Saturday, 7 November 2009
Walking up on Windmill Hill near Avebury today I'm the only human for at least a mile around. After a time the mind starts going back to times and places that haven't surfaced since I was a child, but then a memory is suddenly elusive; half there, then lost again, leaving a feeling that something important has gone, but I'm still back in north Lancashire treading the fells in a bitter wind all those years ago.
The bell barrow is Bronze Age (1600BC give or take a century), but on a site much older; a 5700year old Causewayed Enclosure, where people may have come to celebrate, or may have come to lay out their dead for Ravens to pick clean the bones. It's almost hidden by time. This faint indentation in the ground curving from bottom right to top left is all that can be seen of the inner of three ditch and bank circles (below).
On leaving, a strange fingered cloud formation points like a dervish back down the track as if as a reminder that this is a place belonging to another people and another time.