Author Topic: Did they Trespass...or not  (Read 2008 times)

barewirewalker

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Did they Trespass...or not
« on: 09:46:21, 22/09/20 »
Did our ancestors Trespass when they created the footpath network we walk today?




Am I right in thinking, 'If we look at how our rights of way came into being, we might learn how to refute some of those assumptions used by those opposed to opening up our countryside'.
Is the footpath from Sidnal N to Cross House S an anomaly or is there a logical, historical explanation?


BWW
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Eyelet

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #1 on: 10:36:46, 22/09/20 »
What specific assumptions are you referring to?


That footpath does look unusual. Have you looked at the area on the earlier sequence of OS mapping such as that available online on the National Library of Scotland website? The 25 inch mapping might give some insight into whether the footpath came before the road.

barewirewalker

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #2 on: 11:02:09, 22/09/20 »
What specific assumptions are you referring to?
The CLA explanations show a general weakness in reasoning and these crop up often in conversation with landowners, farmers and also in publications. Before I explain my interpretation, which I have used before on the forum, I would like to find if there other thoughts about this sort of anomaly, which is usually a direct transfer from the older editions of OS surveys going back to the 1880 edition.
This particular location seems to add more to my reasoning, so before I explain it, I would be very interested to hear other thoughts.
BWW
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ninthace

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #3 on: 13:36:54, 22/09/20 »
I'm sorry, I do not see what point you are making. The implication from the map is there is a PROW immediately to the W of and parallel to the lane.  This is not born out by GoogleEarth - there is no southern access to the path in the form of a gate or stile and there are no finger post at either end.  The implication therefore is that in reality the lane and the path share a common track and this yet another piece of Definitive Map nonsense where somebody has drawn a line on a map without reference to reality.  If I had a fiver for every time I have found the printed PROW departed from reality I could be kept in beer for a lifetime, it happened 4 times in the space of a couple of miles yesterday when I was walking part of the 2 Moors Way.
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barewirewalker

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #4 on: 15:06:46, 22/09/20 »
So Ninthace comes with the explanation that seem's to be the usual, but is there another? Were the OS surveyors so innaccurate that they did not place some of these footpaths in exactly the right place. Some anomalies do occur because the 1950's compilers of the Definitive Map were untrained, working to non existent protocols and influenced by corrupted ideas.
At the northern end there is clear access, as the RoW is marked exactly where there is a field gate and it is the gate that gives the full field margin, at the southern end there are railings in the hedge to show where there has been a weakness in an otherwise strong line of Hawthorne hedge. Powys CC did not start putting up walk furniture until very recently. I would not expect them to be as wasteful as to follow a countrylane with an alternative way.


But this sort of anomaly is rather consistent. Here is another one;
The above example looks to be fairly precisely plotted and not the result of a tracing paper layer slipping a couple of mms. this one has not been put on the DM and made a RoW, I expect the Hereford CC were rather more selective.
If you look at the field levels on GE it is fairly clear that they are above the level of the road and were they more so before tarmacadam.


 
« Last Edit: 15:17:22, 22/09/20 by barewirewalker »
BWW
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ninthace

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #5 on: 16:42:57, 22/09/20 »
I cannot speak for the accuracy of the surveyors but the map makers are a bit liberal with reality.  A couple examples just from yesterday.
The red trace in the image below is from my gps which is pretty reliable.  Compare the trace with the path shown. The path from the start, is shown running along inside the edge of the wood, which is correct and my trace shows where the line of the path actually is, which means boundary of the wood is wrong.  The path emegres from the wood around the second green diamond.  It then drops left back into the woodland but leaves again immediately after crossing the stream, as per the trace, rather than continuing in the wood as the OS would have it.

In the second example, the PROW path rejoins the road where my trace shows it does, not where the OS says it does, and there is a gate in a wall to prove it.

I had a look on GoogleEarth at your path.  While there is a line of gates parallel to the road there is no weakness in the hedge at the S end.  The old railings buried in the hedge are in the wrong place, i.e. on the wrong road to be an overgrown exit and why on earth would you have a footpath parallel to a perfectly good lane.  Mayhap the lane was once a trackway that served as a footpath before it was metalled.  I prefer the clerical error theory, perhaps it was plotted in the wrong place and assumed to be parallel route.
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barewirewalker

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #6 on: 17:18:11, 22/09/20 »
I agree with you over the variation of right of way with the side of hedge it should be on at Ashcombe Plantation could be born out by your interpretation. For nearly a mile of Right of way to be the wrong side of a hedge could be explained by the lane not being suitable to pedestrian traffic, a choice of sides of the lane in  the first map the west looks the drier ground, pre 1960's cattle were driven to market. The entire road space from hedge to hedge is cut up by driven cattle not helped by sheep. go further back Pre WW1 this would be on many unmetalled roads. Even the better off country people could not afford totally waterproof footwear, women would go to market in long dresses.

I suggest that it may have been force of public opinion that took churchgoers or market day pedestrian to choose routes that were different to the livestock routes.

BWW
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Eyelet

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #7 on: 19:36:38, 22/09/20 »



One ought to be able to consult the Ordnance Surveyors Drawings 1789 - c1840 to see if they can add anything to this. See: https://www.bl.uk/images/maps/osdindex.jpg


The relevant sheet seems to be 200W but unfortunately I cannot find it on the British Library website.


The path is shown adjacent to the lane in the C19 1-25 inch mapping. There seem to be lots of cases of FPs paralleling the road in this vicinity on this mapping, but some of them are not shown on the modern mapping. See: https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/#zoom=16&lat=52.55577&lon=-3.09291&layers=10&right=168


I like the explanation that the lane was so bad underfoot due to animal traffic that a footpath developed alongside it - I can think of a few farm tracks round our way where this is happening right now!   

barewirewalker

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #8 on: 09:06:20, 23/09/20 »
Thanks Eyelet that link to pre 1880 surveys is news to me, My theory is based on experience I have driven cattle many miles along both main roads and lanes. I have argued with landowners, who cannot be turned in their ideas that country people walked many miles off road to get to market, and that they stuck to the accepted roads of today.

Also thanks to Ninthace, he is right to test my ideas and there are many examples that indicate more update explanations. He has made me think more carefully about the Cross House junction exit of the way. The railings are the key and it is highly probable than an Oak tree grew at that junction, they were medieval way markers. Hedges cannot flourish under the canopy of a large tree and railing over a place for the pedestrian to penetrate a boundary hedge.

The reason I suggest that 'they' might have trespassed, is this alternative way goes through at least 2 holdings. Sidnal and Caerprior, if so this leads to speculation about the historical importance of cattle movement in this area, if this is the reason for this type of anomaly.
BWW
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Eyelet

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #9 on: 09:41:46, 23/09/20 »
You’re welcome. The 1883 25 inch map does show a tree at the Cross House junction but it is on the opposite corner.


See:https://maps.nls.uk/view/121151672


BTW are you a fan of the late Oliver Rackham and all his works?

ninthace

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #10 on: 10:25:05, 23/09/20 »
Looking at that map, it seems there was a path, probably the then equivalent of a pavement, to allow people to walk beside the track.  The path seems to continue round to the W too but that has disappeared in the modern era. It seems to have been described as a 4ft wide strip if you follow the lane to the N.
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Eyelet

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #11 on: 12:21:06, 23/09/20 »
I think that the "pavement" concept is a likely explanation. In field 2491 (the field in which the footpath ends to the N) the map shows where the path deviates west around a patch of furze, which is exactly what you would do on the ground. This suggests it wasn't a clerical error.


https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/#zoom=18&lat=52.55886&lon=-3.09114&layers=10&right=168


The meaning of 4ft. R.H. in depicting boundaries on the 25 inch sheets is given here: https://maps.nls.uk/view/128076891 and I think it relates to the resolution of drawing in a boundary relative to the linear feature it runs along.
« Last Edit: 12:31:30, 23/09/20 by Eyelet »

barewirewalker

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #12 on: 13:13:31, 23/09/20 »
Not read any Oliver Rackham, will keep an eye out for his books SH on line. My observations are based on personal observation. Thanks for the link to that map, I have copied many of the early series of OS map but that one has escaped me. This particular example is a recent discovery. I was walking Roundton Hill above Churchstoke a couple of weeks ago and these anomalies caught my eye as I was debriefing myself.

Interesting that the same 'Pavement' effect as referred to by Ninthace is dupicated on the lane E2W passing Rhiston, if like Ninthace any have taken a GE trip along this lane an unusual number of Scot's Pine surround that holding. If this was a sign for overnight cattle keep for a drovers way it might account for the heavy traffic that would necessitate the need for alternative pedestrian ways where the roads become impassable channels of mud. There are other similar anomalies going back to where Offa's Dyke crosses that lane beyond Gwarthlow.

If there were a Drover's Ways approaching from the west this would be a southern line to aim for as the Marrington Dingle, in the lea of Corndon and Roundton Hill would be a barrier for Driven cattle. As the medieval cattle droves dwindled, the market towns of Bishop's Castle and Craven Arms would provide target destinations. Also Montgomery, Welshpool and Newtown markets would be collecting grounds for mountain and hill bred store stock to be bought by dealers to be driven east to lowland fattening customers at midland markets.

It is noticeable that all these'over the hedge paths' are on sloping ground, they are are going through heavy clay country (fields not free draining). So when a track, lane or road drops below that of the surrounding fields it becomes a water course.

These OTH pavements occur over a distance that suggests that they are common to different farm holdings and probably beyond the bounds of single estates, which suggest that they have developed by common need as opposed to by permission of landowners. I was talking to a farming friend, whose family bought their farm off the estate they tenanted it off. There was a clause in the old tenancy agreement instructing the tenant not to allow the development of rights of way. Which came first public need or the right of the landowner.

Mud and water may have been the reason to drive the pedestrian of yesteryear into the field margins, speeding traffic in it's many shapes and sizes is surely the modern day equivalent.
« Last Edit: 13:25:05, 23/09/20 by barewirewalker »
BWW
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Eyelet

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #13 on: 13:27:09, 23/09/20 »

This all sounds plausible.

I recommend starting with OR's "History of the Countryside": https://www.abebooks.co.uk/book-search/title/history-countryside/author/oliver-rackham/


445 pages for £3.24 - "It is full of answers to questions that others have not had the wit to ask." The Economist.

barewirewalker

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Re: Did they Trespass...or not
« Reply #14 on: 17:46:44, 23/09/20 »
This all sounds plausible.

I recommend starting with OR's "History of the Countryside": https://www.abebooks.co.uk/book-search/title/history-countryside/author/oliver-rackham/


445 pages for £3.24 - "It is full of answers to questions that others have not had the wit to ask." The Economist.
thanks I have an order to make with abebooks I shall tack that one on to it.
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.