Barrows, Horses and Hills, Oh My
We knew this would be our last week-end enjoying the English countryside and were lucky to have two beautiful sunny days. We spent them driving all over the damn place. There is nary a perilously narrow country road we have not risked our lives on. We drove past many signs for summer fayres and circuses. The Piddlehintons were particularly proud of their festivities and delighted us with adverts for many miles. I have decided to stop using the phrase “the middle of bum-fuck nowhere” in favor of “the ass-end of Piddlehinton.”
You can see the historic sites we visited and the lovely patchwork countryside on my map (best in satellite view). We set out to find the West Kennet Long Barrow, “One of the largest, most impressive and most accessible Neolithic chambered tombs in Britain. Built in around 3400 BC, and used by a whole community for at least a thousand years.”
Nearby we ran across the famous and enigmatic Silbury Hall.
On our way to Uffington we caught site of this hillside chalk drawing. We weren’t sure what it was at the time. I think it is the Alton Barnes White Horse.
Finally we arrived in Uffington where we enjoyed what may be our last afternoon picnic (sigh wistfully). First we climbed up to see the Uffington White Horse, which is”the oldest chalk-cut hill figure in Britain, and may be more than 3,000 years old.” We couldn’t figure out any place on the nearby landscape from which it could be viewed in its entirety in correct horse orientation and so concluded it must have been made for aliens.
The hill in the background is Dragon Hill. It is where St. George killed the mythical dragon. Nothing will grow where the dragon fell. See the dragon?
We climbed up, up, up to the top of Uffington “Castle” which is an Iron Age hill fort. We walked the perimeter of the fort.
I enjoyed the perfect patchwork view.
Our lovely last day out ended with a happy surprise – finally, a black sheep!