Well.......... I eventually mentioned to get to this excellent site, albeit in a somewhat, er, roundabout way...... and was not disappointed.
I arrive at the tiny, model settlement of Burnbanks, at the eastern end of Haweswater, in pouring rain - as per usual - taking the stony bridleway, which climbs above and along the northern shore of the reservoir. A mini range of craggy hills rise above, but I'm put off the direct approach to Four Stones Hill by the waist-high fern cover (seriously, just try walking through it, particularly with concealed brambles to catch the unwary), so carry on to take a look at the roaring 'The Forces' waterfalls. Impressive in their raw, unbridled power in spate. A footpath climbs the left hand (west) bank to arrive at a footbridge over the stream and it's here the fun begins. Hmm.
The mist has come right down so I a take a compass bearing on Four Stones Hill on my map and .... doesn't seem quite right, so have another go. Anyway, climb as indicated and, breaking free of cloud, find myself upon Low Kop....... damn, but while I'm here may as well have a wander to take in this magnificent Lakeland scenery.Well, it'd be rude not to. Upon returning, I head for Four Stones Hill and am duly engulfed in cloud once again. Suddenly the vapour peels away and there are the two stones below to the south, the position highlighted by the tiny tarn, the cairn also visible. Two further fallen stones lie a little way to the west of the uprights, down the broad, green track.
Of course, the whole vista is now dominated by the reservoir, a modern intrusion into the scene altering the whole landscape context of the monument. But then again none can deny that it does look bloody magnificent as a backdrop. Much rather this than some power station. Awesome, in fact. The ground around the stones is seriously waterlogged, although the pool between the upright stones is, judging by previous photo posts, a permanent fixture.
My compass says the reservoir lies to the north (!!) so duly goes in the bin upon getting back to the campsite. Luckily it didn't stop me reaching these fantastic stones set in glorious scenery.
The photo I've posted is of the most upright of the two stones still standing on four stones hill. The view over Haweswater on a seemingly beautiful February morning only lasted a few moments before a heavy downpour crept over the hills and greyed the whole thing out. Part of a well worthwhile circular walk along the north shore of Haweswater and then up the hillside by the side of a waterfall, along the tops to the standing stones site and then back down to Burnhead where we started.
This is a fantastic site although I would not advise anyone to approach it by the route we took.
Myself and my two dodmen apprentices took the road to Burnbanks at the head of Hawswater and parked up.
We then walked along the well made path until we reached Mile Craggs and the took the uphill route following the beck (no footpath).
My apprentices had a hard time of it but remained uncomplaining as they sank into bogs and were totally lost in a forest of bracken. I was trying to show them how to follow the sheep paths but failed miserably as even sheep are not daft enough to take this route up the fell.
We eventually made it to the top and were rewarded with fabulous views across Haweswater to Hare Shaw in the east and High Rise and Long Stile in the south.
The site itself is nestled in a lovely sheltered high vale.
You are first aware of the two stones on the horizon, as you walk up to them they seem to get smaller. One stone is upright the other is leaning. They look out over the southern flank.
As you move into the site you come across a small pond (about 30M long, very shallow) that is bizzarly flanked by a lowline of stones ( ?an ancient wall structure), slightly up the rise to the North east is a lovely hut circle about 10M across.
The combination of these three features coupled with the views and absolute isolation of this site make it a wonderful place to visit.
As we sat and admired the views we watched a storm move towards us, helpless to escape it we got soaked, when the storm moved on it left a beautiful rainbow across the fell.
Out of interest I'm sure this site used to be called the Giants Grave or graves but cannot find a reference to back me up.
I also wonder what happened to the other two stones of Four Stones Hill.
My lad collected a mean set of sheeps bones on the way down! " look dad , some of 'em still have the skin on!"
His mum was well impressed when he took them home to show her.
If you visit this site, I would advise the safer less strenuous route from Drybarrows. Or walk along the lakeside to the Forces and follow the footpath past the waterfall.