|Visited Liddington Castle this afternoon with a group of friends. Although the most visible hillfort in the area (Liddington Hill is a landmark seen from the M4 that lets anyone heading for Wiltshire know they are nearly there) these days it is not the easiest place to get to as the only 'permissive path' heads up to the Ridgeway up from Shipley Bottom layby on the B4192. In the days of Richard Jefferies the route by foot was probably uphill from the village of Badbury. Liddington Castle at 909 feet is the highest point in the Borough of Swindon.
A memorial to local writers Richard Jefferies and Alfred Williams set on a large sandstone rock at Liddington Castle, dated 2000 to mark the Millennium it has these words by Richard Jefferies set on a plaque "I felt immortality as I felt the beauty of a summer morning"
A place much loved by both writers particularly Richard Jefferies - Alfred Williams wrote these lines for Richard Jefferies who died in 1887 at the age of 39, ten years after Alfred Williams was born in 1877 (who died 1930). They did not know each as some people believe:
"Of times on Liddington's bare peak I love to think and lie,
And muse upon the former day and ancient things gone by,
To pace the old castellum walls and peer into the past
To learn the secret of the hills, and know myself at last,
To woo Dick Jefferies from his dreams on sorrow's pillow tossed
And walk with him upon the ridge, and pacify his ghost."
(Poem courtesy of Wysefool).
Posted by tjj
24th July 2010ce
Edited 24th July 2010ce