Essex Life - - COUNTY LIFE -

Ar­chae­ol­o­gists from the Na­tional Trust are pre­par­ing to dig at Hat­field For­est for the first time in more than 25 years. The ex­cep­tion­ally hot and dry weather caused scorch­ing on the grass which led to the dis­cov­ery of an an­cient path. Thought to date back to the 1700s, the path could pro­vide a fas­ci­nat­ing in­sight into the his­tory of this 2,000 year old for­est.

Ranger Ian Pease, who dis­cov­ered the path, said: ‘I was so ex­cited to find this path. It leads from the Shell House by the lake into Collins Cop­pice and has a def­i­nite cam­ber. There is lit­tle doubt that this would have been a car­riage drive route from the Hou­blon Es­tate to the lake area in the for­est. It makes me think about the many peo­ple who would have used the path all those years ago and how the for­est has changed. I hope we will be able to learn more about the his­tory of the for­est and how it was used.’

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