Walbury Hill

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Walbury Hill
View from Walbury Hill.jpg
The view from Walbury Hill, looking towards Combe Gibbet
Highest point
Elevation297 m (974 ft)
Prominencec. 188 metres (617 ft)
Parent peakBeacon Batch
ListingMarilyn, County Top, Hardy
Coordinates51°21′08″N 1°27′57″W / 51.35226°N 1.46577°W / 51.35226; -1.46577Coordinates: 51°21′08″N 1°27′57″W / 51.35226°N 1.46577°W / 51.35226; -1.46577
Geography
Walbury Hill is located in Berkshire
Walbury Hill
Walbury Hill
Walbury Hill in Berkshire
LocationNorth Wessex Downs AONB, Berkshire, England
OS gridSU373616
Topo mapOS Landranger 174

Walbury Hill is a summit of the North Wessex Downs in the ceremonial county of Berkshire, England. At 297 metres (974 ft) above sea level, it is the highest natural point in South East England.[note 1][1]

Walbury Hill is the starting point for both the Test Way and the Wayfarer's Walk footpaths. The hill is a part of a ridge which forms the border between the southwest of Berkshire and the northwest of Hampshire, and also extends into Wiltshire.[note 2] It is around 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) southeast of the town of Hungerford. It is part of the Kirby House estate, owned by the Astor family.[2]

On the hill's summit is the Iron Age hill fort of Walbury Camp. Combe Gibbet stands on the adjoining Gallows Down. There is also a small low-level circular brick building, approximately 6 feet (1.8 metres) high, on the south side of the hill. This appears to be a disused reservoir.

The true summit is marked by a triangulation pillar approximately 100 metres (330 ft) from the main Test Way. Before the use of satellites was commonplace, Walbury Hill was occasionally used by the BBC as a temporary relay station during the Newbury Races. There is no metalled road across the hill, but the byway is open to all traffic and maintained with a hard gravel surface, because of its previous use by outside broadcast vehicles.[citation needed] The ridged summit is also popular with paragliding enthusiasts.

It is one of three nationally important chalk wild grasslands in the North Wessex Downs, the others being Rushmore and Conholt Downs (SSSI) and part of Hog's Hole (SSSI).[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Walbury Hill is 3 metres (10 ft) higher than Leith Hill in Surrey.
  2. ^ Walbury Hill became part of Berkshire when the civil parish of Combe was transferred from Hampshire in 1895. The historic border between the two counties ran along the Wayfarer's Walk, a long-distance footpath which lies about 200 metres (660 ft) north of the triangulation pillar at the summit. Pilot Hill, 2 miles (3.2 km) to the south east, is now the highest point in Hampshire.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Facts about South East England".
  2. ^ "The thirty landowners who own half a county". Who owns England?.
  3. ^ "LUC Standard Report Template-London" (PDF). Retrieved 5 February 2017.

External links[edit]

Media related to Walbury Hill at Wikimedia Commons