Arthur Ransome Wiki

The Wilderness was an overgrown area of unoccupied land in Horning between the Farland's house and the Ferry Inn. It has a dyke leading to the river from an old wind-pump near the road, from which it is separated by a wall and gate. The Wilderness can be reached from Tom Dudgeon's house either by the road or by The Coot Club's drawbridge and then the river bank.

The Death and Glories emigrate here when under suspicion for casting off boats after fleeing Ranworth:

  • Tell you what said Joe. We'll lie in the Wilderness above the ferry (BS13).
  • They paddled and poled her far into the Wilderness dyke. There they moored her, to the northern side of the dyke, so as to be handy when they want to slip along to Tom's (BS14).

The Wilderness is described as being no longer in existence, a rare instance in the Swallows and Amazons series of a book indicating that it was published some time after the events in it took place: There have been changes in the last few years along the bank of the river above the Ferry, and one or two neat bungalows have been built on what was once the Wilderness... (BS14).

Christina Hardyment wrote that Horning is little changed .... except for a rash of redwood "leisure homes" which has destroyed the Wilderness. CFT p126