29 June 2011 (Wednesday) - Coldrum Longbarrow
After two days of late starts, today I was on an early.
After work we set off to Lenham where we had fish and chips whilst waiting for the arky-ologee club to assemble. Whilst scoffing chips I made an observation: why does Lenham church (a beautiful medieval building) have a satellite dish on the top of the steeple?
Twenty (or so) club members assembled, and we set off in convoy to Trottiscliffe. I am reliably informed that his village’s name is pronounced “Trosley”. Pronounced “Trosley” by whom? People who can’t read, presumably.
Despite our state of the art map indicating our destination was to the left of the church, we turned right and soon found our destination for the evening –Coldrum Longbarrow.
Coldrum Longbarrow is…. well, it’s difficult to describe…. I’m sorry, dear readers. I can’t lie to you. Coldrum Longbarrow is crap. It was probably something worthy of note before the stones all fell over, but now it’s a couple of dozen stones lying at the top of a small hill. I really can’t big it up any more than that.
Having said that, the local hippies obviously like the place – they had tied loads of ribbons to the trees for some strange hippy reason. There’s photos of this tree (and the rest of the evening) here.
For no better reason than to take the rise, I’d brought along my dowsing rods. I say “dowsing rods” – they are actually two lengths of straightened-out coathanger. I stomped about the site dowsing to see what I could find. And, sure enough, the rods crossed right in the very centre of the barrow. On seeing me with my rods one or two proper arky-ologists were politely sceptical, but everyone had a go with the rods, and nearly (but not quite) everyone found whatever it was I’d found in the middle of the barrow.
The trouble with dowsing is that, for all that I can clearly detect stuff with dowsing, I have no idea what I’m actually finding. I can find places where the dowsing rods cross. And this crossing is reproducible: I can get it to happen again and again. But until such time as I can be bothered to dig a hole at these places, I have absolutely no idea what I’m detecting.
Next time I shall take a shovel.
I wonder what the National Trust would say about me digging up a scheduled monument….