A Forgotten Hero of Westerham?

Ask for a link between Westerham and the war and I think most people will come up with Churchill and Chartwell. But there is a lesser known person associated with Westerham whose contribution significantly aided the winning of the Great War and quite probably the Second World War. He led no great battles but without him many battles could not have been fought, would have been lost and many soldiers could have died of hypothermia.

I’m referring to Lt. Colonel Peter Norman Nissen, DSO, (1871–1930) a Canadian engineer and British Army Officer, who designed the Nissen Hut. After the war he moved to Westerham in 1921 and lived on Westerham Hill until his death. He is buried in an almost anonymous and neglected grave in the churchyard of St. Mary the Virgin, at Westerham. 

Continue reading “A Forgotten Hero of Westerham?”

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Nature has it sorted!

A symbiotic relationship between the fallow deer and the jackdaws living in Knole Park, Sevenoaks. The following video was taken in April. Not exactly professional as it was opportunistic ‘filming’ on a small pocket camera. It however shows you what to look out for. 

The video shows jackdaws ‘helping’ the deer loose some of their winter coat by collecting it to line their nests. 

Jackdaws nest in cavities such as holes in trees and buildings. Their nests are made of twigs – not the most cosy of materials but made more comfy with a lining of fur. Around this time you can also see the Jackdaws collecting twigs. Sit quietly and see where they fly to – this may help you locate their nest but it will almost certainly be to high to reach. The following picture is of a jackdaw nest in the hollow of a tree found in Knole Park.

jackdaw nest

In the following picture of the Jackdaw note the bright blue eyes – much brighter in life. The thought is that the eyes will be very visible and scary in the dark of a hollow and will scare off any predator wanting to steal the jackdaw’s eggs or young.

jackdaw

Jackdaws form stable relationships – a pair can stay together for years – even if they don’t have young.

Pre-Raphaelites in Knole Park

The Pre-Raphaelite’s “Trip to the Forest” – Knole Park, Sevenoaks, 1850.

But where in the park did the artists position themselves?

In the autumn of 1850 William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, visited Knole Park referring to their visit as the ‘trip to the forest’. Here they painted the backgrounds of two pictures: ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona, Valentine Rescuing Sylvia from Proteus’ (Holman Hunt), and ‘The Bower Garden, with angels playing psalteries in a paradisiacal garden’ (Dante Gabriel Rossetti). Continue reading “Pre-Raphaelites in Knole Park”

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