I went for some exercise recently. The lockdown rules in the UK allow the use of a vehicle to drive a “reasonable distance” to where a person will exercise. I drove a few miles to the Ridgeway. The car park I arrived at was empty, so I considered it reasonable to park there and walk. It was a glorious day, and eventually I arrived at a place called “Wayland’s Smithy”. It’s a Neolithic long barrow (burial chamber), and is 5500 years old. That’s older than the Great Pyramid at Giza.
It’s a fabulously atmospheric place, and is made more atmospheric by the ring of beech trees planted by the Victorians in the 19th century. I pushed the focus differential as much as I could on my mobile, and then added some more blur in Snapseed. B&W conversion was an obvious thing to in order to add more mystery.
The entrance to the barrow is guarded by four large standing stones. There is a smaller one to step over to reach the burial chambers. The barrow itself is much longer than the part with the chambers that is accessible today. On one of the stones someone had chalked “STAY HOME” and “COVID19”. There are no houses nearby, so they had come a long way to tell others not to do what they had done themselves. They had, of course, also defaced an ancient monument, which is a criminal act.
I used a multi-shot panorama technique to get the whole of the front of the barrow in one image.
Using selective focus I concentrated on just one of the standing stones. I was trying to contrast light and shade, and texture and pattern. The line of trees in the background delineates The Ridgeway, and ancient drovers’ track, and perhaps the oldest track in the UK.
These stones have seen many changes over the thousands of years they have been used as architectural features. Humans have passed, visited, lived and died, but the stones remain. Covid19 will also pass.