Where in Britain...
...would you be walking to see this?
Like a vertical cobbled street, flint walls are common in chalky areas like Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Sussex,
Kent, Suffolk and Norfolk, where nodules are found in the pale, powdery rock. Alfriston* (pictured) is a picturesque village on the South Downs Way in Sussex. At first glance this scene sings Cotswolds, but that band of amber-tinted limestone underpins the land – and builds the walls – right up through Northamptonshire and Rutland too, here in the historic village of Fotheringhay*, where Richard III was born and Mary Queen of Scots lost her head. With stout double walls of stone, and roofs of turf and thatch, blackhouses are built to withstand the wild weather of Ireland, and Scotland’s highlands and islands. Often, like here at Gearrannan on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, the roof was held down by ropes and stones. Built freehand from a mix of mud with sand, straw or horsehair, cob houses are most common in Cornwall,
Somerset and Devon – like here at Dunsford on Dartmoor. Each layer was added wet then left to dry and harden in the sun, and thick, sometimes curved, walls below thatched roofs are telltale signs.
Dark stone walls and slate roofs are characteristic of hill farms in Snowdonia – a region whose slate famously roofed the world. Ty Mawr Wybrnant* near Betws-y-Coed was the birthplace of William Morgan (1545-1604) who first translated the bible into Welsh. Now owned and restored by the National Trust.