Ladle Hill

November 21, 2008

Ladle Hill

Winter sunset from the top of Ladle Hill on the ridge of the North Wessex Downs, a line of chalk hills in the south of England. This is a spot which I used to frequent as a child and which has lost none of its magic, engendered in part by its location inside an unfinished Iron Age earthwork and in part by its relative isolation. Thomas Hardy says in his poem Wessex Heights:

“There are some heights in Wessex, shaped as if by a kindly hand

For thinking, dreaming, dying on, and at crises when I stand,

Say, on Ingpen Beacon eastward, or on Wylls-Neck westwardly,

I seem where I was before my birth, and after death may be.

In the lowlands I have no comrade, not even the lone man’s friend —

Her who suffereth long and is kind; accepts what he is too weak to mend:

Down there they are dubious and askance; there nobody thinks as I,

But mind-chains do not clank where one’s next neighbour is the sky.”

I hope some of this is captured in this pinhole photo.

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