Wednesday, July 23, 2014

PARISH 7: Padd Farm

On the way to Padd Farm

The ride to Padd Farm is riddled with signs, symbols, and trucks/lorries!

This inscription indicates that the location was once part of a Roman road to Staines

Founder's Building way out across the fields

The Sanatorium visible towards Virginia Water

Stubble field in the summer sun

More signs, and indications that we're on the right track (Surrey cycle link)

Padd Farm entrance

This is where my GPS told me I had arrived

Looking laterally from the previous photo at the entrance to Padd Farm

A sign on the garage indicates that we are there

Friday, July 18, 2014

PARISH 6: Milton Park

Egham Train Station to Milton Park

The public footpath not far from the train station

Horses huddle up against the fence today

Founder's Building across from the mustard yellow field

The public footpath through two fields

More horses, all along the way to Milton Park

Plantings along the fence of Milton Park

Edges of Milton Park overgrown, 'hackable'

Visitors' parking lot at Milton Park

Coming close to hacking here as I raise my camera over the fence

Getting out of the visitors' parking lot (horse fields beyond)

Milton Park, as close as I could get without trespassing (about 150m from Milton Park 'centroid', see map above)

The end of the line.  Here is where the sidewalk ends.  I ride past here on a daily basis on my way to work, and often see pedestrians walking directly on the road surface, in both directions.  Drivers mostly seem very cautious and even overly wary of me as I ride along the harpin/switchbacks towards the level crossing behind the Royal Holloway fitness centre

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

PARISH 5: Royal Holloway (centroid): rural place hacking

Map made using QGIS 2.4 "Chugiak"

Today's destination: Royal Holloway (centroid).  This, and the following 3 photos, indicate the location at which my GPS alerted me to my arrival at Royal Holloway (centroid)

Looking downhill to where small gangs of visiting high school students were milling about or sitting in long rows

Looking laterally towards the residential halls

Laterally the other way (downhill), towards the Senate House book depository

This is a Google Earth representation of today's meme which started at Egham train station, following Whitehall Lane around the back of Royal Holloway's fitness centre, then up Prune Hill to the fitness centre entryway

How is this place hacking you might ask?  

It is place hacking in the sense that I attempt new juxtapositions of bodies/spaces in the sense intended by Bradley Garrett in a recent tweet (indirectly referring to his book Explore Everything)

It is also place hacking in that I attempt to discover new bodies/beings in spaces, juxtaposed in ways for which the space was not originally intended

In this and the previous place-hack/PARISH postings I have discovered just that: youthful bodies hacked into spaces by the juxtapositions they offer that are at odds with the surroundings.  You notice these students because they act out, and because a language other than English is usually being spoken

I did not expect to meet so many students at Royal Holloway this summer: not on Cooper's Hill either, nor in the Campus Store, where crowds of young bodies forced the store staff to police the space and attempt to restore order

(Re)ordering bodies in space

Monday, July 14, 2014

PARISH 4: Grand View

This time I made it 'exactly' to my destination, as indicated by a short shrill beep emitted by my GPS when I get within a few metres of my destination (indicated by pressing the FIND button).  Destination: Grand View

On the way to Grand View, an example of what might be called a 'hackable' space.  It was being hacked by some sort of school children's tour

On the way to Grand View is a large property (on the left heading up Cooper's Hill from the Egham side)

This is where my GPS told me Grand View is by beeping at me

I suspect this is closer to the Grand View, but it seems to be blocked by a caravan!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

PARISH 3: beating the (verbal) bounds of Egham

The following verbal description (from The place-names of Surrey) I would characterise as all of the following: assemblage, ritual, rhizome, rogation, boundary, territory, map, meme, polyline, and irregular polygon.

From Gover et al (1934):

"In BCS 34 we have a ME version of the bounds of Egham (including Thorpe).  They start at a seohter or water course above Hersham supra 109 and so straight to Barrowhils supra 108 and from there to Eccantriwe (also on the bounds of Chobham) and so due south to the south end of the heath of Sir Geoffrey de la Croix, i.e. the point on Chobham common where the boundary makes an acute angle and turns north.  The boundary then goes almost to the upper end of Herdeie and so along the thorny hill to the lower end of Hertly and to Menechene Rude (supra 116), thence to the west side of Portnall (infra 122) and Winebrigth, and from there due west to a road that goes to Winchester, that is called Shrubs Hill (infra 124).  It then goes on due north beneath the gate of the Park (i.e. Windsor Great Park) to Harpsford infra 121, the mill, the park hedge, the new hatch, along the fridesbrok to the grey appletree, and from there to the knoll by the spring, under the stony slope, down by Tigelbeddeburne, i.e. the stream which runs out by Runny Mede Ho, then down to the eyot by Leatherlake infra 122, along the Thames to Glanty infra 121, to Hythe infra 122 and then back along the stream to Nipnose infra 134, and so past another hythe to the black withy and so to a foul brook.  Thence it goes to Sirepol, i.e. Sharpers Mead infra 383, and after an interval to Deepen Brook (supra 3), the three trees, the grey or boundary maple-tree, and the boundary-brook back to Hersham."

I accessed The place-names of Surrey in the Institute of Historical Research after a Landscape Surgery session in Bedford Square last term.  At the same time, my main purpose for being there was to access Margaret Gelling's Landscape of place-names, a book that comprehensively analyses and explains topographical place-naming systems in England.  It is with the two references mentioned here that I begin to make some headway in this PARISH mapping of Egham series, and into English place-names more generally.  I start by working outwards from home and office in Egham, moving to more and more 'exotic' locales within the very circumscribed limits of the parish boundary, as defined by official maps, verbal descriptions, GIS databases, and by my own GPS, apps, and maps.

The boundary description from Gover et al (1934) contains a wonderful set of very concrete items whose brief descriptions leave images to ponder, including:

"beneath the gate of the Park (i.e. Windsor Great Park)" (why underneath?  is this a 3D map?)

"along the fridesbrok to the grey appletree" (what is a fridesbrok?  grey bark?  or is the whole tree grey?)

"the knoll by the spring, under the stony slope..."

"and so past another hythe to the black withy and so to a foul brook"

"the three trees, the grey or boundary maple-tree, and the boundary-brook"

Note that trees and brooks feature quite prominently, and one might ask what a beating of these bounds might entail, traditionally, and today?  Did children's heads get bonked on the grey appletree or the boundary maple-tree?  Did these serve as memory trees?  Do they serve any such function today?  What about the rivers?  There's some connection between rivers and memory down through time, in literature, myth, and metaphors for history.

Gelling, M.  2000.  Landscape of place-names.  Stamford: Shaun Tyas.

Gover, J. E. B., A. Mawer, and F. M. Stenton.  1934.  The place-names of Surrey.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

*Note: a map of Egham parish is located in the British Library under the following entry:

  • Title: Plan of the parish of Egham in the county of Surrey / May and Collins surveyors Marlboro'.
  • Subjects: Egham (England) -- Maps ;
    Dewey: 912.42211
  • Publication Details: [London]: Nethercliff and Durlacher lith: 18 Brewer St. Golden Square, [1856]. 
  • Language: English
  • Identifier: System number 015492814 
  • Notes: Michael Monk May and Francis Collins, surveyors of Marlborough, Wiltshire. 
  • Physical Description: 1 map ; 185 x 154 cm.; Scale [ca. 1:4,800] six chains to one inch. 
  • Shelfmark(s): Cartographic Items Maps 250.a.79. 
  • UIN: BLL01015492814

Friday, May 30, 2014

PARISH 2: Egham

I got within 50m of the centroid of Egham, the named place shown as a point on the map, but that is actually a kind of polygon, or area, or topographical feature, not to mention a town.

Map made using QGIS 2.2

On the way, I glanced just past both Ripley Springs and Royal Holloway points (to be re-visited later: both points sit on top specific buildings on campus).

Going down to Egham with my kit (GPS, camera, notepad) I didn't know what to expect: what would the essence of Egham look like?  See below:

It turns out 'Egham' (according to OS data) resides at the intersection of The Crescent and Spring Avenue.  (Or at least within 50 metres of the intersection, in someone's backyard!)

Friday, May 16, 2014

PARISH 1: Rural Place Hacking

I used 63 X 1m resolution LiDAR tiles to make a terrain map of Egham parish.  The boundary is based upon a mid-1800s civic parish map of Egham held in the British Library (consulted a few months ago).  Based on that boundary and Ordnance Survey base data I identified 65 named places in Egham.  The coordinates of these named places (some of which are topographical, as opposed to point, place-names) have been uploaded to my Garmin 60CSX GPS unit, the goal being to see how many places I will be able to pinpoint by being physically present at the named place (i.e. on the ground).  To achieve all 65 would, I believe, necessarily involve a small amount of breaking and entering.  Therefore, I will merely attempt to get as close as possible to each of the named places.  Once there (or as close as possible) I will document the place through images and text, and the results of each will be the subject of a subsequent blog entry.  The result will be a comprehensive mapping of Egham Parish, the final step of which is a full traverse of the boundary.

Map made using ArcGIS 10.1