This April we are once again blogging along with the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Our team of one-place studiers will be sharing some of the treasures to be found for a one-place study, particularly around the theme of Visualisation, our Shared Endeavour for 2016.

No, we’re not going on a computer journey here.  The Society for One Place Studies current Shared Endeavour is Visualisation, and Vistas are a part of that.

ploughingWhat is the difference between a vista and a view?  Well, a vista can be a view, but a view cannot be a vista unless it meets certain conditions.

A view is really anything you look at.  The word ‘view’ has lots of alternative meanings as well, of course, such as ‘angle’ (side view), ‘opinion’ (in my view), ‘aim’ (with a view toward), ‘regard’ (she viewed herself), and probably others you can think of.



narrowstreetA vista, on the other hand, is a view seen through ‘a long narrow avenue or passage, as between rows of trees or houses’. (  It can even be the passage itself!

The Free Dictionary also defines it as ‘a comprehensive mental view of a distant time or a lengthy series of events’ – which fits in nicely with a One Place Study.   For a One Place Study spans more than just the previous year.  It can span centuries – and generations of people.  Its only limits are the geographical ones (all right, maybe you will also look at the surrounding villages, but they are not your main focus). Items of interest also include events, such as the Black Death, The Civil War, the 1748 plague of locusts, epidemics, the arrival of the railway, minor earthquakes, electric lighting (and this last must have helped visualisation!), snow, floods, and storms.  What effect (if any) did these events have on your Place? Did it change the way it looked?  After the Industrial Revolution, what happened to the town water wheel? Perhaps changes in the law removed the need for the stocks, or perhaps they are still there for tourists to view.

So: do you have a vista of your Place? Does your Place have vistas itself? Or do you have strong views about all this?

Images from morguefile

© Ros Haywood 2016

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