September News

SUNDAY WALKS:  all Leaving at 10.00am                                                                                      5/6 miles 

We recommence:

03 Sep  2017  Stanstead Abbotts Car Park (entrance is off the main street) GridRef: TL384119. Postcode SG12 8AG

17 Sep  2017 Hatfield Heath Car Park – Behind the Chip Shop                          GridRef: TL524150. Postcode CM22 7EB

01 Oct  2017  Braughing – Axe & Compass                                                             GridRef:  TL397252. Postcode SG11 2QR

15 Oct  2017 Manuden Church – park on the roadside                                       GridRef: TL491266. Postcode CM23 1DF

Hi All

Still with my leg-up!!

Gates, or hurdles originated when there became a need to enclose so to plant crops, retain/feed/protect livestock, or in medieval time to denote ownership. This need necessitated that land was first cleared of large stones and boulders, trees, water, and the like, in order to identify the enclosure. The removed stones and boulders, trees, whatever, were utilised to mark the field boundaries. Early gates were then constructed from wooden poles with woven hurdles of hazel or willow They were sometimes supplemented by steps constructed from the discarded stones, to climb over and into the new “fields”. Where trees were scarce, the  “gateways” were usually filled with smaller stones that would be removed whenever stock needed to be moved in or out.

The Romans, in AD 43 introduced the first swinging gate – the vertical side of the “gate” was lodged at its bottom, in a hole in a base stone whilst the vertical side at the top of the gate was restrained by a leather strap, to a separate vertical post fixed adjacent to the holed base stone.  Still with me? Later these hinges were all made of metal.

Alternatives were sliding wooden gates, lifting wooden gates and hanging wooden gates, of all sizes and constructions.. And you think today it is less complicated?

Well we still have swinging gates often topped with barbed wire or topped with nasty pointy-things, horizontal sliding bar gates, tapsel gates, lych gates, walls with steps in, barriers  which have a special squared area that let our dogs through, and then a whole load of “new” things called “styles” of which there are “Heinz 57” varieties, and latterly, the upmarket (and much better) – kissing gate, and bridges. Walking is simple?

Here is the the Roman Gate

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Daphne Wallace-Jarvis, Bishop’s Stortford and District Footpaths Association  BSDFA

Publicity Officer: dwjjwj.444@gmail.com                      www.walksaroundstortford.org.uk

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