From the very beginning of this project, I knew that CT Country was going to be rather tricky. Nobody goes anywhere. Everything happens on the Nethercombe Estate which is, of course, fictional. There may be a way of taking photographs of the places that novelists dream up in their heads but I fear the required technology has not yet been developed (assuming that one day it will, which is by no means certain). Even so, the idea creates an interesting picture: there the novelist with various electrodes affixed to the head and over there the technocrat in charge creating images from the signals being collected by his apparatus.
Enough. The question is, how to give you the feel of TC Country.
This area is in the valley of the River Avon with its many tributaries, most of which are quite small. Above Shipley Bridge, the Avon is still a very young river, gurgling and splashing over rocks. Here the banks are home to Rhododendron ponticum which was introduced into the UK in Victoria times and has now become a serious pest.
Taken from the same place but now looking down stream.
By the time the river flows through South Brent it has grown to become more of a teenager. There is a fair amount of power in the river here: there were two active mills in operation in times gone by.
I have no idea why someone wanted to build this gateway with steps down to the river. At no time could this stretch gave been navigable.
Even further downstream and we see the river at its best. Here all is quiet and calm . . .
. . . but it is not always like that. The Avon is a ‘spate’ river and after heavy rainfall up on the moors the level can rise by two or three feet in less than an hour only to drop again almost as quickly.
As Marcia explains in the book, the house at Nethercombe is surrounded by azaleas and rhododendrons. Not all would have been the dreaded Rhododendron ponticum although there would have some, I have no doubt. Anyway, these four photos were taken of rather more interesting varieties all of which were growing in the vicinity.
We cannot leave here without taking a look at one of the viaducts that carry the main railway line to London over the various quite deep valleys it has to cross.