I see the great whale- back of Upleathham every day from my home and i find it a totally mystical place.
The side that faces me houses a mesolithic site from which lots of flint tools and cores have been recovered. The other side of the hill houses a round barrow with a, supposed, cup marked kerb.
All the bits in between are covered on one side by Errington Woods and the remains of the Victorian Iron stone mines and farmland everywhere else.
Approach the site from New Marske and you'll encounter a lovely sunken trackway leading around the hill. Upleatham village is a bourgoise spot but has a certain charm (but no pub!) a lovely romanesque church, now a private house, a well, a tiny unused chapel surrounded by a DMV.
The woods also yield the occasional cup marked rock from their bed of pine needles. I'm sure if the woods were stripped, much more would be revealed, but what would be the point of that.
The views over Teesside and the Tees bay are beautiful .
If you go to the woods at dawn or dusk you'll see lovely shy deer chillin.
Me and the dog trecked up here this morning to greet the mid-winter sun. Climbing up the muddy slope of Pattersons Bank in the dark was a bit of a challenge but the views from the top was well worth the effort. To the west the urban sprawl of the Tees valley, to the south east the beautiful midwinter dawn sky bathed Beacon Moor in a beautiful chimney red glow.
An interesting note.
The Upleatham Barrow has a cupmarked kerb. The nearest known barrow to contain cupmarked stones is at Airy Hill which is approximately 4kms away and roughly in line with the mid-winter sunrise. Project this (rough) line another 6kms past Airy Hill and you will find youself at the cup marked kerbstones below Freebrough Hill.
I must stress that this is a very rough alignment and most probably a coincidence.
The Reverend Young excavated on of the barrows on the hill and recored the following;
"..a small urn, preserved entire, in possession of the author; discovered a few years ago at Upleatham, within a large urn. It is only 2.25 inches diameter at the top and 2.75 inches at the bottom, 2in. deep without and 1.25in. within"
I was lucky enough to have Fitzcoraldo show me the Upleatham barrow and the cup marked kerb stones.
Being used to Derbyshire barrows I thought Upleatham was quite impressive, although it’s tree covered it's still a good height.
But the highlight without doubt was the cup marked stones. I’ve got to admit it was a real buzz uncovering the heavily marked stone.
The views through the breaks in the trees are excellent; it’s great to see the contrast of Roseberry Topping and Eston Nab alongside the industrial coastline to the north.