Little gems – Burton Dassett Hills

Six years ago, when we could still travel the land and explore wonderful old places, friends came over from the US and we spent a day in the hills. It is a strange place… and I have since learned of various even stranger links to a Grail mystery. There is also a church there that s more than worth a visit, so over the next few days, wander out with me to revisit Burton Dassett…

burton dassett hills

I still couldn’t get over the church. My friends were beaming… they had certainly found a beauty to share with me. But they hadn’t quite finished. Tracey, an Englishwoman, had grown up in the area and knew it well. She suggested we have a look at Windmill Hill, so we piled back into the cars for the short drive. The landscape either side of the track was very strange; rutted and rippled like the surface of a pond.

burton dassett hills

We drove between two hills and parked by a third where a round tower stands proud on the summit. Though to have been a grain store at some point in its history, it is this that gives the hill its name. The doors are blocked now, filled in with stone and modern mortar. My friend recalled being able to go inside as a child.

burton dassett hills

The view, however, is still there and spectacular, looking right out across Warwickshire. On an adjacent hill, a farmer was herding his sheep. Below us, a few people were flying model aeroplanes… or attempting to in the blustery wind. The wheat in the fields looked like billowing silk or blown water in the wind. It is an old landscape, almost untouched, it seems, apart from our fields and lanes. Flint tools have been found here, evidence of a Romano-British settlement and traces of an Iron Age village.

burton dassett hills

To the other side we could just see the tower of the church peeping above the trees. Looking at the lansdscape on the top of the ridge, it seemed obvious that it had been worked. Quarry trenches and fragments of old walling are responsible for the odd appearance. Tracey pointed out the mound known as Gibbet Hill. Thirty-five Anglo-Saxon skeletons were found in an excavation of one of the trenches, thought to be the remains of criminals, possibly executed, but certainly gibbetted here. A further skeleton was found near the grain store.

burton dassett hills

But the afternoon was drawing on and my friends had an early morning flight back to the States. Failing to find a cream tea (look, it’s allowed on their last day!) we reapaired to a pub next to the canal. A pub, moreover, that, if it lacked Stowford’s, sold Old Rosie… and did a nice line in strawberry pavlovas with ice-cream. It had been hours since lunch…

fenny compton 236

Over the excessive and delicious calories, we talked, catching up on the news. There was not a lot of time… nowhere near enough to really catch up. That is the trouble when friends live the world over. The shrinking world of technology allows us to meet people from across the globe in a virtual environment, but when those avatars become people, and friends, distance makes itself felt.

fenny compton 239

Then it was time for the goodbyes and the hugs and promises of ‘next time’. I could probaly hug my way across America these days, greeting friends I see too seldom, if I ever manage to get there. It had been a lovely afternoon, but it was time to head home and get back to work… even the barges were in on that…

fenny compton 243

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
This entry was posted in Ancient sites, England, Friendship, Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Little gems – Burton Dassett Hills

  1. Nice place and is suited to travel. I too love traveling.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. KL Caley says:

    Beautiful post Sue. I’ve not really ventured to this part of the country. My aim, once covid allows us to move around safely again, is to try to see a different area in the UK each year. We had been doing this for the last 7 or 8 years and had some wonderful experiences.
    KL ❀


  3. It sounds like it was a lovely day, Sue. And yes, you surely could hug your way across America. You already do. ❀


  4. Lovely post Sue. I’m with Diana, you do indeed hug your way across America………. and elsewhere!
    Virtual hugs to you all.


  5. Tony Payne says:

    Wow this looks like a lovely place to walk. Looked it up on the map and I have passed so close to here many many times in my life, driving from the south coast to family in Rugby, where I spent many of my holidays growing up.


  6. wonderful write up Sue and was distracted by the beautiful angels in the clouds.
    great pics too! πŸ’–πŸ’–


  7. Eliza Waters says:

    What a beautiful day to share with friends exploring the countryside. A hug back from America! πŸ™‚


  8. dgkaye says:

    Thanks for sharing that beautiful day with us Sue. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how important hugs are ❀ xx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. noelleg44 says:

    What lovely countryside, Sue. I get the feeling that you could dig down anywhere in England and find some artifact or two or three…I’ll bring a trowel for my next visit!


  10. acflory says:

    I think I spent a total of a week in England, more decades ago than I care to remember, and I didn’t see anything like these photos. I rather like the sense of space along with all that age. And pavlova. lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue Vincent says:

      History, green space and pavlova? What’s not to like πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

    • Tony Payne says:

      One of the lovely things about England is that you only have to travel 5 or maybe 10 miles and the scenery can change dramatically. Just a few miles from a city and you are in the heart of the country with small villages, medieval churches, fields full of cows and sheep. woods, lakes and streams.
      When I lived in the USA, I’m mostly thinking of Northern Indiana, you could drive 50 miles or even 100 miles and little changed. It’s even worse in Florida, so much of the state looks the same. But in Europe in general, everything is closer together.
      I hope you are able to get back here one day because a week is definitely not enough.

      Liked by 2 people

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