I find I don't use my camera very often nowadays and like everybody else use my phone (which probably does as good a job with my basic photographic skills) . So when I was sorting out the memory card I found I had not used it since last November when we were on holiday in Bradwell in the Peak District , A couple of photos had me puzzled for a moment - pictures of bumps in a frosty field (I have taken lots of this type of thing to illustrate various historic sites) but these seem even more enigmatic - then I remembered it was when I found the Grey Ditch !!! , here seen sweeping majestically upwards towards the tree line . Well what we are seeing is the upcast or rampart the actual ditch is to the left (lighter green ?).
From the same place looking the other way (the horse will become significant later in my tale) I'd read a little about it in the tourist literature at the cottage we were staying at and was super excited when we came across it whilst walking the dog . Historic England class it as a linear embankment and adjacent ditch which stretched across the entire valley and is dated by pottery finds to be post-Roman 5th/7th century , it was originally 8 feet high and 22 feet wide at it's base and the ditch was of equivalent width and a further 6 feet deep - that's some big hole and pile of earth ! I was very pleased - as pleased as Punch as they say ! - my wife less so , she wasn't impressed - it was cold and me capering on a bump in the ground probably didn't help - then she saw the horse - she doesn't 'do' horses neither does the dog who was whining by now - so she and him left for the next field via a stile- I though " I'll take a few more shots then join them" . However the horse was lonely and very friendly and all I got were shots of it's nose and head , so abandoned the idea but vowed to return ,which of course I never did .
Another shot looking uphill (found on the internet - not sure who by ?).Theories vary but a boundary defense between Mercia and the Kingdom of Northumbria is possible as ditch like this exist in various places in England (Offa's Dyke being the most famous) and a local legend says that there was a battle in which King Edwin of Northumbria was captured and subsequently executed , locals remember the 'Eden Tree' where according to folklore Edwin was hung and it used to stand until recently by the road side to the North of the village . I must admit I find structures like this far more exciting than any amount of castles and stately homes , so thank you for your indulgence .