|25 July 2003
Spotting the signpost for Hetty's pseudonym 'Uley Long Barrow' on the right, I pulled into the tiny layby, discovering that at the moment at least there is a nice flat piece of grass just inside the field behind where it looked as if people had been parking.
I parked the car and got out. In the time it took me to put on my coat I was pretty damp. I walked a couple of hundred yards in the direction the signpost pointed but the path petered out.
Retracing my steps twenty yards or so, I noticed a slight gap in the hedgerow that had been on my left and was now on my right (if you see what I mean). I stepped through and, as I hoped, to my right stood the long barrow which had been hidden from my sight by dense summer vegetation and filthy weather!
Oh for a sunny day to visit! This must be a pretty wonderful place when the water isn't seeping down your jeans and you don't have to have your camera stuck inside your jacket, digging in your chest.
I just managed to keep my knees clear of the growing puddle as I squeezed through the entrance into the central passage. Immediately I'd got in I realised I'd done it again…. I'd left my torch in the bloody car!!!!
I knew from experience that this would probably also scupper my chances of getting decent photos as I wouldn't be able to focus in the dark….
Squatting in the now dampening chamber I could immediately make out the layout and construction of the passage, the remaining chambers on the left (south) and where the destroyed chambers would have been on the right (north).
As my eyes became accustomed to the dark, the light seemed just good enough that I tried focusing manually and fired off a couple of decent shots. (I haven't uploaded them as they are too similar to the pictures already included on the relevant page of this website.)
I love seeing ruined barrows and burial chambers, but there really is nothing quite like being able to get inside these things! I often refer to ruined ones being like a 'cutaway' or 'exploded' diagram, but as the stones of the passage and chambers are visible from inside you still get a clear picture of the construction.
It's especially nice to find the peace and feeling of well-being which seems, from comments on this site, to be universally felt here. I even sat in the blackness of the south-eastern chamber for a few minutes, unusual for me – not because of any misgiving about the dark, but because I'd usually rather be moving and looking and poking!
Posted by Moth
31st July 2003ce
Edited 31st July 2003ce