I am part of a team from Wessex Archaeology undertaking a daunting endurance event – Trailwalker 2015 – raising money for the Gurkha Trust and Oxfam. The challenge involves walking 100km in 30 hours across the South Downs from Waterlooville in Hampshire to Brighton in East Sussex.
Thankfully, personal trainer Kent Jones has agreed to try and get me prepared for the event and as an incentive we are visiting Heritage sites on our long walks and we propose to blog about these journeys each week.
Our first walk was a 15 mile local walk taking some of the Medway Megaliths. These monuments are thought to be the remains of Neolithic Chambered Tombs clustered mostly north of Aylesford in the Medway Valley; one of the largest clusters of such monuments in Southern England outside Wiltshire.
The first we visited was ‘Little Kits Coty’ on the Medway Valley, a collapsed jumble of Sarsen stone in a field off Rochester Road north of Aylesford. The monument is also called the ‘Countless Stone’ because legend has it that when each time you count the stone you come up with a different answer, so I didn’t bother trying.
After eight miles on the relative flat it was time for the hills. The first of the hills took us past the White Horse Stone, a large Sarsen stone which could be the wall stone of a chambered tomb. All the rest has been removed. There is a local tradition that it is the burial place of Hengist and Horsa.
Kits Coty House is the most impressive of the Medway Megaliths with three remaining uprights and capstone and has excellent views; the site is well worth a visit not least because of the excellent views across the Medway valley!
For information on some recent research and results of exciting fieldwork by Paul Garwood of Birmingham University come along to the conference organised by staff at Wessex Archaeology on the 12 September 2015 where Paul will be speaking along with a number of other speakers. Follow this Link.
And finally, a reminder to all even experienced hikers such as Kent Jones make the mistake of not wearing appropriate footwear!
Look out for a training update next week and more of our perambulations in Kent and please consider donating to these excellent causes, by selecting the button.
Mark Williams, Regional Team Leader, London & South East