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


Ring Cairn


Horncliffe circle is a strange beast and a real bugger to find. In late September 2002 it was badly overgrown with bracken and frequented only by sheep and looked like nobody had been there for a long time. It was so overgrown that I had to walk around it for several minutes trying to figure out if the jumble of rocks was indeed the circle of stones I had seen in a picture (see link). It is hard to work out exactly what the outer ring of stones and the central square stone setting were, many stones are set side by side, in other places stones are missing. It could be that outer stones were the kerb for a central cairn, although I read somewhere that the whole thing may be some kind of iron age settlement building.
Directions to the circle are similar to the Grubstones – set off southwards from the Cow and Calf car-park until you see a hut in the distance. Head towards this, but veer off to the rock outcrop about 20-30 metres to the north. From here a decent track leads south past several grouse-shooting outposts to the right with a fence to your left. After about 20 minutes you will see a dip in the track and a stream a short distance ahead of you. To your left will be an old stone by the fence with the name Thos. Pulleyn engraved on it. From this point you should see a patch of bracken about 30 metres beyond the fence – the stones are hidden deep in this bracken. Walking time from the Cow and Calf if about an hour by the most direct tracks.
GPS Reading SE1333943532
Chris Collyer Posted by Chris Collyer
3rd October 2002ce

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