Tuesday, 21 February 2012

An Uphill climb to "Wansdyke" and over Milk Hill.

The Mid Wilts Rambers climb Milk Hill.
A line of ramblers straggles its way along Wansdayke towards the top of Milk Hill. A great walk, although the first two miles uphill were somewhat strenuous for my old legs, and I was pleased to get to the top,  and there begin the long descent back to our starting point at East Kennet Church.  The sun shone, the skylarks twittered in the blue sky, and a northerly wind blew a gale of wind in our right ears, and  I had to  borrow one of Pamela's hats, before I developed earache.  The group finished their walk at the church, but Pamela and I walked on to the "Santuary," the site of a possible neolithic henge or settlement.  We crossed the road to the "Ridgeway" and then walked down and onward through the "Stone Avenue" that leads into Avebury Stone circle.  This particular part of Wiltshire is crammed with neolithic sites, with Silbury Hill, that huge, and for purposes unknown, man made mound.  I still believe prehistoric man was trying to touch the stars and see if the moon were made of cheese!  After our walk we had to visit the "Red Lion" for a well earned beer and packets of crisps.  (I also had a packet of dry roasted peanuts too, very nice!)
Wansdyke snakes its way through the Wiltshire countryside towards Marlborough.
After the withdrawal of the Romans and before the takeover of the  Anglo-Saxons  "Wansdyke"  was built in the 7th century as a defensive linear earthwork of ditch and bank.  It formed a border between the Romano-British Celts in the West Country and the West Saxons, who were encroaching in the east from the Upper Thames Valley.  The Saxons named the bank after their god Woden, hence "Woden's Dyke."
West Kennet Long Barrow is silhouetted on the brow of the hill.  In my previous blog you can read about West Kennet Long Barrow.

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