Thursday, 23 January 2014

Eastwards, White Horse and Multiple Stones

A mixed start to the day, but it finally turned out fine as the forecast had suggested. So, it was time to jump into the van - having been North, South and West in the last few days, today we set off to the East. Headed into deepest Wiltshire - on Labour-In-Vain Hill in Cherhill where we saw this white horse and monument (apparently the Lansdowne obelisk).
Got a bit nearer to the horse as we climbed the hill. Apparently, the horse was carved out in 1780, and is the third oldest white horse in the country, after the prehistoric Uffington white horse and the Westbury white horse (which can be seen from Lansdown race course in Bath on a clear day). 
A bit further on, we reached our destination - Avebury. 
We went there some years ago, but thought it was time to revisit. Passing the cricket ground, wondered if this was a mound or just a hill - so much archaeologically interesting places in this area it's sometimes hard to tell.
Our first view of the stones as we came round the edge of the mound around the site. 
We carried on round to see more of the site - last time we were here it was a warm weekend with lots of people, and we had two young dogs eager to get some exercise. So we didn't do the site justice then - today we took more time with our more relaxed older dog (Bella happily sniffing around the stones), although there was a challenging cold breeze on our last section!
Big stones! 
A handy barn to give some indication of the scale of these stones, of which there are loads (I didn't photograph them all!). 
A run of stones with Su showing their scale.
The site is quartered by roads, and the stones are very close in some instances. 
This one is a little menhir-like, maybe? 
The stones aren't the only old artfecats around - quite  a few thatched buildings as well. 
Some stunning aspects to be seen from this site - there are big skies in this part of Wiltshire.
Su spotted this web of exposed tree roots - only afterwards did I notice the apparent tree hugger. 
 More massive lumps of stone in another section.
We took refuge in the local pub to warm up over a lesiurely lunch. On the way back to the van, spotted this vegetarian B&B.
Great skies as we got back to the van. 
This day a year ago, this was the tunnel left by the previous day's blizzard I'd driven through on Chilly Hill Lane coming up to Lansdown.

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