Sunday, 5 August 2012

Storm Dodging in Dorset

It's been a pretty grim summer here in the UK. Today was "good in parts" so a careful study of the weather map was made and the decision taken to head down to Dorset and Hambledon Hill.

Hambledon Hill - a very prosaic name for a quite amazing site. It was originally a Neolithic site but little of that remains and it is now a prime example of an Iron Age hill fort. There is dating evidence for 2850 BCE and the site looks to have been finally abandoned around 300 BCE.

Parking the car in the nearby and quaintly named village of Iwerne Courtney we could see our destination at the end of the chalk downs of Cranborne Chase.  A quintessential English summer sight - a local cricket match.

We just hoped it didn't rain on them!

It is a pretty climb up from the village, especially at this time of the year.  The poppies are out and this barley field was almost ripe but still a little too green.

Everything seems to be late this year; nature hasn't appreciated the cold wet summer. Today though was quite warm. Provided that is that the sun was out. Which it wasn't all the time.

The fort itself is breathtaking. The sheer size is breathtaking in itself and the number of hours of labour it must have taken to construct the numerous banks and ditches made this no small undertaking.

 The site covers more than 1 sq  km with the long barrow on the top being approx 68 mt long. In all there is believed to have been 3 barrows here with one being buried under a later earthwork.

 From the top we could watch the storms passing by. Miraculously they all missed us - not sure how. Obviously our weather map reading was spot on.

All in all there are worse ways of spending a Sunday morning, sitting on a hill top and watching the ravens circling around. We weren't the only ones up there, it is popular with dog walkers and horse riders too but it wasn't too busy as you can see.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...