Pepperbox Hill is so called because of the Pepperbox Folly which stands atop the hill. We used to visit here sometimes as children, although it has been many decades since I last visited!
The area is now owned by the National Trust and they have this to say about Pepperbox Hill on their website:-
"Commanding the high point on the chalk ridge south-east of Salisbury, Pepperbox Hill
is topped by an early example of a brick folly. Thought to have been built by Giles Eyre of Brickworth House, it may have served as a viewpoint for ladies following the
hunt, a haunt for highwaymen and a lookout post for the home guard.
Surrounding the folly is a diverse habitat, produced by the scrub-grassland mosaic,
supporting several rare or uncommon species including orchids, juniper and yew woodland.
The adjacent chalk downland is a significant site in Wiltshire for rare butterfly
species, including the duke of burgundy."
I don't know where Brickworth House is or was, but it might be interesting to find out. There used to be a brickworks in the village where I lived as a child, just a few miles down the road from the hill, so perhaps it is related to that in some way.
It was dusk when I arrived at just about 4pm, but as you can see it was still light, but it was icy cold and there was a frost forming on the ground already. After the very hot Nursing Home though, the cold air was bliss just for a short while.
While standing and looking out across the view, I was reminded of the poem by W H Davies called Leisure:-
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
- No time to see, when woods we pass,
- Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
- No time to see, in broad daylight,
- Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
- No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
- And watch her feet, how they can dance.
- No time to wait till her mouth can
- Enrich that smile her eyes began.
- A poor life this if, full of care,
- We have no time to stand and stare.
There is a wonderful information board at the car park area which describes all the wildlife that can be found. It was designed by local school children.
Here you can see the actual Pepperbox Folly. I only ever remember it with the windows bricked up, I don't know if there were ever actually windows that opened.
This plaque tells you all that you can see from the hill in the surrounding areas.
The views are incredible, although not so good yesterday. You can see the spire of Salisbury Cathedral - the tallest in the world I believe - but you couldn't really make it out yesterday - and I checked that I was looking in the right direction!. I think that it is the spire that you might be able to make out to the right of the centre of the picture below.
It was lovely to have some cool air and a few moments to think before getting back in the car and driving home again. The funny thing was though that it was exactly as I remembered it from childhood. Usually when you revisit somewhere you went or lived as a child it seems smaller, but this was exactly the same size!