Tuesday, May 18, 2021

18th May 2021

Among others, keep a check on your speech;
When alone, keep a check on your mind.

Lord Atisha’s The Bodhisattva’s Garland of Jewels

Well I started to write, in fact had  finished some words on the Bronze Age barrows, at Nine barrows and Ashen Hill Barrows, and then went to publish it and all those words had disappeared, except for a paragraph.  So I will start again not about early B/A barrows, though it is an interesting subject but I have been over the landscape in my mind with dear old Moss and it is not worth repeating.

It also fulfilled something I had read about in a Guardian article this morning, and that is Curiosity.  Which leads to a better frame of mind and happiness so I am told, a bit like the hobbies people have been talking about in the blogs.  

The weather is that mixture of sunshine and rain, the mistle thrush has been in the garden, think there are also some young around and there was a couple of goldfinch as well.  Carrot/sweet potato soup is cooking on the hob, I love the colours and a dash of cream always suits the final spin.

I have tackled the phone, hate talking to people but it has to be done.  It was Scotland yesterday, and their lovely Scottish brogue needed a great deal of concentration.  Oxfam in Helmsley will take my old antiquarian books which is a relief.  Why have I hung on to them I wonder? Because they look pretty in the bookcase, someone else can enjoy that experience now. 

A couple of photos. The top photo shows the bullocks we had to walk through, Moss on a lead and as I look at this scene where did that nonchalance come from.  Walking on my own except for a dog was quite natural to me, what if those creatures had attacked though?  The subject of women walking alone, especially after that policewoman out of uniform was attacked and killed whilst walking her dog recently, was perhaps a one off.  It happens, but then get in a car, who knows what will happen on the drive.

Early Bronze Age barrows, highlighted by golden grass.

Well one of the things yesterday on my mind was around Swallet holes.  To be found on the Mendips because of the porous nature of the limestone. There is a large underground of water and rivers that can be found in the caves.  But I had already written a lot about them, never quite getting to that feeling or at least explanation of their use in a ritual landscape, and after all was it a ritual landscape?  The four Priddy Henges point to this not very far from the barrows, and it could be that these henges were situated by or near the henges.  Swallets being a place to deposit stuff.




  1. Super photograph of those Bronze Age barrows Thelma.

  2. I might not know what you are always talking about, Thelma, but you sure seem knowledgeable!! :)
    I almost always walk by myself (no dog) and I am just used to it. Enjoy your day!

    1. Yes Ellen I do witter, mostly for myself though ;)

  3. Is a swallet hole much the same thing as a sinkhole? We have those in south wales but often caused by mining rather than natural causes. That's a fabulous photo of the barrows highlighted by the golden grass.

  4. Yes it is, it just seems in this part of the West country the word Swallet is used for these holes in the ground but a couple of the swallets have prehistoric 'offerings in them and have been interpreted as ritual shafts.

  5. I found this on Modern Antiquarian about Ashen Hill Barrows: "All these eight barrows were investigated by the Reverend John Skinner in 1815, and all barrows produced one or more cremations. Some of these contained Early Bronze age urns and were covered with stone slabs (similar to Lansdown barrows cemetery). Three barrows had bronze daggers, one in a wooden sheaf. One barrow contained a rich burial which included beads and other objects of amber (maybe faience) and a miniature incense cup. There are a further two, much larger barrows, located north of the main cemetery." but you probably knew that already Thelma. On the other hand I must admit that I had not even heard of Ashen Hill Barrows till I read this post and saw the picture.

  6. The Reverend Skinner was a right old basher of barrows. He was Vicar of Camerton, and his flock were mostly miners, written about it somewhere. He could not get on with the miners and his children died one after the other from tuberculosis I think. He was miserable and eventually went mad. The incense cups found in these cairns are fascinating, they had little holes and always remind me of the Catholic priests swinging their incense cups as they come down the aisle of the church. Thank you for looking up the information though.


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