Kiss me Hardy!
Or on second thoughts perhaps not, these barrows are much more interesting.
On a September evening the Hardy monument car park is close with just the lay-by below serving the occasional dog walker. Parking is still easy though in the lay-by for the heath walk.
These barrows are still pretty fine specimens with incredible views, some well guarded from people with barbed wire but not from the Rabbits who we're having a great time diving in and out of their burrows.
The late summer sun gave this place an other worldly feel as I drove up to the blind summit bathed in sunlight, shadows all around the car it was like driving directly into the sun and then dropping off the edge of the world into darkness.
Visited this site again and have found another two barrows in the area surrounding the Hardy monument. One is very low and small and the land owner has circled it with wooden posts , as people used to park on top of it. The other is a much larger round barrow , sadly looking in quite a battered condition. This site is a local viewpoint and gets very busy in the summer , most of the damage done to this barrow is probably done by rabbits , which are abundant on this site , but some of it must be man made.
This cemetery grouping of several round barrows sits on a ridge that runs for many miles and is covered in barrows . A walk along the footpath to the southeast of about 2 miles (Bronkham hill) will take you past about twenty barrows of various sizes. This blackdown is just below the monument to captain Thomas Hardy of Nelson fame and not to be confused with the nearby poor lot cemetery in the winterbourne valley which is also deeply unhelpfully named as blackdown on o.s. maps. There are at least two barrows in the nearby woodland , but I've yet to find them , must try harder.
Bronze Age bowl barrow on Black Down. It measures 8m meters in diameter and 0.35 meters high. Grinsell noted the presence of cross trenches, which he suggested either represented an excavation, or the use of the barrow as a windmill mound. Thus it may have been the barrow excavated by Cunnington in 1878. However, Cunnington described that barrow as being about 100 yards north of the Hardy Monument, which this barrow is not and there is no known barrow is 100 yards north of the Hardy Monument. Cunnington is usually presumed to have excavated barrow SY 68 NW 122, which is the right distance from the monument, but south rather than north. Part of a larger barrow cemetery. Scheduled.