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

Yeavering Bell



It's hard to say how long I've been wanting to get my tired bones up this hill, Stewart Ainsworth from time team was the first to alert me to it's existence, during a dig at Bamburgh castle. He suggested the two sites were in contest for the area, the one with the castle came out on top, apparently. Looking on google earth reveals a wide wall round the whole hill top, and I do like a good walled hill fort, so on the list it went. I've been past it a couple of times, even been over to the Battle stone at the hills foot, but from there the hill looks high and difficult to find an easy way up. Looks aint deceivin'.

Winter solstice 2018, after an almost successful sunrise at Duddo, I decide it's time to make that climb, the climb of the Bell, the Bell that Yeavers.
I park the car on the B6351 at the Grefrin (site of) monument, it's a fairly obvious place. Then walk down the road to the Battle stone, arriving at the stone I take a quick look round and make a dash for the hill, dashing because i'm pretty sure this isn't the proper way up. But i'm a massive fan of the direct route, if I can see where I want to go, i'll always go in a straight line, a bit Roman innit.
There are fences that have to be crossed before you can disappear from view into the trees, but once through them the hill side is open and it's just a whole lot of upness.

It gets harder and harder with each passing year negotiating these steep climbs, and this was one of the steepest, but after fighting only two heart attacks I reach the eastern entrance to the fort. After picking myself up from the inevitable collapse.
I sit round for a bit getting my breath back and taking in the vista, appreciating the strong cold winds, it's been a while since I could actually and literally look down on the world. But there's no time for nonsense, my daughter is waiting in the car, and I've a special stone circle to find after this, so I head south following the forts wall clockwise round the hill top.

The totally collapsed wall is a very wide stony spread, how high would the wall have stood? could you climb over it, or was there a fence with it, on it? Was it mainly for show?
Who knows, right now, i'm just following it.

I take a walk up to the topest most top of the hill, there's supposed to be a cairn, but it's just another grassy bump so I retreat from the biting wind back down to the southern rampart and keep following all the way to the western end of the fort. From here I think I can see where the Hethpool stone circles are. From there I take a turn round onto the northern rampart and back into the wind, It's not so bad back down on the valley floor but up here it's literally pushing me about. From here I look back down to the road, my car is a little silver dot, in the field beyond my car is a henge, apparently now only visible as a crop mark, if grass is a crop. But I feel I can actually see a circular something on the edge of the field. It doesn't take long til i'm back at the eastern entrance. I bid a fond farewell to Yeavering Bell, and take an even more straight line back to the road, passing the Battle stone one more time. If I do pass this way again I wont be stopping, there are still lots of other sites that will be taking my obsession into the future.

God bless the obsessed.
postman Posted by postman
7th April 2019ce
Edited 7th April 2019ce

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