Finding A Ha-Ha In The UK


A ha-ha is a trompe l’oeil.

Where there is a beautiful panoramic view from a vantage point it would seem a pity to erect a fence to prevent animals or people from coming in to what is normally private land. To this end the vantage point is usually raised further by using the earth from a ditch on the perimeter. The bolstered platform is normally retained by a wall. Thus, when looking out there is a barrier but it can’t be seen. From the opposite direction entrance to the private area is thus from a relatively lower level and one is faced by a brick wall preventing animals from wandering in.

The idea originated at the Château de Meudon in the Chalais Valley over looking the River Seine in Western France in the late 1600‘s. Certainly the likes of Charles Bridgeman, William Kent, Capability Brown, Horace Walpole were quick to use a similar method extensively whether they knew of the French system or not. It’s guessed that the name, which is the same in French and English, is probably ascribed to the burst of joy that one gives upon seeing such a vista.

For more examples see:  National Trust Ha-ha

Central England

Loxley Hall near Stratford-upon-Avon.

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Kiftsgate Court near Stratford-upon-Avon.

Haha Bridge See Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield. Videos, some by the artists themselves, here:  YSP on YT

Snitterfield Memorial, Whitehorse Hill near Stratford-upon-Avon.

Hat Makes The Man by Damien Hirst - actually in bronze !

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Upton House Near Tysoe, in Warwickshire, has a super ha-ha.