This time I parked about a hundred yards further down the road from the trig point, the shortest point between the road and the barrow, just a quick hop over a barbed wire fence and whilst Bob isn't technically my uncle we're certainly good friends.
In the same field as me and the long barrow were some ponies, as soon as they saw me confidently striding across the field they all came galloping over,
some getting a little too close for comfort, eight of them there were, big muscular ponies, that looked me straight in the eye, I looked back and radiated masterful intentions, then I jumped over a small stream and left them behind, they seemed unwilling to cross the very small stream but I was glad they had lost interest so quickly, move along nothing to see here.
Now, in the winter, the barrow is more visible and easier to traverse than in the summer, eighteen months ago was my first visit and i'm happy to be back so relatively quickly. The north-western end is larger than its southeastern partner, higher and wider, but I don't know whether these things have fronts and ends, only that it points south east vaguely towards the Bride stones and the winter solstice sunrise, closer inspection may yield a more definitive picture. The long barrow also sports three sets of rabbit holes, nothing outside they're entrances but sand, is this an indication of it's build and make up.
I also jumped across the loach brook and scrambled up the opposite bank for a wider view of the small river valley, the long barrow really stands out, looking good even in the mid afternoon gloom of perhaps the greyest day of the year so far, weather wise.
For ages I thought the Bridestones were my nearest ancient place, but then I found out about this place, I knew it was on my to do list but for some reason or another it seems to have taken ages for me to find the time to drive just twenty minutes away. Strange.
Situated in a farmland triangle made by the A54 and the A534 and a small lane connecting the two.
Park as close to the trig point as you can, then walk over to it and the long barrow is seen beneath you.
What a big one this is, in Wiltshire it would be one amongst many, but up here in the megalithic desert that is most of Cheshire it is pretty darn rare to say the least, how could have I been so remiss to have left this fine tree covered long mound in the pictureless wilds of obscurity.
It is well preserved (also rare for Cheshire) and though it is tree covered they are tall mature trees that lend an air of tranquility here between the fast roads.
One more thing, not only is the long barrow aligned NW-SE but its also aligned on a chink in the hillside where the Bridestones burial chamber sits and the winter solstice sun rises, much like Marton church prehistoric mound.
On the western outskirts of Congleton, next to the A54.
My initial approach was via the minor road to the west but this soon became a no-no as the fields were in crop - corn I think. We carried on north and turned right onto the A54 to take us into Congleton. I thought that was that.
I was surprised to then see the long barrow quite close to this road. It is easily seen as a long low mound, covered in large mature trees. Parking could be tricky but probably the best place would be the muddy access road leading to the housing construction site - still on-going. Fortunately these new houses are still a little way from the long barrow. How close they are planning to build I don't know?
Due to a combination of the long drive, a car load of hungry and tired people who were keen to get to a cafe in Congleton for breakfast and the rain I didn't actually get to have a proper visit. Perhaps next time?