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

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Stone Circle


When I last visited this, my 'local' circle, back in January, I decided to leave my next visit until a good sunny summers day, and reassess. I did just that this weekend and I'm glad I did. Last time I agreed with everything that had been said - dismal, dreary, lifeless - not lacking in atmosphere, but then again not exactly an exceptional site. With this visit, I've changed my mind completely. The location is perfect and best seen on a clear day.

The landscape is the key to understanding this place. The site is placed on a plateau of high ground. Three quarters of this high ground is surrounded by nearby hills - starting from the south-west (roughly) the view is made up of Smithills, Counting Hill, Winter Hill, Turton Moor (the top of Darwen Tower can just be seen rising above), Cranberry Moss, Entwistle, Edgworth Moor and finally Holcombe Moor and the victorian folly of Peel Tower. This makes up a huge horseshoe in the landscape, with the circle sat roughly in the centre. To the south the land is a flat plain for many miles - the modern towns of Bury and Bolton can be seen in the foreground with the tower blocks and grey office buildings of Manchester beyond. On the hazy horizon lies a fringe of high ground making up the Peak district. To the distant south-west, peeking out behind the bulk of Winter Hill and Smithills lie the mountains of North Wales.

This place is far from 'bleak' as described by Burl. It would be fair to say that in terms of a megalithic site there isn't really anything to see, but that would be missing the point - it's the position that's important, and today I discovered that my local site is truly wonderful. I'll definitely be making this journey more often.
IronMan Posted by IronMan
22nd July 2002ce
Edited 19th December 2002ce

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