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Bledlow Cross and Wain Hill

Hill Figure

Nearest Town:Thame (9km WNW)
OS Ref (GB):   SP769009 / Sheet: 165
Latitude:51° 42' 3.79" N
Longitude:   0° 53' 13.59" W

Added by RiotGibbon

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The barrows are signposted from the car park at the end of Hill Top Lane.

The top of the hill is quite steep sided and identifying the barrows can be a bit tricky - there was a lot of chalk pitting round here, these have now grown over with grass and it is a bit of a task to spot what is a barrow and what is deposites from the chalk pits.
Scottie Posted by Scottie
13th April 2004ce
Edited 15th February 2006ce

(28th May 2003)
There is no obvious path up to the cross that I could find, so after tangling with the undergrowth and struggling up the steep slope, I came across it in a small open area. It is slightly overgrown and hasn't been cleaned (scoured?) for a while I guess.

It sits on a slope, slightly facing downhill and the ends of the cross are not a perfect square, rather they appear to 'flange' at the ends.

The view from the site seems to be over towards Henton rather than Bledlow, but the naming could be to do with the importance of the settlement of Bledlow over Henton, or simply because Bledlow is nearer. With the trees cleared, a view across to Bledlow would be plausible.

As to its prehistoric antiquity, it seems possible that it is prehistoric in date, given the position close to the Ridgeway path and the location of some round barrows close by. A Carbon dating of the sub soil (similar to that performed on the White Horse at Uffington) would be conclusive.

Expect to sweat to get here! Only for the fit and healthy!
wysefool Posted by wysefool
5th November 2003ce

Went up here for sunset last night (24/aug/2001). Absolutely breathtaking, not least because the awesome gradient of the hill.

The Ridgeway runs along the bottom of the hill, but the real action takes place further up, if you dare ascend (or park at the top). Densely thick woodland, paths twist and turn off in every direction, some leading to burial mounds, some to large bushes of stinging things. Forget getting a signal on your phone or gps, you're on your own up here.

Just before sunset, I burst out into a clearing. This view stretches on for miles, bathed in a golden light. The sun sank, I sweated like a pig, flying ants swarmed and I was in the middle of thick woodland on an incredibly steep hill. The Gps reckoned the actual cross was about 300m away to the NE, but there was no way I was going to make that and back before sunset.

Tumbled down the hill down what looked like a path, but probably wasn't --- found some strange things facing out towards the sunset that looked like burial mounds lodged into the hillside (but probably weren't) - like the ones in Malta, back into even more woods, steeper hill,clinging onto the battered fence-cum-bannister, out onto more twisting turn paths ... a path dug into the earth like it was a trench ready for a cable ... this path has been walked for *thousands* of years

creepy creepy ... paths go up and down, dunno which way to go, the compass says go this way, but it's all dense wood, can't go that way, don't want to go up again, my heart can't stand it

hit a path that goes down, thank you, where am I ... GPS technology marvellous with a clear sky, no use in woods. Bloke with a dog, at least I'm still in 2001 ...

road ahead --- open air, check the gps to find where I am ... wallop, it's the *exact* same way as I came in ... cars 2 minutes away


never made the cross, knackered, smelly. Get yourself up there ... it's all rather strange. I think you'll like it ...

Posted by RiotGibbon
25th August 2001ce


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Be careful when exploring the Chilterns ... a cougar, puma or some other unidentified ABC (alien big cat) is said to prowl around these parts ... something to think about when staggering around the thick woodland Wain Hill in the fading twilight ... Posted by RiotGibbon
8th January 2002ce
Edited 15th February 2006ce

Apparently, if you run barefoot up and down, then across the arms, you will be invigorated and be able to continue your journey.

Or dead of exhaustion - it's *very* steep up there on the Ridge ...
Posted by RiotGibbon
25th August 2001ce