Following the difficulty I experienced in finding the Wet Withens stone circle I approached the visit to Hob Hurst’s House with a little trepidation. As this is an E.H. site I did not want to fail to find this one! As it turned out there was no need to worry as this site is very much easier to find and to access.
Rather than make directly for Hob Hurst’s House I chose to go via the Park Gate stone circle. I would certainly recommend this route as the walk takes about the same time, has a clear ‘path’ to follow and of course takes in an extra site – two for the price of one!
As before, I suggested the children stay with Karen as I think they are still a bit young for open moorland type walks. In hindsight Dafydd would have been ok for this visit.
I walked along the track which skirts the edge of the cheerfully named Hell Bank Plantation (actually quite pleasant), passing the Beeley Warren Cairn on the way. Where the track turns sharply to the south-west a ‘path’ continues to the north-west. Here you will find a small wooden sign pointing to Hob Hurst’s House (north) or to Robin Hood’s House (north-west along the path). Is Robin Hood’s House another name for Park Gate stone circle?
I carried along the path and shortly came to the stone circle (see other fieldnotes).
From the stone circle there were tyre tracks leading north towards the trees next to Hob Hurst’s House. I followed the tyre tracks and re-joined a ‘path’ near a small wooden walkway over a burn. The path continued north running parallel to the trees, up an incline. When you get to the highest point you will see a tall white metal pole which is painted red on top. Walk to the pole and you will then see Hob Hurst’s House to your right – behind a protective fence. This is crossed via a stile.
Reading previous fieldnotes I wasn’t expecting too much from this site but (probably because my expectation levels were so low) I was pleasantly surprised. The site occupies a prominent position on a ridge affording decent views. Hob’s House isn’t very big but it is in pretty good condition. The bank/ditch has been thankfully kept free of the ever invasive heather. The edges of the site have been marked out with small concrete posts.
The information board states this site was one of the first monuments to be taken into state care in 1882. I was surprised that such a small and remote site would have been one of the first to be protected.
I sat inside the inner depression (out of the wind) to write my fieldnotes and contemplated for a while. I knew I couldn’t be too long as the others had already been waiting a long time for me. The outer ditch is about 1.5m deep and the inner depression about 0.5m deep. The inner depression is lined with stones.
I headed back the way I had come but once I reached the little wooden footbridge I took the path south back to the car instead of the path west to the stone circle.
It takes about 15 minutes to walk from the car to the stone circle and then another 15 minutes from the circle to Hob Hurst’s House. If you walked direct to Hob Hurst’s House it would take about the same time – 30 minutes each way.
I was very pleased to have knocked this E.H. site off the list as it is one of the most awkward to visit. I think Hob Hurst’s House is well worth the effort.
Posted by CARL
7th May 2014ce