The cheek of this little Blue Tit! I thought he was building a nest in my house wall but actually he was just helping himself to my cavity wall insulation to feather his nest in a nearby tree!
This week’s Photo Challenge is a great one for me living in the Cotswolds as one of the defining features of our area is the ancient dry stone walling that lines the sides of roads and divides fields. In the 18th and 19th centuries there was a law passed called ‘The Enclosures Act’, which literally required areas of land to be separated or ‘enclosed’. In the Cotswolds plentiful supplies of stone meant it was cheaper to enclose the Cotswold fields by walls than to plant hedgerows. Although there have been stone walls here since Neolithic times most of the walls we see today are from the last 300 years. But there are some magnificent buildings around which have stood for much longer, including churches, pubs and grand houses.
The ‘Oolitic’ limestone found in the Cotswolds is from the Jurassic period about 150 million years ago, This was a time when dinosaurs roamed over the earth. There have been periods when most of the Cotswolds was under water and some fascinating fossils have been found during quarrying for stone. There is evidence that people have lived and worked in the Cotswolds since prehistoric times, with Iron Age Forts and Neolithic Barrows having been excavated by archeologists.
The Cotswolds is a huge area that stretches over the counties of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. It is defined by gentle hills, rolling pastures where sheep graze, and deep wooded river valleys. The stone is of different shades from warm gold to deep grey depending on where it is quarried. It also has different qualities, the best being used to build some exquisite houses that will stand for hundreds of years. I have often written about the beautiful unspoilt town of Painswick, which has some of the best preserved Cotswold stone buildings around. Parts of the church date back to the 1300s and there are holes in one wall reputedly made by cannon balls fired during the English Civil War.
I could go on and on about the beauty and history of the Cotswolds but as this is a photo challenge, I will just add some photos!
Some very old Cotswold stone buildings
Next the beauty to be found in dry styone walls and beyond them.
The next two photos show the walls of the Tower of London during the recent installation called Blood Swept lands and Seas of Red. which I wrote a blog about previously.
And lastly some pictures of walls which appeal to me. You can read captions by hovering over the photo or read about the wall painting on the ivy covered church here