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103 THE SLANG

NARROW FIELD OFF THE RIDGEWAY

OS REF SK569124

My first visit was made on Wednesday 24th October 2001 when I walked the fields with Kathleen Hyman, the Tenant Farmer. The field names on the farm are those used by Kathleen. The Slang is a narrow field with three strips making it an unusual shape. There is also access for cattle to move freely into the adjoining Office Field Site 102.

The strip above is accessed from The Ridgeway. March 2002

It then turns to the right along the rear boundary of a house on The Rdigeway. February 2007

It then turns left with the boundary on the left along the rear of gardens along Swithland Lane but with a deep sand pit inbetween. February 2007

Tree 12 in the Natural History Survey is an Oak with a girth of 3.5m and height of 25m. and stands at the head of The Slang seen from The Ridgeway. August 2002

Tree 12 was recorded on the 11th March 2002 and it was noted that 'it had a very large number of dead boughs, especially at the top. It appears to have a very solid trunk but might be vulnerable to the power saw if the large, dead branches start falling. It also stands in an imposing position at the top of The Slang as seen from the road.'

Tree 12 was blown down. January 2007

Tree 12 January 2007

Tree 12. January 2007. Brian Verity gives a size comparison.

Always worth checking out the hole for interesting stones or flints. Brian Verity, Archaeological Warden for Rothley starts searching. January 2007

Tree 12 was cut up. December 2009

Turn into the centre part of The Slang. Looking from the far end towards Swithland Lane. February 2007

Branches from the cutting down of two Ancient Boundary Ash Trees. November 2002

The Ash Tree in the Ancient Boundary on the left was recorded as Tree 103 in September 2002. It was cut down in November 2002 as shown above.

Ash Tree 103, an Ancient Parish Boundary Tree cut down ready for disposal. November 2002

Ancient Boundary Ash Tree had a girth of 2.9m and in my record of the 18th September 2002 I noted that it was 'very close to a private house and could be lopped as it is in the way of a garage extension'. Two months later we had lost an historic tree.

Two more Ash Tree stumps once part of the Rothley Ancient Parish Boundary. March 2002

Stump of Ash Tree 10 with a girth of 4.5m with re-growth from the right-hand side. March 2002

In October 2003 the re-growth had been destroyed on Tree stump 10.

Tree stump 10. August 2005

Tree stump 10. February 2007

Tree stump 10 January 2008

Tree stump 11 in the foreground. March 2002

Tree stump 11 with a girth of 4.02m. An Ancient Parish Boundary Ash Tree. October 2003

Tree stump 11 gives life. October 2003

Tree stump 11. October 2003

Tree stump 11. August 2005

Tree stump 11. February 2007

Tree stump 11 at the end of its days as an Ancient Parish Boundary Tree. January 2008

Turn left into the final part of The Slang with the Sand Pit at the back of the Swithland Lane houses to the left. March 2002

View as above in February 2007

Tree 9, an Ancient Oak with a girth of 4.7 m stands at the head of The Slang. September 2002

Tree 9. February 2003

Tree 9 in February 2007

An interesting feature in this part of The Slang is what appears to be a raised track. Carriageway? Roman Villa approach? March 2007

Feature as above in the other direction. March 2007

There is a granite wall along the right hand side of The Slang on the boundary with Site 105 Six Acre Field. March 2002

There is a good piece of the wall still exposed but vegetation is gradually covering it. March 2002

The wall in February 2007

The wall looking into Six Acre Field Site 105. The gardens of The Ridgeway to the right. February 2007

On Monday 11th March 2002 I recorded:

This is an odd shaped piece of pasture with the entrance from The Ridgeway. There is a narrow strip with an Oak Tree standing at the head recorded as Tree 12 in this survey. The field then turns to the right where I recorded two good-sized Ash stumps, Tree 10 and Tree 11, which must have suffered damage, possibly lightening. Later information confirmed that these trees suffered from storm damage and were cut down for safety. (They did overhang a tennis court so would have given a lot of leaf litter.)
The field then turns left and has a boundary of a sand pit on one side and an interesting dry stone granite wall on the other side. This is getting obscured by a hedgerow. At the head of this part of the field is a lovely Oak Tree with a girth of 4.71m and recorded as Tree 9.

On Wednesday 13th March 2002:
Brian Verity, the Rothley Archaeological Warden, came to look at the features and noted the Ridge and Furrow.

On Wednesday 11th September 2002 I recorded:
We were on our way to another field but noticed a builder in a garden just at the Ancient Boundary and digging out a trench. Three large boulders were exposed and a digger was awaited to move them. As this garden is very close to the Roman Villa site Brian was keen to watch the digger at work. The owner was there and I said that it would be good to retain these stones and use them as a feature in his garden. The stones were very large and appeared to be flat bottomed but the builder could not see any workings on them to suggest that they had been chiseled to sit flat on the ground. It was an interesting morning.

On Wednesday 18th September 2002 I recorded:
Made a visit to record Ash Tree 103 as it looked vulnerable due to the above building works. It had a girth of 2.9m so only a little short of the 3m to class it as ancient. However, it is an important tree being on the Rothley Ancient Parish Boundary.

On Saturday 15th February 2003 I recorded:
We had heard that Ash Tree 103 had been cut down in November allegedly due to the storm on October 27th 2002. It was interesting to note that all three Ash trees along this boundary had been lost due to storm damage. What an amazing co-incidence.

16th October 2003
This was the first day of our Ecclesiastical Boundary Survey (Rothley Ancient Parish Boundary). The hedgerows, trees, humps and bumps were all recorded. This is the boundary where two other Ash Trees had been cut down but the stumps remained and one Ancient Ash Tree 103 that remained had been cut down. However, on this visit we found that Ash Tree stump Tree 103 had been completely removed and a fence erected where the huge boulders had been dug out earlier in the year. Photographic evidence of the trees recorded.

SADLY, KATHLEEN HYMAN DIED IN 2006 AND THE FARM WILL NO LONGER REMAIN IN THE HYMAN FAMILY AS TENANTS. FURTHER INFORMATION AWAITED.

3rd February 2007
Permission given for a further visit. Oak Tree 12 at the head of The Slang had blown over in the January gales so we went to record its demise. Brian was keen to check out the hole left by the torn out roots to see if there was any evidence of granite stones as the tree was on the Ancient Parish Boundary. He could find no evidence.
I took more photographs as it was five years since our original visit.
What will the future be for this working farm?

THE SLANG IN 2013

As with Site 102 Office Field this site is also neglected since the loss of Westfield Farm.

Looking from The Ridgeway down The Slang. Site 102 Office Field to the left. June 2013

Looking from The Ridgeway down The Slang. June 2013

ROTHLEY ANCIENT PARISH SURVEY

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