Finally, the Physiotherapist who has been treating my torn tendon has relented and agreed that I could go on a short hike – “no more than a couple of miles though”.
My walking buddy and fellow antiquarian (and the new owner of the original ‘Smacked Pentax’) had suggested we visit Counter Hill just a mile or so from his house. I readily agreed and this morning I drove to his and we set off walking up the moor road. The weather was grey and flat – not good for photographs – but I didn’t care, I had to get out! Neither of us had been there before but we found it easily enough.
Counter Hill is an oddity – it is situated on top of a small hill with glorious views all around. It is an Earth Work – possibly the remains of an Iron Age hill fort, although some people have suggested it may have been the site of a Roman Garrison – and this could be true as there was a Roman hill fort at Ilkley a couple of miles away (founded in 80 AD and called Olicana). But most people think it is Iron Age fort which the Romans ‘built on’ after defeating the original inhabitants.
The Counter Hill earthworks is gigantic – 3/4 of a mile across at it’s longest point – and a circular ditch partly surrounding it. There is now little to see, just the ditch really – and some stones here and there in the centre. But it is truly impressive, despite much of the ditch being covered in snow. It is about 5 ft. deep and must have been much deeper when it was first built. Quite magnificent.
As with many such sites local experts all add their theories and knowledge to the pot. One such person thought the hill got its name from the old Celticconaltradh, or Irish conaltra, as in the ‘hill of debate or conversation’, however one ‘place-name master’ reckoned its name comes from little other than ‘Cow Turd Hill’!
I like the latter best!
Anyway, according to my SatNav which I checked when I got back to the car, we had walked 5.1 miles. More than the Physio said I could do but I felt OK – a bit stiff but no pain really. But I wouldn’t want to do any more until it is totally healed.