The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

The Old Wife's Neck

Standing Stones


The Old Wife's Neck is two standing stones incorporated into a linear earthwork. To get there, start at the Maybeck Forest Walk car park and then hike back up the road to New Maybeck Farm, the scruffiest farm you ever saw! Turn right here and follow the path along and past the woods until you come to the moor and the sad remains of John Cross. Turn right and follow the path parallel to the forest.
You cannot see the stones until you arrive at the double dyke earthworks, then you will see them on your right.
The long linear dyke is orientated East - West and is approx 1km long.
The stones on on the western end and are within the dyke feature.
There are two stones, the first is approx 0.9m high and the second 1.2m high.
Observed from either the east or west the larger stone appears not unlike a human head and neck although from the north or south it appears to be a squat 'L' shape.
The stones are orientated to a pair of mounds on the western horizon ? Foster Howes. The view to the east is obscured by the rise of the hill and the dyke feature. If you walk a few meters up onto the dyke you can see across to Robin Hood's Bay and the sea.
You can also see Standing Stones Rigg from here ( the site of Ramsdale Stone circle).
This is a lovely bleak spot, the sound of the wind blowing through the nearby forest reminds me of the sea and you can hear the whistles of the steam trains coming over the moors from Goathland.
If you want to make a nice circular walk of your visit you can follow the path right around the margins of the forest and take in Louven Howe, Lilla Cross which is on Lilla Howe, Ann's cross also on a mound (two examples of christianised barrows) Foster Howe, Robbed Howe, and the igneous Cleveland Dyke.
Alternatively, if you've got the kids with you and just fancy a short circular walk, continue along the path from the stones and then cross into the forest on the marked path, when you come to the ruins of John Bond's sheep house take the right hand fork. This will take you along the Blea hill beck. Its a lovely path following the beck . It criss crosses the Beck and takes you through lovely glades of daffodils and primroses. The valley is absolutely gorgeous at this time of year. The path brings you back to the car park.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
21st April 2002ce

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