Wednesday, 8 February 2017
On Saturday afternoon we were up on a large hillfort near the Somerset coast known as Cadbury Camp, with wide vistas in all directions, including – this being a fine day – the Severn Bridge and the distant hills of Wales across the Bristol Channel. I love these high places, with their ditches, ramparts, and brooding sense of vestigial ancient presences.
However, it was a matter of dispute – my partner and I are much given to dispute – whether we had ever been here before, or whether this was the place she and her sisters had been brought by their parents in her Bristol childhood. I couldn't settle the question of her family visit, but I was pretty convinced I had never set foot in the place before, even allowing for the fact that all hillforts do share a strong family resemblance, and we have been visiting them for forty years.
Later, looking the place up on Wikipedia, I discovered that there are, in fact, three hillforts in Somerset with the name "Cadbury", one of which – Cadbury Castle – is significantly bigger and has a strong association with the Arthurian legends, to the extent of having once been known as Camalet. I strongly suspect this may be where we thought we were revisiting. There's only one way to find out...
To Brits, of course, the name "Cadbury" has an inescapable association with the manufacture of chocolate. Or in euro-terms – the EU rules having understandably inflexible requirements on the amount of cocoa solids actually used in "chocolate" – "chocolate-flavoured waxy substance, marginally suitable for human consumption". Regrettably, although I saw no evidence of chocolate production, ancient or modern, on Cadbury Camp, quite a few Crunchie and Flake wrappers were blowing around the place, adding their little local notes of non-biodegradable colour.