A ditch with a wall on its inner side below ground level, forming a boundary to a park or garden without interrupting the view.‘By removing the scrubby hawthorns that had grown up around the ha-ha, or sunken ditch, we have opened up the view that Jane Austen knew, in the true English landscape garden tradition.’
- ‘Three fishing ponds were joined together to create two lakes, separated by a dam-cum-bridge and a ha-ha - a sunken wall that kept grazing animals out of the park.’
- ‘Or possibly, it is just the gap where the ha-ha is broken to allow the turn-in from the road.’
- ‘A ha-ha was a six-foot deep ditch, vertical at the edge of the property, so that the neighbor's cattle could graze right up to the line, appearing to be one's own.’
- ‘A wide lawn runs down the centre of the garden, so it melds almost imperceptibly over a ha-ha into the surrounding parkland, planted with fine trees.’
Early 18th century from French, said to be from the cry of surprise on suddenly encountering such an obstacle.
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