Amongst the four or five local places that I have regularly turned to for photographs the track to Purgatory is one that I enjoy quite a lot for many reasons. Firstly it is the solitude, occasional dog walkers might be at the early part of the walk (it is a there and back again walk, not circular) but after the canine toilet aspects are dealt with they are usually re-packaged in the 4X4 conveniently parked in the lay-by opposite the church, and driven home. Secondly the quiet induces a sense of the historical aspect of the place. Purgatory was, at it’s peak in the early part of the twentieth century, a site with eight dwellings, though it is documented that a settlement was recorded there in the late fourteenth century. The track leads to the Bartons – Steeple, Middle and Westcote which apart from Middle are mentioned in the Doomesday book and Roman artefacts are still regularly found in the area. Thirdly the name ‘Purgatory’ engenders a sense of foreboding which provides a sense of context to the walk which relatively quickly turns from a ‘proper’ track i.e. with asphalt into a ‘rutted lane’ which for many months in the year is a bit of a quagmire.
And whilst all these images weren’t at the final destination of ‘Purgatory’ they all line the walk. This area with it’s history might provide the easiest source for me as I flounder still to pull together a narrative for my BoW. I hope something happens soon as I becoming disconcerted as to the development of a project. Purgatory isn’t somewhere I want to go, I would rather describe in some way, or try at least to use it’s metaphoric strength in some way.