Saturday, February 22, 2014

An East Anglian Mount

After a 1/2 term week that didn't go quite according to plan (peeling paint from a ceiling that now requires a plasterer is all you need to know!) I decided to stop off on my way home from Colchester today to visit somewhere that's fascinated me for ages.  It's on the Suffolk/Essex border, I think it's actually in Essex and is in a village called Mount Bures.

There's not a tremendous amount to see, just a big mound with a moat round, and some wooden steps to the top.

For years it was assumed that this mount had had a large wooden tower on the top surrounded by a defensive palisade or wooden wall but in 2011 these assumptions were questioned by evidence (or lack of it) found during a dig led by Dr Carenza Lewis from Cambridge University as part of the Managing A Masterpiece project (she is also well know from C4's Time Team programme). (More information about the findings of the dig can be found here).

They found that it was more likely to be a look out post that was not permanently manned and was possibly built by enlarging an existing bronze age burial mound.

The views from the top are certainly impressive.

It seems to have been built about 1100-1150 and would have been very prominent in this isolated area and probably sent a clear 'go away' message to any unwelcome visitors!

I'm not sure we'll ever find out exactly who built it but I'm glad I stopped and walked up it. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

February Already

I'm not quite sure what happened to January, it seemed to fly by very quickly and now here we in in February!  I've taken advantage of a slightly frustrating work morning so far to go and wander down the garden to see what's happening.  I wasn't disappointed.

These cheerful little flowers have been smiling at me for a few weeks now (I can see them from the kitchen window).

The snowdrops that a friend bought for me last year from Anglesey Abbey are just starting to flower,

as are the iris reticulata (although I think something, possibly earwigs, has been nibbling them!).

There are hellebores next to the almost faded seed heads of echinops

and in the front garden the cerinthe seedlings appear to be taking over!

But the best flower at the moment has to be that of Lonicera Fragrantisima (winter flowering honeysuckle). The scent is strong and heady but the flowers are so tiny and delicate.

It's my favourite winter shrub.