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

Mickleden Beck



Mickleden Beck is a virtually intact prehistoric landscape. A walk along it from east to west is like wandering back through time. The lower end is still farmed today, and has field clearance still going on, within field boundaries unchanged in centuries. As you get a bit further along, past the curve, the remains of medieval settlement give way to BA field boundaries and cairns on either side of the beck.. Throughout the journey, the Neolithic looms omnipresent in the form of Pike O Stickle to your right.

This is such a gorgeously secluded place, the valley is 3-sided, with nice steep slopes on left and right, and when you get to the end, it just stops. Steep slope at the end too. The road to nowhere.It's quiet too, the sound of the water babbling over the stones is lovely and soothing. Whilst you wander, you can engage in the obligatory game of spot the axe rough-out. We didn't find owt particularly special, but there were a few bits of andesite that looked very much like the bits that flake off flint when it is knapped.

It's worth keeping going to the end of the valley, as the sheepfold at the end is sufficiently peculiar to warrant a good pondering. It has two little rooms off to the side, like you'd see on the footprint of an excavated roundhouse. Combine this with a vague bank and ditch, it's very tempting to think of it as being a re-used ancient dwelling. Maybe they used to polish axes here, you never know…

A good spot on top of the Pike would perhaps lend a view sufficient to show up all of the field boundaries/cairns and maybe help make sense of the confusing jumble of millennia still visible in this fantastic valley.

Oh, and the sheep are inexplicably fluffy. They try to look menacing, but they are just too fluffy to get away with it.
Hob Posted by Hob
10th May 2005ce

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