Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Authulf's Burgh


This afternoon, driving back through Upper Wensleydale after a visit to Hawes on market day, I stopped on a country lane to photograph Addlebrough, the flat-topped hill in the photograph. It has been a glorious Spring day with, I think you will agree, a beautiful sky. When you look from a distance at this hill with its table-top, it is easy to see why - at 1564 feet - it has been a look-out post for thousands of years.

The Brigantes chief, Venutius, built a fort on the top in AD 70 in an effort to stop the advancing Roman legions. But it was in vain. The Ninth Legion, led by Periliou Cerealis, marched up from York and overtook the lot. They built a fort on the hill top in nearby Bainbridge and were then said to have their Summer camp on Addlebrough.

As with all these historic sites, there is folk lore. The devil and a giant are said to have had a stone-throwing match on the flat top. One of the stones missed and landed by the side of Semerwater - a lake I featured in an earlier post.

But now it is just a hill with a flat top, the haunt of curlew, lapwing and hare. a lovely sight on an early Spring day, when ,for me, the sky steals the glory.

29 comments:

Janice Thomson said...

I'd love to be on top - the view must be magnificent! Beautiful shot and beautiful place.

Poet in Residence said...

These are the shots that remind me that the Dales are so unique and so memorable. On days like that I loved to go over the moorland roads under those big skies on my bicycle to Ribblehead, Ingleborough, Hawes and other such beautiful places. A table top mountain to see round every corner. No need to go so far as South Africa.
There's a hill called Apronfull Hill above Clitheroe and a hole in Clitheroe Castle walls made by the stone throwing Devil. He must have been a mighty thrower for the distance is a good 7 or 8 miles. Apronfull is quite near the place on Pendle Hill where George Fox is supposed to have had his vision. It's a strange and wonderful world is Up North.

Heather said...

A wonderful photograph of a very beautiful and unspoilt landscape. Those Roman legions must have found life harsh in Britain, especially those posted to the more remote areas where the cold winds swept across the open countryside.

Reader Wil said...

It's just as I imagined the Yorkshire Dales where Jane Eyre was roaming in despair and confusion.It must be an impressive country when an icy wind is howling and the darkness is impenetrable.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

What a haunting, stirring view! How fortunate you are to be able to roam and immerse yourself in such a land—and under such skies!

Thank you so much for sharing.

willow said...

Addlebrough looks so lovely and peaceful. It's hard to imagine it in a battle scene with the Roman legions. Now the devil and the giant...I can see that!

Yoli said...

Lovely photograph and post.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

Beautiful place, and I love the names: Brigantes, Venutius. Authulf's Burgh! Just saying them makes me feel full of history and adventure!

Woman in a Window said...

THAT is stunning.

BT said...

What a lovely photo and I agree, the sky is beautiful. I looks a bit like The Burren landscape in Clare. I bet it's windy up the top though.

Debra (a/k/a Doris, Mimi) said...

Your countryside is rich in history. The only history of note here is the Civil War. I love folklore. Great photo and equally great story!

Bdogs said...

I have never seen Yorkshire in person with anything but gray skies, but this one of cornflower blue is gorgeous. The grass leading up to the mountain looks thick as felt, something we'd love to have here!

Gwen Buchanan said...

This picture should be a painting!! it is absolutely breathtaking.. and strangely comforting... it has a softness...

what a beautiful place you live in!

Crafty Green Poet said...

beautiful photo and interesting history and lore too.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Have never climbed to the top Janice but I expect you will be able to see right down to the Trough of Bowland from up there.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Poet - I do know Pendle Hill (and the witches) but have never heard of Apronfull - what a lovely name - they are good at names up here, aren't they - like Great Fryup dale. Now that I live up here I can honestly say there is nowhere else in the world I would rather live. Although I envy you your nearness to cultural things.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Heather - I have always thought that the Roman soldiers must have been appalled at the wet and windy, bleak weather you can get up here - after the Italian hills it must have been sheer hell.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Reader wil - Jane Eyre roamed really on the Yorkshire moors rather than the Dales - where the weather is altogether bleaker and the scenery much more gaunt and rugged than it is up here. Howarth - the Bronte birthplace - is very bleak indeed in the winter and has none or our redeeming features.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Scribe - I thought the sky was exceptional up there when I took the photograph - it was so huge and empty.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I suppose underground there will be countless reminders of the battle, willow. I don't know whether the site has ever been excavated.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yoli thanks for visiting.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Raph - lovely names I agree. The tribe I forgot to mention, who also got up here, were the Iceni

The Weaver of Grass said...

BT - The Burren in Clare - now there is a really wild place - I visited once on a wet and windy day - it was spectacular.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Debra - I once went to Mesa Verde National Park and thought that the houses in the rock there were wonderful. I think there has been a fire since then though, so do hope they were not destroyed.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Bdogs - not sure how thick the grass is really - it has not started to grow up there yet - it is over one thousand feet asl. It is above the tree line too.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Gwen - I think the view has been painted many times in the past.

jinksy said...

Missed out on this great scene yesterday, due to giving self a day of TLC away from the computer! Still, twice as much to enjoy this morning! x

patteran said...

Beautiful picture. What a site for an epic battle. That Ninth Legion, eh? They keep on cropping up as the Roman precursors to the Seventh Cavalry or 3 Para!

greg rappleye said...

Wensleydale = Great Cheese!

The landscape is lovely, too.