steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Ancient Monument Envy

I can now acknowledge that fact that, as a child growing up in Hampshire in the 1970s, I suffered Ancient Monument Envy. Charming and historical as Hampshire was, and much as I enjoyed visiting Danebury Ring, just up the Test Valley, it didn’t seem to have as many or as famous monuments as the surrounding counties. Wiltshire, the border of which was just four miles away, won hands down of course by being home to both Stonehenge and Avebury; Dorset to the west did pretty well too with Maiden Castle and the Cerne Abbas Giant. Up in the north, Berkshire could boast (at least in the pre-1974 Local Government Reorganisation world where my imagination will always dwell) the Uffington White Horse and Wayland’s Smithy. Even Sussex, out to the east, had the Wilmington Man.

Only Surrey, far away on the north-east border, seemed no better endowed, from a prehistoric point of view. But it was hard to preen. Yes, we had Winchester, and thus Camelot, but only according to Malory - and Arthur wasn’t even pre-Roman.

Did anyone else think about things in this kind of way? Only you can tell me.
Tags: maunderings
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