Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Knowing one's limits.



This may look like any old stone sticking up from the ground, but it is in fact a boundary stone (I'd recently seen another splendid one, but can't find it again; hence this poor replacement photo).

These stones date back to 'ancient' times, and are probably (in most cases) no longer relevant.

Known here as a borne they were placed on top of the ashes of a fire within a pit; the disturbance of which would, at any later date, hopefully show if the stone had been moved. Boundary moving was a hanging offence.

The art of land-measurement has become more precise over the centuries, and is now done by clever surveyors with laser measuring devices and satellite navigation; rather than by estimation, memory, good eyesight, and crossed fingers


Some things do not improve however, and here is a modern example of a borne. A deep metal spike with a bright orange horrid plastic lollipop top as the visual marker.

I know which one I prefer, even if the earlier version was placed as the result of either mutual agreement, or a fight.




12 comments:

  1. Beautiful stone. The story reminds me of the card game "Mille borne" we used to play as kids! Wonder if I can find it still for mine.... Don't suppose you have a fire pit and a stone ready to go on the turmeric wall side of your property?

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    1. The 'bornes' of Mille Bornes are the kilometre road markers. Much the same idea.

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  2. That's interesting. The Vikings (the ones who stayed at home) would having living testaments for decisions and boundary-markers. They chose a boy who was fit and young enough to live to a great age, thrashed him almost to death, then explained why they had done so. In the years to come, the boy would never forget the thrashing - or the reason for it.

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    1. Amongst 30 year-olds? Who would care if they forgot?

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  3. We have quite a few Ogham stones and stone circles and forts here in Ireland. They were here before the pyramids in Egypt or Jesus.

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  4. How interesting Cro - we don'[t have that kind of boundary stone round here that I know of - we have good, sturdy stone walls which have often stood for centuries. Trouble is - when they fall down these days they cost an arm and a leg to rebuild.

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  5. The only time you need to be concerned about boundary markers is when you have bad neighbors. Given your circumstances, I would imagine that you know exactly where yours are.

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    1. I suspect I know where they are, but it would take quite a few Euros to be certain.

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  6. Sometimes, even with all the modern tools available, boundary lines aren't always accurate. Human error still has a way of screwing things up.

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  7. Surveyors were working next door. My neighbours need to replace their septic system and in order to place the new one, they needed the survey done. Come to find out the fence that we thought separated our properties and in fact, was my fence (placed there years before by the former owners before the people i bought the house from), as i was saying, my fence is on their property by about 2 feet. We had both thought the huge tree outside the fence corner was the boundary and we each take turns mowing around it.

    The surveyors found an old iron marker that clearly shows the fence is wrong. Similarly on the other side boundary, where Mr P's house and mine has a creek bed between (fills with water after a good bit of rain), is another large tree we both thought mine, as i thought the boundary was at the bank of the creek. Nope, boundary comes up the bank and just over the edge. Again, about 2 feet.

    The tree in question by the creek bed is dying or dead and i was thinking of taking it down. I was going to ask Mr P's son who occasionally comes, if he wanted to have the tree on the bank opposite also taken down at the same time as it's dying.

    For the neighbours and the fence, i'm not sure what to do. I was surprised when the surveyor told me. He said that depending on grading needed for the new septic system, they may come close to the property line. I told them i was all right with that. They said if they needed to grade my property a little, they would be glad to do that but i'd need to allow an easement.

    I'm still waiting to hear back, but yes, i'd be willing to do that. I think i ought to have a chat with my neighbours to see what to do about the fence.

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    1. When we recently bought our barn and land, we were told by the surveyor that next door had been a little 'optimistic' when planting their fence. Only by a few feet, maybe, but over several hundred yards. We left the situation be!

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