2015-08-30 52 0
In the northeastern corner of the grounds of Oxbrough Hall, Oxborough, Norfolk.
The hashpoint is in the village of Oxborough, Norfolk. It's by the side of the main road passing through the village. It's very accessible.
Strictly speaking, the exact point determined by the hash is very well-labelled as being in private property. It appears to be under a tree just within a walled garden. Standing on the other side of the wall that separates the public road from the hashpoint will get us within metres of the point.
However, the property belongs to Oxbrough Hall, a National Trust property, and geohashing purists can pay £4.90 each (house costs more, children half price) to gain access to the gardens. The hashpoint is in these gardens. They are Victorian and look nice - a French parterre, a herbaceous border, an orchard and kitchen garden.
Wet Weather. A yellow warning of rain has been issued for Sunday by the Met Office for the east of England. As of Sunday morning, according to the forecast by the BBC, it will heavily until 1pm and lightly until 5pm. Bring waterproofs!
- All four of the Tongs.
Since the hashpoint is trivial to visit, we've got some other plans for the day. It turns out there are other things to do besides visiting the garden:
- The Bedingfeld Arms is a few hundred metres from the hashpoint, a modernised 18th century inn. It offers what looks like a decent evening bar menu and a special Sunday menu, but stops serving at 4pm and begins again at 7pm. During this interval no food is available.
- There are plenty of nature walks nearby, including woodland in the grounds of the Hall and along the River Gadder. We have some plans to visit some geocaches nearby.
Our plan is as follows: We're driving up from Cambridge. We'll be at the hashpoint at 3pm. We'll have a picnic in the gardens of Oxbrough Hall, or somewhere else pretty. For the rest of the day, we'll walk around Oxborough and maybe do some geocaching. We will be in the Bedingfeld Arms beforehand at 12.45pm for lunch. Others are very welcome to join us for any of this.
“You guys do know it’s over an hour away?”, F asked as he looked at his phone, checking out the route that lay ahead. Everyone else nodded. This is the furthest we’ve been for a hash, around 50km, though we hadn’t been for nearly a year.
The Met Office’s yellow weather warning just turned out to be some mildly pesky drizzle towards the end of the day, and all it meant in any real sense was being unable to walk the majestic gardens of Oxbrough Hall. We were right to ignore the warning and proceed with nothing more than a vague sense of anticipation.
We set off early, so we made a brief stop in Lynford Stag woods. A large wooden stag stands there. You climb up its rear end, walk along its back, and slide down a pole just under its throat. Further gymnastic feats were performed as we tried to walk over the full extent of a fallen tree, with soft bark, moss, and other natural hazards. With sufficient attempts, everyone passed this test. Finally, we had to find the fattest tree in the wood. ‘Tree A’ was judged to be the best, but to avoid fights, the referent of the phrase 'Tree A' was not divulged by the judge.
Returning to Folofke the car, now unfortunately unaccompanied by the ice cream truck, we set out to the main attraction of the day - Oxborough. We stopped at the Bedingfeld Arms for lunch and were seated in the corner overlooking a statue of what most people guess is John Lennon. The food was small and eclectic. Small: B’s little aubergine bake came on five separate plates. Eclectic: None of us had ever thought to have orange stuffing or celery sorbet but today was the day that we did.
Before long, 3pm was approaching, and we thought this would be trivial. Even sitting in the pub, we were already within 150m of the hashpoint, and until that point we thought we would be walking to the corner of some carefully-kept garden, perhaps climbing under a few branches, and bagging the hashpoint. In reality, as usual, things were nothing like that simple.
The reader should be aware at this point that, yes, we had all paid to get into Oxbrough Hall. Bounding along the woodland path we came to a gate. ‘Private property’, it stated, authoritatively and unambiguously. The hashpoint was in a very odd position. Approaching it from the public road, we could get to within perhaps 2m of the point. Somebody approaching it from the other side would be able to get within 1m of it. We can conclude one of only two things. The hashpoint either goes through the wall, and to reach it, we’d have to climb the wall, or is just behind the wall, on the private side. However, the wall was tall, and foreboding, and we could see that even if we could get up there, we wouldn’t stay there. A road to one side, and a nettled line of trees on the other.
Undeterred, T put on the Reflective Vest of Bonhomie, in case other hashers were in the vicinity, and we waited for anyone else to come along while we set about getting the evidence for the wiki.
It is here that I recall one of the rules of geohashing describe behaviour in and around private property, so I hope the gentle reader will permit me to borrow a concept from Schrödinger. I will give two separate accounts of what we may have done, and leave the reader to decide which happened.
Account 1. On the road side of the wall, we got to the closest point to the hash that its position would allow, 2-4m from the hashpoint, and stood there for the photo. The error on B’s GPS is 3m, so the hashpoint was bagged.
Account 2. We quickly nipped around into the line of trees, walked through the nettles along the wall, reached within 1m of the hashpoint, and stood there for photos. Even at the tender age of eight, T correctly identified the legal status of this particular reality, bellowing it to anyone within earshot.
We stuck around until a few minutes past three then headed back to the Hall. It was beginning to rain, so we had cream teas looking over the beautiful moat, walked around each of the rooms, climbed down into a genuine priest hole, made friends with the pigeons on the roof, and all that kind of stuff. At about 5pm we headed back toward Cambridge.
M remarked on the way home that it was ‘actually quite a good day’.
- Land Geohash
- Pub Geohash?