|We leave the hills east of Macclesfield and head south through the hills down tiny little lanes, passing Lamaload reservoir and the unlikely named village of Bottom 'o the oven. Then tantalisingly close to Shutlinglsloe, and through Wildboarclough, alongside Clough brook and on to the A54 Congleton to Buxton road. Then it's across the crossroads down the lane to Allmeadows gueast house. The footpath runs through the property and out the other side.
We came down from the north past Lamaload reservoir and down the lovely Clough brook valley, passing the intriguingly named village of Bottom o' the oven.
Parking for the stone is at a one car place next to Allmeadows guest house, there is a footpath running through it. The footpath takes one down to where the River Dane joins up with the Clough Brook, a really pleasant place indeed, a Blue Tit let us get remarkably close before flying away.
As the path goes down the stone will appear large and obvious on the right, but unnervingly on the wrong side of the fence, we approached as far as the fence, Eric lay down for a while, whilst I went for a bit of a trespass on the other side of the fence.
The stone was apparently partially buried then dug up and re-erected by landowners at Burnt house farm. In shape it reminds me of Gardoms edge standing stone. The stone is on a gentle slope coming up from the river and has a different aspect as you walk round the stone, it's best side is seen whilst looking past it up to Shutlingsloe hill, the stone has a dimple with creases leading into it. It's a very nice looking stone.
Then it's time for a minus fog revisit to the Bullstones and Longgutter mystery circle. Turning around go back to the A54 turn left then first right.
Coming from Congleton to Buxton on the A54, turn left after Cluloe cross, well worth a visit in it's own right, as it stands on a natural knoll that has often been taken as a large barrow. A small area on the right side of the lane is good for one or two cars, from the fence/gate the Bullstones can be seen.
I'm walking about a hundred yards down to the stone amid the newest born lambs I've yet seen, keeping my distance the lambs and ewes don't seem to my mind my intrusion into their field.
It's sooo good to finally be here in good weather, it's been fog and icey fog the last two times, so the warm sun, expansive views and glut of ancient sites seen today have satiated my need to "get out", didnt much care for the cold wind though.
The profile of the central stone is almost exactly the same as that great big hill Shutlingsloe, not the highest point in Cheshire but certainly the most recognisable and with the most "I want to climb that" . Even though it is the most prominent landmark on all the horizon, we mustn't forget all the other sites seen from here, Luds church, The Bawd stone over by the Roaches and Hen cloud, The Allgreave stone and the Bosley Minn stones to name but a few.
When you do come to see the Bullstones please don't think they are all that's here, if you are able and willing, climb over the fence and have a look at the possible outlier then a bit further on there is the weird Longgutter circle and the strange semi circle of stones, I once thought the Bullstones was a lonely monument far from anything else but now it's getting possitively crowded up there.
Then it's home time, my daughter is having tea at nanas and needs picking up, but we are both unwilling to return home when there is such good weather, I stop by the entrance to Bosley minn lane where a couple of standing stones lurk. But just then synchronicity lends a hand and she texts me that she doesnt need me or the car after all but instead of the standing stones we head into Congleton for some tea then head of for the Bridstones.
It's been eleven months since our last visit, and seeing as we were unwilling to return home just yet, we nipped into Congleton for Tea and came up here for the sunset, damn good idea it was too.
Once again we had the place to ourselves for nearly two hours, even on a beautiful day like today, no dogs barking either.
In the field next door are two or three time team type trenches, I don't know if they're archaeological in nature or weather the farmer dude is going about his farming duties, which this day include perfectly square tidy trenches. Either way half the trench includes what looks like a low rubble wall running north/south, I wish i'd taken a photo now but was remiss at the time.
We sent monkey boys up a conifer in the stones compound to try and look down on the stones, not in a dismissive way you understand but just trying to see something new in a place that we've seen a dozen times. In the end something new did occur to me, but it wasn't found up a tree you wont be surprised to find. Nearly thirty miles away on the Cheshire plain is the Mid Cheshire ridge, part of this sandstone play ground contains Beeston Crag with it's famous castle, but less known is the neolithic enclosure, Bronze age settlement and Iron age hill fort. Well, the Bridestones chamber seems to be directly aligned on the distant crag. Trees and Rhododendrons are blocking any definitive proof but both are neolithic in date, both inter visible and (not related) I live between the two, for the first time ever Crewe isn't such a bad place to live after all.
On another tack the rhododendrons are too close to the chamber, we used to be able to walk right round the chamber but are now confined to the southern side, it's not on, this place is too cool to be swamped in vegatation.
Posted by postman
2nd April 2012ce
Edited 2nd April 2012ce
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