Monday, 4 July 2011

Heat & flies

The Grey Mare looking a bit sheepish.

The Grey Mare with mound running left. 
Much to my relief, and the Heritage Hunters who turned up, my walk to the Grey Mare & Her Colts was undertaken in dry and sunny weather. I was beginning to feel jinxed. However, I will put a map on my information from now on, as a couple of people had difficulty finding the lay-by (as I feared). Lesson learnt. My partner Pam did a spendid job directing a couple of HH's, being stationed at the junction just down the road with a clipboard!

We set off along the track to the GM&HC and took in the c.5,000 year old structure that has been standing in this field observing the passing of time almost beyond our imagining. One of around 22 tumuli existant within the Abbotsbury parish it is Dorset's finest megalithic chambered long barrow. Including a stone chamber, facade, peristaliths (small stones around the edge of the long mound) and disturbed mound of stones it has been knocked around some what over the last five millennia. The giant capstone of the box-chamber now sits at an angle, but it must be many tonnes in weight, so not surprising it has slipped. It is a matter of speculation as to the rites carried out here so long ago. But humans are humans and the importance of the past and the deceased ancestors must have had something to do with it. These tombs would probably been open for some generations, as rites and celebrations were carried out along with the, literal, presence of the ancestors before they were returned to the dark interior of the monument. 

I took away with me the effects of an insect bite, which resulted in my right arm now looking as if I am wearing a childs arm band, the ones they wear for swimming. It itches and aches at the same time. If the other one had been bitten as badly I would now look like Popeye. So a warning - always keep covered up against flies and ticks when walking in long grass, no matter how warm the day. Older people and children can have a very bad reaction to such bites.   

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