Old Winchester Hill
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Had a change of scenery today and revisited Old Winchester Hill. Last time I went there was with a group of students from the Landscape Archaeology class at Southampton New College which I belonged to. I'll never forget that day, it was Halloween and it was pouring with rain. There were some other students there at the time and they were dressed as witches and were filming their antics. As we were walking towards the hill fort, all we could see were the witches all in black and it looked quite scary as we thought they were the real deal. We got quite wet that morning, so we all retired to the pub and had lunch. It was a good day in spite of the weather.
Today, the weather wasn't quite so bad, although we didn't go far as Adrian was not feeling well and it also started to drizzle. The rain would not have bothered me, but he doesn't do rain. My hope for the day was that we would have a 2 hour walk right round the Hill Fort, but no such luck!
The Hill Fort has been occupied throughout the Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Ages, so it is quite interesting. It is now a National Nature Reserve and the South Downs Way runs through it. On our short walk we saw wild mint, wild oregano, Cornflowers and Rose Bay Willow Herb, and a few other wild flowers that I have not looked up yet. The blackberries were ripening nicely and they were delicious, very sweet. I should have taken a punnet to pick them. The views were amazing, even in the mist you could see across to the Isle of Wight.
There weren't many people about. On a sunny weekend it gets a lot of visitors. There was a dog walker, but you have to be careful, because there are sheep in some areas. I don't know what it's like now, but not long ago there were shells and things left from the war and there used to be warning signs up although the land was supposed to be cleared. We didn't get to that area today.
It was lovely driving through the country lanes to get there. I've been promised that we will go there again, soon, so that I can have my 2 hour walk, but on a better day.