The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian




I neglected to come here when visiting the seriously be-cairned Greens Moor and environs a couple of years back... probably since the map, highlighting a nearby gravel pit and old railway cuttings, conjured up mental images of a more or less ploughed out remnant of a henge in less than salubrious surroundings. I mean, it's not exactly famous, is it? However finding myself likely to be in the shadow of Tinto again this year, I duly reappraised Tiompan's (and Bladup's now deleted) images and concluded my initial assumption might well be wrong. Suffice to say it was. Fair's fair. Yeah, in my opinion this is an obscure gem of a site, well worthy of consideration if a couple of hours of time out from the world floats your boat. As it does mine.

The optimum approach might well be from Newbiggingmill to the approx south-west, along the route of the disused railway line alluded to above. However, finding nowhere to park that wouldn't piss me off if I was in the landowner's (no doubt muddy) shoes, I take the Weston road at Newbigging itself and squeeze onto the verge near a track heading off into Firpark Wood... that is not the track crossing the clearing near the Firpark buildings further along. Seems this a haunt of local dog walkers, one such man returning to his car confirming that I'm literally on the right track. Incidentally he adds that there's also a monument to covenanters nearby I should see. Won't have time, but interesting nevertheless. The track emerges from cover, whereby I veer right toward the OS trig pillar, the trees here apparently recently cleared. From here the henge lies to the left of a prominent copse to the south-east.

As I approach the site it looks, for all the world, a reasonably upstanding defended settlement. Closer inspection, however, reveals there to be no ditch.... well, not encircling the earthworks, at any rate. There is one within, though, a demarcation of bank and enclosure. Yeah, clearly this is no hillfort but a well preserved henge featuring, as Tiompan notes, a pretty substantial surviving circumference, not only in terms of diameter, but also bank height. OK, a knackered old fence does bisect a section of the monument to the south-east... and there is significant evidence of damage apparently resulting from animal husbandry. But, all things considered, for a henge this size it is in remarkably good nick indeed. Most certainly not a virtually ploughed-out ghost in the landscape! Speaking of which, despite the gravel pit to approx south drawing parallels with the magnificent Thornborough trio, the monument's landscape context - and thus vibe - is far better than I anticipated, too, said workings being some distance away, albeit still noticeable. And of course I find that vibe is always enhanced with the sun periodically streaming through the cloud base and cows getting up to all kinds of bovine shenanigans in the next field. Some noises just sort of 'blend in', do they not?

Sometimes being proved completely wrong is good for the soul. Helps to feed my rock n'roll!
5th October 2013ce
Edited 7th October 2013ce

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