Sunday, December 09, 2007

Beaufort power changes...

Speaking of navvies, one of the feat-chahs of Badminton are the smoke towers. Back when the railroad came through, the old Duke gave permission on condition that the road be buried under the earth where it would otherwise be visible from the house. Since the smoke had to escape from the tunnels, big ventilating shafts were driven up to the surface. You see them in the midlands here and there, ten or fifteen foot circular walls (to keep the sheep from falling in, they are just the right height to overbalance a yokel) out in the middle of a field.

Well of course a round wall would just remind the Duke of what was underneath them, so he had crenellated towers built for a picturesque effect. A hundred and fifty years of vines nd trees have grown up around them now, and they look as though they really are medieval. Except for the odd proportions and straight lines.

As I looked at them, I reflected on the fact that the entire horizon was laced with electric pylons, and just behind me ran a four lane motorway.

Tempora mutantur.

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