About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I'm co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Sunday 24 April 2022

Lambert's Castle and Coney's Castle

Son the Elder needed to be in deepest Somerset for a spot of roboteering, so I dropped him off in Crewkerne and headed for the Dorset border. My plan was to park at the hill fort called Lambert's Castle and stroll over to nearby Coney's Castle, before heading on down to Charmouth for a sit on the beach, a scrabble for interesting pebbles and sea glass, and a sight of the sea, as a reward for my earlier burst of light exercise. 

Lambert's Castle is an Iron Age hill fort sitting atop the 840 ft high Lambert's Castle Hill. Unfortunately the day was hazy, so the views of the coast and other hill forts nearby were unclear ... 

... but there was much of interest right under my nose, which made up for it. Like the preposterous stands of beech.

(Other trees are available.)

It was possibly rather early for the height of bluebell season in this wind-scoured spot, but they were still something of a spectacle.

I had a leisurely wander about, to the trig point ... 

... and along its boundaries ... 

... as well as its Bronze Age tumulus, a damaged bowl barrow, where I sat for a bit, having first asked permission of its chieftain. 

Then I headed off along the ridge and a long descending lane that skirted Coney's Castle ... 

... along the sides of which grew a madness of wild flowers.

Sort of clockwise: Jack by the Hedge, white and blue bluebells, red campion, ramsons, dandelions, Herb-robert, bluebells, cow parsley, greater stitchwort, tormentil, wood sorrel, wild strawberries, violets and primroses, cowslips 

By the time I reached the bottom of the hill, it was quite hot for April, despite the breeze. I started talking to a farmer and he suggested I took a short cut straight up to Coney's Castle - 'other side of the horses, by the concrete - there's a bridge.' I retraced my steps, and sure enough, the ditch was crossable by a slab, after which an unmarked path wound its way through bluebells, but bloody hell, it was steep. (My photos give no idea of the gradient.) 

Just as I'd decided this was as good a place as any to die, even without being caught  in a storm of arrows, I reached the outer ring of banks ... 

... and then the top.

It was clearly more sheltered here than on Lambert's Castle, as bluebells were rippling all around the summit. 

Having crossed the fort, I headed back in the direction of my car, ready to hit the coast. My phone rang: it was Son the Elder. Could I pick him up? He'd had enough and didn't want to stay as long as he'd intended. 

So, no Charmouth then. My hips started to shriek that they would have preferred to sit on the beach ALL ALONG ACTUALLY, and momentarily I felt cheated. I watched a kestrel turn into the wind up by the pylon before being swept out of view. Though there's something to be said for an earlier night than planned, my hips continued, in a rather more conciliatory vein, and I had to agree, they were probably right.

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