Podcast 7 : Pewsey (or is it Marlborough) Downs?
In this episode we visit the hills to the north of the Pewsey Vale where Glyn and Paul have an argument about whether they are called the Pewsey Downs or the Marlborough Downs!
But first we talk about a query from a listener about what to do when faced by a blocked public right of way. The answer is to report the matter to Wiltshire Council. There’s a link below.
Glyn then tells us about a letter (yes an actual letter on paper and everything) that he received from Wiltshire artist David Alderslade about a previously unknown wood. We’re looking to forward to hearing about Glyn’s recce in a future episode. And if that’s not enough we talk about our two weeks in Wiltshire since recording the last episode, including Paul’s unwitting trespass into someone’s garden whilst walking near Knook.
Then onto the walk that Paul blogged about in February 2019 (see link below). The walk takes us to the dizzy heights of Wiltshire’s highest hill, Milk Hill, which pips neighbouring Tan Hill by 26 cms. We follow historic Wansdyke for a while before turning south over Rybury Camp on the Clifford’s Hill ridge before returning to Stanton via the Kennet and Avon Canal.
A recurring theme of this episode is the number of striking things that Paul missed when he did this walk on Valentine’s Day 2019. Firstly he was oblivious to one of the most important Iron Age sites in the UK, All Cannings Cross which he passed on the descent from Clifford’s Hill. This was the first site to be identified by archaeologists as marking the transition from late Bronze Age to early Iron Age. One of the finds, a distinctive form of pottery, can be found in the British Museum.
Whilst we can excuse not noticing All Cannings Cross (of which there is no evidence on the ground) there is no excuse for failing to see All Cannings Long Barrow. Let’s face it how can anyone pass within 200 metres of a sizable long barrow in the middle of a field without noticing it? For those that don’t know it, this barrow was built in 2014 as a modern day place of internment for 340 lucky souls.
And finally, the chance discovery on the map of the Honeystreet Hanging Stone near Stanton St Bernard warrants a future visit for those curious about its gruesome past.
We finish with a reminder about the offer to listeners of the podcast from Lowa Boots UK. You’ll need to listen to the podcast for details of how you can save 20% off their walking boots and shoes.
The music and sounds in the podcast are provided by the multi-talented Steve Dixon. The piece in the Introduction is entitled “The Holloway”, whilst the piece introducing us to the walk is entitled “Downland”.
You can follow the walk on the Hidden Wiltshire website here Milk Hill, Tan Hill, Clifford's Hill - Pewsey Downs
Glyn’s photographs can be seen on this website and his Instagram feed @coy_cloud
Steve Dixon’s sound art can be found on Soundcloud where his username is River and Rail Steve Dixon River and Rail. His photographs can be found on Instagram at @stevedixon_creative and his graphic design business website is at Steve Dixon Creative
The link to report blocked public rights of way to Wiltshire Council My Wiltshire Booking and Reporting
Wiltshire artist David Alderslade’s striking artwork can be found here David Alderslade Art Work
And you can find Lowa Boots UK at Lowa Boots UK