Posts Tagged ‘Spin Hill’

The bottom of Spin Hill

December 16, 2015

It seems almost impossible to imagine that what is now quite a busy road junction looked like this in the era of colour photography.

The bottom of Spin Hill in 1969

The bottom of Spin Hill in 1969

This is at the bottom of Spin Hill. Parsonage Lane is arriving at the right side of the photo and crossing the bridge over the Northbrook stream. We can just make out the lane curling back round to the right as it starts the ascent of Spin Hill.

One thing there isn’t is any sign of a road junction although a footpath does cross the road just beyond the bridge – leading from Northbrook to The Grove.

The first new road in the area was Canada Rise which somehow was built up the steep and very wooded area at the left of this photo. At a guess this photo was specially taken to record a scene about to pass into history. The photo dates from 1969.

More recently another brand new road was added across the green field below the woods. Grove Road was more major in nature, linking this point with The Spring and usable by through traffic. When Grove Road was opened it was possible to make Parsonage Lane a one way street which suited its narrow nature. Grove Road could take all the traffic entering Market Lavington and a main bit of that leaving as well.

This was not the first occasion that Parsonage Lane had had one way status – at any rate on Wednesdays, which was Market Day. In much earlier times, Parsonage Lane was used for incoming traffic on these busy days and the exit was via Northbrook and then actually used the stream bed as a roadway back to the area shown in this photo. Using a stream was good for old wooden cart wheels, water kept them just a bit swollen and tightly held together.

But for the late 20th and 21st century that would not be suitable and what we have now is a roundabout at this point where four routes (plus the footpath) meet.

On the cannon ball trail

July 19, 2015

Not all metal items are found by metal detectorists. This cannon ball was found by people grubbing out unwanted plants in a hedgerow at the back of a garden on Spin Hill.

Cannon Ball found under a hedge in a Spin Hill garden

Cannon Ball found under a hedge in a Spin Hill garden

Whoops, a bit of a failure of photography in that you can’t read the ruler. But you can see this is a hefty hunk of iron and if we balance the ruler on top of the cannon ball then you can see its size.

With this size it looks to be a 12 pounder

With this size it looks to be a 12 pounder

It’s four and a bit inches which, we think, makes this a twelve pounder.


The person who dug it up reckoned it lay a good two feet under ground.


We know very little, of course, about this cannon ball. We can’t date it but can speculate that balls of this size were in use in the English civil war and we are only a few miles from the site of the Battle of Roundway Down. But we are too far away for it to have been a misplaced shot and we know nothing of any nearer skirmishes. So how it found its way to Spin Hill is even more mysterious than its age.

Have any historians any idea?

Can you recognise this location?

June 4, 2015

There will be plenty of people who can recognise this point and, probably, even more that can’t.

This is the bottom of Spin Hill in 1964

This is the bottom of Spin Hill in 1964

The roads we see is at the bottom of Spin Hill and near the telegraph pole which we can see, there is now a mini roundabout. The trees on the left are in Canada Woods. Those on the right, which just about put the road in a tunnel of trees, are on the steep bank that leads up to Locksands. The bridge parapet we see in the foreground is over the Northbrook stream.

This picture dates from 1964 so is just over fifty years old.

The big change in the view was the creation of Canada Rise, with a new road thrusting its way between the trees on the left and rising up quite steeply. And of course an even newer road, Grove Road now veers off, through the green field to the left. The wall around the field has vanished although the bridge parapet is still there.

In the present day a collection of street lamps illuminate what is now a four way junction. It’s hard to remember that our country was still suffering from post-war austerity in 1964. Street lamps still came into the luxury class – we could do without them. Actually, some of us who love the night sky think we have far too many of them these days.