Writing 101 Day 4 – A story in a single image

Map reading

Map reading

Before, I used post-it notes that would sign post the major junctions I needed to turn off at. Invariably a post-it note would drop, float away and I would work from memory alone not always with the desired results. Now I have Pam, the SatNav lady but she does not always get it right. Occasionally by the time I’ve decided that I have driven the recommended distance she will tell me that she is recalculating the journey as I’ve missed the turning.
So, I always try to remember to bring my trusty old road atlas to help when I am in a jam; to give perspective of where I am going in relation to everywhere else is; to remind me that there are options outside of the square box  of the directions I have printed off in advance indicate.
At the start of this journey I had been looking at many maps. Before a new project can really start I must step back into the past, to understand its history and look at the journey a particular plot of land has undertaken. Today’s plot of land is one of my favourite types. The earliest map I could get my hands on tells me that it was once part of a large country estate. Consisting of a modest country house with a few out buildings and an orchard south of this plot. These were the only buildings for several acres. The country estate was surrounded by farm land and a stream flowed to the east eventually joining a river that eventually reaches the coast. A closer look at the map indicates an ancient monument to the north. When I look up the site online I learn that it is the remains of a Roman fort, coins and artefacts were uncovered at the turn of the nineteenth Century.
The next map I look at some year’s later shows that the surrounding land has been divided up into smaller plots and a former dirt track is now a country road. Houses have begun to appear along the edges of the estate, not many but enough to indicate that circumstances are changing. Is this the beginning of a new settlement, village or town? The next map will give me a clue.

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