Unmitigated England appears to be getting more and more curious. First it was the blue bricked ramps in the middle of fields that we now know are 'cattle drinkers' and then this isolated chimney in the middle of a field between Piddletrenthide and Plush in Dorset. Of course the first thoughts were for a subterranean home in the style of Bilbo Baggins' Hobbiton dwelling, with the front door perhaps hidden away in the woods. And then maybe a smokery of some kind, reminiscent as it is of the little brick structures with their terracotta chimneys out on the Dungeness peninsular. But who would smoke what, way out in a damp field far from any habitation. The only other explanation put forward is that it is an escape hatch for the build-up of marsh gas emanating from a water course (there's a tiny stream in front of it). It just seems so purposeful, with its stone base and truly magnificent orange chimney pot. The field was virtually inaccessible, but on moving around it on the lane I did notice a little shallow trough filled with water on the northern elevation. So the gas ventilator idea may have some credence. And on closer inspection the chimney does look very much like a section of drainage pipe. I stopped an old man on the road, a modern day Tranter Reuben off to Casterbridge I supposed, and asked him about it. He peered over the hedge, thought for a minute and then said "I ain't got a clue boy".
I am a designer, writer and photographer who spends all his time looking at England, particularly buildings and the countryside. But I have a leaning towards the slightly odd and neglected, the unsung elements that make England such an interesting place to live in. I am the author and photographer of over 25 books, in particular Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2006), More from Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2007), Cross Country (Wiley 2011), The Cigarette Papers (Frances Lincoln 2012), Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012) and English Allsorts (Adelphi 2015)