A Walk on Hameldown

Last week, in between downpours, I took the dog for a quick walk up the hill outside the village…

I hadn’t planned to go far, but when I reached the top it was so nice in the wind and the autumn sunshine that I kept going. I ended up walking right along the back of Hameldown hill, much to Frodo’s delight.

I always wonder about these old posts, which are dotted all over the top of Hameldown.  I’ve read that they were erected in the war to stop German gliders landing and were originally much bigger, with barbed wire strung between – but why would you land a glider on top of Hameldown? It’s a big old boggy hill in the middle of nowhere. Anyway, they look very good, standing there in the wind and weather.

Looking north west from the summit. In the sunlight over there are Kes Tor and Batworthy, one of my favourite parts of the moor.

Coming down off the northern end of Hameldown, I passed this monument to the crew of an RAF bomber which crashed there during the war.

At Natsworthy, the storms hadn’t quite stripped the last of the autumn leaves off the beech trees. Sarah and I were staying at Wooder Manor, a bit further down the valley, when I started writing Mortal Engines, and this is where Tom Natsworthy’s name came from.)
And from Natsworthy it was a pretty easy stroll back down the lanes in the evening sunlight.

4 Comments

  1. Flo
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 23:23:13

    Hi
    I was just browsing the daily mail website (awful guilty pleasure) and there was an article on there about the suggestion made by an architect to build moving cities on caterpillar tracks. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2487861/The-city-LEGS-Amazing-plans-eco-friendly-walking-metropolis-search-better-jobs-scenery.html)
    The autocad drawings stirred something in my memory and after about 5 minutes of intense thinking/trying to not think about it in the hope I would remember, 'mortal engines' finally came into my head. I read your wonderful books as they were released (I'm now 20) and they really were some of my favourites. I've just been browsing the wiki pages for each one reminding myself of the characters. Then I came on your blog and saw these lovely pictures of the countryside – I'm currently studying abroad in America and miss England very much – so just wanted to say thank you for both the books and these photos!
    Flo Page

    Reply

  2. Philip Reeve
    Nov 07, 2013 @ 09:04:10

    Thanks Flo! Yes, a couple of people have sent me links to that, and it's uncannily Mortal Engines-ish: I must put it up here on the blog when I find the time – though I'm quite enjoying having that picture of Hameldown on the front page at the moment. I hope your studies are going well over there.

    Reply

  3. Jack
    Nov 07, 2013 @ 13:30:52

    It is so pretty there. It kind of looks like the moor from the Hound of the Baskervilles book. (Show versions I guess) only greener.

    Reply

  4. Philip Reeve
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 09:15:45

    Hi Jack. It is! The Hound of the Baskervilles is set on Dartmoor, and various versions have been filmed here. The updated BBC version with Benedict Cumberbatch shot just up the road from our house – they drive past the end of our lane at one point. (And the reason it's green is that it rains ALL THE TIME.)

    Reply

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