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Warham Camp (Hillfort)

Warham Hillfort. (a poem written in 1996)

When I'm sitting alone on the ramparts,
with nothing around but the air,
I imagine I hear ghostly voices,
but it's only the wind in my hair.
All the same, it's an uncanny feeling
when I'm here by myself on the mound,
as I ponder on those who once lived here,
as I wonder who walked on this ground.

When I gaze straight across to the river,
a picture begins to unfold
of people in coarse, woollen clothing,
with goatskins to keep out the cold.
In the centre, a cluster of dwellings,
with a crackling fire at each door,
on the ramparts cloaked figures stand silent,
keeping watch on the far distant shore.

Some say it was used by the Romans,
the most powerful force ever seen,
whilst others embrace different theories,
they maintain it was home to a Queen.
But whether a queen or a Roman,
this stronghold through time has survived,
a mysterious aura still lingers
where once a community thrived.

And here it remains, now deserted,
a circular bank swathed in green.
Of the people who once made their home here
not a trace nor a relic is seen.
Though the campfires have long ceased to smoulder,
and those who sat round them are gone,
when I wander these ancient defences,
I feel never completely alone.

copyright Christine (Chrissie) Rayner 1997

I LOVE this place and spend much time there, with my husband. Often it seems that when there, one finds oneself back in time, to an age long gone. A most peaceful, restful and evocative site, well worth preserving. It should always remain open to the public, for it is a rare place, somewhere folk can find tranquility in this manic world of technology and the pursuit of gain.
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