|The purpose of this weblog is to link together all the pictures I have put up that were taken on the walks mentioned in my profile, as well as fieldnotes that relate directly to them.
The walks, dates, distances and sites encountered, were as follows:
(Well known sites not relevant to TMA have been put in brackets, so they are easy to ignore)
DAY ONE Wed 7/4/1999 Eastbourne - Alfriston 7.5 miles
DAY TWO Sat 17/4/99 Alfriston - Southease 7 miles
Not an impressive Long Barrow, in terms of its definition within the landscape, but it does cover quite an area.
It occupies its own enclosure within scrub growth along the South Downs Way and is easy to miss. Stand upon it and look at the view east and it's easy to see why it was put here.
I've been to this place many times. The barrow itself is a little difficult to make out as a long barrow, once you are actually standing on it, but the view will make up for this!
The visit that stands out is when I reached it from the east on my walk of the South Downs Way on 17th April 1999.
I had reached Bo-Peep Bostal car park just as a hail and thunder storm started, and waited there for it to pass. Thinking it had passed, I carried on on my way, only to hear more thunder approaching just as I was approaching the Giant's Grave. This meant I was in the middle of a thunderstorm and just about to reach the highest point for many miles around.
I stood there nervously, wondering whether or not to throw myself to the ground (This would have been very sensible I have since discovered!).
Eventually the thunder and lightening passed and I carried on. My photo of the Giant's Grave was taken just as the clouds parted and the sun came out. I had miles of downland all to myself, as the storm had cleared the whole South Downs Way for two miles either way, as walkers legged it back to their cars.
Standing there on top of the barrow, relieved and completely on my own, with melting hail glistening in the surprisingly warm sun, was an incredible time, especially with the views of the Way for miles to the west that had just come into view as I reached the summit.
To the east Windover Hill was white with hail, as the storm had reached it by then.
Truly a memory worth getting wet for…
DAY THREE Sat 1/5/1999 Southease - Newmarket Inn (via Lewes) 10 miles
A small collection of round barrows, of average size for this part of East Sussex, that lie at the junction between the South Down's Way and the southern spur of the bostal from Kingston to the top of the ridge.
From here the view of Lewes and the surrounding area is beautiful. I can only assume some of the first chieftains of whatever settlement lay where Kingston is now were buried here.
In 1999 it is from this spot, while on my walk to Wiltshire, that I diverted from the South Down's Way along the path to Kingston, to the grave of my grandfather in Lewes, taking a sprig of gorse to leave there.
DAY FOUR Sat 15/5/1999 Newmarket Inn - Pyecombe 8.5 miles
Ditchling Beacon Hillfort
DAY FIVE Tue 1/6/1999 Pyecombe - Truleigh Hill 5.5 miles
DAY SIX Wed 2/6/1999 Truleigh Hill - Washington 9 miles
DAY SEVEN Mon 26/7/1999 Washington - Amberley 6 miles
A few miles West of Chanctonbury Ring, and also on the South Downs Way, this prominant ditch and bank straddles the path, and seems to be an Iron Age boundary marker, though I have been able to find little to confirm this.
To reach it head about 2 miles East, on the South Downs Way, from Amberley Train Station. In guides it can be found in the Washington to Amberley section.
DAY EIGHT Mon 2/8/1999 Amberley - Cocking 12 miles
Not a visually exciting site this one. But still good to know you stand on ground that, at one time, held a special meaning. It's also strange to think that the Romans, when they were laying nearby Stane Street, probably had not the slightest clue this site was here.
The South Down's Way meets the Roman road at Bignor Hill car park. Diverting off the Way south, then south west along the Monarch's Way, takes you right through the centre of the enclosure.
On your right the south western third of the site is delineated by scrubland, presumably cleared from the interior of the site for archaeology in 1983. The treeline, therefore, marks the edge of the enclosure.
On the left, the north eastern two thirds of the site lie in an open field, and seem invisible, though it is only in this part that remains of the enclosure seem to have been recorded.
Entering the enclosure from the north west, at SU974126, one walks over a very low rise in the ground, which is the only original physical sign of the enclosure I could make out.
DAY NINE Wed 18/8/1999 Cocking - Buriton 11 miles
An impressively sized Round-Barrow group that meets the South Downs Way at a right angle on the Cocking to Buriton stretch.
This is quite a remote section of the Way, so you have a fairly even choice of routes and can more or less guarantee peace once at the site.
Either walk East along the Way from the Harting Hill car park for about 4 miles, the more picturesque option which also passes Beacon Hill and Pen Hill, or West from Cockinghill car park for about 3 miles, which is probably the less tiring route.
There is an information sign near the barrows.
Beacon Hill Hill-Fort
DAY TEN Fri 20/8/1999 Buriton - Exton 12.5 miles
DAY ELEVEN Mon 23/8/1999 Exton - Winchester 12 miles
When I passed this site on the South Downs Way all I could see was this one mound, which looks like a round barrow. But it is referred to in the plural on the OS map and has a nearby pub named after it, so that's good enough for me
DAY TWELVE Wed 27/10/1999 Winchester - Broughton 12.5 miles
DAY THIRTEEN Thu 28/10/1999 Broughton - Salisbury 11 miles
DAY FOURTEEN Wed 22/12/1999 Salisbury - Stonehenge 10 miles
DAY FIFTEEN Tue 25/4/2000 Stonehenge - Woodborough 16 miles
(Larkhill Artillery Range)
DAY SIXTEEN Wed 26/4/2000 Woodborough - Avebury 8 miles
These are stuck in the middle of a field south east of Alton Barnes and you wouldn't look twice at them normally. But the fact remains that these are the southernmost visible traces of this ancient route.
All you can see is some raised ridges in a field.
Just to the north you can actually join the Ridgeway for the first time (unless you feel like hopping into the field!) while walking through Alton Priors, at SU110622, though the official beginning of the Southern Ridgeway is signposted just north of the village, at the start of the climb up to Adam's Grave (SU110623).
DAY SEVENTEEN Wed 31/5/2000 Avebury - Swindon 15 miles
(County Ground centre-spot, Swindon)
DAY EIGHTEEN Tue 8/8/2000 Swindon - Foxhill (Via Barbury Castle) 15 miles
DAY NINETEEN Mon 14/8/2000 Foxhill - Uffington 5.5 miles
DAY TWENTY July 2001 Salisbury Cathedral – Teffont Magna
DAY TWENTY-ONE July 2001 Teffont Magna - Mere
(Mere Long Hill)
DAY TWENTY-TWO August 2001 Mere – Ansford
DAY TWENTY-THREE August 2001 Ansford – Wells
DAY TWENTY-FOUR 22/9/2001 Wells – Glastonbury