Cheetham close is fairly easy to get to if you have the right footwear. Wellies are definitely recommended in winter as some of the mud is over a foot deep in places.
The place is a fantastic site once you get there after about 20 mins walk.
The site is quiet, serene and has a fantastic view southwards and to the east and west. It is easy to see why our ancestors chose this spot.
Unfortunately the stones are very small and some have collapsed but you can just about make the circle out. Definitely worth a visit.
What is interesting about the site is the earthworks and ditches/banks that surround the site on the hills. I have posted a pic above but its does not really do them justice. I cant work out what they must have been for:
1. Marking territory (seems a lot of effort to do this for this purpose)
2. Defend aggainst attack seems the obvious answer if you are to stand on the ditches when under attack
Today i decided to visit Cheetam Close. i was prepared to be underwhelmed but also excited about the prospect of seeing the circle anyway.
What a sorry state this place is in theres still lots to see you just have to look a little harder than most sites! The Mire stone is quite easy to find and from there you can locate the other stones and cairns.
The first thing that struck me was a huge barrow as i approached the hill which i havnt heard mention of before, the cairn on the north side is still intact and has a hollow inside about three feet deep.
If you carry on north over the hill theres a ruined structure more modern than the circles with four more of those perforated stones Mr Treebeard mentions, making 6 in all. theres also a lot of fallen stones almost the same shape as the Mire stone which gives a good indication of how the place might have looked. The views up here are stunning especially looking across Winter Hill
[visited 22/02/04] A brisk walk above Bolton leads you to this sorry site. It looks to be a dead ringer for an abused twin of Twelve Apostles, sitting sorrowful by the side of what is surely an ancient track. Despite the top of this windswept moor
doing steady traffic, I was the only person who stopped & walked over to the stumps, a somewhat depressing fact.
This circle isn't impressive, unique or even readily recognizable, but still it struggles on & fair play to it. Go visit & make sure it is less forgotten.
Beautiful day - 27/3/2003 - quick visit to two stones at the foot of the hill that I have long been interested in but had seen no comments on - see the images os ref SD717152 and SD714155.
The two are rough hewn (local stone gateposts are smooth hewn) and have the large hole at their top.
Both are to the West of the hill and stand at the side of footpaths. The first stands alone with no walling close to it, the other is part of the stone wall that separates the farmland from the moors and forms part of the entrance - at one time there must have been a gate hung from it.
Both have had metalwork inserted into them at some time using some form of hard filler. The one within the wall has had the top hole filled, partly with a small stone block and partly with filler.
05/01/03ce A return visit on a beautiful crisp clear winter day with about an hour of sunlight left. The snow on the tops served as a great visual aid, somebody had been here earlier and trodden out the rough line of the circle. Being able to visualise the size and position of the site makes the sad state of the circle all the more poignant. Seeing the size and location of the circle, along with an approximation of the height of the stones, when they where still in situ, brought The Twelve Apostles of Ilkley Moor to mind...
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.
The stone with the cross on is, apparently, locally known as the Mire Stone. It is an outlier to the main circle (can confirm Iron Man's comments on what remains!) and has the cross to mark a 'modern' administrative boundary.
Cheetham Close stone circle is almost non-existant. One stone stands roughly 0.5m upright, the rest are fallen and barely visible above the tufts of moorland grass. Around the site are the remains of a couple more cairns.
The ruinous condition of this circle are the result of a local farmer, the tenant of Turton Tower, taking sledgehammers to the stones in 1871, the circle was said to be in a good condition until that point.
This is my local circle and have visited it semi-regularly since my mid-teens.
I stopped visiting for a period of maybe 7 or eight years returning to the site for the first time about 4 years ago.
I was dismayed to find that the site had deteriated so much in that time. Stones that I recall as fully or semi visible are now dispoiled, broken and/ or hidden.
There was never a great deal to see, even in the late 60's, early 70's when I first visited but at least you could easily discern the location of the circle - the triangulation point was always a good pointer, especially when coming straight up the West side of the hill.
When the ring cairn at Cheetham Close was excavated in 1893 it was claimed that the bank was faced both internally and externally by large gritstone slabs set around the kerb. A possible entrance exists to the NE, where an approx. 1m gap is flanked by a much thicker section of the bank. A low cairn at the centre is clearly defined on the W and partially destroyed by illicit excavators. A small satellite cairn, 2m diameter, lies in the NE quadrant. Two other smaller cairns lie to the NE and SE of the stone circle and ring cairn respectively.
In 1954 a Bronze Age saddle quern was found 80m NE of the stone circle with three barbed and tangled arrowheads.
Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society for 1895 - "The Stone Circles on Chetham's Close" by Major Gilbert J French. Includes some plans of the stones, and also a report from 1871 when Thomas Greenhalgh's 'disgust and astonishment may easily be imagined when I found two of the stones broken almost to fragments, and several others damaged'. Disappointing.