Country diary: mystery built into drystone walls


Abney, Derbyshire: It must have been the devil to work in all those narrow apertures – you’d need a good reason, surely

The track north-west of Abney is an old one, a packhorse route linking the village of Bradwell with Ashford and points south. Here it reaches its high point before dropping steeply into Bradwell, an exposed spot, often harsh on a winter’s day and sometimes on a summer’s one as well. I found myself leaning into a strong breeze pushing across the moor, shaking the hairgrass and ruffling the yarrow and selfheal growing prettily against a long drystone wall that bordered the trail and offered me some shelter.

Related: Rugged men build rugged walls in a rugged landscape

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