"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Isle of Wight Day 2 1st July: Part 1 Local Walk and The Long Stone Mottistone Common



We went to quite a few places on the Saturday so, as I am afraid I have been a bit self indulgent again with the number of photos!, I will split it into two posts.
We woke in the morning to the sight of yachts from the bedroom window it was the day of the Round the Island Race.


So an early morning walk to the coast path to see if we could get better views. I have used D's photos here with the Canon bridge due to the usefulness of the zoom.

Butterflies were already in abundance



Edit - oops Meadow Brown rather than Gatekeeper!


Coastal views toward Freshwater Bay



And a few closer views of the yachts.



I love these daisies - I see them so often on holiday and on days out.

After breakfast we drove the short distance to the Mottistone Estate for a walk on the common (restored heathland with wonderful views) to the Long Stone.

Some views from the top of Mottistone Common

Looking towards St Catherine's Down - more of St Catherine later.




Mottistone church (visited in the afternoon) towards the foreground with the village of Brook (where we stayed) behind.


Meet "Osborne" - one of two Isle of Wight bears returning to the island.

The heathland was full of wild flowers and so many insects. Photos to follow of just a few of these. Please feel free to leave a comment if any of my id's are incorrect.


I couldn't find this hoverfly in my book on Britain's Hoverflies (actually although it is mentioned there is no photo (or that is my excuse!!) so I posted a photo on Twitter and many thanks to Joan Brady who has identified it as Eupeodes nitens.

Soldier Beetle on the right - not sure about the insect on the left - I should have got a better photo!

Rock rose?, Daisy and Clover

Ox-eye Daisy

Self Heal

Sheep Sorrel

Great Mullein

Scarlet Pimpernel - also known as "Shepherd's Weatherglass" as the flowers close when the weather is poor.


A first look at this beetle and it reminded me of a Swollen-thighed beetle but without the swollen thighs! A look at the Collins insect guide suggested Musk?So again I put a photo on twitter and, again thanks to Joan Brady for the id, agreeing it could be Musk Beetle or more likely Spanish Fly beetle as abdomen is longer than the elytra.

It was only after the visit that I read on the National Trust website that both Dartford Warbler and Green Tiger Beetles occur on the common so a return visit is on the cards in the future!

The Long Stone

This is the remains of a 6000 year old Neolothic communal long barrow. The long burial area, measuring 32 metres long 9 metres wide and 2 metres high, is to the left behind the stone and you may be able to make it out in some of the photos. The two stones standing at the end align with the rising sun.

It is possible that bodies were left out so that animals and birds could pick them clean and the bones would then be buried in a chamber and soil later added on top to create the mound.

Not a lot is known about the Mottistone Estate during Saxon times although the name Mottistone may derive from the Saxon words "Moot" meaning meeting place. This could mean that the Long Stone was where the court of the local "hundred" had met.

By the mid 1800's the stones had been moved from their original position. The long barrow remain untouched until 1700's when it was disturbed by quarrying and excavations in 1850 and 1956. The 19th century excavation was ordered by local squire, Lord Dillon, who failed to find anything in the barrow but the 19566 excavation discovered kerb stones and a ditch round the edge of the mound.

The Long Stone is surrounded by mystery and myth and legend tells that St Catherine and the Devil held a competition to find out who would control the Isle of Wight. The tall 4 metre high stone was thrown by St Catherine from the nearby down which bears her name. Meanwhile the Devil threw a much shorter stone which fell short of St Catherine's and he lost the wager. The position of the stones represents the triumph of good over evil.

Lichens on the stones.

The surrounding area also contains Bronze Age Burial mounds, an Iron Age enclosure, ancient tracks and chalk quarries. I really must get out the OS map and ruler and see if I can find some ley lines :)

Spot me seeking the "energies".


Osborne enjoying views of the Long Stone

and the scenery on the return walk.

In the afternoon we visited the ancient nearby Mottistone Church (where a rather delectable actor got married) with its wonderful wildlife churchyard, a brief trip to Freshwater and Compton and a visit to a local pub but I will save that for Part 2.

*D - Photos taken by D with the Canon bridge SX50


Bovey Belle said...

Oh wow - you got the weather, and the photos made me yearn for the island again - it is MANY years since I was last there. Great beetle ID - loved the green sparkly chap. The archaeology is interesting too. I have never realized there WAS much archaeology on the IoW, but now I need to go and look further. Thanks for sharing.

Ragged Robin said...

Bovey Belle - Thanks so much. Yes, we were very lucky with the weather and it wasn't too humid either - thank goodness for sea breezes :) I am sure you would love the Isle of Wight - I would move there tomorrow but I am totally biased. In many ways it has hardly changed at all and there is so much of interest to see and do over there. Geology and range of habitats is wonderful :)

Deborah RusticPumpkin said...

Lovely photos as always, and such a clean, clear quality of light ~ wonder if it is the chalk reflecting sunlight? I know the name of that beetle too, but forget it now, think it begins with "i" maybe? I do know I've got a cracking photo of one on a white Morning Glory, which really sets off that iridescent green. Don't go touching the standing stones! Have you never read Diana Galbadon's "Outlander"? lol!

Ragged Robin said...

Deborah RusticPumpkin - Thanks so much. You could be right about the quality of light. So much wonderful chalk land in that area - it was so good to walk on downs etc. and see the wonderful variety of wild flowers.

Someone else on twitter had suggested swollen-thighed beetle which I had discounted due to it having no swollen thighs! But a google suggests that the females don't! Trouble is so many species of beetle look similar to me and I don't have a comprehensive beetle guide!

lol! Yes I have read "Outlander"! Wonderful book I read it years ago and a few more in the series. Still have some to read but I think I would have to start from scratch again! Did they ever make a film do you know?? I know there was talk of it. ps don't think I would mind too much going back and meeting a Jamie!!! ha ha :)

Pam said...

Even the yachts look amazing! The scenery and views are stunning, such a lovely place for a holiday!

Ragged Robin said...

Pam - Thanks so much. We love it there - must have visited a dozen times since we first went. It is nice because the whole family love it there and because we have done all the major attractions can afford to relax and just re-visit some of our favourite areas.

amanda peters said...

Blue skies, boats and sunshine... wish we could all wake up to see that every morning.The weather looks lovely so nice to see blue skies.

Interesting reading about the stones, and looking forward to the post on the church.
Best time for insects and butterflies, like the green beetle.
Amanda xx

Rosie said...

How wonderful to see the sea from your bedroom window. Mottistone Estate looks wonderful, I think we may have to visit if we ever get over there, the church looks so romantic with the sea in the distance and I love the standing stones. Glad Osborne enjoyed his return visit too:)

Deborah RusticPumpkin said...

I watched "Outlander" on Amazon Prime, but it is now on Freeview, probably around the third episode of the first series. I'm not sure of the channel as I don't really want to view such violence and graphic cruelty again. There is a second series, and a third one is under contract. I think we'll find ourselves in a very long queue over Jamie!

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Trememndous variation in meadow brown colour, not seeing many with that kind of orange tint round here. And no peacocks!

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thanks so very much Amanda - we were so lucky with the weather and even better it didn't get too hot and humid!! It was a bonus to see the sea from bathroom and front bedroom window :)

Rosie - Thanks so much. Mottistone estate - common, Long Stone, gardens and church all well worth a visit - they do nice cakes at the gardens too (when open!!).

Deborah RusticPumpkin - We have freeview though not Amazon Prime (did sign by accident for the latter when making a purchase (too easy to do) but luckily managed to cancel it as we have something similar. Oh gosh if it is violent and graphic I don't think I will watch it :( I stopped watching Ripper Street for the same reason. lol re: Jamie!! - might be worth watching just one episode to see which actor got the role! :)

Simon Douglas Thompson - Thank you. The amount of orange threw me too! hence the id mistake initially!

Pete Duxon said...

you went to the IOW lays down in shock........ :) nice pics BTW. must revisit

Ragged Robin said...

Pete Duxon - Thanks Pete and lol!!!! :) thought we'd go somewhere different! :)

Yes you must return - such a beautiful place :)

Margaret Adamson said...

Lovely views and I am ooking forward to be ther again soon. it is great that all your fammily love this island as there is a lot to explore.

Ragged Robin said...

Margaret Adamson - thanks Margaret. I do hope you enjoy your next visit. We have discussed retiring over there as it is the one place the whole family would like to move to. Not sure at the moment though as there is the worry over whether son and daughter would find jobs and my husband and I's mothers are in a nursing home. But it is something we are considering.