Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dean Hill

Little lamb chops

Today I walked up the steep Dean Hill Lane, to the Cotswold Way path, meaning to take a photo of the farmhouse where I think my Saxon family may have lived in the hollow. These lambs and their mother were in the fields,bleating away but not frightened of old Moss, who kept a decent distance from them. The next photo is the farmhouse, cradled in the hollow, if you google earth this particular area, their gardens are quite extensive with a tennis court; something rather sinister looking into other people's backyards.

Back along the track to join the Cotswold Way, but first a photograph of an old felled giant.....

Walking up the track we meet the two enormous husky/alsatian dogs, evil creatures that should be muzzled, they could easily tear Moss to bits, their owner has trouble holding them as I pass, one is snarling at me seemingly, but luckily they fall on each other teeth snapping, Moss has been diverted into the field with a ball and keeps well away from them.
The path up to Kelston Hill is about a mile, again no wild flowers on show, and it is too early for the cowslips on the hill. Skirting the hill I decide to walk down on the other side of the ridge down through the permissive path, which I am informed by the little map at the gate is very steep.

The way down is very steep, ankle-breaking steep, the funny natural terracing on the hillside. This photo shows the Lansdown to the North, the 'bowl' that Bath is trapped in is clearly defined, a great fault that maybe happened millions of years ago.

Another small 'hanging' wood on the way down.

This blog belongs with an earlier blog "Walking" 6th March, in which the wood Shagbear comes up, checking on Sweet's saxon dictionary,

beorg comes up as hill, whilst beorg-hlip means hill-slope. Shag could have the following meaning OE sceaga = coppice; Germanic skag. Therefore Sceapa beorg = Coppice Hill, or even Wood Hill.
Tracing words back into history is fraught with difficulty, but as there is a definite saxon naming of villages around Bath, and these 'hanging' woods clinging to the steep ridges would always have been part of the landscape, their names would come down through the charters.
Google earth picture of Shagbear wood

View to Stantonbury Hill fort

Ghostly trees touched by the sun

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