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Bredon Hill

<b>Bredon Hill</b>Posted by morfeImage © morfe
Nearest Town:Evesham (8km NE)
OS Ref (GB):   SO9610039996 / Sheet: 150
Latitude:52° 3' 28.4" N
Longitude:   2° 3' 24.8" W

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Sites in this group:

11 posts
Bambury Stone Natural Rock Feature
21 posts
Conderton Camp Hillfort
19 posts
Kemerton Camp Hillfort
6 posts
King and Queen Stone Natural Rock Feature
Sites of disputed antiquity:
1 post
St Katherine's Well Sacred Well

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<b>Bredon Hill</b>Posted by morfe <b>Bredon Hill</b>Posted by morfe

Fieldnotes

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Bredon Hill ... what a strange and magical place.

For a year in 1988/89 I lived in a farm cottage on its lower slopes, right underneath Kemerton Camp. I remember lying in bed at night listening to a strange unidentified hooting creature flying very slowly over the roof. Freaked the living daylights out of me. But it was a wonderful place to live. Great place for sun worship.

The hill is covered with relics of ancient activity, including two separate forts. Kemerton Camp is the largest, occupying the highest point of the hill on the north side, and making the most of a steep natural escarpment. The short stone tower on the top, known as Parsons Folly, dates from the late 18th century and was allegedly built to bring the height of the hill up to a round 1000ft, its natural height being 960ft. The slopes below the escarpment are covered in lumps and bumps, some of which are the foundations of an ancient village and some the remains of quarrying, and it's hard to tell them apart. According to my former next-door neighbour, a local farm worker, the village of Nafford was originally located up here but was abandoned and later rebuilt further down the valley next to the River Avon. Among the bumps is the outline of a small rectangular building ... a medieval pilgrim's chapel very close to the unassuming but still rather special St Catherine's Well.

Conderton Camp, on the SE side of the hill, is much smaller and quite secluded ... possibly a peace-time settlement because it's less obviously defended and has a very different feel to the larger fort.

There's also an earthwork on the lower NE slopes of the hill just outside the village of Elmley Castle.

Slightly less ancient, but really well worth a visit, are some of the 11th and 12th century carvings in the village churches around the hill. Most spectacular is Beckford parish church, which has carvings on its chancel arch of a creature with antennae that looks like an alien. In a more mundane style the porch at Elmley Castle has a really groovy rabbit.
Rebsie Posted by Rebsie
25th April 2006ce

Folklore

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About the beginning of the last century, a hillock on the side of the hill, containing about an acre, with its trees and cattle, slipped nearly 100 yards down.

See Laird's "Topographical and Historical Description of Worcestershire" p364.
There have been lots of landslips here, fair enough. But surely "with its trees and cattle" conjures up some great images and the start of some tall tales.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
14th February 2008ce

Weather folklore for the hill:
The following is a Worcestershire saying:
"When Bredon Hill puts on his hat,
Ye men of the vale, beware of that."
p292 in Choice Notes from Notes and Queries - Folklore (1859).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
27th February 2007ce

from Benedict's Pool
by Fred Archer

"Behind the monastery at the foot of Bredon Hill, enclosed by two copices, lies Benedict's Pool. Few villagers fish from the dark pond, nor will they visit it on moonlit nights, for it is said to be haunted by a mysterious lady in white.

You can see the fortifications of an Iron Age camp on the summit; Roman coins and pottery have been turned up by the plough; and remains of mutilated skeletons found - evidence of a bloody battle before the Roman invasion. The spirits of the ancient soldiers - Briton, Roman and Saxon - are thought to live on in the beech trees, and the sound of men marching has been heard from under the soil."
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
25th July 2002ce
Edited 26th April 2006ce

The 'Beast of Bredon'.

Described as a large black cat, this animal has been sighted by many local people, mostly at the eastern end of the hill. The story about this beast first broke on the 21st April 1995 when a Mr. Watkins of Ashton-under-Hill found some large paw prints in the mud near his home. This claim was accompanied by both photographs of the prints and supporting testimony of one Mr. Figgett from Tewkesbury. He said that he saw the animal going through a hedge near the Westmancote turning between Bredon and Kemerton. Sightings elsewhere included that of the 24th April when the Gloucestershire Echo reported another sighting in Cirencester. By May 1995 reports of big cats in Gloucestershire and surrounding areas had reached the point where the Ministry of Agriculture had drafted in a tracker hound to try to locate one of the animals. Sightings of the black beast have far from diminished in the last four years. Many serious attempts have been made across Britain to catch one of these animals, mostly in the south-west of England, but none have proved successful as yet. The Beast of Bredon has had a serious effect on some locals. A Worcester lady I spoke to recently says that ever since she saw the 'beast' on Bredon Hill she has been concerned when out walking. This big cat is one of Bredon's more modern and tangible mysteries.


Excerpt from Bredon Hill, by Brian Hoggard
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
25th July 2002ce
Edited 26th April 2006ce

Miscellaneous

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Here's a strange story from Bredon Hill. I like the way it finishes with "it is said that a strong sulphurous odour was perceived" - kind of geological, but hinting at the unusual and possibly devilish origins of the phenomenon, perhaps?!
About half past five in the afternoon of Thursday, the 3d of May 1849, during a storm of thunder, lightning and hail, an enormous body of water was seen to rush down a gully in the Bredon Hill, and direct its course to the village of Kemerton. The stream was broad and impetuous, carrying everything before it. Its extraordinary force and body of water may be judged from the fact, that, on reaching the residence of the Rev. W. H. Bellairs, of kemerton, it broke down a stone wall which surrounded the garden, burst through the foundation of another, made a way for itself through the dwelling-house, and then carried off a third wall of brick, six feet high. The garden soil was washed away, and "enormous blocks of stone," and debris from the hill left in its place. By this time the current was considerably broken; nevertheless, it flowed through the house, to the depth of nearly three feet, for the space of an hour and forty minutes. The neighbouring railway was so deeply flooded as to delay the express train, by extinguishing the fire of the engine.
The Rev. went up for a look on Saturday, and seemed to find that a waterspout had dumped its water on the north-west shoulder of the hill, not even the top, as he couldn't find much damage there? A five acre barley field had been totally flattened. The water hadn't spread out as it had rushed down the hill, it had stayed in the gully, and he claimed that "the general depth of the torrent was from six to seven feet." Bizarre and scary.

From p182 of The Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal (1850).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
29th April 2007ce
Edited 29th April 2007ce

Latest posts for Bredon Hill

Showing 1-10 of 58 posts. Most recent first | Next 10

King and Queen Stone (Natural Rock Feature) — Folklore

Bredon Hill Ramble.

Members of the Cheltenham Rambling Club enjoyed a ramble to Bredon Hill. Alighting from the train at Ashchurch they went to Tewkesbury by road. The party then divided, some members taking the river path to Twyning whilst the others went via Shuthonger Common.

The whole party then crossed the river by ferryboat, and made their way by fieldpath to the picturesque village of Bredon. After lunch the ramblers ascended Bredon Hill and spent some time examining the King and Queen Stones reputed to be capable of curing rickets. ...
There's something about squeezing through a gap that works in these cases isn't there. Is it like popping out reborn? Reported in the Gloucestershire Echo, 29th May 1945.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
1st September 2018ce

King and Queen Stone (Natural Rock Feature) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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23rd August 2018ce

Bambury Stone (Natural Rock Feature) — Images

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23rd August 2018ce

Kemerton Camp (Hillfort) — Images

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23rd August 2018ce
Showing 1-10 of 58 posts. Most recent first | Next 10