Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cadbury Castle

The last time we were up a hillfort it was the darkish Dumpdon, near Honiton. Today it's Cadbury Castle near Bickleigh, and it's quite a contrast. The castle sits upon a very prominent, though obscure, hill north of Exeter, very open and very pretty. I say obscure because although the hill is the highest of a small range of surrounding hills, Cadbury seems like a place that nobody visits. I went there three times in the summer and on each occasion didn't meet anyone, going up or coming down, not even the usually omnipresent dogwalkers. It's a shame in some ways that it isn't more popular, because it really is a treat. The views are wide and superb, the air high and clear. I expect a strong wind cuts across here later in the year, by the look of the trees on the northwest side, bent to the wind as they are. Even on a warm afternoon there is a slight chill.

The top is owned by the National Trust, so fully accessible. The path is easy and the only temporary inhabitants are a few sheep. Good solid banks of tree lined earth enclose a comfortable circular centre. There is even a break to the wind if you can get in the right place, so that on a howling day there is always somewhere to shelter, all very well designed.

I haven't found much out about the history of the place, information appears scarce, but there is a legend in a book from the 17th century, which says that this was the residence of a fire breathing dragon who flew each evening between this hill and the one nearby at Killerton, as it guarded hoards at both locations. There are many such stories of dragons associated with hilltops. Apart from that, not much, but it is a beautiful place to get some peace and quiet.


kieselsteine said...

Hi Jon

these are beautiful pictures
The eighth picture from above is enchanted!
This silver green light
the extremely thick tree on the ridge
Here I can Imagine that it is from a fairy tale world
Maybe with dragon ...


aferrismoon said...

Fine fotos.

The tree with large trunk along the ridge [or dragon's spine] has a good feel about it.


nina said...

Ah, at last, so exquisite, striking to the core, as if this place where seemingly we have never been lives forever in our collective unconscious, we see what inspired the illustrations from our parents' childhood literature. I am certain just beyond the fence, the bush, the trees, are little gnomes.

I think this collection is your finest work to date.

john said...

Hello and thanks very much Patrick. There are some good trees up there. They're beech on the ridge, lovely trees. It has a feeling of a place that was once busy with people though long gone. It's almost like it's inviting people to stay. The centre is a perfect place for a camp.

john said...

Hi aferrismoon. Dragon spine, yes I like that. Sleeping giants in the hills as it's sometimes described and dragons too, in this case. Maybe this has something to do with the dragon energy associated with hilltops. Cheers!

john said...

Hi Nina! I know just what you mean there about knowing the place. It seemed familiar when I went there for the first time. It was so inviting, the climb to the top almost tugs at you. The circular shape leads you round. It seems a place that welcomes its rare visitors, so I'm glad I could share some of this with others.

And gnomes, yes, just out of view I expect.

I'm planning on going back up again soon, I'd like to see some of the changing seasons from here. Maybe if I'm lucky I'd like to go up on a moonlit night when the land is covered with frost or snow. That would be something to see from here, and photograph too.

Hope all good where you are and thanks!

reem said...

Hello ..John , I haven't been here for long time ,missed much ..beautiful photos and as you say quiet place , the second , third and fifth , I like these photos much , some trees seem so old , but what sort are they ? People like to hear that unbelievable stories about places like this one , it's interesting I guess even we don't believe , it's human imagination , ....I've enjoyed your quiet place ,, have a good time ..Thanks for you .....

john said...

Choukran dear Reem. جميع زال يحدث هنا، ببطء ... معظم الأشجار هي أشجار البلوط، والبعض الآخر كذلك. لدي أغنية أخرى حول أشجار البلوط والرماد والشوك التي يجب أن تطرح في بعض نقطة. لدينا عدد غير قليل من الأغاني حول الأشجار في هذا البلد لأنها ساعدتنا كثيرا على مر السنين، ونحن ممتنون جدا لهم.

الأساطير القديمة من الأماكن ما زالت قائمة على في عقولنا والقصص. نحن لا نعرف كيف تنشأ لكن في بعض الأحيان كانت تستخدم لنقل المعلومات من جيل إلى آخر، على غرار قصص الجن التي لدينا.

سعيدة للغاية أن كنت تتمتع هذه، بل هو مكان أجمل. نأمل الامور جيدة بالنسبة لك هناك، وليس مملا جدا! كل خير لكم، ريم العزيز.


Anon said...

Fine photos. Very beautiful.

- Aangirfan

john said...

Thanks Aangirfan, sorry for the late reply. Keep up the good work!