Friday, 4 March 2016

Avebury to Morgans Hill (Wessex Ridgeway Wiltshire 2)

Avebury from the West

We started the Wessex Ridgeway back in October 2015, but an injury to my ankle and indifferent winter weather have meant that only today are we doing the second leg. We set off from Avenbury, the west of the stone circle and walk through the small village. On the right is St James church, Norman with a pair of Saxon windows and the usual Victorian alterations.

We head west, passing through Avebury Trusloe. To the north there are a few more stones.

This track brings us to the A4 and I confess that here I misread the map and sent us south towards the busy A361, when we should have gone along the A4 before heading south. A small compensation was this lovely riding school.

We plodded along a rough grass verge for half a mile and then headed left along the route of an old Roman Road gradually climbing the rutted path. After a while the track leveled out and over to the right we could see the Cherhill Monument (on the slope of the hill beyond it is the Cherhill White Horse dating from 1780). The monument, described by Pevsner as the Lansdowne Obelisk, was erected in about 1845 by the third Marquess to commemorate his ancestor Sir Willliam Petty, the 17th century economist.

We passed to the back of Morgans Hill, still enjoying the view to the north ...

.. and soon after being struck by the terracettes on this round hill.

We ended the leg at Smallgrain picnic area, just off the Wessex Ridgeway.

Conditions: cold and reasonably bright, with just a small hailstorm at the end.

Distance: just under 6 miles.

Map: Explorer 157 (Marlborough & Savernake Forest)

Rating: three and a half stars.

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