|The "Lion Monument" at Etchilhampton Hill.|
Braunschweig has many lions, but Devizes has only one, and he stands on a plinth near Etchilhampton Hill. He commemorates Mr James Long of Urchfont, who in 1768, promoted a new road to Lydeway with a gentle gradient up the hill, for the road replaced a steep track. When the clock of St James's Church in Devizes strikes midnight, the lion is supposed to climb down and walk to a local farmer's pond, where he drinks water and then walks back again to his plinth. If you happen to pass by you can see this feat, but you need to have drunk a lot of beer in the local pubs to witness this event. We walked past the monument and then onto the "Wessex Ridgeway," part of a long distance walk that traverses Wiltshire. It was a beautiful day, and after a very foggy start, the rolling landscape of the Marlborough Downs and the Vale of Pewsey unfolded before our eyes. The stone heap below is spoil from a workshop that produces kitchen tops from granite and marble. It was fascinating to search through and find all sorts of interesting pieces of polished stone. We found a piece of sandstone with a pebble lodged inside, both probably millions of years old.
The lowest photo shows Bob and Joyce walking the Wessex Ridgeway and looking towards a distant, mist covered Morgen's Hill, the site of the "Battle of Roundway Down" on July 13th 1643 during the English Civil War. The Royalist won.
|Walking the Wessex Ridgeway towards a misty Marlborough Downs.|