The call drummed across the land for many days. Apprehension welled out of the ground and oozed across the skyline. Where it would all end no human knew. The trees knew and the river knew.

The upright warriors, advancing along the hedgerows, assembled, their spears showing above the grey stone walls. Tramp, tramp, tramp, their feet, hot and weary, marched across the mound. More appeared over the northern hillsides, more came up the steep winding path from the river, more could be seen on the far off, flat topped moor, to the south, their spears polished, gleaming. A great gathering of warriors. The regular beating of their feet, the regular thumping of their drums, the steady strong call to the fort.

There were no birds to greet them. No bright singing from the bushes, only the wind in the yews, and the swaying of long branches on the edges of the dark wood. They were stony faced, serious, no laughter, no camaraderie of friends meeting. They knew each other, were related to each other in many cases, but today was a solemn day.

The shield bearers formed a circle within the curved bank and ditch. The warriors drew together around the perimeter, watching intently, not wanting to miss any word or act from those at the centre. The discussion was short, for all knew the reasons. All had forseen what had to happen. With tacit agreements they departed. The settlement needed protection.

The land has witnessed many incidents, has been massaged by the feet of centuries of visitors. The grass grows, patches of sunlight fondle the earth, rain falls, and all passes. The land remembers everything, hidden in the quiet corners of eternity. However, occasionally, the emotions of an event are so powerful that they are replayed continually, indelibly etched into the essence of the earth…

Page last updated: 12th Jan 2011