All Cannings Long Barrow – An Interview with Tim Daw

Episode 35,   May 01, 2022, 04:00 AM

In this episode of the Bluebell Podcast Glyn is joined by our French correspondent – Paul! And without any messing about we start the podcast with a mention of both bluebells and France, and Paul’s endless battle to stop his French ruin from crumbling around him (OK it’s not that bad but maintaining it is like painting the Forth Road Bridge. Or owning a yacht. Or a horse!)

Once again it’s bluebell season and regular followers of Hidden Wiltshire will know we like the odd bluebell (or clochette as they’re called in France). We’ve seen some nice bluebell photographs in the Facebook Group from both Elaine Perkins (Bentley Wood) and Glyn (Oakfrith Wood) and we’ve no doubt there will be a lot more to come! They are present in abundance in France (both blue and white) as well as early-purple and green-winged orchids but we won’t be sharing photographs of those as it’s not Wiltshire!

It’s been around three weeks since the last podcast now that we’ve moved to monthly broadcasts. But with Glyn’s week on Dartmoor and Paul having relocated to France for a while, we’ve not got a lot to report. But before he went Paul and his usual walking buddy Stu did manage a walk to Grovely Wood which began with sublime coffee and cake at the café at Langford Lakes. Whilst many people know of the Lakes it’s surprising how many have never visited, or at least haven’t been for years as was the case for Stu and Paul. It’s well worth the effort. Similarly, whilst most people are familiar with Grovely Wood, the guys had an amazing encounter there in a hidden part of the wood. You can read all about this in Paul’s blog on the website using the link below. This may well feature in a future podcast as this delivered one of life’s special and unexpected moments.

In conjunction with Wiltshire Museum we’ve put together a new programme of guided walks led by Glyn and Paul. These are ticket only events and Wiltshire Museum will be advertising them on their website soon. We will let Hidden Wiltshire followers know as soon as tickets become available but if you subscribe to alerts about new blogs on the website you won’t miss out.

The main feature of this episode of the podcast is an interview we did with farmer Tim Daw a few weeks ago. Tim has farmed in the Pewsey Vale for decades and is now semi-retired. (Do farmers ever retire?) But instead of buying a yacht or taking up golf, in 2014 he decided to build a long barrow which he calls a Novolithic Long Barrow. As his website says “It has internal chambers with niches and is used as a columbarium or place for cremated remains in urns to be kept.” And “The Long Barrow at All Cannings is a spiritual place where people of any or no faith can come to remember and give thanks for the lives of their loved ones.” 

It was a real privilege to interview Tim on a beautiful sunny day at the long barrow and to have a guided tour of the interior. Despite being surrounded by the remains of so many people it really was the most calming and spiritual of places. And like any good long barrow it is aligned to the sunrise of the winter solstice when the sun illuminates the internal stone passageway.

It is possible to book a tour of the interior of the long barrow at Tim’s website linked below. The entry fee goes towards the upkeep of the barrow, but you can visit the exterior for free at any time. However we think it’s worth every penny to see the interior which is a very special place indeed.

Our conversation with Tim was wide ranging and fascinating. Just like his near neighbour and farmer David Carson, Tim Daw has a keen interest in history and archaeology. How can you not living in Pewsey Vale? So apart from a conversation about the long barrow itself we also chatted about the wider area and in particular the mythical “white donkey”!

Then on to the wrap up:

Steve Dixon’s piece leading into our main subject today is called “Play Dead”. But there was no play acting in Tim’s long barrow! As ever the piece in the introduction and at the end of the podcast is entitled “The Holloway”.

Don’t forget to check out the Hidden Wiltshire online shop on the website if you’d like to help us keep the lights on. Both Hidden Wiltshire books can be purchased there. The second book is also available at Devizes Bookshop, Wiltshire Museum in Devizes and now Wiltshire’s libraries. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Hidden Wiltshire Newsletter from the website. You can also subscribe to alerts about new Blogs.


You can read Paul’s blog about Langford Lakes and Grovely Wood here Grovely Wood and the Woodsman

All Cannings Long Barrow All Cannings Long Barrow

Glyn’s photographs can be seen on his Instagram feed @coy_cloud
He is also very active on Twitter where his username is @Glyndle

Paul’s photography can be found on his website at Paul Timlett Photography and on Instagram at @tragicyclist

Steve Dixon’s sound art can be found on Soundcloud where his username is River and Rail Steve Dixon River and Rail. His photographs can be found on Instagram at @stevedixon_creative and his graphic design business website is at Steve Dixon Creative

And finally you’ll find the Hidden Wiltshire online shop here Hidden Wiltshire Shop 
and a link to Glyn’s blog about the latest book and how to purchase a copy here Hidden Wiltshire from near and far