Wandlebury Hill

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Wandlebury Hill
Wandlebury.jpg
The stable block at Wandlebury House
Elevation 74 m (243 ft)
Prominence 10 m (33 ft)
Parent peak Great Wood Hill
Location
Location Gog Magog Downs, England
OS grid TL493533
Coordinates 52°09′31″N 0°10′57″E / 52.158611°N 0.1825°E / 52.158611; 0.1825Coordinates: 52°09′31″N 0°10′57″E / 52.158611°N 0.1825°E / 52.158611; 0.1825
Topo map OS Landranger 154

Wandlebury Hill (grid reference TL493534) is a hill in the Gog Magog Downs, a ridge of low chalk hills extending for several miles to the southeast of Cambridge, England. The underlying rock is present in a number of places on the hill. At 74 m/243 ft it is the same height as the nearby Little Trees Hill, although the latter is a more notable landmark.

The top stands in Wandlebury Country Park, a nature reserve owned by Cambridge Past Present and Future, formerly known as Cambridge Preservation Society. Wandlebury was already inhabited in the Bronze Age[1] and 2500 years ago there was an Iron Age hill fort here known as Wandlebury Ring. This hill fort once had concentric ditches and earthen walls which were kept in place by wooden palisades. Although the fort has vanished, the ditch (the Ring) dug around the edge can clearly be seen and walked along, being 5 metres deep in places and offering an adventurous route along its edge. There is no evidence that it was ever used in defence. Wandlebury House, home of among others, Francis Godolphin, stood within the Ring. The house has been demolished but the monumental stable block remains, now used for accommodation and as headquarters office of Cambridge Past Present Future. The grave of the Godolphin Barb horse, which died in 1753, can be seen under the archway. Maps and leaflets are available from the porch at all times and from a shed in car park on summer Sundays. The tail of a crashed World War II Wellington Bomber was visible wedged high in a beech tree within the estate, until it was dislodged by strong winds in the early 1990s.

The reserve, mainly beech woodlands and fields, is an excellent place for birdwatching and is a beautiful place for an early morning stroll. Banyard bird hide, overlooking Varley's Field, was completed in February 2012. Like Little Trees Hill, the summit is on public land and is accessible when sheep or Highland cattle are not in the field. Dogs must be on a lead everywhere in Wandlebury Country Park. It can be reached by walking across the field from post 3 of the nature trail. Virtually no climb is involved in the ascent, just a pleasant stroll through woodland.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Over the Hills to Cherry Hinton, H. C. Coppock, 1984, Plumridge, Linton, Cambridge, p.14.

External links[edit]

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