Lacock and the Wilts & Berks Canal
As ever we start with a chat about what’s been happening in the world of Hidden Wiltshire since the last podcast. And if it weren’t for one or two of our wonderful contributors the answer would be “not much”.
Elaine Perkins has “delivered” once again (this seems to be the word of the month at the moment)! She posted some great photos in the contributors' Facebook Group of a short evening walk she did taking in Old Sarum, Little Durnford and the Avon Trail. Elaine also ventured on an exploration of Amesbury and the surrounding area which we have now posted as a blog on the open Facebook site and the Hidden Wiltshire website. Amesbury may not be hidden but some of what Elaine found certainly was. You’ll find a link to her blog below.
Glyn managed to squeeze in one walk before he went on holiday, based around East and West Knoyle. There’s a link to his blog and photos below. This is a beautiful part of Wiltshire and well worth a visit.
Meanwhile Paul has once again deserted the county and undertaken walks in the New Forest (just over the Wiltshire border in Hampshire) and further afield on the stunning Dorset coast. But we can’t talk about those!
There have been a couple of Wiltshire Museum guided walks since the last podcast. A select few guests accompanied Glyn on a walk in the countryside around Castle Combe, an abbreviated version of the walk Paul did just after lockdown in July 2020. You’ll find a link to Paul’s walk below but Glyn managed to shorten this to a more manageable five miles. We’ve added a map of his walk to Paul’s original blog.
Glyn’s article about Wiltshire’s Blind Houses was featured in the August edition of Wiltshire Life. His original blog can be found below.
Glyn also attracted a lot of attention on Twitter when he posted some aerial photographs of the parched landscape around Rybury Camp in Pewsey Vale. Local farmer (and constructor of long barrows) Tim Daw had noticed some interesting crop marks in his fields and invited Glyn to photograph them with his drone. You can see the photographs on both Hidden Wiltshire Facebook pages and on Glyn’s Twitter feed. There appears to be a previously unknown enclosure and henge in the fields together with multiple possibly Iron Age storage pits. Whilst the hot dry weather creates many problems it does enable the land to reveal many of its hidden secrets.
Finally in our review we wanted to mention a couple of Hidden Wiltshire followers. Firstly Bill Parncutt,who emailed us with some very kind comments about the podcast, and secondly Simon Lovett and his dad John for whom Simon bought a copy of our book as a birthday present. Paul delivered the book personally to John but stupidly didn’t get the name of his lovely wife. But it was great to meet you Mrs Lovett!
Before we moved onto the main subject of the podcast we had a chat about our location for the recording so do have a listen.
The main subject in this episode was the walk Paul and his regular walking buddy Stu did in February 2022 starting in Lacock, their target being the Wilts & Berks Canal. Everyone knows Lacock so we didn’t dwell on that for too long. But the canal is something that many don’t know about. Completed in 1810 the canal stretches for 52 miles and its primary purpose was to carry coal. Ironically its heyday was the 1830s when it was used to carry the raw materials for the construction of the Great Western Railway which was to see its ultimate demise and abandonment in 1914. Then in 1977 a group of volunteers formed to begin the monumental task of restoring its entire length, a task that continues to this day under the auspices of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust. If you want to support them in their endeavours, you’ll find a link to their excellent website below.
The rest of the walk takes in a number of fine Wiltshire houses including Ray Mill House, Pewsham House, Kilima Farm, Bowden Park and Bewley Court together with a rather pathetic looking Iron Age hillfort at Naish Hill and finally Lacock Abbey.
In all the walk was about seven miles and you will find a link to Paul’s blog with route map below.
Then on to the wrap up:
Steve Dixon’s piece leading into our main subject is called “Dark and Lonely Water”. A rather depressing piece it includes the voiceover from a public information film from 1973 about the dangers of playing near water, narrated by Donald Pleasence! As ever the piece in the introduction and at the end of the podcast is entitled “The Holloway”. The great news is that, whilst Steve has provided us with a sizable library of music, he has of late become enthused and promised us some new work.
Finally, 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. The first Hidden Wiltshire book has now sold out but the second book is still available at a specially discounted price from the website. The 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.
Glyn’s article about Blind Houses can be found on our website here Blind Houses
Elaine Perkins’ blog about hidden Amesbury can be found here Exploring Amesbury
Glyn’s blog about his walk around East Knoyle and West Knoyle can be found here East Knoyle and West Knoyle
Paul’s blog about the Castle Combe walk, amended to include a map of the shorter walk Glyn did, can be found here Castle Combe and a Hint of Ancient History
Paul’s blog about the Lacock and Wilts & Berks Canal walk can be found here Lacock and The Wilts & Berks Canal
The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust website can be found here Wilts & Berks Canal Trust
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