|The first time I came up here I was with both my kids, the wife stayed at the bottom, I don't remember much about the fort only that it was winter. Going back down the south steeper side, holding hands, my son was pulling us down, my daughter pulling us back and me trying to keep us all upright and not falling to our deaths, despite the obvious dangers were all laughing really hard, the wife said she could hear us laughing from the bottom. That was all a million years ago now though, I miss those uncomplicated go for it days.
This time I'm on my own and I'm coming at it from the opposite side, the northern route is longer but half as steep, my sciatic leg thanked me profusely.
As I start the walk there is a couple of older American ladies right behind me, I decide that I cant let them overtake me so I put my foot down as it were and leave them behind, but slowly. It was nice to know that I can still out pace old ladies.
As I gain some height I can see that the hills are liberally strewn with inattentive walkers. I say inattentive because as I reach the top and enter the fort I see no one else all the time I was there, literally dozens of walkers pass by on the path but not a one bothers to come up and see whats what. Whilst that's good for my visit, I feel sorry for the fort, it deserves some attention, and I feel sorry for the inattentive walkers who are out and about but still not getting their value for petrol money.
I pass through the large obvious entrance and make my way up to the top and sit for a while enjoying the views and the wind in my hair. From up here I can see the Mid Cheshire ridge twenty five miles away, with Beeston castle at its northern end and Maiden castle further south, the inter-connectedness of all the forts round here is almost mind blowing.
From the top I make way down to the earthworks, which are very substantial. Then follow them round, something which ive found just has to be done. On the eastern side they fade away to almost nothing a wall marks the route any fortifications would have followed. The south side is much the same only with no wall. I sit here for another while noting the route down me and the kids took last time, nostalgia huh ? who needs it.
The earthworks slowly rise up again as I approach the east facing entrance. I saw my first Swallow of the year here, which is better than last years behind McDonald's, and heard my first Cuckoo of the year too, do they really say "Cuckoo"? because they seem to be sticking up two fingers to the natural way of child rearing leading me to presume that their call is really more like "F***you".
Passing the entrance I move along inside the deepest ditch, boggy ground with the odd boulder here and there. Up the bank I sit once more amid the heather, very close by I can hear a birds wing flap just once, it is very close but it doesn't betray it's position, now that's parenting.
The heather is very comfy to sit upon. A better seat than this I have not seen in all of Clwyd. Over the bank in front of me is the near but distant Pennyclodiau hill fort, the largest in these hills. I spend quite some time sitting hear, the Swallows are shooting about all around me diverting their streak at the last moment when they see me. Nature abounds.
But now time has gotten the better of me so I must trundle back down to the car park and resume my normal life. Juxtaposed the two parts of my life couldn't be more different, unless I was a spy, super hero or astronaut.
A brilliant fort this one sadly overlooked by all except the attentive.
Posted by postman
4th June 2014ce