“Trothing” and “Plighting” are no longer popular; even in Wiltshire. However, on the outskirts of the village of Lover is the abandoned Troth, or Trough. How was it used in Plighting? We leave it to you to decide. Just remember we are not far from Downton where the locals would claim to be “moonraking” when caught out on the river bank under the light of a full moon. Perhaps the more imaginative ‘cachers can come up with a solution? Find the trough, and please post a picture of your re-enactment of “Plighting”!
The Trough is in Tinney’s Firs, which is now owned by the Woodland Trust. It may be difficult to find following the arrow on your GPS due to tree cover. However these directions should get you there:-
Take the path by the five bar gate into the wood from the car park. At the T junction turn left and follow the path heading west, parallel to the road. Take the right turn over the wooden plank bridge covered in chicken mesh. Don’t touch the security fence around the house on your left, but wave at the CCTV camera. We won’t ask who lives in a house like that, but they come and go by helicopter.
Helicopter in the Pines
Some say he is a TV star, others just another property speculator trying to escape popular acclaim……. Anyway, on with your Quest. Follow the fence until 50m before the green barn. Turn right, heading north away from the fence. Look for the long trough. This is just before the Mary Davis memorial bench. (If you spot the bench, you have gone too far!)
The cache, a 1 litre black plastic box, has been placed under Permission granted by The Woodland Trust, following their, and the Geocaching Association of Great Britain, guidelines. It is under the usual stickoflague, and if it isn’t, please cover it “muggle-proof” before you leave.
The initial contents of trade items are long gone, and if you are leaving something, please can it by something someone else would appreciate finding? Items with a relevance to romance, plighting or trothing are obviously particularly appropriate.
After finding the cache, you can enjoy a pleasant circular walk around this small wood. Continue along the path to a T-junction with a holly tree acting as a traffic island. If you go left the path will bring you out adjacent to the Woodfalls Post Office, a bustling local store that sells everything, including refreshments. Hint:- GC75GEC Woodfalls Book Box.
Heading down the slope from the holly island, you will eventually come to a similar holly junction where you can turn right to return to the car park.
The name of the village is pronounced “low-ver”, as it is a contraction of “Lower Redlynch”. Obviously the local post office used to be busy in early February hand-stamping cards from prospective “plighters” from around the world.
The name Tinney’s Firs is possibly a Victorian corruption of “furze” (gorse), rather than referring to fir trees. (Trees and Woodland in the British Landscape – Oliver Rackham).
This area was part of the Forest of Melchet until 1377. Then it was cleared and used as common land, being part of Warminster Green. Subsequently, this parcel of Common Land, was enclosed and “acquired” by Mr Tinney, who planted the Corsican Pines near the heliport. The area reverted to woodland in the 19th century, and in the late 20th Century, was the property of a recluse who grow orchids. The “trough” is the remains of a cold frame from that time.
See www.wiltshire.gov.uk/community/getcom.php?id=189 for background history and maps.