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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rather a barrow-wightish look

Waylands Smithy longbarrow

Cold be hand and heart and bone,
and cold be sleep under stone:
never more to wake on stony bed,
never, till the Sun fails and the Moon is dead.

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

On Saturday lunchtime I went on a fantastic walk on the Ridgeway near White Horse hill and Waylands Smithy longbarrow. We reached the Ridgeway via a very overgrown path and a snowy field where the only footprints were from the deer, hares and foxes.

The barrow itself looked very eerie and desolate in the snow and I couldn't get Tolkien's rhyme out of my head. Apparently you can go inside but I'd be much too worried about being grabbed by a barrow wight.

Waylands Smithy longbarrow

It was pretty hard going on the Ridgeway as the snow had drifted upto a foot deep in places and then frozen so we didn't push on to White Horse hill itself. It wasn't really the best day for viewing the horse anyway due to the snow.

White horse

I had to check against the pub sign in the village before I could work out which bits were snow and which were horse!


Felix said...

I love the White Horse and all around that area.

It is a very beautiful part of the world.

The barrow looks lovely and the rhyme you found fits perfectly!

Kate said...

very beautiful, very eerie, all those bare trees, and the bare ground. I too would have been too spooked to enter the barrow...