Archives for the month of: January, 2014

If you like local history we have an event in Haslemere next week that should be really interesting. National Trust Regional Archaeologist for the South East, Tom Dommet will be giving a talk in the Haslemere Museum on Wednesday 5th Feb on the Archaeology of Black Down.

Black Down Map

Over the past year an Archeaological and Historical Survey of Black Down has been carried out, it has uncovered all manner of fascinating information on the history of the place and Tom will be passing on some of these results.

The talk marks the launch of an exhibition in the Museum exploring the archaeology of Black Down, the exhibition will be on display from 5th February to 2nd March, hopefully lots of people will get chance to go along and learn a little more about a much loved local landscape. The title of the exhibition “green fades into blue” comes from a peice of poetry by Alfred Lord Tennyson, who wrote the following when living at Aldworth, his house on the flanks of the hill:

You came and looked and loved the view, long known and loved by me, green sussex fading into blue, with one grey glimpse of sea.

I always think of these words when I look out at the view from the Temple of the Winds on Black Down, which I think (totally biased of course) gives just about the best view you can get over the South Downs National Park.

Temple view

Thanks also to everyone who came along to our Wassailing at Swan Barn Farm the other evening. The place looked magical as we all processed with flaming torches under the light of the moon to find the oldest tree in the orchard.

Songs were sung, poems read, and cider soaked toast was dangled in the branches of the trees as we gave thanks for last years harvest and hoped for a good crop of apples this year.

2014 wassailing

The evening somehow seemed to mark the turning of the year. I know there will be cold weather yet to come, but now I am really starting to look forward to the coming of spring and the blossom in the orchards.


This friday evening (17th Jan) from 7-9pm we will be holding our Annual Wassailing event in the orchards of Swan Barn Farm in Haslemere. I hope you can come and join us, it should be great fun. A wassail is a traditional winter orchard blessing, as well as a chance for the local community to come together and banish some of the post christmas blues.

Last year we were wassailing in the snow, hence the winter wonderland pictures.

Wassailing old man apple

The plan is for it to be an evening of fun (and possibly superstition!) as we lead a torchlit procession from the Farm through the orchard to find our oldest apple tree. We will offer up poems and blessings to old man apple to thank him for the bounty of last year, and in hope of a good harvest this year.

Wassail Torchlit procession

Once the trees have been blessed we will head back to Hunter Basecamp for an evening of fun where music will be performed and songs sung. Cider and apple juice produced on the farm and beefburgers from our own herd of rare breed pedigree Belted Galloway cattle will all be for sale.

Wassail torches by basecamp

Entry to the event is free, we will also provide the torches for the procession. The meeting point is at the basecamp on the farm next to the new Speckled Wood building. You can either walk across the fields from the Collingwood Bachelor car park or follow Collards Lane to the end at GU27 2HU. You will probably want to wear wellies after all the recent rain!


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