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Adam's Grave

Long Barrow


I've been waiting so long to get out here. I felt desperate to get a huge dose of air and view and space (you must surely know what I mean especially in these horrible dark wet days) and we were going whether it poured with rain or not. Which in the event it did, of course. As we were driving along the bottom of the Pewsey Downs there was a fantastic bright rainbow reaching down to it, and then we rounded the corner and saw the white horse. It's quite new (1930s), a replacement for an older one that was close by. It's a funny looking animal, could be anything with four legs really - maybe the maker wanted to be a bit ambiguous?

We drove onto the downs and I was horrified to see that the little car park was full of cars - what could all these people be doing out on such a dingy afternoon? and I really didn't want to share the place with them. But when we started walking we didn't see anyone. I guess there's room for a lot of people up here.

Climbing up towards Adam's Grave you are suddenly surprised by the view stretching out in front of you, it suddenly appears all at once. It was quite misty but we could see for miles. You seem to be on the edge of a huge shallow basin - the lip seems to go all around the horizon. I could pick out where the Westbury white horse is (by the thoughtfully positioned cement works chimney plume) and realised that I'd glimpsed the Pewsey horse from the hill fort there. It starts you realising how the landscape fits together, and how different groups of people lived in proximity to one another. We climbed up onto the longbarrow and stared out at the dark clouds relentlessly coming towards us. Then it started pouring with rain. You feel on top of everything - I would have felt very exposed in a thunderstorm. We stood there in the rain a little while but even with umbrellas it was very cold so we reluctantly trudged through the mud back to the car.

The other half had been in a terrible mood with nicotine withdrawal, but admitted he felt a bit better. Anyone would feel relaxed visiting this fantastic place. I felt a weight off my shoulders. I just have to have peace and quiet sometimes - this place is peaceful. I would love to come back in the sun and stay a long while but will it be full of children and picnics?

It should be even more fantastic in the summer because the Pewsey Downs are a nationally important nature reserve - the rare chalk grassland has been grazed for countless generations and is full of rare plant species, and the butterflies they attract.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
26th November 2002ce
Edited 28th January 2004ce

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