The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Cholesbury Camp



Cholesbury Camp is another fine Buckinghamshire Iron Age enclosure... technically a 'plateau fort', as opposed to 'hillfort'... which has unfortunately been damaged by the building of a malignant church and village hall in the southern quadrant. Happily, however, the malevolent atmosphere I found at the similarly defaced, and not too distant, West Wycombe Hill is absent here. Quite the contrary, the surviving three quarters of the ancient ramparts being a joy to behold this bright morning, sunlight interacting with the fine beech trees to send a myriad shadows snaking across the ditch which separates the mainly bi-vallate defences (there would appear to be an additional bank and ditch to west and south-east, if I not mistaken?).... not to mention everywhere else, for that matter. Nice. Yeah, although the initial south-eastern arc is heavy overgrown with vegetation, the remainder of the enceinte is as aesthetically pleasing to the eye today as perhaps it is possible for any ancient fortification to be? Or to have a right to be.

The constantly changing light, and therefore colour, has my artistic consciousness - such as it is - reeling as I try to capture something of the wonder laid out before me upon the digital SLR for posterity. However as I try to do so, the archetypal 'Tim, Nice-But-Dim' - walking with his children, as one does - stops and eyes me curiously. Suspiciously, even... 'what are you photographing?' he enquires. To his credit, and before I can deliver a devastatingly acerbic 'Morrissey-esque' retort, he answers his own question. 'Ah, the hillfort. I see. Jolly good'. Lucky he did so, actually, since I doubt if the aforementioned former Smiths front man would have approved of my rather feeble prospective witticism. Such is the positive vibe at Cholesbury today that everything is right with the world for a while. Can't even think of a sarcastic comment to defend myself with...

The 'fort is easily located within the environs of the chocolate box village. Simply head for the Village Hall - making sure you keep an eye out for the many cyclists who flock to the area at weekends (or so it would appear) - and advance up the church driveway situated to its left, from where paths access the ramparts. The interior of the enclosure is now the site of equestrian activity. But I can deal with that. Hey, I can deal with any thing at Cholesbury.
1st September 2011ce
Edited 1st September 2011ce

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