Historic puddles and ghostly ponds

20 October 2011

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Old Teasel - Historic puddles and ghostly ponds image (400x300)

We live in the red circle on the map. We haven’t got a street or a house yet because it’s 1881 and this was all fields in the Parish of Horfield, then in Gloucestershire. Now we’re in the City and County of Bristol, but our favourite puddle is on the map, and also here today.

That said, today, it’s empty because summer came back. Normally it’s a pothole full of water that sits with a couple of small relatives in the middle of an unadopted bit of road everyone uses. Fearful for our suspension, we drive cautiously between the potholes, or if on foot watch carefully – though I’ve gone home with muddy trousers more than once.

‘Where is this historic puddle?’ you ask. A track on the map (the double row of dashes) goes diagonally from near the bottom left towards the top right. The bit of unadopted road is where it starts. Look into our puddle and you’re looking into history: first tarmac, then cobbles, then hardcore, and finally the clay that makes for such a spectacular splash.

So the puddle is actually older than the streets. To the left of it were some buildings, possibly stables associated with the pub, which is the long building on the main road nearby, and which is also still there. The track goes past two ponds. I suspect that it’s the ghosts of those ponds that sometimes breach the damp-courses of some of our near neighbours.

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