Another route up to the moor is from the village of Askham, as you can see on the map. this allows a quick route to the top of Heughscar Hill. This allows a good vista over Moor Divock, without having to get all knackered going up the High Street. With a pair of binoculars you can probably make out a lot of the stones and cairns. Without them, you can sort of see the way down to the Cockpit and White Raise.
Looking at the OS Map, I was expecting Moor Divock to be a wild and untamed place but it turned out to be fairly flat and easy walking country covered with mainly grasses and patches of low heather and dead bracken. The track up from Pooley Bridge looked to be a bit on the steep side so I opted for the road from Helton and parked on the wide verge near The Cop, from here a track leads northwest past several cairns as the view steadily opens out with Heughscar Hill to your right and the looming hills of Barton Fell to your left. Certainly a nice place for an early evening stroll.
Summer 1996 midsummers eve. I was staying in a campsite just below Moor Divock when I decided to drag my long suffering daughter "up the hill to see the stones", she usually dreads "dad and his stone expeditions", "aw dad not more stones, they're sooo boring". Anyway on the promise that I'd take her to the camp disco that night we yomped up the hill.
It was a beautiful evening when we arrived at the stones and in the far of distance we could see a procession of folk winding their way up the hillside from Pooley Bridge.
We were witnessing something special, a procession to the stones.
It was no formal affair just a rag taggle group of about thirty heads, kids in tow, party packs in hands, making their way up the winding paths to the stones.I couldn't help feeling I was witnessing a scene that was timeless. No amount of pleading with my daughter could persuade her to stay for the arrival of the party- goers, a deal's a deal and we had a disco to attend so we split. It was enough for me though just to witness the procession and for 1 hour be transported back to my neolithic ancestry.
I can't help but wonder if the following description of a stone by John Hodgson might be somehow connected with Fitz's cup marked stone:
In passing over Moor-Duvvoch in 1800 I had observed a stone which I then supposed had some characters upon it with which I was unacquainted. In walking from Askham to Pooleybridge on 3 May, 1811, in company with the Rev. John Collinson, rector of Gateshead, and the late Mr. Matthew Atkinson, I was anxious to have a second sight of it, but sought it in vain...
...I did not, in this search, forget to look for the stone that attracted my attention in 1800, and reached it soon, when I found it to be a large detached mass of grauwacke, shewing its conglomerate origin in several rings and segments of circles eaten by the weather into its surface as sharply as if they had. been cut with a sculptor's chisel; and thus the long-encouraged vision of a Saxon or Latin inscription in Runic, or some other antique characters, vanished in a moment. This stone is upon the side of an old road or cast a little south of the south end of Lord Lonsdale's fir plantations on Moor-Duvvoch.
The Rev H seems to be describing inscribed circles. Bear in mind he was writing a decade before the first recognition of Cup and ring marks as ancient artifacts.
Maybe there is hidden Rock Art out there on Moor Divock.
It was an absolutely fantastic day on Moor Divock when we went. Having made a brief visit to The Cockpit, we returned, impressed by the circle but mightily irritated by a man sitting on one of the stones making very loud business calls (why out there?) while his family got increasingly bored. It's a weird phenomenon - after not being able to get mobile reception anywhere you find it at the stone circle. This happened at Callanish - 7 text messages arrived all at once!
On the way there we'd spotted the obvious megaliths like The Cop Stone and White Raise, but on the way back many more cairns revealed themselves to us. Making a short detour to Moor Divock Centre, we stumbled across two parallel lines of stones. I'd read briefly about the alignment, but hadn't thought we'd be able to find it. However, once you're there, it's blindingly obvious you're at a stone row - that's if you go on a very bright sunny day when there's virtually no bracken in late May to early June. They are indeed very low, but in a parallel alignment.
The Copstone can be seen easily from the road. A short walk up the gentle hill and the stone is upon us.
Standing in the trough that goes all round it the stone is nearly 6ft tall, leaning slightly to the northish
helpfully pointing us in the direction of all the other little lovelies that hide amongst the grasses up on
the moor. The stone is nice and smooth and at the tip I kinda saw it as a bit phallic, and at the bottom
were some probably natural markings that almost looked like ancient carvings, lozenges and a spiral
but it was more than likely just me after a long walk I was beginning to see the ancient world everywhere.