The Countryman's Weekly

DOWN MEMORY LANE

DOWN MEMORY LANE
October 11
08:00 2017

WEB6-11-10-17The five fox field

By Penny Taylor.

I’VE always been interested in the origins of place names and the layered history of our island has given us names from Roman, Viking and French conquests, as well as the older and more mysterious Celtic heritage we share with Ireland. Before written maps even existed, woods, fields, rivers and hills bore names to identify their location. Can you imagine the tediousness of trying to explain where you lost, found or killed some game, or were attacked by ruffians, if you had to detail every step of your journey?

Rather than saying, for example, “that field on the far side of the common, you know, the one that drops down to the dyke but before you get to the river.” You get my drift. Having lived in this area for over 25 years I have found it completely natural to identify fields by either their geographical features or by a memorable event.

Some of them may have already had names before I christened them but the names Andy and I use are generally influenced by animals we’ve hunted or sometimes by an unusual wildlife or plant sighting. We even use less pleasant encounters as those incidents tend to stick in the mind. I now have Wasp Log Ditch and Wasp Bramble!

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