Past Remains

A view of yesterday from today

Tracey's Field, Seaton, Devon

I came across this unexpectedly when walking along the nearby lane in the late summer of 2013. I hadn't been along this way for a good 20 yrs or more and didn't realise that this field has a name and is now a recreational area, so I went in for a look and took a few photos. I liked it so much that I went again a week later with a picnic lunch and took more photos.

I've been trying to find out the circumstances which led to the saving of Tracey's Field and it's subsequent use as a public space. I vaguely remember a newspaper article of around 1995, which said that the field was saved from the threat of development; a new housing estate had been built and the field was the only open space left in that area. A friend told me that Tracey was the name of the lady that had owned it and she had bequeathed that it should be left as a wildlife haven for the people of Seaton to enjoy, stipulating that it can never be built upon. 

The part of Homer Lane which runs parallel to the field is now pedestrian only and is bisected by a road called Tracey's Way, which is a lovely way to honour the bequest from a very thoughtful and generous lady.

The field is divided into sections by the use of hedges. One of these contains a small copse of ash trees. The others are mostly given over to wildlife with paths created by mowing between areas of meadow grass and wild flowers. Seating is provided here and there, ranging from wooden garden seats to simple rustic benches.

Because it's on the outskirts of town, and isn't a particularly built-up area anyway, seeing the odd house does nothing to diminish the peacefulness of Tracey's Field. And even though there is a main road going into Seaton next to the top end of the field there's no noise from traffic.


My photos really don't do it justice. I scanned these when I still used a CRT monitor so I rather 'overcooked' some of them during editing. Also, I think it's one of those places that don't look like much until you're actually there to feel the lovely atmosphere of it. It's a little bit magic and now that I've reminded myself of it's existence as I write, and that I'll need to take more photos, I don't have any excuse not to visit again soon.

Above is one of several entrances between the hedges, and below is a green tunnel making a wonderfully liminal place between the copse and the next part of the field.

Below is the delightfully bosky Homer Lane. It's incredible to think that it was once a road for traffic. Mind, this being Devon, there are loads of tiny twisty lanes between high hedgerows known as Devon Banks, where car drivers often have to back towards a suitably wider part to allow oncoming traffic through. With it's central white line still in place, this pretty lane has been allowed to grow over even more now that it's for pedestrians only.

As always, I'll add further information as and when I find out more. These photos, along with quite a few others, can also be seen in the Photo Gallery album.

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