Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sacred Hills maybe

This is a not very good 'photoshopped' image of Silbury, when I tried this out a few weeks back I was trying for a more spiritual aspect of Silbury. The mound is often described as 'pudding like', and photographs do not always do it justice.
The truth of the matter is that Silbury is a very physical entirety, it is founded on hard labour and massive size and it dominates the landscape in which it sits.
Whether or not it was part of a new way of religious thinking, a platform, a way of reaching to the sky or perhaps uniting sky and earth one cannot tell. But a couple of years ago, one cold March I went up to Knap Hill, the causewayed neolithic enclosure that sits on one side of the Vale of Pewsey facing Adams Grave longbarrow.
The day I went was misty, and the hill curved steeply down into the plain on the other side. In the far distance to my right was Picked Hill,

A very misty Picked Hill and a slightly better photo on TMA

a conical hill, and if it had been up north, would have probably been called 'sacred', it had a strong dominant presence in the landscape; now whether Picked Hill inspired our bronze age builders to create their own enormous hills I don't know, but it is strange that Marden and Marlborough mounds are also in the vicinity.....
The Vale of Pewsey has an extraordinary atmospheric feel, the old ghosts of the past come back to haunt you, prehistory still sits lightly on the land, the Wansdyke like some giant worm still snakes it way past Adams Grave; some say that Wansdyke is the boundary of ancient kingdoms, delineating old Wessex from whatever lay on the other side. It has Woden's name writ large, the Saxons settled here as well, for up on the ridge skirting the Pewsey Vale is a hanging place, and if you go to Oare, and park in the village, go down a little unmade lane, you will find yourself on an old saxon road that goes under Martinsell Hill.

Adams Grave or Woden's if you prefer

Terracing or lynchets outlined by hedges

Knap Hill causewayed enclosure

Martinsell Hill

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