Sense of Place, Sense of History: Study Your Own Panorama; Look Closely at its Make-Up; My Burnham-On-Sea

Updated on November 17, 2017
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Ann likes to investigate the history and geography of her home town, her area and her country, England, as well as other parts of Britain.

Panoramic View

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From  Northward.........to Southward
From  Northward.....
From Northward..... | Source
....to Southward
....to Southward | Source

Sense of Place

Stand in a favourite spot or look out over familiar scenery. Look left and right, look to the horizon, look skyward, be aware of what’s at your back. In short, survey the 360 degree panorama before you.

Explore not just the superficial but the depth, the detail, the elements you see, feel and taste. Search for colours before you, contrasts of light. Search for shapes, sizes and contours.

Do you have a sense of the place around you?


What is Sense of Place?

Is it just a physical position of buildings, scenery or events? For me, it is somewhere I feel part of, or am interested in, in turn becoming a part of me, its soul part of mine.

Having a sense of place is appreciating your surroundings, understanding what has happened there, what is happening and what might happen.

Can you follow the paths which open up to you, trace a line through the earth; can you see past the horizon to the future?


Sense of History

Not only can a place talk to you of ‘now’, but it can show you signs of those who came before you. Physical signs in its make up, notional signs in its history, clues in street names or dialect. Not only do we need to look around us, we need to be conscious of who has gone before, why they trod that path and what consequences affect us.

We make our own history. We make our own future, so affecting the future of others.

I look into the history of each place I live. Every detail gleaned pulls me further into the consciousness of where I am, asking me to belong, offering me a home. It enfolds me, comforts me, warms me; only then can I truly call it home.

I’d like to show you my panorama, my sense of place and history, my home.


Deceptively Calm!

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Cool, clear waters, from beach to jetty, on across the estuary.Lowlight pointing up to background of Brean DownTreacherous Sands!
Cool, clear waters, from beach to jetty, on across the estuary.
Cool, clear waters, from beach to jetty, on across the estuary. | Source
Lowlight pointing up to background of Brean Down
Lowlight pointing up to background of Brean Down | Source
Treacherous Sands!
Treacherous Sands! | Source

My Panorama

I took the photos above whilst standing in a spot I tread nearly every day, the promenade* of a small Somerset town called Burnham-on-Sea. Some people derogatorily refer to it as ‘Burnham-On-Mud’.

There are indeed treacherous mud-flats and those who walk the beach and promontories must be aware of the long tidal reach and the sinking sands. The waters flow in faster than walking pace; if you fall foul of the sands you can easily perish. It is the second highest tidal reach or range in the world (the first being in the Bay of Fundy, Canada). Tidal ranges up to 15 metres occur regularly in the Severn Estuary.

It’s cheating slightly, too, to refer to the town as ‘on-sea’. The waters are the mingling of two rivers, flowing far out into an estuary of yet another river, The Severn.

I love this place. From here I can cast my gaze from the merging of two rivers southwards, round past the Quantock Hills in the South-West to the Mendips in the North, across river and sea westwards to Wales and inland north-eastward to my ‘Home Hill’.

The sea dominates. Today it’s calm. Another day it can rattle and roll. The wind quiffs the waves, splatters the crests across the face of the air, then pushes them to the land to drizzle and salty-soak the animate and inanimate indiscriminately. Elemental moods are what draws me to the sea; it has no favourites, it has no pity, it doles out life and death on a whim.

It smells of seaweed, salt and exploration.

Come, explore this place of mine.


Confluence of Rivers Parrett & Brue

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River Brue (left) Flowing into the Wider ParrettYachts moored in the final stretches of the BrueRiver Brue's muddy banksWinding down to the ParrettNearly there!Blending Waters
River Brue (left) Flowing into the Wider Parrett
River Brue (left) Flowing into the Wider Parrett | Source
Yachts moored in the final stretches of the Brue
Yachts moored in the final stretches of the Brue | Source
River Brue's muddy banks
River Brue's muddy banks | Source
Winding down to the Parrett
Winding down to the Parrett | Source
Nearly there!
Nearly there!
Blending Waters
Blending Waters

Rivers Parrett & Brue

We’ll start with a stroll along the prom, southwards to the marina. Just look at that mountain range of mud! Smell its density! Here is the confluence of the Rivers Parrett and Brue.

The Brue is small, working its way from West Wiltshire, westward across the Somerset Levels, under bridges, through sluice gates and out into this estuary via mud flats carved out over the millennia.

It has some personal significance for me as, on its journey, it flows past the end of a certain paddock behind a school boarding house in the village of Mere. I have wandered down to the Brue on a summer’s evening, watched the swallows dipping for insects and seen an albino blackbird perch on a fence close to this river. Such magic occurs infrequently; I was privileged.


Steart Island

Across to Steart
Across to Steart | Source

Across the Parrett to Steart

Look over the coarse grass-covered mud bank and you’ll see the flowing waters of the Parrett swallowing the Brue. The Parrett has its source in Dorset and flows through the Somerset Levels, through the once port of Bridgwater. Follow your gaze across its waters to Steart Island, a nature reserve which dictates the river’s course as it winds around the furthest stretch of Steart to flow into Bridgwater Bay and ever onward into the Bristol Channel. The sea broke through the Steart peninsular, creating this island, allowing it independence and isolation.

The Parrett is prone to frequent flooding in winter and at high tides, often affecting huge areas of the Somerset Levels, much of which are below sea level.


Quantocks, Exmoor, Dunkery Beacon & Hinkley Point

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South-westwards to the QuantocksDunkery Beacon in the background, Hinkley Point on the CoastStirring story of Lorna DooneNuclear Station Looming from the Mist
South-westwards to the Quantocks
South-westwards to the Quantocks | Source
Dunkery Beacon in the background, Hinkley Point on the Coast
Dunkery Beacon in the background, Hinkley Point on the Coast | Source
Stirring story of Lorna Doone
Stirring story of Lorna Doone
Nuclear Station Looming from the Mist
Nuclear Station Looming from the Mist | Source

Quantocks & Exmoor

Just glance back up the River Parrett to a gentle patchwork background of hills. These are the Quantocks, offering rocky Jurassic coastline, exposed heathland summits and deep wooded combes, as well as undulating farmland and pretty, cosy villages. It was the first area of England to be designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), falling within the guidelines of ‘its distinctive character, natural beauty and cultural heritage are so outstanding that it is in the nation’s interest to safeguard them’.

Allow your eye to be lured further south-westwards to get a peek at the heights of Exmoor, a wild, often bleak moorland. It is partly in West Somerset, part North Devon. If a clearing of the mist greets you, you’ll see Dunkery Beacon, its highest point, looming down across the bay. You might see Carver Doone astride his horse upon the beacon, preparing a skirmish through dark combes and rough heather to cause mischief; he’s off to kidnap Lorna**. Inhale the aroma of succulent heather or a whiff of damp bog ready to squeeze the life out of any living creature.

One of my favourite stories is ‘Lorna Doone’ by RD Blackmore. It follows the lives of Lorna and of John Ridd in times when Exmoor was truly a place of isolation, danger and harsh living. It appeals to my romantic nature and one look at Dunkery Beacon recalls the story.

Cast your eye down to the coast where the dark outline of Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station, equally as menacing as Carver Doone, glares at you. I try to ignore it but it dominates that small stretch of coastline, a true blot on the landscape, to my mind. Any misty, wet weather can oft times hide it in clouds of mirk and mystery; out of sight, out of mind.


Far Westward Coastline & Lynmouth's Funicular Railway

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Minehead promontory in the mist (where the fluffy clouds end!)Going up!
Minehead promontory in the mist (where the fluffy clouds end!)
Minehead promontory in the mist (where the fluffy clouds end!) | Source
Going up!
Going up! | Source

Somerset to Devon

The coastline snakes on past pretty coastal villages, the most charming being Watchet. Difficult to see from where we stand on the prom, but the fishing harbour is delightful, with pavement cafés and the noise of clanging yacht masts vying with the noisy colour of fishing boats. The aroma of coffee mingles with local mackerel.

The West Somerset Railway also runs along this coast, starting near Taunton and ending in Minehead; it is a re-established old line, thanks to volunteers and tourism. I’ve travelled this line with enchanted grandchildren. It runs past Dunster Castle, a National Trust venue in a mediaeval village with an old market cross; delightful and full of ‘olde worlde’ shops selling old fashioned sweets and fudge as well as offering mouth-watering traditional cream teas.

The furthest your gaze can reach is to the headland in Minehead, where Somerset meets Devon. In my mind’s eye the road then takes you up the steep, twisty bank of Porlock Hill, not for the faint-hearted.

I’ve driven that route over rugged Exmoor many times to Lynmouth and Lynton. That’s worth a visit for Lynmouth harbour, the typical old fishing port and for the walk from Lynton through the Valley of the Rocks, whence precipitous views take you on a dizzying walk along the cliffs. No one can match the agility of the local goats skipping on the slippery rocks.

Take the funicular railway straight up the cliff-side. The Victorians built this, opened in 1890, to connect the lower town of Lynmouth to the cliff-top town of Lynton. It rises 500 feet with a gradient of 57% and is well worth the ride for the stunning views across the bay. It’s a fully working listed heritage monument, as well as the steepest fully water-powered railway in the world.

As the UK's only fully water-powered railway, it is one of just three examples left in the world.


To the Sea

The promontory at Minehead eclipses any further coastline, preferring to point to the Bristol Channel. Tankers ply their trade North to Avonmouth Docks, fishing boats chance the waves and fickle currents and the occasional tourist boat explores the inlets and smugglers’ coves. The channel narrows quickly, bringing the shores of Wales and England closer together until they meet the zip of the Severn River. Even when deceptively calm, the deep sea-paths' strong currents brook no challenge, leave no lee-way.

Because the waters are channeled into this relatively narrow gap, on particularly high tides the Severn Bore is created. The single wave can reach a few metres and brave hearts surf it in a race to remain upright until it diminishes. Spectators gather in their hundreds and line the shores, no matter the weather.


Welsh Coastline & the Islands of Steep Holm & Flat Holm

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Across to Wales, with the islands of Steep Holm (down stream) & Flat Holm (upstream) in the EstuaryTwo mid-channel Islands
Across to Wales, with the islands of Steep Holm (down stream) & Flat Holm (upstream) in the Estuary
Across to Wales, with the islands of Steep Holm (down stream) & Flat Holm (upstream) in the Estuary | Source
Two mid-channel Islands
Two mid-channel Islands | Source

Wales, Steep Holm & Flat Holm

Concentrate your gaze on the opposite coast; you find the contrast of Wales with its industrial chimneys, docks and pleasure rides at Barry Island. You glimpse Cardiff on a clear day.

You cannot ignore two islands mid-channel; Steep Holm and Flat Holm.

Steep Holm belongs to England. It is a nature reserve and a bird sanctuary. Its cliffs, rising vertically from the waters, are topped with a thatch of grass. Access is by chartered boat.

Steep Holm’s website states:

‘The occupation of Steep Holm stretches probably… as far back as the Stone Age, before rising sea levels isolated it from the mainland and turned it into an island.

The Vikings used it as a secure base from which to raid the mainland.

In 1150 the Augustinian Priory of St. Michael was established there. Warreners bred rabbits for meat, and fur to trim the robes of noblemen. In the 1700s its fisheries landed half a ton of fish a day – the main supplier to Bristol Fish Market.

A hotel and inn built in the 1800s provided illicit liquor for thirsty sailors. There were smugglers, and probably pirates too.

The Victorians fortified the island – their six gun emplacements, complete with cannons remain largely intact. Massive gun batteries were built in WWII, together with searchlight posts, and rocket launcher sites.

Purchased in 1976 as a living memorial to Kenneth Allsop, a broadcaster, author, and passionate campaigner for conservation causes, Steep Holm is a nature reserve, bird sanctuary, and Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its rare plants, including the May flowering wild Mediterranean Peony.

It’s the perfect getaway for peace and quiet (at least when the gulls have finished rearing their young) with.… views of the Bristol Channel and the Somerset and Welsh coastlines. Walk the cliff tops, ramble around the military buildings, explore the underground ammunition stores, get involved with an archaeological dig, or simply while away the day on a rugged and beautiful island.’

How could you resist such an invitation?

Flat Holm, belonging to Wales, is further into the Severn Estuary and, as its name implies, is flatter and supports a lighthouse. Flat Holm also has military installations and was the island which received Marconi’s first radio signals across the Bristol Channel from Brean Down, which we’ll come to later.


Guiding Lights

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Nine-legged Lowlight on Burnham BeachHighlightLittle Round Tower
Nine-legged Lowlight on Burnham Beach
Nine-legged Lowlight on Burnham Beach | Source
Highlight
Highlight | Source
Little Round Tower
Little Round Tower | Source

Lighthouses Galore!

Now swing round to the north of the beach. You will see an intriguing white structure with legs. This is the Lowlight, an early lighthouse with 9 wooden legs buried firmly in the sands, legs which are washed by the waves as the tide flows. It is totally different to any other I’ve seen. It has a broad red stripe on its seaward face, continuing up to that side of the square box on its roof. This stripe lines up with the sky-scraping ‘Highlight’, a lighthouse on the road northward from Burnham. From your position on the prom, glance to the East of the beach and you will see the Highlight peeking out above the rooftops.

I said ‘galore’ but there are just three; the ‘Lowlight’, the ‘Highlight’ and the Little Round Tower behind the prom which was the original guide for sailors in these treacherous currents, when the vicar decided that a beacon on top of the church was not enough.


Click thumbnail to view full-size
Brean Down as a Backdrop behind the Lowlight on the sandsFort at the far end of Brean Down Promontory
Brean Down as a Backdrop behind the Lowlight on the sands
Brean Down as a Backdrop behind the Lowlight on the sands | Source
Fort at the far end of Brean Down Promontory
Fort at the far end of Brean Down Promontory | Source

Brean Down & Fort

Take your eyes back to the Lowlight, then look over the top of the dunes. There is a headland just visible. That is Brean Down. Climb to the top of this National Trust landscape and you will experience a marvellous panorama of the bay, the sands, Brean and Burnham right across to Brent Knoll to the east of the prom at the southern end. I have walked to the end of Brean Down, invigorating even on a calm, sunny day! If you are adventurous enough you reach a fort.

The current buildings were constructed in the 1860s as one of the Palmerston Forts to provide protection to the ports of the Bristol Channel and was decommissioned in 1901. During World War II it was rearmed and used for experimental weapons and rocket testing, the only remaining evidence of which is a short length of launching rail for the launch of the seaborne bouncing bomb designed specifically to bounce to a target such as across water to avoid torpedo nets, anti-submarine missiles and the acoustic emitter (designed to confuse noise seeking torpedoes).

Guglielmo Marconi conducted experiments for wireless transmission and moved his equipment to Brean Down. He set a new distance record of 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) for wireless transmission over open sea. His target was Flat Holm, as mentioned earlier.


Pavilion & Seafront

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Shortest Pier aka the Pavilion (can you see the Highlight in the background just behind the end of the Pavilion?)Burnham's Seafront BuildingsWave of a Wall
Shortest Pier aka the Pavilion (can you see the Highlight in the background just behind the end of the Pavilion?)
Shortest Pier aka the Pavilion (can you see the Highlight in the background just behind the end of the Pavilion?) | Source
Burnham's Seafront Buildings
Burnham's Seafront Buildings | Source
Wave of a Wall
Wave of a Wall | Source

Back to Town

Closer now, looking northward and eastward you see the town.

Burnham-On-Sea is small as towns go, a seaside resort particularly popular with holiday-makers from the Midlands and Wales.

We are proud to boast the shortest pier ever! In fact, it’s called the pavilion; I suppose the iron supports which save it from the tide allow its label of ‘pier’ but it’s debatable.

The buildings are no more than four stories high and local regulations do not allow anything higher, quite rightly. Mostly Victorian, they are friendly, have open faces and pleasing outlines (as long as you ignore the amusement arcade!). There are gardens and the prom runs right along the front for a good mile or so.

The tide cannot tumble over the top, cannot threaten as it used to, for there is a remarkable curved wall to thwart the waves. They are turned back from whence they come, no longer having the power to inundate, kill, or evacuate folk from their homes.

Look down once more at the sands. As mentioned, they are muddy as you venture further from the shore, they are treacherous if you do not heed the signs, but they provide fun for children and adults alike. Buckets and spades, Dads buried up to their necks, pools and moats round fortresses, all provide the backdrop to the ice cream van and the jetty. Boats ride upon trailers to be launched in the shallows.

Kites whip the wind. I’ve seen a strong man being pulled along the sand by a large kite, no matter how he tried to resist. He avoided being Mary Poppins, just, by digging his heels into a wet patch. A friend and I were having a brisk, healthy walk accompanied by the taste of extra-fresh air tinged with spray. We decided to seek the shelter of the wall; there is a limit to blowing out the cobwebs.


Memories

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Young Sam on the BeachShipwreck on Berrow BeachWalks over the Marshes and Dunes, down to the Beach
Young Sam on the Beach
Young Sam on the Beach | Source
Shipwreck on Berrow Beach
Shipwreck on Berrow Beach | Source
Walks over the Marshes and Dunes, down to the Beach
Walks over the Marshes and Dunes, down to the Beach | Source

History on the Beach

Sadly there are now only concrete remnants of the Victorian Railway at the north end of Burnham Beach. However, a little more intriguing are the mounds of broken concrete and slabs showing metal reinforcement; look below you, down over the wall. South from the jetty right down to the marina are reminders of Mulberry Harbours (you can see them in the 'Steart Island' photo above).

Mulberry harbours were built by the British during the Second World War as temporary structures, to facilitate the rapid offloading of cargo onto beaches during the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944. They were assembled along the south/south-west coasts ready for use. Those we see here were dismantled when no longer needed and left to the tides. Seen by some as an eye-sore perhaps but I think we need the reminder of such things. The old phrase comes back to me: ‘***Lest we forget.’

My personal history with regards to the beach involves memories of many walks with my daughters. I took a photo of my younger daughter on Burnham Beach when she was about eight. The photo here, though, is of my painting of that scene; a photo of a painting of a photo!

The girls and I walked over the marshes and the dune, exploring the beach from Burnham to Brean, including the shipwreck which protrudes from Berrow sands; a reminder of what these seas can do.



Brent Knoll - 'Home Hill'

Protecting Burnham & Welcoming us Home
Protecting Burnham & Welcoming us Home | Source

Home Hill

As we surveyed our panorama earlier, I referred to ‘Home Hill’. This is Brent Knoll, an abrupt hill which dominates the village of the same name, just north-east of Burnham. Turn north-eastward from where we stand on the prom and you will see it, a landmark as you travel up or down the motorway close by. Long ago, when we lived in Berrow, on the north side of Burnham, my younger daughter named it ‘Home Hill’ as it heralded the end of our journeys and the welcome warmth of a home-coming. It held out its arms to take us in and promise us rest until we ventured forth again. We always came back, as does my daughter now. In fact, two years ago I moved back close to its protective gaze. The sight of it comforts me each time I walk along this prom.


People Power

Then there are the locals, those who make this town what it is now. Like me, there are many who take a stroll along this prom; some just to enjoy the scenery and take the air, some to walk the dog and some to exercise at a more vigorous pace.

Each time I'm here, almost everyone says 'good morning' or 'hello', with a smile; sometimes I initiate and I always reciprocate. There are holidaymakers who return over and over. The air is friendly, there is a community spirit. We are contributing to our present existence and we are adding our own piece of a wide jigsaw to the future of this little dot on the planet.


Sunsets like No Other

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Pink WatersFading into the HorizonBlues, Pinks, Reds & VioletsDeep, deeper, deepest...
Pink Waters
Pink Waters | Source
Fading into the Horizon
Fading into the Horizon | Source
Blues, Pinks, Reds & Violets
Blues, Pinks, Reds & Violets | Source
Deep, deeper, deepest...
Deep, deeper, deepest... | Source

Sunsets

I have never seen such stunning sunsets as those over the waters at Burnham. The expansive skies boast a spectrum from the palest turquoise blue to the deepest russets. The mirror of perfection in the waves captures your breath, widens your eyes and pulls at your heart. You could tread the pathway to the horizon before you; it draws you in, dares you to explore the world. Breathe in crystal clarity! See the mirage of your dreams!

Yet beneath the excitement is a deep serenity which calms your soul, sets the mind free and creates a peace within which comforts, banishes tension and invites repose.


Sense of Belonging

Thank you for your delightful company on this stroll. I hope you have gained a sense of this place and that you've enjoyed my panorama.

I continue to look to the future, to go with the flow, to learn of this place’s history.

Come wind, rain, mists and blanket sunshine, I walk here and take in these ever-changing, ever-surprising surroundings. The sky, the sea, the horizon are all mine to breathe in, infusing me with energy, with inspiration and with love. I belong here.

Do you have a sense of belonging to a place, an environment? Take an in-depth look at your natural surroundings; you might be surprised at what you discover - about your place and about yourself.


References of Meaning

*promenade or prom: a paved pedestrian area alongside the sea in many resorts, hence ‘to promenade’ meaning to take a stroll by the sea, designed for leisure and relaxation

**Lorna Doone - the novel by R D Blackmore in which John Ridd captures Lorna’s heart but cousin Carver captures her in order to force her to marry him, hiding her in Doone Valley.

***lest - for fear of, just in case


Our Own Surroundings; our Home

Do you have a sense of belonging?

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© 2017 Ann Carr

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    • annart profile image
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      Ann Carr 2 weeks ago from SW England

      Thank you, Nikki, for your kind comment. Glad you enjoyed this.

      Ann

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 2 weeks ago from London

      Amazing article,loved reading panoramas of all those places.Pics are beautiful too,do justice with the topic.Enjoyed it very much.

    • annart profile image
      Author

      Ann Carr 2 weeks ago from SW England

      Thank you, Mary, for your kind words and input. Which words in particular? I'm intrigued.

      Ann

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love some of the words you use to describe your place...some are new to me. I love the sea especially its smell and I am right now enjoying it. The taste is also glorious.

    • annart profile image
      Author

      Ann Carr 3 weeks ago from SW England

      Thanks, manatita, for your kind comments. I took the sunset photos. It's my younger daughter in the other sunset picture which is a photo of my painting of the photo! Hope you followed that!

      Yes, Somerset is charming. It has much of what I miss about Sussex but the pace is much slower so it suits me better now!

      Sounds like you're having fun in Germany. Hope you have a great day too.

      Ann

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 weeks ago from london

      You have done a great job in bringing the panorama of all these places together. You have also provided the reader with some tools to enjoy them as well as their own.

      I love Somerset, particularly the small streams and flowers, the sea and charming branches hugging narrow country lanes.

      I like you sunset photo and I see you love the one that you used in a challenge before. Did your daughter take this one?

      I love castles and here inHeidelberg I have visited a couple a few times. Have a great day!

    • annart profile image
      Author

      Ann Carr 3 weeks ago from SW England

      Thank you, Jo. That's an interesting comment regarding the literature of the South - can you give me an example please (or a hub maybe!)?

      I appreciate your kind words; good to see you here today.

      Ann

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 3 weeks ago from Tennessee

      This is lovely, Ann. I can really feel your love of the place. That sense of place is very prominent in the literature of the South where I live, and I understand it perfectly.

    • annart profile image
      Author

      Ann Carr 3 weeks ago from SW England

      Thanks, Peg! I like your summary; it makes it sound very mystical! I appreciate you stopping by and leaving such kind words.

      Ann

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 weeks ago from Dallas, Texas

      The splendor of this rich history is wonderfully described by you along with your fascinating collection of photos. What more could a reader want than shipwrecks, pirates, shifting sands, lighthouses and sunsets? Absolutely beautiful.

    • annart profile image
      Author

      Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

      Thank you, Catherine, for your kind words and valuable input. I think if we put ourselves in another time with the buildings we can sense something about them and that gets me thinking about history and purpose.

      Good to see you here today.

      Ann

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 4 weeks ago from Orlando Florida

      A sense of place is another word for mindfullness. Your poetic words bring each of these places to life. You convey not just the physical quality of the place, but the emotions a place can evoke. It's so true that we rush by without taking the time to notice and truly "feel" a place.

    • annart profile image
      Author

      Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

      Linda: Thank you for reading and for your lovely words. I'm glad you enjoyed this.

      Ann

    • annart profile image
      Author

      Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

      Thank you, Flourish, for your input and kind comments. I'm glad you've found somewhere you love to be and I hope your wish of staying will come true.

      It seems that many have travelled around a lot, as have I, but the homecoming is all the sweeter for that I think.

      Thanks for your invaluable input to this.

      Ann

    • annart profile image
      Author

      Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

      Thank you, Dora! I'm glad it brought back those memories for you and that it inspired you to revisit your home area.

      It's wonderful how many people have contributed their own stories and I appreciate very much your own input here. It is, of course, people that make places, but I think there is more interaction than many are aware of.

      Ann

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a lovely article, Ann. Your descriptions are beautiful and your sense of belonging to your environment is very evident. Thank you for describing and showing us the area around Burnham-on-Sea.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 4 weeks ago from USA

      This was elegant, inspired writing so full of meaning and details (loved the lowlights and references to the goats, WWII). Also beautiful are the responses you are getting from people about their own personal sense of belonging. For me, I grew up and spent the first part of my adult years moving around so I had no sense of place, belonging. The last 15+ years have been spent in the same place, and I will hopefully never leave. I feel much like Mary although my situation is a bit different.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      Ann, you have issued a challenge which I know can be quite meaningful. Not until my daughter came to visit, did I feel quite as connected as that day when standing in one spot, I showed her the location of my first schoolhouse, the location of my grandmother's death, and more. I intend to revisit and create the sense of belonging you described. Thanks for the idea.

    • annart profile image
      Author

      Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

      Thank you, Demas, for your kind comment and your input.

      I can understand how you would find a family graveyard one of your favourite places. The history of one's own is deep and close and to have them all around you must be comforting sometimes. I'd like to see that photo; it sounds as though there is a hub there too?!

      Ann

    • annart profile image
      Author

      Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

      Thank you, Jackie, for your lovely words. I can see from some of your hubs that you're in tune with your own environment. I think the future is something to look for but I agree with you that I don't really want things to change; it probably won't much so I'm happy!

      Have a great Sunday!

      Ann

    • annart profile image
      Author

      Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

      I will indeed, bill. Thank you for such a glowing comment; I'm so pleased you liked this. It felt right, for the first time in ages, so you've made my day, in fact you brought a tear to my eye!

      It doesn't surprise me that you have a similar reaction to your surroundings as your writing reflects lots of detail and reacts to the senses.

      My serene Sunday is all the more so for reading your comment. I'm smiling from ear to ear and from there to there.

      Ann

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      Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

      Mary, thank you so much for your kindness and your great input. It does make a huge difference when you find out more about your surroundings. This is a place I've settled even though it's not my original home which I still have a great affinity to.

      I think it depends what happens and what links you have to a place that make it special. You might find you 'belong' to a specific somewhere yet!

      You're right that the sea air is physically beneficial; it also gives a sense of far horizons and exploration!

      Thank you again for your visit and for your compliment; it means a lot to me.

      Ann

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      Perspycacious 4 weeks ago

      Quite an exhaustive panorama of scenes obviously dear to you. Nicely done. Strangely, and perhaps partly linked to age, there is a family graveyard behind our family home in Eliot, Maine. It is one of my favorite places, and includes the grave of a Maine soldier who fought in the War of Independence. I will take a photo, when I am home in Maine again.

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      Jackie Lynnley 4 weeks ago from The Beautiful South

      Outstanding article Ann.

      I so love places with history and luckily live so in the middle of historic places (southeast of US) which gives me such pleasure. I can and do fill surrounded, many times, by it all and it is a great feeling.

      The future I would have a problem seeing....hoping it will never really change.

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      Bill Holland 4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      A simply beautiful article, Ann, one which radiates with your love of place and history. This is one of my favorite topics AND one of my favorite articles written by you. I have often stood still at a location and done exactly that: studied the land, trying to discern how that geography shaped history, seeing it as our ancestors saw it so long ago.....brilliant article, my friend. As much as I love all of your articles, this one stands tall among them.

      Have a serene Sunday in that beautiful land of yours! Say hello to your ancestors for me.

      bill

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      Mary Wickison 4 weeks ago from Brazil

      I am truly moved and a little jealous.

      I have never felt connected to anywhere which saddens me. There has never been a place where I feel I can call home. The UK, in general, but nowhere specific. I remember flying back to the UK and the stewardess making an announcement saying, enjoy your trip or for those who live there 'welcome home'. I got goosebumps and a tear came to my eye because the UK did feel like home.

      It's wonderful to read your love of the Burnham on Sea because so many people in the UK, moan about the country. If people took the time, as you have done, to fully embrace not just the surroundings but the history of a place they too could come to love it.

      Being near the sea, I'm certain is beneficial both physically and mentally. It's like life, never static but a constant awe-inspiring presence.

      This is a brillant piece of writing, Ann and your love for your area shines through.

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      Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

      Thank you very much, Glenis! I've never seen a lighthouse like that anywhere else either.

      What a great memory of Watchet; I hope your camping experience wasn't too bad and that you didn't end up at the bottom of that slope with a splash!

      Ann

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      Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

      Thanks, whonu, for such a lovely comment. Glad you enjoyed this.

      Ann

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      Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

      Hi Eric! Thanks for a great comment.

      I like the fact that you responded with music and the senses; just the thing I wanted to evoke, so thank you for that.

      Ann

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      Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

      Thank you, Verlie, for your wonderful comment. I've always had a yen to visit Canada. You have wonderful landscapes there too of course.

      Yes, Devon is beautiful too and, as I was born by the sea in Sussex, I suppose I have an affinity with it. It certainly draws me wherever I go.

      Ann

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      Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

      Hello Devika! Thanks for your kind comments. Glad you enjoyed this.

      Ann

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      Glenis Rix 4 weeks ago

      Thanks for the enjoyable tour, Ann. I like the lowlight - never seen anything resembling it on our coast. Camped at Watchet as a teenager in an ancient Scout tent with wooden poles - on a slope! Oh, dear!

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      whonunuwho 4 weeks ago from United States

      I enjoyed this stroll immensely my friend. Nice photos and great painting Ann. Well done and presented. Blessings to all. whonu

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      Eric Dierker 4 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I started reading and put on "Into the Mystic" and "Down by Avalon"

      I ramped up my smell of old. I smelled that channel smell. For me it is into the "Bog".

      Thank you for a great journey.

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      Verlie Burroughs 4 weeks ago from Canada

      Ann what a lavish display of excellent scenic photography. The painting too is gorgeous. I admire your deep understanding of the geography and history that surrounds you. You are blessed to live in such an amazing place. I have a tea towel from Devon featuring the magnificent country houses in that area, a gift that a friend brought back when she was there a few years ago revisiting her family's 'roots'. I truly believe in a sense of place. And I'm fortunate, as you are to live by the sea, in one of the world's most beautiful places. Thanks for the tour. I see Home Hill!

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      Devika Primić 4 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Unique and interesting! I have a sense of belonging in Croatia and a sense of belonging in my place of birth. I like your presentation with lovely photos. I have a different perspective of my life and see how a place can have a hold in ones heart. This is just what one needs to know about themselves.