Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Take the road to Priddy from the Wells Road, and as you drive through this stonewalled landscape remember that you are entering a truly prehistoric landscape that goes way back into the past. Barrows, swallet holes, Priddy Circles and of course caves and rock shelters.
If you drive into the village of Priddy, stop for a moment and admire the large village green with an old fashioned farm on the other side. Drive up the hill to the church, and there is a barrow sitting in the field next to it. But to find the lane to Ebbor Gorge, you must take the first lane sharply left just as you enter the village, drive past the picnic place on the highest point of the hill, and descend down for a few hundred yards till on the left there is a car park for the Gorge.
The "scramble" walk is well indicated, you descend into the wooded depths of the gorge, high trees, dark green luscious growth and ferns on old fallen trees, patches of open ground gleaming pale in the sunlight, the white perfumed meadowsweet that loves boggy ground is on show. Then the scramble, you enter the narrow defile of the gorge where the shelters are situated, and begin to climb sharply over great natural stone steps with the sheer rock faces on either side, where there is sun the blue flowers of the nettle leaved bellflower cluster at the path's edge and a small stream trickles down the steps, at one point the path becomes so narrow between the rocks that it looks impassable.
The shelters are dark and gloomy places, Victorian grottoes comes to mind, Neolithic and Bronze age finds have been found, perhaps they were more burial place that living quarters. Upwards to the viewpoint over the gorge itself, steep, steep cliff like faces of rock covered with vegetation and tall trees in the gorge below, gives it a rainforest look and of course there is also a misty view to Glastonbury Tor with Wearyall Hills' long length blending into the landscape.
If you drive back to Priddy you should see some of the Nine Barrows on the horizon, turning left from the carpark takes you to Wookey Hole, and not too far away is Westbury Sub Mendip, where I believe half million year old bones were found…..
Its a middling demanding walk, steep paths and a bit of rock climbing.
Prehistoric Cave Art Is A Mammoth Find
It might not have the instant impact of modern graffiti but a mammoth carved on to a wall in Cheddar Caves 13,000 years ago is being hailed as one of the most significant examples of prehistoric art ever found in Britain. The carving - a little larger than a man's hand, is only the second piece of representational cave art found in Britain, and contemporary with the golden age of cave art in Europe... the rest can be found in the following article...