When I first saw it I thought maybe it was a chimney from an old factory or brick works, but given its location it made no sense.
How many 285 year old Obelisks involve traipsing through a muddy woods to see them? It looked rather lonely and neglected, and has had some ugly repair work. But the four spheres that hold the column up still look amazing. It was hard to get a good photo to show it on my mobile, but the whole top column rests solely on these stone spheres, giving the illusion that it could roll off, yet it is clearly incredibly stable.
What is reassuring is how well it has been built, considering it was before the industrial revolution and well before we had discovered oil. There is lots of amazing architecture still standing from this time, but I can't imagine the brickwork on my house surviving more than 100 years!
It is easy to forget how brief the current era of cheap oil has been. Where will the downward slope of the oil peak take us? Maybe it will re-ignite an interest in sailing ships, canals, windmills and great architecture again. Or maybe something completely different. But I think it highly unlikely that it will take us back to a medieval Britain, although many (my kids included) seem to imagine that this is what life without the internet means. Before oil there were books, music and art and after the oil is gone there will be too.