Daily Archives: 09/04/2020
Here in rural Devon, most of the field boundaries are traditional “Devon banks,” which are banks of earth and stone originally capped with hedges, in order to contain livestock. Down in our valley, many of the banks are mediaeval. The parish boundary just down the lane, dated by counting the number of tree species that have colonized what was originally holly, probably dates right back to Saxon times. But up here on the hill most of them, including the boundaries of my own property, probably date to around 1820, when the common-land “turbary” was enclosed: a mere two hundred years.