Some time ago back in March, I think it was the 8th I remember coming home to some flowers from my father as my birthday was 9th..it was a lovely weekend and I was expecting my mother and step father and the house was in desperate need of a tidy up, so my daughter and I took a trip to Mordiford to find the abandoned house for her A'level exam project at Haugh Woods. The name Haugh, which is pronounced "Hoff" is derived from the name of a Saxon owner indicating that this is the site of an ancient wood
As you do when life is busy!
I remember she drove and we nearly hit the wall of a house round a tight bend, in her defence: she was driving, there was a huge Mercedes car coming the other way that wanted all the road and was over the white line depicting his side, however we missed!
We found the car park to Mordiford woods, eventually. The woods are about 7 miles outside of Hereford, where we live, so not far but they are up some steep hills, which was a driving lesson for my daughter in how to drop down through the gears and give the car a bit of an 'oooph' to get to the top.
We parked and put on wellie boots, took the cameras and set off to find this house. We had no idea which way to go and no maps or directions and thinking it wouldn't be far we were in high spirits!
How little did we know....the photo to the right shows the beautiful view we saw as we headed off down the nice track......the same nice track that soon became a boggy muddy marshy track....
It had been raining hard for weeks in our part of the world and the massive trees in the wood showed the casualties. The enormous root systems fascinated me.
We walked for miles! Over hill and dale as they say - I am a life long lover of James Herriott stories!
We eventually came to a farm. At first we thought it was the abandoned house, but soon realized it wasn't..
We walked through the bottom of the field which is a public right of way, next to the stream, another fabulous root system has been exposed here, made me feel all Brian Froud - so many references in this post to authors...
This next photo was of a small stream we had to cross further on from the farmstead, the photo still makes me chuckle as my daughter slipped and fell on her bum, leaving her with a muddy bum for the rest of the walk, sometimes its hard to believe she is an adult in her own right, but seriously very funny!
And finally...we found the house! We had been walking for hours and were about to give up, our legs were aching, the sun was out and bright and warm and we were dressed for winter in big coats, which we were by this point carrying. It has to be said that most of these photos were taken by my daughter as there is a big 'keep out' sign around the grounds to the house, but apparently if you don't get an ASBO for an A'level photography project you haven't done well...and that was from the tutor at college!!
So I kept look out and did the worrying mother bit and calling out every 30 seconds for her to NOT enter the building and was she ok? she did get fed up with me!
Isn't it beautiful? Can you imagine living here, surrounded by woodland, only squirrels to keep you company? It is said that the house is haunted, it is certainly ethereal feeling being there.
These inside photos my daughter took from the door way looking in. I took a couple of them as my fascination soon overcame my need to abide by the rules and I too stepped over the broken barbed wire and went to have a look, well, we had walked all that way!
Outside the fencing were these fungi, I took the picture on my phone, daughter had both hers and my camera by this point, I have no idea on the name of the fungi but a splash of red amongst all that green and mud was a welcoming sight.
The photo below right is the hill we climbed to leave the house and head back to the car...yes...CLIMBED!
Looking back from my vantage point UP that ENORMOUS hill at the house.
The storms had been so fierce that these giants had fallen and snapped. I climbed over them, as they were in the way, and caught my leg on a branch that was sticking out, the whole of my inside of my thigh went black, then purple, then yellow...then green...it was so sore but after spending so much time laughing over my daughters muddy bum I got no sympathy.
Almost at the top of the hill...
I have no more photos of the rest of our walk, mainly because we were so exhausted..and lost..and thirsty as we took no provisions. It took us a further hour and a half to find the car park, by which time we had found the road that had had the car in 1st gear to climb and walked a good few miles up it back to the car. We were convinced we had done at least 10 miles just on the road, driving back down - I drove she was too tired! - we found the sign post that said ...
'3 miles to top of hill for car park'
I am still sure they got that wrong!