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

Piper's Chair



Bivallate hillfort. The banks and ditches of the fort are quite visible, but not particularly large, about 3ft above ground, the ditches maybe 5ft wide. The earthworks are mostly on the northern side, as the southern side is a rather steep slope, more of a cliff with ferns.

At the top of this cliff, easily visible from the A696, is the formation known as the piper's chair. It's a large flat oval of rock, about 15ft by 8ft across. Either end has broken off, otherwise it would have looked even snazzier. It's striking profile is the result of it sitting atop a stratum of much softer sandstone. The same quartzy stone used in many of the megaliths in this part of Northumberland. The soft stuff has eroded, leaving the harder disk sitting like one of those rocks in a road runner cartoon. The harder disk also has a couple of veins of quartz pebbles embedded through it.

On the top of the chair, are numerous basins, some of which are natural, some of which look enhanced, one of which has been carved with metal tools to make a font-like basin with a strange shelf to one side.

It's littered with modern graffitti from the last century, but part of this is the creation of a handy foothold on the east side, making it easier to climb on the top.

A substantial (3m tall) boulder at the foot of the crag upon which the Piper's chair sits is named on the 1866 map as 'The tailor and his man'. In a curious echo of the nearby 'Poind and his man'.
Hob Posted by Hob
17th July 2004ce
Edited 7th September 2006ce

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