The next part of the walk is a bit less straightforward. I’m hoping that I can find the Polisher, but I don’t actually know where it is. I know photos on TMA show a gallops fence nearby, but that’s about all I’ve got. Most significantly, I don’t know which side of the Herepath it’s on. The only thing to do is to wander.
Wandering in the drifts of Fyfield Down is a good thing though. After entering the Down at its southeastern corner, I’m immediately confronted by the scale of the drift itself. I’ve never really seen anything quite like it. I have a quick look at the Fyfield 1 and 2 barrows, but really even these are overshadowed by the natural landscape here. From here I follow the ribbon of the Mother’s Jam, coming across The Monster Stone as I wander. Yep, it really is a monster. Other treats here include the experimental earthwork, slowly decaying as intended. Overton Down (south) may be just about the least impressive round barrow I’ve seen in Wiltshire, a barely-there mound under nettles – get the sheep in, someone.
I have walked through the Greywethers drift many times; today I was in the unusual position of leading three 'walking' friends who had never seen them before up to Fyfield Down. The Polisher first; where an ominous mist descended - we were not deterred and descended diagonally across the bumpy stone-strewn downland towards the Herepath. In the distance a pair of brown deer leaped their way across our line of vision.
As we made our way across the Herepath and around the sarsen 'greywethers' the mist disolved and the pale January sun made an appearence again. One of my friends was plotting a route for a guided walk so following the OS map we picked up a green track along a field boundary. A word of caution - perhaps because of the recent snow there were many potentially ankle-turning deep crevices and holes in the ground so not a good place to walk alone at this time of year.
Most people who experience Fyfield Down for the first time are astonished that somewhere so wild and ancient still existed in Wiltshire. My three friends were no exception. Words used - misty and mystical.
Much wandering later, just as I’m on the verge of reluctantly giving up, I spot a pointy stone, which looks familiar. And so it proves to be, the unmistakable grooves of the Polisher lying just beyond. I’ll be honest, I’m feeling a bit pleased with myself at this point, but even without the extra euphoric boost, this would be a winner all day long every day.
I won’t try to describe the stone, the pictures do that better. Instead I’m going to lie down with my head resting on its smooth surface and enjoy the peace for a few minutes.
Possible cup markings identified on a sarsen in Delling Penning. The stone "is situated within an old field and a few feet from the edge of a baulk running downhill from north west to south east, between the south western corner of Totterdown Wood and Delling Cottage".
SU 135715: Twenty well-preserved cup-markings on the south east slope of a recumbent sarsen stone in Delling Penning. The stone is situated within an old field and a few feet from the edge of a baulk running downhill from north west to south east, between the south western corner of Totterdown Wood and Delling Cottage. (1) The sarsen is at SU 13437152 and is as described by Lacaille. The markings are not easily distinguished, and are of uncertain origin, though they cannot easily be dismissed as natural. Photograph not practicable. (2) Scheduled, National Number 33951. (3)
For those who cannot find this site or cannot walk all the way up here, another although not so grand, polissoir surface can be seen on stone number 19B of the West Kennett Avenue.
As this stone is complete and in the upright position, its use as an axe grinder would have long ceased before it was incorporated into the Avenue