Combe Gibbet (SW #25) Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

0.5 mi
259 ft
9.2 %



Cycling Combe Gibbet -- the eeriest hill top finish anywhere?  The word Gibbet means "gallows," and this climb is named such because there is a replica of an historic gibbet along the climb, where in 1676 two people were executed for murder.  This climb is #25 on Simon Warren's list, and is a fairly short climb with an average grade just under 10%.
Average grade is 9% - ride 900 meters gaining 77 meters with 0 descent.  31% of the climb is at 10-15%.  The steepest 500 meters is 9.6%.

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Roadway: Narrow two lane or wide one lane road in fair condition. 

Traffic:  Minimal.

Parking:  At the Combe Gibbet Car Park at the start of the climb (MapStreet View). 
Provisions:  The nearest food and beverages are at Crown & Anchor in Ham 5.4 kilometers from the start of our climb (Google Map + Reviews).
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Combe Gibbet is up a side road on the left as we climb the hill.  Be sure to ride up to the gallows - from the hilltop the views are excellent (Google Map + Reviews).



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Cycling Combe Gibbet -  Footpath to the gallows         

View from the start

Turn right at the summit to travel down a gravel/rock path to the gibbet.

Whoa - that is serious stuff - Gibbet = Gallows!

“The gibbet is located at grid reference SU360620, on the Test Way close to the Berkshire-Hampshire border, it is named after the village of Combe, but it is also close to Inkpen. The nearest sizeable town is Newbury in Berkshire. It is built on top of a long barrow known as the Inkpen long barrow. The long barrow is 60m long and 22m wide. Walbury Hill (the highest point in South East England) is just a little further to the east.

History:  It was erected in 1676 for the purpose of gibbeting the bodies of George Broomham and Dorothy Newman and has only ever been used for them. The gibbet was placed in such a prominent location as a warning, to deter others from committing crimes.

Broomham and Newman were having an affair and were hanged for murdering Broomham's wife Martha, and their son Robert after they discovered them together on the downs. Unfortunately for the lovers, the murder was witnessed by "Mad Thomas", who managed to convey what he had seen to the authorities.

A replica gibbet marks the site. The original was destroyed many years ago and subsequent replicas have been replaced several times.

Tourism and leisure  Nowadays it is a popular local tourist attraction with good views of the surrounding area. It is also popular with hang gliders and paragliders.

The Combe Gibbet is also the start of a scenic 16 mile off-road race to Overton organised by the Overton Harriers and Athletic Club. The race, which is typically in late March / early April of each year, is one of the few true off-road point to point running races in the UK, coaches taking competitors to the start.

The "Combe Gibbet" Race takes in the highest hill in the South East of England; Walbury Hill, the highest in Hampshire; Pilot Hill as well as Ladle Hill and the edge of Watership Down before entering Overton the source of the River Test.”  
Wikipedia - Combe Gibbet

Road to get to this one is incredibly narrow. Wide enough, just barely, for the car to drive through.

Our views our blocked by trees from about the 300 meter mark until close to the summit.

                                                 The climb starts at an abandoned building.

Keep an eye out over the first 200 meters of the climb because the gallows (gibbet) is visible at the top of the hill about 800 meters in front of us (there is a trail to the gibbet that directs the eye to it).

Signs near the car park at the top of the climb.

Memorial and view from the car park just past Winters Gibbet.



This climb is within the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).  Wikipedia - North Wessex Downs AONB

“Combe Gibbet is number 25 in 100 greatest hills.  It is a  fairly short climb, averaging just under 10% to take you to the top of Combe Gibbet / Walbury hill.

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