|This is the Winterbourne at Avebury that runs alongside Silbury mound|
The theme of water and nostalgia; must be all that rain outside. I mentioned earlier we want to see the Rudston Monolith, but it took some while to realise that it lies in the valley of the 'Gypsey Race', a small winterbourne that runs down to the sea at Bridlington. A winterbourne is a small river/stream that appears and disappears through the years, it is normally to be found on a chalk surface. It begins, I believe at Wharram, not too far from Wharram Percy DMV. What is interesting is along its short length there is an excess of prehistoric barrows and four cursus, and at Duggleby Howe, one of the largest barrows to be found in the country. Are there parallels with the Swallowhead spring next to Silbury I wondered but cannot answer my own question. Bronze Age barrows of course mean settlements not just death, but why settle next to an erratic source of water? Again the question must be asked was this of religious significance, the magical appearance of water and disappearance dictated by a bad tempered god maybe.
Apparently Duggleby Howe Barrow is situated near to the source of the Gypsey Race. I can hear the sound of that water at Avebury all those years back, the deer in the field and the little band of partridges that waddled along in front of us on the path. Moss quietly by my side, a cold morning.