It is time for another blogging prompt, and July’s prompt is Spirit. And there are plenty of directions to go when hearing the word. Rather than ghosts or feelings, I want to go with history. More specifically, the hidden (and not so) history that appears when and where least expected.
I’m a huge sucker for ‘finds’ and the archaeological record – the caves in France, shipwrecks, pottery bits, even discovering Richard III when excavating for a parking lot. But this summer heatwave has brought out several unexpected finds: from gardens and long-gone manor houses to a Victorian-era bridge.
All found in links on the BBC website, the heat and subsequent evaporation of water from reservoirs and soil have revealed some marvelously intriguing moments.
The Spelga Dam was constructed to create a reservoir to serve the residents of Down and Amagh counties in Northern Ireland, and was constructed in the 1950’s. Now with the heat, a Victorian-era road, thought to be constructed in the early 1800’s has appeared: with a bridge that used to span the river. Source
A “Ghost Garden” has appeared at Gawthorpe Hall in Lancashire. This garden was built at the time of the American Civil War, when cotton embargoes meant the mills that made thread and cloth from the cotton had no fibre, therefore no work for their employees. As the embargo was thought to be short-lived, the cost-effetiveness of providing a wage for workers was a unique, if self-serving idea. Below is a photo of the ‘actual product, circa 1870. . Source
Lastly, a ghost manor –Clumber Park in Nottinghampshire, now a National Trust property – the mansion’s foundation lines have been revealed. Demolished in 1938, Clumber House and chapel had fallen into disrepair and huge infusions of cash (rare in 1938) would have been required to bring it back to life. Instead, the buildings were demolished and the property passed to the National Trust. Below is a photo of the foundations as now seen, and a plan for the site.
These are my thoughts this week when I think of spirits.