Monday, 18 February 2019
Sir, — If you were to look over any map of Henley-on-Thames, even going back over time, you’d always find a local spot namechecked in a corner of Lambridge Woods called Fairies Hole.
One has to wonder how it became to be known and why it has been given such prominence by the cartographers over the years.
It’s a curious spot, which takes some finding if you don’t know it, so unassuming and rather obscured under a great deal of growth.
I often wonder about its origins and perhaps some reader could shed some light on the matter?
While pondering over this in recent days, some words came into my head so I put them together in an ode to Fairies Hole.
I thought it fitting, there being very little known or written about this spot thus far. I hope you enjoy them. — Yours faithfully,
Gainsborough Hill, Henley
On the edge of the wood and marked by the stump of an aged old tree,
Where the woods meet the golf greens of the fourteenth tee,
There lies a chasm, a cavernous creek, but of this place not many do speak.
Peeling back dead wood and risking your tread, offers a glimmer and slight tinge of dread.
Brambles, bushes, holly and moss, How Mother Nature, always ends up boss.
Branches, they snap as I make my approach and sharp thorns cut me as I encroach.
A view through the growth to a foreboding abyss, one that most walk by, in ignorance so bliss,
Its white limestone walls and muddy floor, it would make a home were it not missing a door
But here unrevealed, this mysterious bowl, in a curious spot they call Fairies Hole.
It’s appeared on our maps for as long as been drawn, perhaps it’s been here since the age of dawn.
Many a boot, and even more paws, pass by above without cause to pause.
It offers no clues and gives up no ghost, but I dig deeper, well deeper than most,
And so I wonder and peer through its mouth, opening wider heading only south.
Darkness rises the deeper one delves, rummaging the home of Avariel elves.
Here in the woods, below they would bore, these winged folk and fairies from myths of yore.
Now lonely it stands and hidden from view, folk roaming by as they pass through,
Secluded below those footprints you leave, is a home in a world of make believe.
So next time you’re out for your daily stroll, why not stop by the curious spot they call Fairies Hole?
31 December 2018
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