In a city of hills, one in particular stands out. Today Brandon Hill is a leafy, peaceful, city centre park, but over the course of more than 900 years, it has been the site of political protest, feasts, riots, celebrations, farewells, gun emplacements, hermits’ chapels and public clothes washing.
A landmark’s physical presence is usually the thing that draws me to it, but in the case of Honor Oak’s One Tree Hill, it was the name that attracted me.
When I first went there, my journey became as much a walk towards an idea as it was towards a place.
Some places just sound better than others. Whatever they may actually be like on the ground, there are places with names that seem to possess an inherent resonance and romance.
Others however, just sound a bit crap.
Landscapes, imagined and remembered, have always played a central role in literature.
The fascinating relationship between writers and the British landscape is currently explored in a new exhibition at The British Library: Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands. Here are some thoughts it inspired.