Monday, September 01, 2008

Barbury Castle and Memories

I mentioned the other day that I would share some photos and some of my fun day out with Brit Boy on last Friday. It was a great day of just soaking up nature. Even though the name is Barbury Castle, there is no castle there. It is more of a nature reserve and has many sweeping landscape views that just made me stop right in my tracks. Just the gentle sloping of the meadows and the simple majesty of nature felt like home to me. I grew up in the countryside, back home in Georgia, and I spent most of my childhood truly content to run along the fields and through the forest, with no other toy than a stick or my imagination. Even though I am thousands of miles away from home, very often I have moments when I pause and have this feeling of remembrance of who I really am within. I will see a place here and it will remind me of something or somewhere that I held dear back home. I have realized that that undercurrent of a love of nature has always been with me and has followed me here to England. So our visit to Barbury Castle was one of those moments for me…a moment of simple peace.

The day was overcast and even though I am sure it is beautiful out there on a sunny day, the cloudiness and gusting winds on that day were an addition to the haunting beauty. Here are some photos of the landscape for miles around.

When you first come into the park, there is an Iron Age roundhouse that has been reconstructed. Here’s a photo.

Barbary Castle is a country park on the northern edge of the Marlborough Downs and is a part of the Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is on the Ridgeway route. It is noted for being an ancient hill fort and is surrounded by meadowland and trails. There are ditches around the central mound, that slope steeply down and are scattered with lovely wild flowers. Although the flowers are dying off for the year since autumn is coming, there are still some brawny ones left over. Here are some photos.

On Friday when we went, Brit Boy and I were some of the few people there. There were a few people hiking, some were walking their dogs, and some had children with them. The space is so wide open though, you feel like you have it all to yourself. You can stand as I did and look off into the distance and just meditate on the beauty of nature. It made me think of my place in the scheme of things. It also made me think of my parents who loved the land and nature. My dad planted huge gardens for years and was something of a part time farmer in order to feed all seven of his kids. I used to follow him around and help plant when I was a little thing. I remember him always telling me that nature is the truth and now I know what he means. And my mom loved her flowers and her gardening. She could grow just about anything. She loved to get her hands into the soil and help something grow. One of her favorite things to do was to walk around the yard and point out what she had growing. Sometimes I couldn’t see a very big plant, but I never doubted her, because she had faith and she loved her plants and soon, just as surely as the sun shines, her plants would grow.

There are directive signs all around that tell the story of the history of the site and of the artifacts and buildings that once stood there. It is a very intriguing space for the history as well as a place of natural beauty. I adored this day out because it is a beautiful spot in the world and it helped me to pause and take it all in and be in the moment.


Elizabeth Harper said...

What a great post Dori!

I so identify with a childhood where imagination and created toys from found objects was the norm.

Lovely description too. Very visual.

I especially enjoyed the sweet part about your mom and dad.

Unknown said...

Sounds like you had a very lovely day. Beautiful scenery, loving husband who could ask for anything more?

Anonymous said...

Oh, what a wonderful story, and the photos are magnificent. I had to blink twice when I saw the first three because it looks like a scene not too from Callaway Gardens - our favorite place.

In the first few years of our marriage, my husband would get an updated copy of "Georgia On My Mind" the tourist magazine, and we would literally wear it out.

We probably visited and hiked nearly every mountain in Georgia. Many people who live here will never know that Georgia is such a beautiful and breathtaking state.

Anyway, your dad was right and I wish I had more time to do what your mom did. Thanks for sharing. :-)

Anonymous said...

Nooo! No castle! Ok I forgive you for the beautiful views.

Dori said...

Thanks for stopping by to comment. Yeah, I loved being a kid back then and going so many places through my imagination. I knew that you and I were vibing here. :)I'm glad you enjoyed my story.

You are so right...all the elements of a great day were in place. :-)

I'm so glad that you enjoyed my photos and story. Callaway Gardens is a lovely part of Georgia. I also like Arabia Mountain. I am so with you about taking in our lovely state. We need to hang out when I am there. :-)

Nope, no castle, just the spot where structures once stood. :-)They found lots of artifacts there though. I'm glad you enjoyed the views.

Thanks to everyone for stopping by!

Dori :-)

Anonymous said...

I cannot imagine having this beauty to look at. I have the foothills of mountains at a distance. I travel with my children there on occasion. I really need to make more time for that in my life.

Thank you for sharing.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Nature is truth... man, that has an amazing ring to it. The scenery is simply gorgeous. It's the sort of place that makes me want to lay down on my back and stare at the sky for hours.

Anonymous said...

Oh so beautiful photos! Looks like it was magnificent!

Mayet said...

It's a pity there's no castle ;) anyway, the green surrounding is just wonderful.

Dori said...

I told Brit Boy that we will have to go back there in all seasons. I want to see what it looks like. It was so calming. I think it is great that you have mountains in your view. :-) I hope that you and your children have a wonderful time when you go there again.

Yeah, I use that as my mantra whenever I get the chance to be outside. I am with you...I told Brit Boy that when we go back in the spring and summer, I want to go and lie on my back and take it all in...heck I may even do it in winter if I don't freeze to the ground. lol.

I'm glad you liked the photos. It was a wonderful day. Thanks for stopping by.

A castle would have been a bonus, but as you mentioned, the green world around there was beautiful and majestic too. Thanks for visiting. :-)


Margaret said...

I love the photos. You definitely convinced me that I must visit while I'm in England. Congrats on 6 months!

Dori said...

I'm glad you liked the photos. There are some great hidden gems like this one all over England. This place is down a narrow road. I love it. Thanks for the congrats on my six months.