Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Memories of old Islington

Fitzstephen, a monk, commented in about 1180 that there were 'fields for pasture and open meadows, very pleasant, into which the river waters do flow, and mills are turned about with a delightful noise. The arable lands are no hungry pieces of gravel ground, but like the rich fields of Asia, which plentifully bring forth corn and fill the barn of the owner with a dainty crop of the fruit of Ceres. Beyond them an immense forest extends itself, beautified with woods and groves, and full of the lairs and coverts of wild beasts and game, stags, bucks, bears and wild bulls.

Ah, the good old days...


From here.

6 comments:

Barendina Smedley said...

'No hungry pieces of gravel ground' - that about sums it up, although the bears are a nice touch. No wonder I'm a reactionary.

Gaw said...

That's right - a very hungry piece of gravel ground has opened up at the end of our street (though 'rubble ground' would probably be better). And I can't see it producing a dainty crop of the fruit of Ceres...

worm said...

phew, thank god they decided to improve the neighbourhood by building the packington estate!!

Gaw said...

As can happen when reading this sort of thing, I'm coming over all Paul 'Pot' Kingsnorth. Turn the Packington into a barn! Throw the people into lairs and coverts! Let stags roam free down the Balls Pond Road!

Barendina Smedley said...

Indeed. Having spent much of yesterday at Kew - and almost as much time journeying via bus, tube and foot to Kew - I can't help thinking that stags and bears etc closer to home would be preferable in oh so many ways.

How many new stags and bears for the West End would the money from Crossrail fund, I wonder? I feel an Oxford Street improvement initiative coming on ....

Gaw said...

I look forward to your post 'Rewilding Soho'. Could be fun.