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A Day in Hindhead: Scenery

by Kelsee Jackson, dramaturg Hindhead is well-known for it's beautiful scenery. This beautiful scenery is often referenced in Misalliance, with lines like, "Shall we stroll over to the Gibbet?" or "...take a walk through the heather and admire the scenery of Hindhead." While visiting Hindhead this past spring, a friend and I decided to try one of the more basic hikes to admire the scenery and get a glimpse of the beauty of Hindhead. Hindhead is home to a large, natural amphitheater called the Devil's Punch Bowl. The Devil's Punch Bowl is an area protected by England's National Trust. This beautiful location is next to Hindhead and has many well-traveled hikes and nature walks for visitors and locals to explore. [caption id="attachment_4096" align="aligncenter" width="433"]

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Devil's Punch Bowl, Hindhead, Surrey, England- Photo credit to author[/caption] One of the first things we came across was the Sailor's Stone. Like all good English towns, there was a local story attached to this sailor's stone. In this story, an anonymous seaman was murdered in Hindhead in 1786. His body was laid to rest at the Thursley churchyard and this sailor's stone (in remembrance of the sailor, not his gravestone) was place on Gibbet Hill, where the men who committed the crime were hung. The front of the stone reads:

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ERECTED In detestation of a barbarous Murder Committed here on an unknown Sailor On Sep, 24th 1786 By Edwd. Lonegon, Mich. Casey & Jas. Marshall Who were all taken the same day And hung in Chains near this place Whoso sheddeth Man's Blood by Man shall his Blood be shed. Gen Chap 9 Ver 6 Near the head of the hike, there was a beautiful lookout point. This was perhaps my favorite part-- being able to see all the beauty of Hindhead and surrounding areas from the top of a large hill. The day we went was quite overcast and chilly, making the land around us look even lusher and greener than normal. This began our decent back down and the discovery of beautiful long-horned cattle grazing in the greenery near the exit of the hike. [caption id="attachment_4098" align="aligncenter" width="477"]

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Long-Horned Cattle, Hindhead, Surrey-- Photo credit to author[/caption] The walks that the Tarletons talk about frequently in this play would have been taken through the beauty of Hindhead. These places and more would have been familiar to them. It is quite the lovely setting for a play such as this!

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