pm  

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