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Quick bank holiday drive round

Pre-snooker tomb fest was the aim and I kinda succeded. As I came to find myself in Northern cheshire at 10am, I headed further south to Staffordshire and my first site of the day, The Bridestones.

The Bridestones — Fieldnotes

[visited 3/4/4] I've been angling to come here for ages ever since I saw The Pikestones and wondered just how they got that far north. Access is good, you can park to within metres of the stones & then through a gate.

So accompanied by loud barking I got to see a very impressive chambered tomb facing almost true west. It used to be 100 odd metres long and had a cresentic forecourt with cobbling! Very similar in style to other outliers of the cotswolds barrows, a vein of which seem to be clinging to the western edge of englands central hills. If this mound was covered in white as per mounds further south, it would have been visible far out into the western plains.

I met a very helpful local who pointed out some stones can be still be seen in the small grove of trees on the way into the site and on the other side of the access road, but most were taken away when the road was metalled. Apparently the stones are named as a result of a wedding being held here in the 1930s, what they were called before then is unrecorded.

Next up was the 360degree viewpoint of The Cloud, I'm a sucker for good views ancient or otherwise and this was too close to refuse.

The Cloud — Fieldnotes

[visited 3/4/4] I eyed this up in the car on the way south to Congleton, on the OS map and as I approached the Bridestones, the recomendation by a helpful local was just the icing on the top! Well worth a visit for the views with amazing views in 360 degrees. Access is for the vaguely fit and up a muddy path.

You can literally see for miles from up here, it was too hazy for me but the helpful arrows-pointing-at-things-in-the-distance pointed at stuff 50+ miles away.

To have been buried at the The Bridestones would have been a momentous thing indeed...

Second and final tomb of the day was Long Low via some long distance Cairn viewing near Ilam.

Long Low — Fieldnotes

[visited 3/4/4] "Unique in england" according to Dyer and I'm sure he's not wrong about that. Dyer says this is a neolithic chambered cairn at the Northern end with a later southern barrow with connecting bank. The bank was built with two rows of upright limestone slabs and this is visible (I think) leading away from the southern mound. Burials were found in the northern end and cremations along the bank and at the south.

Access is inadequate, you can get to wall of the field it's half in by car but otherwise its through a stile thing or over a gate.

Well, I didn't know what to expect with this and left not quite sure whats going on. It is a little gem tucked away but spoilt somewhat by the fence and tank as stubob says. Its been dug into quite a bit as well, so don't come expecting a show site! That said it is a real enigma and I'm not surprised its been put in as a bank barrow. The connecting mound is large, 2m odd high and 10m across, but the dimensions as a whole are wrong in my opinion for it to be linked with say, Long Bredy bank barrow.

At this point in my day I ummed & arred about what to do next, Ronnie vs Graeme was on at 4pm, and I do like a snooker final... I settled on a flying visit to what is fast becoming an old favourate, Arbor Low. I meant to visit The Bullring as well so my brain could have a direct comparison, but after sitting for too long at Arbow Low, I missed the first half of the snooker as it was!
juamei Posted by juamei
3rd May 2004ce
Edited 4th May 2004ce

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