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Cheshire's western Peak Part I

This obsession of mine, and it is a fully fledged obsession, costs money, money I don't really have, but as with all addictions you can come up with any excuse to indulge in your passion, today was no exception. I just can't stand sitting round the house looking for something to do, so I asked Eric if he fancied a day out and he physically leaped at the chance. So to keep costs down we didn't even leave our home county of Cheshire.

Reed Hill — Fieldnotes

As previously promised a return trip in the spring for some better views, and man they were better, in fact I could have poked one eye out and still it would have been better than the icy fog last time almost two months ago. Seeing as it's considerably less than a million miles away it was always going to be sooner rather than later.

We parked in the same place, where the map indicates 316 meters, we jumped the fence at the same place, but trod a more direct route to the barrow, which was pleasantly in the same place.
Nothing more to add to the barrows discription, only that the views have changed since last time, back in February the fog curtailed the view to about fifty yards, today it was at least fifty miles.
To the north past the Bow stones (two early Christian sculptured stones) to Lyme Park, north east down to the Murder stone, west is the long barrow topped Spond's hill, east and south is the best view with the evocatively named Windgather rocks on Taxal edge, Cats tor (519m), Shining tor (559m Cheshire's highest point), and way off in the distance Shutlingsloe.
I'll be back soon ish to check out the barrows on Sponds hill, and survey the area from that different perspective.

We ran back down to the car hand in hand as per usual, jumped back over the fence and got back in the car, gladly, it might be sunny but that strong wind is cold and we came dressed for last weeks weather. Brrrr

Murder Stone — Fieldnotes

Just a five minute drive from beside Reed hill with it's still impressive round barrow is this pretty little stone, murder stone or not it's a nice one.
The stone was just off the map so I was going on a vague memory from too many years ago, luckily Iv'e got the stone finding knack, I parked by the newly renovated farm house, just off the small lane and five minutes later we were at the pretty little stone.

The shape of the stone whilst not unique (superficially Maen Llia like) is undoubtedly intentional, they didn't just pick the nearest likely large stone, this one was special, how so I can not say. But what they couldn't have known (or perhaps they did) was how the colours would come out after being exposed to the elements for four thousand years or so, oranges, yellows, reddish browns, it was really quite beautiful.

The positioning was paramount too, very visible from a long way to the south and east and west but not north as there is a big hill behind it. It also has a tentative connection with the barrow on Reed hill, presumably of the same (ish) date, as the stone seems to sit in the lea of the great hill, maybe even saluting the hill and barrow.

On the way back to the car we saw two older gents out for a walk, one of them was of African descent, it's always nice to see a diverse mix of people out in the countryside, I hope they had a look at the stone.

We retraced our car tyres back past Reed hill turned right back on to the B5470, but only for two minutes or so untill the left turn came up.

Charles Head — Fieldnotes

On the B5470 three miles south of Whaley Bridge turn east off the main road. Park by the footpath sign. Walk up the track towards Charles Head farm then strike off to the right up hill following the wall. The Bowl barrow will come into view soon enough.

Mascots short and sweet field notes just aren't good enough, and because he hasn't included any Os ref there's no link to streetmap. That said at least he added it. (OS ref. added - TMA Ed.)
The barrow has been delved into, a pity as the barrow is only a couple of feet high, the wall running over it adds to the insult. But it's in a good place, views to the west are long and clear, Kerridge hill a hogs back of a hill dominates the fore ground. To the North the bulk of Reed hill with its large and impressive barrow, and beyond that the Murder stone sits on it's hillock below a higher hill. To the east is Taxal edge with Windgather rocks, which a previous visit to has taught me that they are more impressive close up.
Thirty meters south of the barrow is a two foot tall stone, with a sheep ground moat round it, is it a coincidental erratic or an outlying stone connected to the barrow.
PS, even in the afternoon sunshine the wind is strong and cold and not for the first time I wish I'd brought my coat.

After the obligatory run down hill, I perused the map and the clock and decided a small drive south would do us good, down to Allgreave and the Bullstones, or there abouts.
postman Posted by postman
3rd April 2012ce
Edited 3rd April 2012ce

Comments (2)

More lovely notes Chris, as vital and full of life as the Spring sunshine you had for the trip. Yay. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
3rd April 2012ce
ta very much, too kind postman Posted by postman
3rd April 2012ce
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