Ruins, Ditches, and Caches

This past week, I decided to abandon my house-husbandly responsibilities of home management and instead took part in a popular and time-honoured tourist activity: Looking at old stuff. Coming from a country where “old” implies the early 20th century, and “really old” is a revered term reserved solely for dates of the format 18xx, it’s fairly amazing to see some of these places that have been around for, on the Canadian scale, an absolutely impossible amount of time.

My first trip of the week was to the ruins at Bury St. Edmunds, a town a half hour’s train ride to the east of Cambridge. The ruins are the remains of an abbey and monastic church that were first build on the site in ~1070 AD. The abbey has had a fairly colourful and interesting history, from peasant riots to a vicious fire that burned the church to the ground, and even a mysterious death on the premises.

The following day, I biked out to a local historic site known as Wandlebury Ring, which, as described by the information sign I located at the entrance to the site, “survives today as a circular ditch about 300m in diameter and 2.5m deep“.

Yes, I spent a day walking around in a ditch. But dammit, it was an old ditch.

Actually, it was quite a neat spot to visit. What is now simply a ditch was originally a walled city first built around 400 BC. I found an interesting account of the site’s history here. Also, it looks fairly kickass when seen from above.

On Sunday, Ally and I rode the rails down to a few of the small villages south of town in order to snag a few of the local geocaches that had popped up on our radar. These little trips by train are made so incredibly affordable with our student / youth railcards (less than £4 each for return tickets), and it’s a fantastic way to see a bit of the local countryside.

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