Kiss me quick

Country Life Every Week - - Letters To The Editor -

ISUSPECT that the ori­gin of kiss­ing gates goes fur­ther back than sug­gested in Steven Des­mond’s ex­cel­lent ar­ti­cle ( July 27). The only en­closed ground in the coun­try­side used, long ago, to be the church­yard. This was the only place poi­sonous yew trees could be grown for bows and so the de­fence of the realm. The kiss­ing gate en­sured that, how­ever hap­less vis­i­tors might be, the en­trance could not be left open to al­low live­stock to get in and be poi­soned.

The gate ‘kissed’ the fence at ei­ther side per­haps? The cou­ples of the day nat­u­rally took what­ever op­por­tu­ni­ties the gates pre­sented— and still do!

I would like to know what your read­ers can of­fer for the ori­gin of the nam­ing of the ha-ha. I was walk­ing with some semi-ur­ban friends past a great house with a sweep­ing lawn and a ha-ha and I told them that it is so called be­cause, if some­one ran in ig­no­rance across the lawn and fell over, the on­look­ers would all laugh ‘ha ha’. They didn’t be­lieve me. Could I have been right? David Whi­taker, Ed­in­burgh

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