Sunday, March 18, 2012

Beyond the Pale

Today we stopped briefly in a little parking lot which turned out to be much more interesting than we anticipated. It was on the edge of the old Ashdown Forest, which in Henry VIII's time was a royal hunting preserve. The forest was completely surrounded by a ditch with an earth mound, with a fence, called a 'pale' atop it. This kept the animals in, and the people out - beyond the pale. The enclosure had 40+ gates (for people on horses) and hatches (for people on foot) and the names of the villages all around still have 'hatch' and 'gate' in their names:Coleman's Hatch, Chuck Hatch, Chelwood Gate etc.

Anyway, this is a picture of part of the remaining ditch and earth mound. Not much if you don't know what it is, but pretty cool once you do know.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Totally cool, indeed! Amazing that it is still there, 500 years later.