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These cottages are in a small village just down the road from where I live.

Hertfordshire, England

Hand-held, natural light, slightly cropped.

Bad weather, Rothamsted Park, Hertfordshire.

Life goes on. Ashridge Estate, Hertfordshire.

I came across this lovely winter scene while out driving this past winter. Unfortunately, I only had my mobile phone camera at the time. Hence the watercolour effect which lends itself to a scene like this but, also, hides the lower than desired resolution of the original. Never leave home without your camera!

It used to be a road. Chilterns, Hertfordshire.

In Great Gaddesden, Hertfordshire, on Christmas Eve.

At Great Gaddesden, Hertfordshire, on Christmas Eve. Panorama shot.

The River Ver in Hertfordshire is a chalk stream and has cut, modestly I should say, into the surrounding limestone - just enough to create a path through the Chiltern Hills, and enough for the Romans to build a road here connecting London with the North. The history of the village of Markyate is entirely shaped by this road (and its successors) and all the functions relating to the transport of goods and people. Some houses such as these ones in the foreground have crept up the flanks of the river ("Pickford Hill" in this case), but most stayed down in the valley ground. Up on the hills you would find farms and agriculture. It is also true that small industries have moved in - together with lots of interesting people who decided to leave the big city.

Lighting over Letchworth Garden City Jackmans Estate

The early 18th century Anglican church building in Markyate, Hertfordshire. It had started as a modest house church (the building in the centre), then a tower was added, a choir, side chapels etc. in order to accommodate the growing population. These days, the congregation is struggling to maintain a building designed for a lot of people. Mitakon Speedmaster at F8.

The "new" (1778) parish church of Ayot St Lawrence, Hertfordshire. I have told the story that lies behind this remarkable neo-classical structure in previous images. It may be sufficient to say that Apollon represents light and enlightened rationality and that, in connection with this, there is a massive sun symbol attached to the ceiling of the church. In Greek antiquity, temples did not have towers, and there is none here too. You may spot the bell that is attached to the right side of the nave.

Dead, but beautiful. Trees on the Markyate Cell Estate, Hertfordshire.

Cottage scheduled for demolition somewhere in the Hertfordshire countryside.

 

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At this point, at Chequers (not far from Flamstead, Hertfordshire), the River Ver crosses the ancient Roman road. This road, which used to be called "Watling Street", is now the A1583, a major trunk road with heavy lorry (truck) traffic. Recently, repairs have been carried out to make sure that the river stays underneath the road.

Bad weather, Rothamsted Park, Hertfordshire.

Hertfordshire, England, UK

Dead, but beautiful. Trees on the Markyate Cell Estate, Hertfordshire.

Markyate Cell, an Elizabethan mansion (with a longer religious prehistory) in Markyate, Hertfordshire. The house is situated in the midst of a wonderful park. The gates you see in the other images of this series belong to this mansion. Do you like it? It could be yours - it is for sale again.

Seen in Great Gaddesden, Hertfordshire, on Christmas Eve.

St John the Baptist Church. In the background is Markyate Cell, a mansion going back to Tudor times. The owner of the estate once also owned this church. The village of Markyate (Hertfordshire) lies opposite to the mansion - with the church in the middle. Also in the middle, at least here, flows the river Ver. The middle position has its advantages. It can be an interface enabling people of conflicting persuasions to meet. Sitting on the fence would be an example of a disadvantage.

The River Ver in Hertfordshire is a chalk stream and has cut, modestly I should say, into the surrounding limestone - just enough to create a path through the Chiltern Hills, and enough for the Romans to build a road here connecting London with the North. The history of the village of Markyate is entirely shaped by this road (and its successors) and all the functions relating to the transport of goods and people. Some houses such as these ones in the foreground have crept up the flanks of the river ("Pickford Hill" in this case), but most stayed down in the valley ground. Up on the hills you would find farms and agriculture. It is also true that small industries have moved in - together with lots of interesting people who decided to leave the big city.

High Street, Markyate (Hertfordshire). High Street runs in a broadly South-North direction. On its southern tip it is about four or so meters lower than on its northern end. When the houses were built (mostly between the 17th and the 19th centuries) the floor levels often followed the terrain. The result could be, as it probably is here, that in the same dwelling the floor would be on different levels.

Hertfordshire

Markyate, Hertfordshire. Built in the 19th century - but in Tudor style. The gate to the left leads to Markyate Cell, a 16th century mansion.

Cell Park, Markyate, Hertfordshire. Shot at approximately F5.6 in the low afternoon sun.

The River Ver, here northeast of Redbourn, Hertfordshire, is a chalk stream and usually struggling to flow at all. The reason is that a lot of water is being pumped away for towns, villages, and industries. But recently, the weather has been bad with weeks of rainfall. Suddenly, this tiny stream is causing flooding. Samyang wide-angle lens at approx. F11.

Hand-held. Of course, ice and snow are not unknown in this part of the world. However, when they do arrive, it is always a bit of an event.

Bad weather, Rothamsted Park, Hertfordshire.

In Redbourn, Hertfordshire. We had a lot of rain recently, and the river carries more water than usual.

High Street, Redbourn, Hertfordshire. This is a generally prosperous village with a High Street in good shape.

Markyate, Hertfordshire.

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