Simple to visit being just off the A6 on the road to Newtown, south of Clifton.
Once you take the Newtown turning the Barrow is about 100 yards on your right – can't miss it, very large amongst the trees.
I know there is some debate as to whether this is a Barrow or a pile of earth left over from road works but it certainly does look like a barrow. Besides, if it is just a pile of earth, why aren't there any other piles of earth in the area?
But.....is it a long barrow????? We had just spent the morning at an archaeology conference in Penrith and had been told in no uncertain terms that there aren't any long barrows in Cumbria. As we had spotted this site on a previous outing last year (as we were on the road to Moor Divock from the Clifton stones) and had promised ourselves a return trip, we felt that today was the day. Could we prove the archaeo bod wrong?
As Dom quite rightly pointed out, its situation is perfect for a LB, on a slight rise and highly visible from all directions. But....if it really is a LB then it should be famous and have a visitor centre because it is absolutely massive!!
We went into the field alongside it and it must measure at least 100m. It ticks most of the boxes but it just seems impossible that such a huge structure could've gone un-noticed by so many folks for so long.
So, maybe that guy from Cumbria Archaeology unit was right and there aren't any LBs in Cumbria afterall?
This site is allegedly a Neolithic Long cairn or Barrow. It is easily accessable just off the A6 about two miles South of Clifton. The site is around a 100 metres long and ranges from around 12 to 25 metres wide. At its highest point, I would say it is nearly 4 metres high at its highest point. The barrow runs parallel with the road to Newtown on a West East axis.
Documentation on the net states that it was first 'noticed' in around 1933, and investigated in 1938, when it was identified as a burial cairn. There seems to be some argument that this is little more than a spoil heap, perhaps from the building of the A6 or the M6.
It's strange to note that a map of 1863 makes no mention of the barrow.
It's quite an impressive site, easily visible in the surrounding landscape....and certainly not alone....there are numerous other sites within easy reach.
I assumed the eastern end was the front of the cairn, as it seems to be the highest. It definitely slopes down towards the west end.
Toyed with the idea that the ditch may have been part of the orginal setting, but couldn't convinvce myself. Summer probably isn't the best time to visit, probably better in winter with less undergrowth, it would be easier to make out more details.
Revisit March 26th 05
Lack of undergrowth helps a bit, but makes things even less clear in some ways. the stones are easier to see as is the overall shape, but this just muddies the water as it makes the front (Eastern) end look like it has a platform at the front.
Saw a Harris hawk in the trees on the cairn, presumably from the nearby Bird of Prey Centre. Nice.
I stopped off at this fella.
Very difficult to assess. If I hadn't been told it was there I would never have guessed in was a long cairn.
The whole thing seems more like a long Dyke. I can see where the cairn side comes in because someone had cut into the side of the beast and the thing is definitely constructed of rocks.
The Easterly end is truncated by a ditch and bank, this could be a drainage ditch but it seems unlikely.
All in all a very unsatisfying site.
One thing though.
It is yet another site on the eastern margins of the lakes running from Grey Yauds in the north to south of Shap following what I call the Eden/Lowther Corridor of sites (at least 30 of 'em).
I'm sure the rivers are significant in possibly what were axe trade routes and junctions.
A Lakeland long cairn. The site is easily spotted among the trees, but it is difficult to work out exactly how big it is. The site lies just off the A6, on the road leading to Askham. Ideally placed for a visit on the way to Pooley Bridge and the Moor Divock sites.
The 'cairn' part I might argue with, but 'long', well there's no disputing that one. It is hard to judge the size of the mound as it extends and tails off into the trees, the eastern end looks a little too truncated and its base appears to have been cut into.
If you're visiting the nearby falconry centre, give it a look and see what you think.