|I had nagotiated an all day pass this winter solstice ,so came up with the great idea of sunrise at Swinside then travel to Torhousekie for the sunset, but as the sun barely showed it's face all week I decided to stay in Cumbria despite much talk of fog on the news and weather reports.
About 04.30 am I set off up the M6 and arrived with plenty of time to spare, walking from the dubious parking place by the bridge back down the lane and then up to Swinside in the dark was a little unnerving and traversing cattle grids in the dark is a lot harder than in daylight. As I approched the stone circle (for the 4th time) the sky was beginning to brighten but the sun was obviously not going to put in an appearance but what the hey I knew where it was, ten minutes later someone else turned up we both nodded and chose a stone to sit on and watch the sun not rise.
After sunrise somone else turned up and we all stood together and spoke of stone circles and alignments ,one bloke was local but the latecomer was from Leeds and he knew of this website but didn't have a user name.
One thing Iv'e noticed about Swinside circle is the tall thin pillar at the North is mirrored at the South by a shorter (but not small) flat topped stone ,My thinking is this if stone circles came from here first with the stone axes, then spread elsewhere and if avenues of stones came from the portalled entrances then could these two stones tall/thin and squat/broad be the origanal Adam and Eve male and female stones so in evidence at Avebury avenues.... Time to move on
Next I decided to see Greycroft stone circle hopefully at this time of year the vegatation would be short and I could inspect the stones properly.I was right and was treated to a good circle with just me there, since the last time i came a fence and gate had arrived,ironically standing on the corner post of the gate and fence affords a good photo of the circle, with my back to the golf course and Sellafield beyond the circle I noticed on the unnatural hill that is part of the power station a linear clearing in the trees ,if I could get up there and zoom photo the circle it would be a good one , so I said bye to the stones and walked back to the footpath vautled the fence jumped the stream and went over the fence into Sellafield (not sure if it's allowed but there was steps over the fence) as I climbed the hill I couln't help feeling a bit like James Bond sneaking into some Blofeld type base ,From the top of the hill a good view of the circle can be had ,I took a quick couple of pictures and scarpered back to the car .
From there a nice drive past Blakely raise ,but I can never drive past a good stone circle so I got out and squelched amongst the stones for ten minutes before pouring over the map for somewhere new to me to visit I decided to go past Ullswater and the Cockpit past the hiilfort on Dunmallard hill and then to Low Moor long cairn .It was easily found next to a lane near the M6 a good size too there cant be many of these in Cumbria, about 120 paces long about 10ft tall with a slump in the middle and a strange ditch at the front I wondered how I hadn't seen this from the motorway.
Nearby was the pair of stones known as Clifton standing stones I went past the turning for them and turned about just as I pulled in the farm track the farmer was coming out so I asked politely if I could see his stones he said it was ok and I could drive there I pulled up really close to the stones and mooched about a bit taking photos from this angle and that , the end of the day was coming soon so I headed off to long and little Megs past Arthurs round table and around Penrith .
Little Meg was a delight no crops or long grass just me and the stones and two spiral carvings it was probably me but they didn't look as distinct as the first time I saw them, on the way back to the car another couple passed me on there way to the stones I can't help wanting to ask people if they're aware of this website you never know who your passing on your way it could have been you .
Long meg and her Daughters is always awesome, huge and complete, I did a couple of circuits, dodging a whole family outing, Trying to ignore all the offerings(crap)at the foot of Long Meg,waited for the sun not to set,just for the completion of the thing, I decided it had set (invisbly)and walked back to the car as slowly as I could not wanting to admit the day had come to an end.
The only thing left was the trip south on the M6 which in my opinion should have it's own site on here, there are so many ancient places right next to it easily seen from the car as we shoot past that it must have been an ancient trackway between North and South, one highland in the Penines and one lowland here where this Motorway is ,just a thought thats all
Posted by postman
27th December 2006ce
Edited 14th February 2007ce
postman's TMA Blog
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