HeARTland: THE HYLDE GROUNDS

Shortlisted Competition Entry for National Trust

We believe that stories are the key to connections, emotional and physical, between people and landscape. Stories and narratives, like the languages used to convey them, the people that telling them and landscapes they talk about, change and evolve over time, often misplacing meaning or filling in the gaps along the way. Sometimes stories go missing, only to return generations later in The Bridges down in Ratlinghope:

“Jack, did you hear about the witch? There’s a witch there in a stone at Mitchell’s Fold! A cow milked her?...Or she milked a cow?”

We proposed to bring a series of Shropshire stories to life as the Hylde Grounds ritual landscape to encourage communities and visitors to contribute their tales, fill in the gaps of others, or lend their own interpretations, creating new collections.

Weather is a large part of our connection to a landscape, harking back to a time of earlier civilisation. Pagan ceremony is often based around man’s relationship to weather, and many annual folk festivals and rituals occur at times of the year when seasonal change is most felt and the people are at the mercy of the weather for survival. The Shropshire Hills is dotted with weather stations and markers, a manifestation of man’s relationship to weather today. These uncanny objects, frameworks and devices, whose purpose is not always apparent, fascinate us, and it is this sense of intrigue we would look to achieve with the project.

This proposal was developed through 4 main fields of research and output: folklore, rituals, landscape constructs and local community engagement.