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About East Anglia - 3

Swan Hotel in Lavenham, Suffolk
Timbered houses adorned with flower
baskets. Right: the Swan hotel at Lavenham,
that we will come across again later.

The East Anglian landscape has another attractive feature. Almost invariably there are hedges and trees on the horizon, such as those that line the hollow roads or that stand just in the middle of a cornfield. The hedges and trees are rarely far away, giving rise to a hedgerow landscape. But that is not the only thing. The trees seem to be seldom bothered by the nursing hand of man. Thus few if any of them are pruned, giving rise to very picturesque trees, in particular oaks, such as the ones one only encounters in old Dutch landscape paintings. In addition ivy grows abundantly on tree stems and branches; the stem of some ivies was as thick as an upper arm, occasionally as thick as an upper leg.

Dead trees may be present in significant numbers, adding their own touch to the landscape, often overgrown by ivy. Apart from elm disease it appears to be due to progressive acidification of the soil. Dead trees are apparently not chopped down and stand out as interesting silhouettes. However, well looked after trees are to be found on the estates with a hall at their centre. Many of the stately homes and parks can no longer be maintained by the original owners and have therefore been turned to business use, often as hotels.

A timbered farmhouse near Preston
A timbered farmhouse near Preston in the neighbourhood of Langham, Suffolk.

Hintlesham Hall, now in use as a hotel.
Hintlesham Hall, now in use as a hotel.

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