|It was good being back at the Long Man as he should be. Hardly anyone about. No helicopters. No shouting. No media sheep ready to trample all over him.
As I walked up the path a figure appeared at the top of his eastern stave and I prepared to shout. Then the rest of the family appeared. But oddly enough they did not go on the figure, but skirted down the eastern side. Now I might be reading too much into this, but normally I would have expected a family group such as this to walk down the figure itself. Could the message be getting through? They also turned out to be from the Netherlands, which could be an even better sign if its even getting through internationally.
The fence is still broken at the base of the figure. This where the ITV women got through and it is high time it was fixed.
I also checked the figure for loose blocks, but did not cross the fence obviously. The worst of these is on the figure's left foot and is noticeable from the viewing point in Wilmington.
I also took the chance to photograph the most significant turf damage on the figure, both from the base and top of the figure.
I haven't been up Windover, let alone Wilmington, Hill in a long time. The events of 4 weeks ago have brought home to me how important it is to have people sticking up for this landscape. The people doing that should be those who are paid to, but to assume that will be the case is naïve, because it isn't a landscape owned by one body. The fact that the NO BAN defacement happened with full permission from the owner of that piece of land says it all. In my world such a defacement of a heritage landscape would attract a large fine. But we don't live in that world.
I went up the hill with my eyes open as never before. As a result I saw barrows that I had simply never noticed before, at least I think they are barrows. I like to think I have an eye for these things, being in a part of the world where most round barrows are not immediately obvious, but it was worrying to see how many of the ones I spotted were not marked on the OS map of the area.
For starters there are the two barrows on the western slope of Windover. I had read of a mound in this area, but from the cursus the two barrows were immediately obvious.
I have also entered the smaller barrow on the hill itself as a separate barrow, since it seems to align with the Long Man's eastern stave. It is very difficult to get this one on camera, but I managed to capture it more successfully than on previous attempts.
I have also added images for the Long Mound and Bowl Barrow, which I will not include here.
So to Wilmington Hill, which lies to the east of Windover Hill. In fact Windover is really a lower plateau next to the real hill. I suspect it only got a separate name as it's where the exciting stuff is. The only OS acknowledged barrow on Wilmington Hill is Hunter's Burgh. At long last I photographed this barrow properly, as well as the impressive views to east and west.
It is an excellently placed barrow and Rodney Castleden, in the Wilmington Giant, theorised that such barrows might have been placed to allow ritual communication across large distances. A fire beacon at each of Combe Hill Camp, Hunter's Burgh, Caburn and the Tump in Lewes would allow communication of the start of a ritual, over this significant distance, within a matter of minutes, rather like the sequence in Return of the King where the beacons are lit. Sorry to quote Lord of the Rings but it's the only good example I could think of. All highly speculative of course, but such speculation is an essential part of interpreting such sites.
However at the top of the hill I think there is a barrow cemetery consisting of three round barrows. I was very surprised not to see one of these marked on the map as it is very obvious.
The other two are questionable and need more investigation. I will amend my entry on these if it turns out I just had barrow fever.
What is essential though, given that the Long Man has now become politicised, is that all ancient remains on these two hills are recorded and recognised. Nobody on a salary is going to do this, at least until a pain in the rear such as a Modern Antiquarian starts on at them. So that is what I will do.
Posted by Cursuswalker
28th July 2007ce
Edited 29th July 2007ce
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