|To Strip Or Not To Strip
||[Apr. 25th, 2018|11:29 am]
I bought a 19th century print of Tonbridge Castle yesterday. The castle looks exactly as it does today- apart from the ivy. |
Our ancestors of the romantic generation liked their old buildings clothed in ivy. It prompted pleasingly shuddersome thoughts of change and decay. Here's a very young Charles Dickens discoursing on the subject:
Oh, a dainty plant is the Ivy green,
That creepeth o'er ruins old!
Of right choice food are his meals, I ween,
In his cell so lone and cold.
The wall must be crumbled, the stone decayed,
To pleasure his dainty whim:
And the mouldering dust the years have made
Is a merry meal for him.
Creeping where no life is seen,
A rare old plant is the Ivy green.
There are a couple more verses. If you fancy them you'll find them somewhere near the beginning of The Pickwick Papers- or online, of course.
These days we strip the ivy off in the interests of conservation. I can see both points of view. I'm not taking sides.