Burpham Village

At the end of 1902, Powys moved to Burpham. He records the atmosphere of life in a busy village...

' If the downs at Court House prevented the sunshine reaching us till the afternoon, all day long at Burpham there poured in upon us with the full flood of sunshine the voices of children, the bleating of sheep, the lowing of oxen, the ringing of bells, the stamping of horses, the tinkling of anvils, the sawing of timber, together with the most cheerful voices from the George and Dragon.'

...and mentions an annual event of great importance:

' The great event of the year at Burpham was the sheep-washing which took place in a narrow estuary of the river. Early in the morning a vast continuous stream of woolly sheep would pour down the lane past our house, filling the whole space between the walls, and making a peculiar sound unlike anything else.'

Before the advent of chemical sheep dip, sheep-washing in rivers or pools was a necessary part of rural life described, for example, by Hardy in Far From The Madding Crowd.

 

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