The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

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Belas Knap (Long Barrow) — Fieldnotes

Visited on 25/3/02 - It was an incredibly sunny day and I decided to go off in search for inspiration for a piece of fiction. The Knap sounded interesting so I went in search. Parked at the bottom of the lane by Winchcome and found the footpath sign 1.5 miles. I was dressed in ordinary street shoes and carried my laptop over my shoulder and a carrier bag containing a sarnie and a bottle of mineral water! The walk stared off nice and easy - but then began the cross-field climb. I should have known what I was in for when I met various walkers on their way down - they were kitted out in the proper gear and looked at me as if I were somewhat eccentric. I soldiered on, came to the end of the field and thought 'It can't be far now' - - WRONG. Up the lane a little and I found the next signpost, pinting upwards through a wood. 'Oh good' I thought and continued stubbornly if a little out of breath. Then the next field, keeping to the left hand fence as indicated by the sign, only to find that I had to walk upwards along the top fence to reach the opposite corner of the field to which I had been sent - hum! Another field with slight incline - then - I had made it. Yes, it was a 'bloody steep climb' but it was worth it. A well preserved site - perhaps a little too pristine - but then again, would not the ancients have kept it in reasonable nick for their ceremonies? Even it it was just a quick scythe of the turf a couple of days before the big shebang? Anyway, I lit a smoke (not recommended on the way up but extremely welcome at the top), explored the site and set up office in the NW chamber - which was sheltered enough from the sun to enable me to use the laptop - hey, I'd lugged the damned thing up there so there was no way I was going to leave without some words on screen. It was incredibly peaceful in the chamber and ideas came easily. I have two stories in the formative stage and others keep springing to mind. Thank you Belas Knap. Happy Searching.
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