Leader: Daniel Eltringham
Title: Tracing the Pales: walking the several enclosures of North Wood
Outline: A site-specific walk that traces the palings and earthworks of North Wood – Dartington Hall’s deer enclosure – reflecting on the imperfect overlay of the park’s several palings and enclosures and their relation to later land enclosures, its former gateways for entry and exit, and areas that have been disparked and given back to the ‘open’.
The spatial and political form of the Norman deer park was an imported enclosure dedicated to leisure that violently displaced existing settlement and radically altered social-ecological systems. Drawing on E. P. Shirley’s Some Account of English Deerparks (1867), and in dialogue with Peter Larkin’s philosophical interrogation of the porosity of inside and outside in Enclosures (1983), whose terrain is a far larger Norman deer enclosure, The New Forest, I will produce a poetic ‘trail guide’: a collage of text, maps, government documents and heritage publications. Participants on the walk will refer to this document as a guided unearthing.
I have never been to North Wood, to borrow from the first line of Douglas Oliver’s map-poem ‘Ordnance Survey Map 178’. This work proposes, therefore, to be the product of cartographic and textual readings of the place which, upon encounter with its physical reality, could turn out to have been a projection of my interests, politics, way of reading, or just plain wrong. Probably I won’t realise this until the walk is taking place, and the grain of the place pushes back