Cycling Combe Gibbet - Footpath to the gallows
View from the start
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.
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).
Our views our blocked by trees from about the 300 meter mark until close to the summit.
Turn right at the summit to travel down a gravel/rock path to the 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.