Across the AONB
‘The line, the shadow is always there, even if you can’t see it or it isn’t entirely apparent’ –
Andy Goldsworthy, talking about the British landscape
The artist Andy Goldsworthy refers to what we see which relates to the human’s presence when we look at the countryside; but there is also what we hear in our heads too. Personal memories relate to a place or memories of what someone else has written echo in our mind and seem to add something to what we actually see.
Writing about landscape
These pages give an account of writers on the AONB, and relate their writings to a landscape as well as to what they have to say about it. It can not just be a who’s who of who lived here as they might have been writing about something completely unconnected to where they were living.
Unlike an historical account of a landscape the people who write about it come and go quite quickly so there will be people who might feel left out here because we didn’t know what they said or what they were going to say. We apologise for this. This mini-anthology takes us up to 2000, and you can always trace more of an author’s writings by going to the bibliography, or by finding them on the web or in the library.
Only a glimpse
This survey of writers on the landscape can only give a glimpse of who lived here and wrote about it in the past. Gordon Waterhouse has left a fine legacy of his weekly writings which appeared in the Kingsbridge Gazette over a number of years and can be found in Kingsbridge Library today.
Lines on the landscape
This brief overview of lines on the landscape concludes with another extract from Henry Williamson whose prose captures the majesty of Bolt Tail (pictured) like no other:
On the great craggy precipice Phillip called Valhalla the gulls soared, glided, threw-up and fell crook-winged, blaking, crying, gabbling, hanging in the upblast of wind a few yards from his face, yellow-eyed and wind-ruffled. Daws winged their speedy blackness down the wind, shooting down and checking uneasily; buzzards sailed high, with sweeping leisure and then – crossing the sky at tremendous speed, swinging round into the wind to hang aloft – two peregrine falcons. Two shaftless arrow-heads of iron, he thought two black stars of the day, cutting into the blast. The wings were black, the heads blunt, tails short, thick and stocky – they remained motionless, as though held there, at a thousand feet.