Friday morning, after a night of heavy rain, left a clouded blue sky and the ground wet with puddles and over-brimming ponds. After a visit to Fordingbridge, I drove home along a quieter lane that runs to the east of the River Avon and through the northern edge of the New Forest.
I stopped in the hamlet of North Gorley, which lies at the foot of Gorley Hill. The lane going south cuts through a wide village green, often grazed by Forest ponies and cattle. After a wet night, water drenched the greens. There were few cars and no people to be seen. The old thatched and tiled houses looked much as they must have done for hundreds of years.
When my Victorian Great Grandparents lived at the dairy cottage in the next village, I imagine that they must have known this same scene of cottages on a green as they drove their pony and cart through to Fordingbridge to sell milk, cheese and butter.
Homely red brick and a thatch where moss is beginning to grow.
Renovations in progress here.
The village pub, The Royal Oak, is said to be three hundred years old.
The Gorley Tea Rooms. Opposite is a pond called the Little Mere, where ponies and cattle can drink.
Bricked thatch with a more modern house beside it. Pasture land rises up the slopes of Gorley Hill and open Forest is beyond.
The flooded green.
The post box dates from King George V, grandfather of the current Queen. Behind the post box is a village notice board .
The end of the green, where a lane turns right across a cattle grid and a stream and then through flat farmland to Fordingbridge town. My road home took me south, to Ringwood, through the village where my Grandmother was born.
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