A walk round Blackdown Rings

Today .. finally .. after days and days of rain .. the sun shone and it has been warm!  So I put my stippling to one side, bunnies and all(!), and called to Ben for a walk as we both badly needed some fresh air after being stuck inside all weekend.  And the best place for fresh air today (the tides were all wrong to visit the beach) was Blackdown Rings ….

Blackdown Rings

Lots and lots of fresh air – and amazing views too.  Blackdown Rings is an old Iron Age hill fort about 4 miles north-west of Kingsbridge – so about 8 miles from Coombe Leigh.  You’re not really aware that you’re climbing, the rise is so gradual, then suddenly the ground drops away and you realise that you can see for miles and miles in every direction. 

The Normans also took advantage of this in the 11th century, building a mott and bailey castle on top of the old hill fort.  There are two concentric rings of earthworks around the perimeter, with another ring and large mound at one end of the enclosure.  The wooden castle has long since vanished of course.  Ben doesn’t care about any of this – he was simply anxious to get going …. 

Blackdown Rings

Because he knows that between the earthworks, there are deep hollows – which after periods of heavy rain flood with clear, fresh peaty water and become … 

Blackdown Rings

Beautiful deep pools for swimming in!

 Blackdown Rings

Like this!!  “Come on in Mum, the water’s lovely!!”  The bluebells were coming into bloom, that wonderful shade of deep purpley blue, though not as many as last year which was an especially good year for bluebells .. 

Blackdown Rings

And we were spotted by the full-time residents – they were not at all alarmed by the sight of a very silly newfie splashing around in the water!

Blackdown Rings

You can clearly see the earthworks here … just think, these great mounds were dug out nearly 2,000 years ago!  Wonder if any of our buildings will last that long? 

Blackdown Rings

 This is looking back the way we came – the water in the pool has settled again after being well stirred up by Ben’s enormous paws. 

Blackdown Rings

The path ahead through the trees – we walk around the perimeter of the earthworks first, then up onto the mound of the old Norman Castle – I think the mound is the mott bit of mott and bailey… 

Blackdown Rings

The odd-looking structure is actually an engraved compass indicating the directions of various points of interest.  You can see about 40 miles on a clear day.  And that’s  the end of my photos.  My camera battery ran out so I had to put it away and throw extra sticks into the water for Ben to retrieve.  These pools are very short-lived though – next time we go they will probably have disappeared.  It’s so comical to watch the puzzled expression on Ben’s face when all he sees is grass where last time he was swimming!! I sometimes think he is a dog of very little brain!!

7 Comments

What an interesting historical site, and so stunning with the distant views, bluebells, and budding trees! Thanks so much for sharing your lovely walk with Ben!
X Linda

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Louise Odell

After reading about your lovely walk, I put my coat on and went out!!!!!!!!!!

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I’m so glad you posted these pics. I was born in England and lived there off and on until I was 17. I so miss the rolling countrysides! Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

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