Norton / Radstock

Rocks and Ruins

R&Ruins 01

In August we were lucky enough to visit the impressive Maes Knoll hillfort in fine weather, and the steep walk up was worth it for superb views SW across Chew Valley Lake to Mendip Hills; over varied countryside to the east; and northwards, rather surprisingly, over most of Bristol City. (Which explains the location of a Home Guard lookout post on the top of 'The Tump' - a huge bank with corresponding ditch at one end of the fort.) This Iron Age camp is also the western end of Wansdyke, that enigmatic 'dark ages' boundary work which runs for some 40 miles eastwards towards Malmesbury. Was it built by local Britons to limit the Anglo-Saxon invaders; or vice-versa? Or perhaps it was an act of defiance by the Roman army before it caught the last boats home?
In September we examined the building stones of Wells churches, starting with St.Thomas's, built in the 'polychromatic' style, with alternating layers of contrastingly coloured stone, red Trias and Blue Lias, which must have been a very dramatic sight when the colours were still fresh. Going on to The Cathedral, we found the north wall rather boring; where as the frontage is reputed to have some of the best carvings in Europe, in White Lias. Flanking the main doors, what were local stone columns have been replaced with 'Kilkenny Marble'. Over in Chamberlain Street, the Catholic Church of St.Joseph & St.Theresa is rather less flamboyant, made mostly of Blue Lias (confusedly weathering to cream). And further along, St. Cuthbert's is said to be the largest parish church in Somerset. It was originally built of wood in the 900's, then rebuilt more than once, and some early bits are still visible. On the south side there's a bit of wall that's been pebble-dashed!

John Clutterbuck (Group Leader) 416059

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More Group Pages
Art Art Appreciation 1
Badminton Bird Watching Group 1
Bluebell Readers Bridge 2
CHESS Computer trouble shooting
CRAFTY Crazy for Uke
Creative Writing 1 Creative Writing 2
Current Affairs Cycling
Digital Photography Downside Shared Learning
Family History Garden Group
Guitar History of our Times
Local History Lunch Group
Mah Jong Mahjong 2
Music Appreciation Opera
Painting with Pastels Play Reading
Poetry Reading Psychology Group
Rambling Recorder Group
Recorder Ensemble RED DEVILS Reading Group
Rocks and Ruins Rummikub
Scrabble Singing for Pleasure
Solos 1 Solos 2
Solos 3 Spanish
Table Tennis 1 Theatre Visits
Wine Appreciation