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  Field and Hedgerow, The Last Essays of Richard Jefferies by Richard Jefferies
published by Longmans in 1889
Note
Only those essays written at Crowborough or written about Sussex are included
Refer also to Richard Jefferies biography
Richard Jefferies in Sussex
and Richard Jefferies and Sussex
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This wild tract of Ashdown Forest bears much resemblance to Exmoor; you may walk, or you may ride, for hours and meet no one; and if black game were to start up it would not surprise you in the least. There seems room enough to chase the red stag from Buckhurst Park with horn and hound till, mayhap, he ended in the sea at Pevensey. Buckhurst Park is the centre of this immense manor. Of old time the deer did run wild, and were hunted till the pale was broken in the great Civil War. The "Forest" is still in every one's mouth - "on the Forest," "by the Forest," "in" it, or "over" it, everything comes from the "Forest," even stone to mend the roads, or "through the Forest," as up from Brighton. People say this farm used to be forest, or this garden or this house was the first built on the forest. The enclosures are small, and look as if they had been hewn out of wood or stubbed out of heather, and there are numbers of small owners or settlers. Here and there a house stands, as it seems, alone in the world on the Forest ridge, thousands of acres of heather around, the deep weald underneath - as at Duddleswell, a look-out, as it were, over the earth. Forest Row, where they say the courtiers had their booths in ancient hunting days; Forest-Fold, Boar's-head Street, Greenwood Gate - all have a forest sound; and what prettier name could there be than Sweet-Haws? Greybirchet Wood, again; Mossbarn, Highbroom, and so on. Out-lying woods in every direction are fragments of the forest, you cannot get away from it; and look over whatever gate you will, there is always a view. In the vale, if you look over a gate you only see that field and nothing beyond; the view is bounded by the opposite hedge. Here there is always a deep coombe, or the top of a wood underneath, or a rising slope, or a distant ridge crowned with red-tiled farmstead, red-coned oasthouse, and tall spruce firs. Or far away, miles and miles, the fields of the weald pushed close together by dis-tance till in a surface no larger than the floor of a room there are six or seven farms and a village. Clouds drift over; it is a wonderful observatory for cloud studies; they seem so close, the light is so strong, and there is nothing to check the sight as far as its powers will reach. Clouds come up no wider than a pasture-field, but in length stretching out to the very horizon, dividing the blue sky into two halves; but then every day has its different clouds - the fleets of heaven that are always sailing on and know no haven.

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Currently The Weald is at  Database version 10.4 - 8th March 2014 and contains information on 370,214 people; 9,000 places; 613 maps; 3,136 pictures, engravings and photographs; and 226 books © The Weald and its contributors
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