Monday 21 December 2015 – Burrow Mump, Somerset.
The forecast was not brilliant for my return trip to London, and when I got up for breakfast it was hammering down outside, the wind had picked back up again to the level it was on Saturday. I think I am fated to always have a windy and rainy trip when I go away with camera and tripod – perhaps I should chose a nice time of year.
Over breakfast I consulted my ruins book and the road map to see if I could find anything interesting to see that was sort of on the way back to London. There are so many places in the south west that would be intriguing to visit, but with a five hour plus drive ahead I did not want to stray too far from a direct route to the M25. Though I did find a couple of hidden gems to hunt out on the way.
I left Falmouth at 9:45, a bit later than I wanted, but still with plenty of the day left. It was pretty rank outside, definitely the worst morning of the three I have had here, so my timing was pretty good. It was an uneventful drive, I stopped on Bodmin Moor to take a photo under the gloomy skies I would like to explore any of the moors one day, but come properly prepared for a visit. I don’t mind the rain so much, but wind, rain and moorland are not such a great combination for photography.
It took me quite a while to get to my first stop of the day. Off the motorway in the depths of the Somerset levels stands Burrow Mump, a small lonely hill in the middle of farm land. The hill was at a junction of the rivers Tone and Cary, but the Cary has subsequently changed course. It is possible a Roman and a Saxon fort was located on the top of the hill, Roman and early Saxon artefacts have been found in the area and at the confluence of two rivers it would likely have been a trading area back in the day.
It really stands out from quite a way in the distance as I approached from the Taunton side, so I didn’t need the GPS to tell me where it was…
There has been a church here since the 15th century, but the ruins that now stand are from an attempted complete rebuild in the 1790s. Funds ran out and it was never finished. A church was built in the village at the foot of the hill instead and hill top slowly turned to ruin. It is wonderful!
It was still a bit rainy as I walked up the slippery grass slope and the wind was howling too, it was not particularly nice out there. But not bad enough to put me off.
The church is dedicated to St Michael, and is located on St Michaels Ley Line. Interestingly the central line of the church follows the ley line rather than the natural line of the hill.
You cannot go inside the ruin, and in this case I chose not to.
It is quite amazing to look around, and I imagine there are not too many visitors either, so well worth the visit.
Part two of the drive home will be coming up soon !