almost entirely of well grown beeches. The great, smooth trunks stood motionless
in their green shade, the branches spreading flat, one above another in crisp
light-dappled tiers. Between them the ground was open and offered hardly
any cover. The rabbits were perplexed. They could not make out why the wood
was so light and still and why they could see so far between the trees.
The continuous, gentle rustling of the beech leaves was unlike the sounds
to be heard in a copse of nut-bushes, oak and silver birch.
Moving uncertainly in and out along the edge of the hanger, they looked out over the empty stretches of grass beyond.'
Watership Down is owned, along with the Sydmonton estate of which it is part, by
Andrew Lloyd Webber. So far, he's not shown
any sign of writing a musical version of
Though with this much inspiration on
your doorstep wouldn't you be tempted?
Its trunk is adorned with the carved messages of fans and readers. If any one spot marks the centre of the Watership Down world then this is it.
It is not the tree portrayed in the film, at least it looks quite unlike it. Also the Honeycomb was not dug in its roots but in those of other beech trees. Adams describes the warren itself as at the north-east corner of the hanger, some ten to twenty metres away to the left of the photo above, not here on its north side. I thus actually don't have a photo of the actual Watership Down warren site! Yet that is...
'Come away Tetter.' the voice said as its owner came into view. 'Hello,' I said tentatively back. 'Good afternoon.' came the reply. He walked past me to stand by the fence through which the photograph above was taken. He turned to his companion, '..and this is the beech hanger. You can see how easy it was for Hazel to run down through it at the end of the book.' As with the quotations from the book I use green text to highlight Richard Adams' own words....
There are rabbits on Watership Down, however they live close to the north-west corner of the hanger. Time once more to move on back to the road in the last leg of our walk. Click here to view the hanger from the west.
Take a look at the beech hanger and the Honeycomb warren site on Google maps.