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on the Hogsmill stream | by bhikku
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on the Hogsmill stream

Richard Jefferies, author of Bevis, moved from Wiltshire to Surbiton in in 1877; at that time it wasn't comic suburbia but a village in rural Surrey with a good train connection to London and Grub Street. He used to walk the banks of the river Hogsmill, which debouches into the Thames at Kingston. Parts of it are still accessible, as here near Ewell Court. Jefferies described this bridge in his essay Footpaths:


“Another footpath leads from the road across the meadows to where the brook is spanned by the strangest bridge, built of brick, with one arch, but only just wide enough for a single person to walk, and with parapets only four or five inches high. It is thrown aslant the stream, and not straight across it, and has a long brick approach. It is not unlike - on a small scale - the bridges seen in views of Eastern travel.”


The Pre-Raphaelites Millais and Holman Hunt had been around and about Surbiton twenty years previously, and the Hogsmill stream was used by Millais as the background for Ophelia.


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Taken on July 9, 2007