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Lambourn Sevenbarrows

Barrow / Cairn Cemetery


Four days into the New Year, and the miserable weather finally broke, providing a classically sunny winter's day. "Lambourn Sevenbarrows," exclaimed the delightful Jane, at the other end of the phone. "Be with you in half an hour." Cue frantic scramble for a roll of B/W film, only managing to produce a very old roll of PanF. 'Bit chancy,' I thought. 'Give it a shot, though.'

What a corking site it turned out to be; very powerful, yet utterly charming at the same time. I had expected it to be sited on the top of a high ridge, but instead it's nestling in a small dell, the downs and ridges rising up all about. I spent most of my time amongst the main group of barrows, while Jane wandered up the hillside for a more all encompassing view.

Having been to see 'The Two Towers' the previous day, Tolkien's characters were still filling my mind, and, albeit rather fancifully, I could easily visualise the Rohirrim assembled amongst the barrows in the cold winter light, come to honour their dead warriors.

In fact it felt very much like a neolithic 'Valley of the Kings', despite being a very well-used site indeed, not just for single inhumations. There is something very centering and special about this place, and seeing it for the first time in midwinter was very evocative; something to be recommended. I note that JC says it's a fine place for a picnic, when the wildflowers are blooming in abundance. Can't wait for May, then . . .

By the way, 'The Two Towers' is a jolly good movie, so go and see it; and if my photos don't turn out, at least I've had the benefit of a merging of experiences. Did Tolkien ever vist Lambourn Sevenbarrows?
treaclechops Posted by treaclechops
31st August 2003ce

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