Monday, 7 November 2011

The Sarsen Stone Valley on Fyfield Down near Marlborough.

Sheep among the Sarsen stones.
This valley of stones at Fyfield Down was formed when the overlaying sands and chalk eroded over the millennia, to leave behind these huge bolders.  The Down has the best assemblage of "Sarsen stones" in England, and they support nationally import lichen flora.  The stones are known locally  as "Grey Wethers"  because, when seen from a distance, they look like sheep. These are the boulders used  in the building  of the Stone circle  at Avebury and the more distant Stonehenge, and must have been transported by prehistoric  man from here  to their eventual resting places.  The landscape is hilly, and many man hours would have been needed to pull them up hill and down dale.  Silbury Hill, the artificial prehistoric manmade  mound is nearby, as is West Kennet Long Barrow and many other Bell Barrows, all ancient burial sites.  Much of this area is a World Heritage Site and a place of international archeological importance. I am very fortunate to live in this part of wonderful Wiltshire.  

I walked with the "Mid Wilts Ramblers" a group who organise local walks on Sundays.  I have lived in Wiltshire for ten years, and this was my first visit to the stones.  I will visit again, as many of the stones are named and  have interesting markings.  Yesterday it was not possible to linger awhile, sit on a stone and commune with my ancient ancestors.  The sunset was glorious as we arrived back at our cars, but I failed to capture its full glory on my camera.  and search Fyfield Down.
The Ramblers walking among the bolders.

Sunset over Fyfield Down

Climbing a ridge to sit on the stones for a tea break

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