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

Arbor Low

Stone Circle

Fieldnotes

21st September 2016

It's been six years since I was last here, flipping blimey, really? it was an equinox then too, but spring not Autumn as it is now, well actually the equinox is tomorrow, in the afternoon some time, that would kind of ruin your chances of a good sun rise I'd have thought. My day of is the 21st though so that's why i'm a day early, I'm not happy about it though, I try to get out on these days above all others, it just has to be done, almost as if the fate of the world rested in my being at some stones for the sunrise. I've lied to work in the middle of Christmas working, I've gone out a couple of days after having complicated surgery, I've gone to the lake district, forgotten my daughter and gone back and then on to the Peak district, it's important to me, saving the world, and everyone else, probably.

With Arbor low being so close to me I was well in time for the sunrise, but unfortunately the sky didn't look like it wanted to cooperate, it was a fairly grey day, I sighed inwardly, then realised I was alone and sighed out loud. But then a miracle happened over to the east there was a small thin sliver of actual sky, close to the horizon, could I dare to hope that the sun would pass up through this tiniest of gaps. I unpacked my sitting mat and sat upon it, they're very handy things, sitting mats, if you find one on a mountain top I strongly recommend you pick it up and nick it, then I waited for the great luminary to make an entrance, however brief it may be, if at all.


Whilst I waited from my vantage point on the west bank I could see that were it to rise where I predicted it would be just to the left of the big barrow in the henge, right where a gap in the henge is, was the gap made by the building of the barrow, or is it especially for folk like me to spy on the secret paths of the sun. I also wondered where the ancient people would have stood and watched what ever was going on here on days like these, were they outside the henge? upon the henge? in the ditch? in the circle? did they even stand at all, it might have been a dancing kind of experience, I don't do dancing, not sober anyway, so I continue to sit, and wait.
Until the waiting was over, the sun was coming, and I could see it through my crack in the cloud, I don't think I've ever said that before, but there it was, a golden sliver of beautiful light, I photographed it, but my skills are seriously lacking in low light, but you give it a go don't you? without resourcing to multiple cameras and much trickery, or perhaps not.
It only took five minutes and its completely passed through my crack, I saw it all, just not all at the same time, then it was gone, swallowed by the grey.

World saving duties over I set about the stones, inspecting each one individually, on one of the stones on the west side I think I spotted a couple of very worthy cup marks, I'm not sure I've seen them before, nor heard of them, so It's always worth the time to inspect each stone singly.
Most of these stones could be re-erected, much to the benefit of the site, Burl called Arbor low "the Stonehenge of the north", but that doesn't seem to bring the crowds, imagine if the stones were a standing. Some couldn't be stood back up though as they've shattered into up to a half a dozen pieces, but it's OK to have a few lying down, isn't it.

From the henge bank Gib hill is looming large at the back of the next field, I always go over before I head off to pastures new, not sure why, I don't think it matters. The information board tells me that Gib hill is two cairns, a long one with a round one on top, I don't think I knew that before either. Another cairn can be seen from here, across the big road the A515, Lean low it's called, i'm off there now. Tatty bye.
postman Posted by postman
24th September 2016ce
Edited 24th September 2016ce

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