|This is a reasonably upstanding round barrow sited upon Gallows Hill - as you might expect - overlooking the busy A505 at Odsey Corner, below to the north. The iconic, attractive copse of trees engenders a somewhat 'Minning Low' vibe, although a trashed red brick building footing of some description encroaching upon the mound to the north-west, together with an ugly concrete shell of a building to the south, the latter preceded by remnants of a large fire, ensure this is (nowadays, anyway) not exactly a classic location. Not to mention aerial and large, linear compost mound to the east. Then again, I've always been a sucker for woodland, especially a tree line viewed in stark profile against a glorious early Spring sky, the viewer bathed in sunlight, perched upon a Bronze Age barrow whilst drinking tea. How very English... what could possibly be wrong with that?
Clearly nothing. Unless you happen to be one of the occupants of Heath Farm, standing below to the south, that is. Checking the map, I was pleasantly surprised to see Gallows Hill ascended by the 'Chain Walk' public footpath, said route passing literally within a whisker of the round barrow's unfenced eastern arc. So, allowing a violent shower to pass overhead, I set about attempting to make sense of the site. Suddenly a rather comical labrador appears and decides to noisily confront me. Ha! Now don't get me wrong, I like labradors - why, the Mam C used to own one, and Ceri was one day literally mauled by the cat at the top of the street, the pathetic creature. Some light relief, then. Except this dog's owner was far from pleasant, the woman seemingly a cold, acerbic mixture of overbearing pedantry juxtaposed with ignorance of the significance of her own surroundings. Yeah, she is very hostile, completely unable to comprehend why I - why anyone - might feel the need to take pictures of 'her' hill top. Apparently I'm trespassing, despite the public footpath being literally a few feet from the mound, grossly ignorant for not walking all the way down the hill to ask permission to deviate a few feet from an unfenced public path. I beg to differ, the traveller consequently only able to feel pity toward what would appear such an unhappy soul.
Needless to say I won't be rushed and, happily, my perseverance is rewarded when Nature decides to take a hand, the rain clouds duly dissipating to a pristine blue sky, the round barrow illuminated in a golden glow. A wonderful moment well worth all the aggravation. And at least the landowner's wishes are now on record, should any other member happen to be passing by. If so - and why not? - arguably the best place to park is within the layby leading to a petrol station just north-east of the Ashwell junction of the north carriageway of the A505 (hey, why not pay a visit to Arbury Banks as well?). Needless to say, please, please be careful when crossing the road... and beware of the landowner!
Posted by GLADMAN
20th March 2012ce
Edited 20th March 2012ce