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  1. #1
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Local History Lesson.

    I am still feeling it in my legs after Sundays ride so my usual 32 mile at the start of the week was delayed till today. Took the camera as some of you want pics and decided to give you a brief History lesson. First of all we have the South Downs which is a long Chalk ridge that runs from Eastbourne (My local Seaside Town) right across the South of England and finishes somewhere in Cornwall (The extreme West of the country) Locally it is 6 miles from home and is fantastic Mountain biking. For roadies it also offers a challenge in steep hills for about a mile or so at anything from 8 to 15% Maximum height of the South Downs is 800ft or so so no long mountain climbs for us.

    Along the "Downs" there are various Communities- mainly in Agriculture which due to the chalk being 2" below the grass covering is mainly cattle and sheep. But that chalk also given the locals something to do in their spare time. Hill carvings have arisen over the centuries and some of these carvings are reputed to date back to Pre-Roman times or in other words around 2,000 years. The famous one we have locally is the "Long Man of Wilmington"



    It "May" not be what it seems as an "Ancient" hill carving as Archaeological digs have been made around the carving and although reputed to be Ancient- no proof has been found before Victorian times so that puts it from 1850 onward. The slope behind the Long Man is the South Downs and they can be that steep. We have climbed the slope you can see on mountain bikes but by traversing the slope and a Dog leg back to the top. That is hard and not one I like to do too often but as it is there- I have done it (But never again).



    And the Wilmington that the long Man derives from is the village at the base of the hill. Very "Quaint" except this is the only road that also serves all the tourist's out sight seeing all day long. And the road does slope upwards through the village at around 5% till you get to the end where even with a triple- I run out of gears.

    Edit
    Gevad has it right--I only live here. Cornwall is at the west of the country so altered post so I do not look like the ignaramous I am.
    Last edited by stapfam; 04-27-12 at 02:13 AM.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the history lesson. Fun that a possibly fraudulent "ancient" hill carving in England can still be old enough (ca. 1850) that it would be quite old by US of A standards.

    I really enjoy your posts -- please keep up the good work.

    PS Isn't Cornwall to the west?

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the pictures and the history. Anything from before, say, 1900 is considered old here.

  4. #4
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    I wonder what it's like living so close to the road, as is evident in your last photo.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  5. #5
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Cool... I'm ready for lecture 2.

    There is a time to resign oneself
    to old age and infirmity. You first.
    My Cycling Blogspot

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    I wonder what it's like living so close to the road, as is evident in your last photo.
    Noticed that one of these houses has steps down to the road. It also had a small wall to protect the wall. I say had- as it has been hit by a vehicle and demolished.

    And talking about demolishing---The local stone here is Flint and wall are built out of it as evident in the last pic of the village. But walls can be built out of any material and many of them are built out of "Reclaimed" material. Took a pic of this one that has plenty of re-claimed material in it



    That stone on a wall built from reclaim has a big bit of Rock from a building. Some form of house or barn or Villa from Roman times. That stone is not local so was "Imported from many miles away when the original building was constructed 2,000 years ago.

    And on the top of the hill you can see another hill carving but I know nothing about this one except it is only a couple of miles further down the road and is on the face of the "High and Over"--a testing road hill
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the lesson. Are the same hills that make up the cliffs of Dover?

  8. #8
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesw2 View Post
    Thanks for the lesson. Are the same hills that make up the cliffs of Dover?
    No--Those are the North Downs and are the same composition of Clay overlying chalk.

    But wheras the South Downs are a bit sparce on vegetation- the North Downs are a bit more sheltered being 60 miles North of the south ones and have a good tree covering.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  9. #9
    Semper Fi qcpmsame's Avatar
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    I enjoy the pictures and the lessons Stapfam. Please keep up these tutorials!

    Bill
    Philippians 4:13

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