You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Ancient roads and tracks’ category.
These exhibitions represent one person’s ambition to capture the spirit of this beautiful, quintessentially English countryside in a series of 24 paintings inspired by the topography of that most ancient of tracks, The Ridgeway, steeped in history, fought over, threatened by population, housing, traffic, erosion, climate and agriculture; ever changing.
Anna’s collection of original oils and mixed media celebrates the diversity of this venerable landscape and are all painted from a variety of viewpoints along England’s oldest road. These pictures show a landscape tamed but still unique and captured in all its changing glory as a ‘painters diary’ from early January through to late December.
Anna Dillon was raised in Aston Tirrold, a spring line village to the north of the Ridgeway and has a studio there where she paints. Her inspiration for landscapes was born out of this area of rolling downland where far reaching views are dominated by the big skies which can change the light in an instant.
The Ridgeway passes through two very different landscapes; the open downland of the west within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the more gentle and wooded countryside of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the east.
Anna Dillon has successfully captured these two distinct geographic features in this exhibition with her bold, vibrant and colourful style.
Enjoy a pastoral passage along this prehistoric by-way and across our green and pleasant land during the year 2012 where we are celebrating all that is Great in Britain.
You can view the original paintings at her solo show at Art@Goring in Goring on Thames, from 8-22 September.
Her exhibition about the Ridgeway opens at The Vale and Downland Museum in Wantage, Oxfordshire from Tuesday, 2 October and goes through until Saturday, 27 October in the Squires Room and the Upper Gallery. She will have prints of her paintings on show as well as a vast array of interesting information about the Ridgeway, including poetry, photos, walking diaries and artefacts.
Incombe Hole near Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamsire by Anna Dillon
Anna’s website can be found here.
Standing with Stones is a remarkable and unprecedented documentary film that takes the viewer beyond Stonehenge on an incredible journey of discovery that reveals the true wealth and extent of Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain & Ireland.
If you ever wondered what it would be like to travel the length and breadth of the British Isles, visiting the most intriguing and enigmatic monuments that our ancestors left us, from Cornwall through England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland to the outer reaches of the Hebrides and Orkney, then you will love this film.
Described by one magazine reviewer as “A stunning study of standing stones. A work of art.” (Forten Times), this is no amateur travelogue. Written and presented by writer and explorer Rupert Soskin and shot and edited by broadcast producer Michael Bott, this film is a stunningly beautiful and absorbing two and a quarter hour tour of our ancient heritage in the company of an engaging and knowledgeable host – the journey of a lifetime.
See also the accompanying book Standing with Stones: a photographic journey through megalithic Britain & Ireland.
Section of the Ridgeway near Wayland’s Smithy, Wiltshire. Image credit Moss
A broad green track runs for many a long, long mile across the downs, now following the ridges, now winding past at the foot of a grassy slope, then stretching away through a cornfield and fallow. It is distinct from the wagon-tracks which cross it here and there, for these are local only, and, if traced up, land the wayfarer presently in a maze of fields, or end abruptly in the rickyard of a lone farmhouse. It is distinct from the hard roads of modern construction which also at wide intervals cross its course, dusty and glaringly white in the sunshine… With varying width, from twenty to fifty yards, it runs like a green ribbon… a width that allows a flock of sheep to travel easily side by side.
Richard Jefferies (1848-1887)
The Tōkaidō as photographed by Felice Beato in 1865. Source Wikimedia
Every country has a road laden with history and meaning - from the Neolithic Ridgeway in southern England (top) the Tōkaidō (東海道) which was the most important of the Five Routes of the Edo Period that connected Edo (modern-day Tokyo) to Kyōto in Japan (above) to the little-known stretch of a Roman road on the North York Moors shown below - a road still in use and still displaying the stones placed there by hand nearly two thousand years ago.
Section of a Roman Road on the North York Moors © The Heritage Trust
Is there an ancient road or track near you with a story to tell – if so let us know.