The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Little Solsbury Hill



I walked up here from Bath. It's further than you'd think and of course I picked the hottest day this year. But if you ask me (where possible) walking is half the point, part of the pilgrimage!

Bath is surrounded by flat-topped hills (one of them being Bathampton Down). You can see the abbey, it's right in the middle of the valley - and that's where the unique hot springs are. What a fantastic landscape this must have been in prehistory. Even the sprawl of Bath and the vile bypass can't ruin it today.

The hillfort is triangular - I walked round the top. The first corner's a triangulation pillar (lovely) but at the next corner a turf maze (a 'labyrinth' if you want to be pedantic as it's just one long path without branches) has been cut into the step of the hill. The horrid roar of the A46 floats up through the beautiful valleys - but it looks like the maze is here to combat that {found out today that it was cut by road protesters a few years back - perhaps they did site it there just for that reason!}. It's an ancient design. I traced it inward and outward. It made me think about a journey of introspection you have to take before you can bring that knowledge back out to use in the world (I was in that kind of mood, ahem). The maze twists so you think you aren't getting there, but suddenly there you are.

At the final corner a small fire was burning. Though it was the hottest day for months I wanted to stay by the fire. I could happily go back there now. In fact I could cheerfully sit up here all day. I had no idea of the time. There must always have been fires up here. Whatever we don't know about our ancestors, we can be pretty sure they must have sat up here looking at the view with their fire burning. It just seems like a thread of sanity in the world.

Coming to a place like this sorts your mind out; it gives you peace and space to think/not to think.

On a more mundane note, on the way home I completely lost the footpath and ended up avoiding muddy cowpats and nettles. Typical.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
16th July 2002ce
Edited 6th September 2004ce

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