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Midwinter Mardness


I've been waiting to visit Marden for a long time. Finally an opportunity presented itself, at the Midwinter Solstice.

Marden Henge (and Hatfield Barrow) — Fieldnotes

07.01.04ce
I like approaching sites on foot, so I parked in the village and walked. Marden is special amongst its similarly monumental friends (Avebury, Durrington..) because it uses a stream as part of its boundary; its banks and ditches only surround it on three sides. Crossing the stream and entering the henge I was fairly disgusted to see the meadow by the stream had been sold and houses are to be built on it. Surely a nationally important place should deserve more protection?

It's a further walk than you think to the banks on the far side of the monument. I felt pretty confused about their layout to start with. But when you get there look for the stile hidden up in the hedge (almost opposite the big trees, where there is a tiny spot on the road you could park in) - that's where you'll find the plan on the EH board that's in Earthstepper's photo. I then realised what a tiny proportion of the place is under the EHs guardianship.

Now I could see where the Silburyesque Hatfield Barrow had been. It was too cold to keep still, so I jumped back down onto the road and started to walk back towards the spot. A car heading for the village slowed next to me. "Can you tell me how far Marden is?" a coiffeured woman enquired. I restrained any sarcastic remarks. As she drove on I reflected on how the huge henge could go unnoticed in the modern world. I thought on: the Hatfield Barrow itself would have been a locally famous enigma, something in local people's consciousness for literally thousands of years. I felt really outraged. How could somebody just come along and ruin it?

I stood there mentally grasping for clues, trying desperately to understand what the mound would have been like. I probably looked bizarre: a shivering figure staring at an empty field. As the wind dropped and the sun finally appeared I got something of it in my mind. It loomed up in front of me. So ok, to some Marden isn't more than a few low banks and an empty meadow. But to me, just to visit the place and exercise my imagination, it was well worth it. I felt really pleased to have been in the same place where this huge mound once stood.


I was going to walk back to the car, but as the sun had come out I decided to go back to the EH area for a sit down in its (relative) warmth.

As a silly hippy affectation I had brought an incense stick out with me. Well, it was midwinter's day, and I'm not a big winter fan. I hate it being so dark, and I see the solstice as a turning point in my mood as much as anything - a point of hope that the light will come back and spring is not far away. I was delighted that I could get outside and visit somewhere interesting for that particular day: the stick was a last-minute thought and an extra thing to mark the event. It took me a lot of effort to light, and then I sat down in the weak sunlight to relax.

As I sat there I was facing the sun, and the site of the barrow. I was just on the edge of the henge, up on the bank, and I felt that was a good place to be for an 'outsider' to observe from. What could I possibly understand about what had gone on here all those centuries ago? Was there anything left at all I could glean - was there anything the same?

Well, there would be the patterns in the sky, and the cold, and the wintry colours of the vegetation in the landscape, these would be the same. And the landscape (visibility permitting). Looking directly behind me at the line of hills in the distance, I realised what they were. That horse wasn't the Pewsey white horse, as I'd imagined dimly earlier. It was really the white horse at Alton Barnes - So that meant That was Knap Hill - and Adams Grave - it became completely obvious. I couldn't believe how visible they were from Marden.

[warning: you are now reaching the Daft Bit]

I was getting really relaxed and my thoughts were just turning to gardening ("I wonder how they kept the henge tidy? Grazing? Scythes?") when I got this completely unexpected bolt of fear pass through me, convinced that someone had appeared over the stile. I told myself it was my hair waving about out of the corner of my eye that had given me this impression - I hadn't actually seen anything. But it was a real heart-stopping moment, out of the blue. I had been feeling calm and relaxed, happy to stay for an indefinite period. Now I felt jumpy and stressed. I wanted to go, right now. I picked up the incense stick to put it out but it had gone out. Starting to feel unaccountably freaked out I walked briskly back towards the village.

I passed an old man walking in the opposite direction and we exchanged greetings. Every now and then I'd look back and he'd be looking at me, or he'd look back and I'd be looking at him. After all, there aren't many places to walk to or come from up that road. I was still clutching the stick and wanting rid of it I chucked it off the bridge into the stream as I left the henge. Rushing over 'pooh-stick' style I hoped to see it come out, but it never reemerged. I felt even freakier. Walking on I was firmly back in mundanity - Xmas decorations, dogs, a car alarm. I felt a bit better. I didn't set out to feel weird I assure you. And I had eaten. I offer no spooky explanations of my state of mind that day, but I did find it unusual how instantaneous my change in mood was. (Hey, but I am female.)

Leaving Marden I drove on to Swanborough Tump, then stopped at the Sanctuary, and briefly at Silbury Hill before heading for home.

Swanborough Tump — Fieldnotes

07.01.04ce
Swanborough Tump lies at the t-junction of two long straight roads, in the edge of a wood. To be quite honest it didn't look like much, and I couldn't make out what was supposed to be the 'Tump' itself. I think you're on it as soon as you climb up from the road. This could be significant, if you look at the 'miscellaneous' entry.

An inscribed stone marks the site:

"Swanborough Tump - Swinbeorg c850
Here in the year 871 the future King Alfred the Great met his elder brother King Aethelred I on their way to fight the invading Danes and each one swore if the other died in battle the dead man's children would inherit the lands of their father King Aethelwulf."

Hardly recommended by the Plain English Campaign, I think.

(also - on my way here I was entranced by the nearby 'Picked Hill' (also given as 'Pecked Hill' on the OS maps) - if this (like its neighbour Woodborough Hill) aren't natural inspiration for round barrows - or for Silbury hill, for that matter - then I'm surely a monkey's uncle.)

Picked Hill — Folklore

08.03.05ce
I can't help wondering if the name of this hill implies that it was supposedly thrown from somewhere - pick or peck are apparently both old words for pitching or throwing, and the hill is known by both versions. Maybe thrown from Knap Hill or somewhere else along the nearby escarpment? This is pure unfounded speculation but the shape of the hill cries out for a mythological explanation. It seems a natural inspiration for a barrow or even for Silbury.

On second thoughts, I suppose the name sounds a bit like 'peaked hill'.

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Treasure at the British Museum


London is useful for something - the British Museum. The 'Treasure' exhibition is on there at the moment (though coming to a museum nearish you soon) and I would like to heartily recommend it to you. It is a snip at £3 for us lucky concessions (£7 otherwise).

You can be entranced by the beautiful warm-coloured gold of the fantastic Ringlemere cup, with its curved bottom that meant you couldn't put it down when it had something in it.

You can marvel at the ridiculously detailed gold bracelets of the Hoxne hoard, and the delightful birds somehow illustrated in gold on the curvy silver spoons.

Or gawp at the huge silver plates of the Mildenhall treasure...

See the delicious snakey gold torcs from Winchester, and hold a replica in your hand..

Come face to face with the Amesbury Archer himself, and see all the arrowheads he was buried with, and the curious gold objects that are some of the oldest ever found in Britain..

Ah, it was great. And then you can go and look round the rest of the museum at the Mold cape, the Rillaton cup, the Folkton Drums, the Bog Body from Cheshire etc etc. Not to mention countless interesting things brought back for your delight from all over the world. But we're on more shaky territory now. But it's great to see things from British (pre)history in the British museum. You can look on the website at
http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/buriedtreasure/
and the Compass tour too at
http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/compass/ixbin/goto?id=ENC11948&tour=int
but it's like seeing the articles on the tv (as you may well have done) - and it just doesn't do them justice. If you have the opportunity, go.

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Moving in circles


If you'll indulge me for a moment... My father has recently been delving into the family history. We always knew that one of my great great grandfathers was actually from England, but no one was sure whereabouts. The copperplate handwriting in an old bible revealed it as a village nestling in the Vale of Pewsey, not far from Avebury and all the places round it. And this isn't too far from where I now live myself.

I know it sounds daft - after all, this is only a part of my family, and it's only been tentatively traced back to around 1600 in the area (and they could have moved there whenever), but I felt really chuffed. I love visiting the ancient places around here, and in fact we deliberately moved to this region to be surrounded by them - and now I feel even nearer them.

It's irrational, but it gives me a little thrill to think that some of my genes might come from a Neolithic person who knew, visited (or let's go mad, even helped construct) the places I've visited myself. Obviously somebody must be descended from such people. But as if to bring my thoughts back down to earth, the very first page of my latest 'read' runs:

'As no lady or gentleman.. can possibly sympathise with the Chuzzlewit family without being first assured of the extreme antiquity of their race, it is a great satisfaction to know that it was undoubtedly descended in a direct line from Adam and Eve; and was, in the very earliest times, closely connected with the agricultural interest.'

Fair enough. But now the idea is getting firmly entrenched in my addled brain.

Armed with my new angle on the area, I wandered blissfully round the village and then drove up to Knap Hill.

Knap Hill — Fieldnotes

10.09.03ce
I liked Knap Hill. It's not quite as exposed as its neighbour, Adam's Grave, which is an advantage when you're trying to eat your sandwiches without consuming mouthfuls of hair. Also, its vista is quite different. At Adam's Grave you are compelled to look outwards - outwards, upwards, downwards, east and west. You don't think to look backwards with such a view on offer. But Knap Hill's different.

At least half the time I was looking at the Downs around where I was sat - Adam's Grave and the ridge on which it lies take up a good proportion of your field of view. I was watching for people approaching, watching people climb up towards Adam's Grave, seeing them sillouetted on its back, and following with my eye the curves of the hills and those distinctive undulating chalkland valleys. So I felt that Knaps Hill's not all about Onward and Outward and Far Away (though it certainly has that) but it has the comfort of the land close at hand too.

Wherever I looked there were weird and wonderful chalkland flowers and fluttering butterflies. Wherever I sat was a spiky plant, but hey, it's a small price to pay for this view. As I walked down to the road again a flock of goldfinches flew off the thistles where they'd been feeding and flashed red and gold in the sun.

After my walk it was only late afternoon so I thought I'd head over to Avebury and spend some time at another place I hadn't really been to before - the West Kennett Avenue.

West Kennett Avenue — Fieldnotes

26.08.03ce
Visiting on a Bank Holiday Monday I half expected the Avenue to be swarming with people. But of course it wasn't! I think part of the reason is because only a couple of stones are immediately visible from the henge end, so people don't think to walk down it. This is definitely their loss.

I had driven from the direction of West Kennett, and parked in the little layby just where the stones start, so I had a lovely walk into the circle and back - not to deprive the NT of their new ticket-machine monies, but personally this is the route I'd recommend if you fancy a bit of peace. I don't know for sure which direction the avenue was 'supposed to be used', but I do know that the way you experience reaching the main henge with the banks rising up in front of you is much more enlightening than the sudden way you enter it from the NT carpark.

Another advantage of this direction is that from lots of directions Windmill Hill doesn't look like much, which has always surprised me considering it's the Original site, older than Avebury. But walking towards it down the Avenue the Hill looks big and important: it clearly overarches the henge. Surely this must have been a consideration when this Avenue was put up?

Another thing that struck me was the way the Avenue is bordered by Avebury Down on one side, and Waden Hill on the other. You get the impression it is nestling between them, but take away the stones - yes, it would be a natural route, but somehow the stones highlight it. I really felt that the stones weren't Competing with the landscape, they weren't imposing on it. Some of them are pretty massive, but they're nothing compared to the surrounding landscape, nor I felt were they trying to be. You know how at some sites the stones feel the centre of attention (Long Meg feels like this to me) but here I didn't think they were. Neither were they echoing their surroundings like I felt at Castlerigg. They just 'show you the way'. Probably a bit obvious as it's an avenue? But it's not an enclosing, single minded 'This Way' sort of avenue. If you see what I mean.

I'd never walked down here before and so was pleasantly taken by its curving lines - it certainly feels profoundly un roman or christian! I thought it was quite funny that some of the stones are or should be on the opposite side of the road as the S swings round - typical that the road should develop straight from A to B through them. The S-shape reinforced to me how it's not a 'This Way, People, Hurry Up' kind of device. The journey is important - it's not just about funnelling people from one place to another.

Driving back past the Avenue and out towards the Beckington roundabout, Silbury Hill quickly appeared. I admit I'd kind of forgotten about it being so close, so it was quite surprising. I remembered that Waden Hill is the hill that plays the 'Silbury Game'. Everything is so linked here; the landscape is so full of 'monuments' and each one was added (one imagines in a meaningful way) onto a layout already in existence. There's so much we don't know and can probably never know, and wandering about in this landscape is so tantalising; it's like having a phrase on the tip of your tongue but just not being able to remember it.

It was only after my excursion that I was looking in my TMA book and noticed the map on page ten showing the relative positions in the Avebury-Marden-Stonehenge complex, and it for some reason shows 'my' village as one of the very few marked. It doesn't look far from Marden so that will definitely be the destination of my next trip.

Weblog

Visits to vague bumps in fields


I felt encouraged by Treaclechop's description of her visit to her Oxford barrow, so I will try to describe my visit to some similarly apparently unprepossessing sites.

I really hope you understand when I say that sometimes, there are some places you just have to visit on your own (or with similarly weird people - that probably means people like yourselves). Otherwise, when you do have the opportunity to take people with you to a lovely place with something-to-actually-see, then they'll think you're crying wolf, think it'll be yet another empty field, and refuse to go.
For example, a few weeks ago I was working away in my saturday job, and a friend came in to see me. "Have you anything planned for tomorrow?" she asked. Well actually I had. I'd been looking at my beloved OS maps and I was completely set on going out to look for some imperceptible bumps in a field.
So I say " Erm. No. Not really. I thought I might go for a walk." So she says to me, "Ooh well, if you're not really doing anything perhaps we could meet up for lunch!" You see I don't mean to sound Antisocial, but I really wanted to see my henge from the map. I'd set my little heart on it. But I didn't want to have to explain this in the middle of the shop to someone who probably is under the impression I'm quite normal, and have normal interests. Do you know what I mean? So I had to make some non-commital noises and quickly serve the next customer.

There are these uncomfortable feelings I get - that firstly, I am in fact a ridiculous megalithic geek (which I strongly refute, though it's probably a waste of time), and secondly, that there's this element of sneaking about inherent in visiting less obvious sites - the way you have to duck under fences, having first scouted the area for landowners with dogs and guns etc., let alone the feeling of embarrassment about explaining your reasons for wanting to visit an apparently empty field to someone who's given you a perfectly decent offer of a lunch out.

I probably sound like I worry too much. But I don't really, because I went off to see the henge anyway, and arranged to meet her another evening. So everything was fine.

My first stop was Hangman's Copse. I took a couple of snaps because I wanted to give you the idea of how much of an isolated island the barrow looks amongst the crops.

Next stop, a flyby snap of Cley Hill and its little sidekick. Again, there are better angles, but you can see something of the earthworks and the barrow. I'm in the direction of Bugley so who knows, this footpath could be the very one used by the boggart in the story.

Now onto something new - the mysterious Deverill Road Henge. I parked the car in the industrial estate / ex-army barracks down the road, and trying to fix in my mind as best I could where I should be looking, set off on foot. The road is very long and straight, lined on both sides with a raised verge and hedges. I kept leaping up and peering over but I couldn't see a thing. It's a funny feeling, this searching for sites business. You really want to prove to yourself you've found the place, even if it's by spotting the most pathetic and insignificant little dint int he ground.

I still couldn't see anything but I didn't want to give up - on the other hand I kept suppressing a rising disappointment: what on earth did I actually expect to find of an earthen ring after 4000 years? However, suddenly my pogoing efforts paid off. A cloud racing across the sun made a strip of light move over the waving grasses in the next field. As its shape subtley altered I realised it was illuminating a tiny rise and fall in the ground - well this had to be it! It is sad, but I felt quite chuffed, and wholly disregarding conventions about private property clambered over the nearest gate. I furtively dashed across the field through the tall grasses - well, it served me right because I'd forgotten it'd been raining all night, and my trousers were soon wringing wet almost up to my knees.

As you can see, I futilely tried to photograph it - you know it's never going to come out, but you do so anyway, don't you find? I felt that I really wanted to take a good photo to prove to you people that there was something there. But it just looks like an imperceptible bump in a field.

So I tried to concentrate on the surrounding landscape. The hills nearby are fantastic. I tried to show the view from the henge in another photo. But all the time I was feeling guilty for being in the field without permission so I hotfooted it back to the gate in that strange lolloping bouncing trot reserved for long wet grass. Munching my sandwiches back in the car I bemoaned my uncomfortably wet flares and consulted the map for the next stop in nearby Sutton Veny.

After my brush with the livestock there and tired of walking I thought I'd pay Devizes Museum] a visit, taking a snap of Westbury White Horse en route. There is currently a temporary exhibition of notebooks of THE names in old-school archaeology. If you become a member you can use the library, and who knows what weath of stuff would be in there. I found myself dashing excitedly from case to case. It's a fantastic place and I wholeheartedly recommend you visit - it's not like it's far from Stonehenge and Avebury if you're in the area.



This (courtesy of HMcG) is the fantastic stained glass window by John Nash which can be found upstairs in the art gallery at the museum. I had to furtively clamber over a barrier of chairs because they were in the process of arranging an exhibition. The room was in darkness - but at least that meant the colours of the window sang out. The museum displays quite a few works of art with prehistoric subjects - another reason to go.

Long Ivor Farm — Miscellaneous

03.07.03ce
The helpful MAGIC site provides this information:

"The monument includes a henge monument set on a gentle south-east facing slope in an area of undulating chalk downland immediately east of the Wylye Valley. It comprises a central area between 30m and 33m across raised 1m above ground level. Surrounding this is a ditch, from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, and an external bank. The ditch has been partly infilled over the years but survives to a depth of 0.5m and is c.10m across. The bank is 0.2m high and 10m wide. In the south-west portion of the ditch is a causeway c.4m across.

I must say I'm not particularly convinced by these figures but can't do any better. I was preoccupied at the time by the sheer excitement of tracking it down and taking in the feel of its location and the hillside opposite, which you can see in the photos above.

I was sadly quite thrilled to see the henge show up on Multimap's aerial photo.

Long Ivor Farm — Images

25.06.03ce
<b>Long Ivor Farm</b>Posted by Rhiannon
<b>Bratton Castle & Westbury White Horse</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Sutton Veny Barrows — Fieldnotes

16.07.03ce
I didn't know what to expect here - I was just chasing 'tumuli' on the map. There are three in a row in the Wylye valley bottom - admittedly it's a very wide valley, but still a little unusual to find them so low down when there are so many convenient hills?
I tried to keep my mind on the landscape but had to walk through a field of curious bullocks who looked like they were going to march over en masse so I was slightly distracted. Running the gauntlet seemed worth it though when I got to the last field containing 'The Knoll'. The barrow was surrounded by fantastic greeny golden barley, rippling in waves like something in a Van Gogh painting.

Long Ivor Farm — Images

25.06.03ce
<b>Long Ivor Farm</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Sutton Veny Barrows — Images

25.06.03ce
<b>Sutton Veny Barrows</b>Posted by Rhiannon<b>Sutton Veny Barrows</b>Posted by Rhiannon<b>Sutton Veny Barrows</b>Posted by Rhiannon

Weblog

Thoughts at Lugbury Longbarrow


For 'work' on Friday we went to a fantastic Down to take some photos of the characteristic chalkland plants that grow there. Chalkland plants seem to have the best names - yellow rattle (that really does rattle), milkwort, fairy flax, quaking grass - and my personal favourite, squinancywort. I collected lots of vacated stripey snail shells in various shades of pink, yellow, green and brown and after walking back via the most fantastic sunken green lane steeped in delapidated drystone walling, moss and shiny harts-tongue ferns I decided I'd finish the day off by visiting the nearby Lugbury Longbarrow - somewhere I felt I hadn't been in far too long.

As I approached the barrow across the field I was thinking 'rationally' about its shape and everything, taking photos, trying to 'appreciate' it, but underneath I had quite a serious worry on my mind, and I couldn't push this away far enough to.. (well this is difficult to communicate, but I hope it means something to some people) .. to kind of really 'experience' where I was. You know how sometimes you can't seem to concentrate on where you are in the present because your mind is too concerned with things that are in the future, or that have happened in the past? Perhaps it's just what they call stress. Maybe (despite my pleasant botanical day out) I was feeling stressed. I felt really happy to be there and I thought the huge limestone slabs were amazing, but I felt like there was something separating me from really 'getting the most' from being there.

I know that the psychological or maybe 'spiritual' benefit I get out of visiting such places is a major reason why I go to them. I suppose if I haven't felt I've truly relaxed then I haven't been able to properly take in my surroundings. It's not a matter of some new-age 'ooh I can just see what those neolithic people were up to' kind of spirituality. I think it's more a truly human thing about experiencing whatever there is to experience. I think I would personally brand this paganism, though I know the term encompasses a huge range of things to different people. The 'pagani' to the Romans were the 'country people' as opposed to the townies - I can certainly identify myself as one of the former having been in London at the weekend! I think a willingness to pay attention to detail is important to me, and for this I need the time and space to think properly. My bumpkin mentality doesn't allow me to do this in a town - there's too much going on that requires your attention in terms of staying ahead of the rest and surviving (not to mention all the distracting noise!)

Having circled the flattened mound of the longbarrow, taken a load of photos, faffed about a bit, touched the stones, stung myself copiously on some nettles, etc etc I finally sat down in front of the stones. Only now did I actually 'relax' and actually forget the worries I'd been carrying. I just sat there and took it all in, the view, the sounds of the rookery and the M4, the general ambience I suppose (maybe catching the 'spirit of place' that's been discussed so much lately).

I would totally (but respectfully) disagree with the Ocifant's suggestion that the site is sad and dilapidated - though perhaps he didn't mean it had such an air, only that it is physically dilapidated. When I first arrived I was slightly peeved that the stones were even more surrounded by vegetation than the last time I visited (when I was able to sit between them under the shelter of the capstone when it rained) - but actually as I sat there I started to think how sterile and dull the stones would be without their skirting of plants. There were so many insects visiting the flowers and I kind of felt that the plants were representing life rather than being a sad reflection on the state of the barrow. The slipped capstone [I now realise it's probably not a slipped anything, but a deliberate placing] particularly is pretty enormous, which for me represented how strong and positive the site remains.

I sat there for quite a long time and felt very refreshed. At the time I didn't even realise I wasn't thinking about my worry, though I was aware that I had stayed past the point where I no longer felt agitated and 'unconnected' with my surroundings. I definitely reflected on how important it is (at least for me) to stay for longer than a certain period of time at a site in order to cross some point in the way you're experiencing it - at the least in order to truly relax and feel that you're there experiencing it, rather than just passing through on a whistlestop visit.

My thoughts eventually turned (as they usually do) to my stomach, so I got up and started walking back towards the road. What happened next sounds a bit artyfarty and contrived but I can assure you it was not, though I was aware it seemed a bit daft even at the time. I became aware of the rooks cawing in the trees in the aptly titled 'Three Stones Plantation' bordering the field. I looked down and spotted a small shiny black feather. I walked on and bent down to pick up another larger feather. In a moment it became really obsessive and I walked back and forth in a compulsion to pick up all the feathers near the barrow. I've no idea why. They're pretty in their way, and I suppose I like many other people have an urge to collect natural objects - like the snailshells from the morning which I'd kept. It also seemed something tangible to mark my visit I suppose. I tied them up with some grass improvising as string and waving goodbye to noone in particular, wandered back to the car.

Driving off I was extremely aware of how relaxed I felt - almost a bit too 'trippy' to be driving in fact! My usual style is fairly frantic, but cruising down the outrageously straight but flowing Fosse Way towards home my driving was smooth and calm for once. I reckon it's pretty good for you visiting these places.

Lugbury — Fieldnotes

08.07.03ce
Walking across the field to the longbarrow I realised it was much bigger than I remembered. The bump of the mound stretches out a hugely long way. Was the barrow really that long and wide, or is it
just the result of being ploughed so much? And if it is due to ploughing, well that still hints that the barrow was pretty high to begin with.
I wandered right round the end of the mound - although most of it has been left with tufty vegetation, the edges of it have still been mown at some point, which distorts your idea of how extensive the mound is. According to the information at magic.gov there are flanking ditches, from which the material for the mound was quarried, which run parallel to the long sides of the mound. These were about 3 metres wide but have been infilled gradually.

The stones are pretty enormous, and beautifully patterned with lichens and mosses against the warm colour of the stone. The capstone is quite something - about 3 by 2 metres, leaning firmly against the two uprights. I saw what I took to be claw marks on its face - maybe a fox or a badger?

It would be a perfect spot to linger (no cows when I visited though), and I would heartily recommend a visit. As you will appreciate if you read my weblog, I felt thoroughly relaxed and peaceful after being here. I realise I'm not familiar with the large stones at barrows in Cornwall or Wales (not to mention further afield) but I think in terms of actual remains in this region (ok, bar Stanton Drew and Stoney Littleton) Lugbury deserves more recognition than it appears to receive. Ok I am biased.

Lugbury — Miscellaneous

08.07.03ce
The barrow doesn't seem to have a 'view' (unlike many longbarrows that are apparently positioned prominently - and having been to the nearby West Yatton Downs, it's not like hills with views are unavailable locally?): it's on level ground above the valley of By Brook, a tributary of the River Avon. It's orientated east-west and has been measured at 56m long, 38m wide and 1.5m high.

Lugbury — Images

29.07.03ce
<b>Lugbury</b>Posted by Rhiannon<b>Lugbury</b>Posted by Rhiannon<b>Lugbury</b>Posted by Rhiannon<b>Lugbury</b>Posted by Rhiannon
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This hill, it has a meaning that is very important for me, but it's not rational. It's beautiful, but when you look, there's nothing there. But I'd be a fool if I didn't listen to it.

-- Alan Garner.


...I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn...

-- William Wordsworth.


I'm currently mad on visiting Anglo-Saxon and Norman carvings and enjoy the process of drawing them:
http://wiltshirewandering.blogspot.co.uk/

and I've been helping digitise the Schools' Collection of the National Folklore Collection of Ireland... you can also at
http://www.duchas.ie/en

Some interesting websites with landscape and fairy folklore:
http://earthworks-m.blogspot.co.uk
http://faeryfolklorist.blogspot.co.uk

My TMA Content: