Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Mouse Castle

We thought we'd make a Famous Five adventure of the day, and started off by getting a picnic together with lashings of ginger ale! Well, a carton of Cawston Press apple and elderflower juice and a couple of delicious sausage rolls from the Wholefood shop.

I had forgotten where the stile was for the public footpath into the wood, so we ended up climbing a field gate and getting in that way, on what had obviously once been a path. At this time of year it was chest high in brambles and nettles, and we had to crawl under a fallen tree before we found a maintained path. "Don't worry, we're not coming back this way!" I assured the Young Man as we toiled up the hill.
About halfway up the hill, quite a steep climb, is the spring, just off the path with a holly bush next to it, and muddy ground all around. The water is sparkling and clear, though, and there's a wonderful air of stillness and calm in the woods there.
Right at the top of the hill we found the ramparts, and sat on a fallen log to eat our picnic. Above us wheeled crows, that we had disturbed from their nest in the oak tree on top of the mound.

The goblets are a bit more elegant than anything the Famous Five would use, but have the virtue of being virtually indestructible.
Then we walked slowly clockwise around the central motte, on the rampart. The earthworks are a bit more complicated than you might expect for a simple Norman lookout tower, which is why I think they may be partly Iron Age. The Young Man is quite sensitive to atmospheres, and he definitely felt something round to the north of the mound - so did I, but I'm less sensitive to these things than he is. I'd taken a map up with us, and the odd feeling was on the side of the hill that lined up with the river - not that we could see the river, through the trees. Through gaps in the trees, we could see right across Herefordshire. On the opposite side of the hill is the valley, and then Cusop Hill beyond that.

That was the way we came back, along the road - longer, but without the added bonus of brambles and nettles!

1 comment:

Annie B said...

Rod Soldat & I used to visit that spring a lot. It was always warm to the touch even in winter .Very special place