Thursday, 15 August 2013

N For North

In the A - Z of Ashdown we are now at N. N is for the North Avenue, a mile long ride that cuts through both Hailey and Middle Woods and ends in a haha by an ancient holloway. The current design of the woods, with its avenues of trees,  rides and glades, was created in the 18th century. At that time picturesque little lodge buildings, now lost, were built halfway along the North Avenue to frame the view.

When the house was originally built the hunting forest was more thickly wooded and the rides were not as formalised. You can see a stylised version of what it looked like in this engraving by Kyp from the early 18th century. The North Avenue contains an ancient badger sett, at least 700 years old, and along the western edge of the wood are two oak trees dating from the 17th century.