The first time I tried to get up to this cairn I ridiculously tried to get there with two dogs and Eric, who to his credit had a very gung ho attitude, but even though three fences barred our way it was the cows that sent us packing and hoping for better results next time.
After staring at Lean low for quite a while from Arbor Low, I reckoned my chances of getting up there were pretty good, early in the morning on my own, what could go wrong.
Parked my car across the road from the footpath stile, not a problem, walked through the stile and into the field, now, the footpath goes off in totally the wrong direction, there is no footpath that helpfully drops one of at the cairn, so I deviate from the path and head for the corner of the field. Stepping over the electric fence, I'm reminded of why electric fences aren't funny, but there's something else round here that's not funny, it proceeded now to shout at me, I couldn't tell what it said nor could I see it, but I know what angry farmer sounds like so I step back over the fence and walk the fifty yards over to the footpath and follow it, willfully walking away from where I'm trying to get to. There's nothing for it but to ask the farmer for permission to access the ancient monument ironically placed in his custody, but thankfully not the shouty one.
I approached the quad bike riding farm guy, with my "I want to talk to you" face fully on, he didn't come over until it was obvious the weird bloke from far away was going to stare at him until he came over, so he did.
I asked as politely as my mother would have liked if it would be OK to have a look at the cairn on top of the hill, but it went the kind of way I rather expected it would, he said no, he did not say yes, he definitely didn't say sure mate I'll give you a lift up there right now, no, he said, I've got bulls up there, I resisted glancing at his crotch, thanked him kindly, turned and walked away, back to the car.
As I was walking along the big A515, a large black 4x4 drove slowly by, I readied myself for diving into the verge, but no gun appeared so I kept going.
Fifty yards away from my car the big back monster truck pulled up right next to mine, here we go I thought, English farmers are the worst of all, I clenched my fists and several sphincters, and walked over to meet the driver, He said "what are you doing?"
"Your Mother" then I punched him in the face, or I might have said I'm trying to get upto that cairn, one of those things anyway.
"What? he said,
I rolled my eyes, and took a deep breath.
I pointed up at the cairn, "you know what a cairn is?", I motioned a hand in a cairn shape, "an ancient burial mound made of stones, that cairn there" he then proceeded to take my photo, that's a cheap trick, hang on mines in me pocket, he also said some other things but I couldn't understand his inane waffle, his thick accent, probably a scouser. I tried to exude an air of utter bemusement. Then he was gone, like a thief in the night, or a pig in shit, or a dick in a big car. I unclenched everything and sat in my car for a minute until I'd stopped shaking, then I thought, hopefully later today he'll look at the picture he took of me and he'll recognise a look on my face that he probably hasn't seen for a while, a look that says he thinks I'm a dick.
Lean Low is very similar to Aleck Low in being heavily cratered. But the barrow itself is not the reason to come up here, the view across the A515 to Gib Hill and Arbor Low is worth the short steep climb.
Excavated by Bateman on two occasions, 1843 and 1847. During which he unearthed the primary burial, a crouched skeleton, on the old ground surface in the centre of the barrow. A later burial was also found higher up in the mound, the human remains here contained within a cist.
B. Marsden also partially explored the mound in the early 1970's; he too found a burial on the old ground surface, as well as pieces of human and animal bones and a number of flint artefacts.
J.Barnatt's & J. Collis' "Barrow Corpus"
B.Marsden 'The Burial Mounds of Derbys'