|26 July 2003
Up the hill, passing the magnificent Uffington Castle enclosure or fort on my right, I reached the Ridgeway and followed it west for a short distance until a bridlepath appeared on the left.
Orientating myself with the wooded land marked on the map and what I could see on the land, I followed the slightly overgrown path for about half an hour at a pretty brisk pace.
This brought me to the twisting ribbon of woodland right beside the barrow cemetery.
A short distance across the down I could see what looked like the top of a barrow largely hidden by a dip perhaps. Ah. No dip. Not the TOP of the barrow then? The whole thing? Uh-huh.
Making a shape a bit like a little flying saucer sitting on the grassy plain, Idlebush Barrow itself looks to me to have been fairly denuded at some stage. Its outer edge is a very low embankment, with the small mound (less than 20 feet across, at a guess) rising only about 5 feet up from it. (Sorry if these guesstimates are way out, but what I'm trying to say is it's pretty small!!)
A little further on across the down is another barrow, this time almost completely ploughed out, but enhanced (or at least made more noticeable by the long reedy grass it is covered by. It is just about possible to make out a slight embankment surrounding it.
I've posted some photos of both. Retracing my steps and bearing west toward the strip of trees, I went back past both barrows looking for a 'tumulus' (another barrow really) marked on the map that I had missed.
Well, if it's there, I missed it on the way back too, and it must be virtually invisible. I suspect that to most non-experts like myself, it is effectively ploughed out.
A word of warning. Although they still look far from impressive, somehow my photos actually manage to make the barrows look more appealing than they seemed at the time…. Don't get your hopes up!
Posted by Moth
1st August 2003ce
Edited 1st August 2003ce