Monday, 3 January 2011

Memories , Personal , Walks

The Bledlow Cross

bledlow-cross.png Distance: 1.43 miles
Ascent: 69 metres
Duration: 33 minutes

Remembering Dad

The Bledlow Cross is relatively easy to find, but despite being so close to a National Trail it isn't signposted in any way.

view-from-cross.pngI'd been here before, some time in the 1970s. Friends of Mum and Dad's owned Warren Cottage at Wainhill, so we'd stay there from time to time and collect firewood from the woods. Dad was excited on the day we found the clearing with the chalk cross. I remember being distinctly non-plussed, not immediately understanding what it was.

That was thirty years ago. Today we returned to rediscover it.

The easiest approach to describe is from Hempton Wainhill. The bridleway running south from the hamlet soon turns south-west, and as the last garden fence comes to an end on the left (east) a feint path climbs the ridge between the trees. Follow the crest of the ridge, and as it reaches its summit look out for the clearing ahead and to the right. The cross itself is at SP769009 and a height of 211m.

I don't remember what the cross looked like previously, but now it's heavily overgrown. English Heritage have it on their list of monuments at risk. It's easy to imagine the cross disappearing altogether, perhaps only to be rediscovered by energetic sons and fathers out for a walk together.

Dad died ten years ago today. Revisiting a moment in the Chilterns seemed the best way to commemorate that.

Posted by pab at 15:28 | Comments will be back later in the year. Please email me instead!