steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Pepperbox Interlude

Driving from Bristol to Romsey the other day I had a sudden yen to visit Pepperbox Hill, just beyond Salisbury. It was one of my father's haunts, and offers (though photographs don't do it justice) some rather lovely views of the Wiltshire countryside. It's named after the hexagonal folly that sits in curious isolation on its summit, built in the shape of a Jacobean pepperbox.


I always think of follies as eighteenth-century inventions, but this one was built in 1606 by local landowner Giles Eyre - "so that he could look down on his neighbours" as the National Trust plaque puts it, though what evidence they have for this, or whether they mean "look down on" in both senses, isn't clear. (Eyre doesn't seem to have done anything else considered memorable, if Google is any guide.)


It's a pity the windows are bricked up now, but it's still a pleasant place to spend 20 minutes and indulge one's love of towers great and small - and if they happen to have weathercocks on top, then so much the better.

Tags: real life
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