Tuesday, 12 April 2016
Looking up at the west entrance to Badbury Rings hill fort. These tend to have begun as Neolithic enclosures, later modified into Iron Age ring/hill forts. This entrance has several rows of deep ditches/high berms to control access or impress non-locals.
Its wildflowers are these little yellow ones.
Street view, Dorchester.
Homemade parking lot sandwich: cheddar and rocket on a stale bun. Mmmmm!
Our lunch view: the giant Maiden Castle, similar history to above, with even more complex berm-ditch entry area (west end). Note grazing sheep.
Sheep are an easy way to maintain these grassy archaeological pastures. Twin lambs should make the farmer happy. Dorchester in background.
Archaeologists(?) have revealed this Celtic-Roman temple atop Maiden Castle…the altar is in the far room; these two small rooms (foreground) were where its tender lived; the treasure was here, including a piece of metal with Minerva on it (so, a Minerva temple?). We saw this pattern in Rome, too, where the gelt was kept in separate rooms.
Jurassic cliffs bordering West Bay, aka Broadchurch for you fans of British television. En route, we passed the turn to Chesil Beach, but didn’t take it. Choices, choices.
Small church, West Bay.
DI Hardy’s house, the blue-blue one with the narrow double doors and colorful floats/bumpers, West Bay, just up the river channel from the marina, and behind the bathing gulls.
Blackbury Camp is a much smaller fortification above Sidmouth (mouth of the River Sid, eh?). The late-day light was stunning, with the leaves not yet out.
The most prominent flower here: bluebells. Very Broadchurch, second season.
That’s it for hill forts for a while. Conclusion: with the great ascent of Maiden Castle in the mix, average ring-fort ascent is about 25 Fitbit flights (otherwise, much less, thinks the cynic).
Post-dinner perambulation past fancy waterfront Sidmouth hotels….