The ha-ha

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The ha-ha

Post  eddie on Fri May 13, 2011 5:34 am


Cross-section of a ha-ha. The primary view is from the right.

Wiki:

Ha-ha is a term in garden design that refers to a trench in which one side is concealed from view, designed not to interrupt the view from a garden, pleasure-ground, or park, while maintaining a physical barrier at least in one direction, usually to keep livestock out. It can be also used to mean a ditch, one side of which is vertical and faced with stone, the other face sloped and turfed, making the trench, in effect, a retaining wall, sometimes known as a "deer leap".

Before the advent of mechanical lawnmowers a commonly-used way to keep grass trimmed was to allow livestock, usually sheep, to graze; a ha-ha allowed them to feed on the grounds of large estates while keeping them off the lawn and gardens adjoining the house.

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Re: The ha-ha

Post  eddie on Fri May 13, 2011 5:40 am


The front of a ha-ha, still blending in well with the surroundings at Castle Ashby, England.


Same structure from the rear, with the ha-ha now invisible. Effect originally devised by English landscape designer Capability Brown.

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Re: The ha-ha

Post  eddie on Fri May 13, 2011 5:43 am

Wiki:

The ha-ha consorted well with Chinese gardening ideas of concealing barriers with nature, but its European origins are earlier than the European discovery of Chinese gardening.

The basic design of sunken ditches is of ancient origins, being a feature of deer parks in England from Norman times onwards. For example, between Dover and Canterbury there is a farm, Parkside Farm, which takes its name from a deer park established by Bishop Odo, the brother of William the Conqueror, where remnants of the ditch still survive. During his excavations at Iona in the period 1964–1974, Richard Reece discovered an 18th-century ha-ha to protect the abbey from cattle.

In its modern form, the concept and term are of French origin, with the term being attested in toponyms in New France from 1686 (as seen in modern times in Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!), and being a feature of the gardens of the Château de Meudon, circa 1700. The technical innovation was presented in Dezallier d'Argenville's La theorie et la pratique du jardinage (1709), which was translated into English by the architect John James (1712):

"Grills of iron are very necessary ornaments in the lines of walks, to extend the view, and to show the country to advantage. At present we frequently make thoroughviews, called Ah, Ah, which are openings in the walls, without grills, to the very level of the walks, with a large and deep ditch at the foot of them, lined on both sides to sustain the earth, and prevent the getting over; which surprises the eye upon coming near it, and makes one laugh, Ha! Ha! from where it takes its name. This sort of opening is haha, on some occasions, to be preferred, for that it does not at all interrupt the prospect, as the bars of a grill do."

In Britain, the ha-ha is a feature in the landscape gardens laid out by Charles Bridgeman, and by William Kent and was an essential component of the "swept" views of Capability Brown. Horace Walpole credits Bridgeman with the invention of the haha (Walpole 1780), but was unaware of the earlier French origins.

"The contiguous ground of the park without the sunk fence was to be harmonized with the lawn within; and the garden in its turn was to be set free from its prim regularity, that it might assort with the wilder country without. "

The etymology of the term is generally given as being an expression of surprise – “ha ha” or “ah! ah!” is exclaimed on encountering such a feature. This is the explanation given in French, where it is traditionally attributed to Louis, Grand Dauphin, on encountering such features at Meudon, by d'Argenville (trans. James), above, and by Walpole, who surmised that the name is derived from the response of ordinary folk on encountering them and that they were, "...then deemed so astonishing, that the common people called them Ha! Has! to express their surprise at finding a sudden and unperceived check to their walk."


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Re: The ha-ha

Post  eddie on Fri May 13, 2011 5:46 am


View of the Chirk Castle ha-ha, Denbighshire, North Wales.


Last edited by eddie on Fri May 13, 2011 5:48 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The ha-ha

Post  Dick Fitzwell on Fri May 13, 2011 5:48 am

Interesting

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Re: The ha-ha

Post  eddie on Fri May 13, 2011 5:51 am


Old ha-ha at the Lainshaw estate in Stewarton, Ayrshire, Scotland.

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Re: The ha-ha

Post  eddie on Fri May 13, 2011 5:53 am

Wiki:

Most typically ha-has are still found in the grounds of grand country houses and estates and act as a means of keeping the cattle and sheep in the pastures and out of the formal gardens, without the need for obtrusive fencing. They vary in depth from about 2 feet (0.6 m) (Horton House) to 9 feet (2.7 m) (Petworth).

An unusually long example is the ha-ha separating the Royal Artillery Barrack Field from Woolwich Common in southeast London. This deep ha-ha was installed around 1774 to prevent sheep and cattle, grazing on Woolwich Common as a stopover on their journey to the London meat markets, from wandering onto the Royal Artillery gunnery range. A rare feature of this east-west ha-ha is that the normally-hidden brick wall emerges above ground for its final 70 or so meters as the land falls away to the West, revealing a fine batter to the brickwork face of the so exposed wall - this final west section of the ha-ha forms the boundary of the Gatehouse[9] by James Wyatt RA. The Royal Artillery Ha-Ha is maintained in a good state of preservation by the Ministry of Defence, it is a Listed Building, and is accompanied by Ha-Ha Road that runs alongside its full length. There is a shorter ha-ha in the grounds of the nearby Jacobean Charlton House and, perhaps suggesting that the art of employing ha-has is not entirely lost, there is an example of a similar wall nearby Severndroog Castle in Oxleas Wood, constructed with what seems to be World War II bomb damage brickwork.

Ha-has were also used at Victorian-Era lunatic asylums such as Yarra Bend Asylum and Kew Lunatic Asylum in Australia. From the inside, the walls presented a tall face to patients, preventing them from escaping, while from outside the walls looked low so as not to suggest imprisonment.[10] Kew Asylum has been redeveloped as apartments; however some of the ha-has remain, albeit partially filled in.

A recent use of a ha-ha is at the Washington Monument to minimize the visual impact of security measures. After 9-11 and another unrelated terror threat at the monument, authorities had put up jersey barriers to restrict cars from approaching the monument. The new one-sided ha-ha, a low 0.76 m (30-inch) granite stone wall that doubles as a seating bench and also incorporates lighting, received the 2005 Park/Landscape Award of Merit.

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Re: The ha-ha

Post  eddie on Fri May 13, 2011 5:55 am


Ha-ha in front of the Royal Crescent, Bath, England.

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Re: The ha-ha

Post  eddie on Fri May 13, 2011 5:57 am


An example of the ha-ha variation used at Yarra Bend Asylum in Victoria, Australia, circa 1900.

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Re: The ha-ha

Post  eddie on Fri May 13, 2011 5:59 am


Partially filled in ha-ha inside the former Kew Lunatic Asylum.

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Re: The ha-ha

Post  eddie on Fri May 13, 2011 6:02 am


Cartoon of a ha-ha by Felix Bennett.

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Re: The ha-ha

Post  Yakima Canutt on Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:18 pm

You can practice taxidermy on a Ha Ha, but I wouldn't reco mend it, saaaaiyopp.


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Re: The ha-ha

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