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

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South Kirkby (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

To get there: Drive through the centre of South Kirkby, following the signs for Brierley. As you leave the built up area and start to go up a long hill, look out for a wooden fence on your left with an entrance (unmarked) which leads into a very nice car park. The Hillfort is the open access area behind the car park.

Walking around the site reminded me a bit of the interior area of Bratton hillfort in Wiltshire which I used to visit in my childhood (although the surroundings and geographic positioning are completely different). You'll need boots as there is a spring on the site, which on a wet October day had turned into a stream at the bottom of the site.

A possible stone circle (possible modern folly?) is nearby at Brierley Gap - see notes on Brierley Stone Circle, Barnsley following up on Podofdonnys news post above.

South Kirkby (Hillfort) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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Ferrybridge Henge — Images

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Ferrybridge Henge — Fieldnotes

As this is the closest site to home, I went to have a look - but there really isn't a lot there to see ...

To get there: Take the road from Castleford to Ferrybridge and turn right into an estate called Pollard's Fields, immediately opposite the main gate for Ferrybridge C power station. Park up and then walk back up the main road towards Castleford, with the power station on your right. There is a farmer's lane to your left running parallel to the road. Join this, and it takes you into the field where the henge is (see photo above).

This is a very difficult site to decipher when there are crops, and the only above ground evidence I could see was a raised area in the field of crops, which according to the plan provided by the "local site" link below is part of the banking of the henge (see photo).

I also took a photo from the centre of the henge area towards the power station. Apparently the far left of the photo is where the outer banking meets the road.

Walking the perimter of the field / road only confuses matters - particularly with all the road building works which are ongoing at present and which doubtless in the future will have altered the geography somewhat.

Most of this once sacred landscape has been flattened, and I did feel a bit like I was standing in an island between several motorways, what with the the powerstation on one side, the M62 on the other - and now the new A1(M) improvement route is in the process of eating up a large part of the remaining area.

Brierley (Stone Circle) — Images

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Brierley (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Back in October 2005, following Podofdonny's post on the South Kirkby Hillfort notes about a mysterious circle nearby at Brierley, I thought I'd explore and here is what I found:

Setting out from the South Kirkby Hillfort car park, walk or drive up Holmsley Lane towards Brierley. Turn right at the junction and then into the lay-by immediately in front of the waste recycling centre. To the right of the WRC is a gateway with car park (no signs). At the back of the car park is an ornate gateway and a standing stone can be seen behind it on the horizon. The gateway says "SESKU Environmental Group" and there is an image of a presumably celtic couple (see photo above). This is the Brierley Gap entrance to the Ringways Path, a 13 mile environmental project and pathway in the area.

Go through the gateway (ignoring the graffitti and trying not to trip over the burnt out remnants of various fridges, bedsteads, computers, etc) and walk up the field to the circle. Grid Ref SE 430 105

There is one standing stone and nine recumbent stones, seven of which are laid to form a circle, the other two being inside the circle towards the area of the standing stone.

The site immediately overlooks South Kirkby Hillfort (see photo) to the West, and the area of Ferrybridge Henge is visible to the North (see photo -look for the plumes of smoke on the horizon - this is Ferrybridge C powerstation.

Whoever built this was certainly aware of its position in the landscape. It's a cracking spot.

But that is what worries me - it's all a bit too self-aware. Is this really the lost stone circle?

All seven outlying recumbent stones seem to be almost identical in size and cut. It is not shown on any maps, and is not recorded anywhere, even though the standing stone is visible from the road.

It is conspicuous in its absence from the definitive local history guide "Brererley: A history of Brierley" by M.R. Watson and M. Harrisson 1976 / 2003, even though they cover the nearby hillfort at South Kirkby in some detail.

And it has it's own very ornate gate. Is it a bit of modern landscaping by the council?

It's all a bit strange. Can anyone else shed any light on this mystery?

Subsequently the merlin has posted an answer in January 2007 under miscellaneous on the South Kirkby Hillfort notes - it was part of a regeneration project in the 1990s. Still, one can see the appeal of the location for the lost stone circle on Ringstone Hill given its setting in the landscape.

Ferrybridge Henge — Links

Elmet Heritage Foundation

Details of surrounding archaeology and chariot burial from a local history group.

Great Bride Stones (Natural Rock Feature) — Fieldnotes

To get there: It can be pretty bleak and wet up here, so make sure you're well wrapped up and if its wet, suggest good boots as it's quite squishy. Park outside the pub and head across the road, due South. Make your way through the fence and follow the dry stone wall on the moor side avoiding the sheep poo. When the wall runs out, make across country towards the right hand side of rocky outcrops as shown in photo above.

Following round the right hand (West) corner of the outcrop, you come to the slightly surreal mushroom (or phallic) weathered escarpment shown above. The main stones are further down.

Also worth a look is the main face of the crag, that in my opinion has what looks like a remarkably human face protruding from it - I tried to capture it in the photo above but it doesn't really do it three dimensional justice. Maybe it was a trick of the light and wet rock - curiously the rain enhancing the appearance of the stone.

Really quite special and feels very isolated.

Great Bride Stones (Natural Rock Feature) — Miscellaneous

This place first came to my attention in the late 90's through some Wiccans, so it is clearly a place of spiritual significance for some still!

Great Bride Stones (Natural Rock Feature) — Images

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Duggleby Howe — Fieldnotes

I have visited the Howe several times over the years and would suggest spring before the crops take over as the best time to get a real sense of its scale. There is a lot of flint in the adjoining field including evidence of tool working (just look under foot if its dry enough).

Cley Hill (Hillfort) — Images

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Cley Hill (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

Cley Hill is, as Julian points out in his book, quite clearly a recumbent mother hill, with Little Cley Hill forming the head. Most interesting is the vulva shaped area between Little Cley Hill and the main hill itself, which is very rich in flint (light area in plowed field) and flint knappings and discarded flint scrapers are all over the place. The round barrow is not on the highest point of the hill, as you would expect, but is instead perfectly placed to overlook this vulva area, with cup and ring markings beneath (damaged by medieval plowing). Does this indicate that the vulva area itself was considered sacred?

I grew up around this area and saw my first crop circle in the far corner of the field bordering the vulva area in 1986, which appeared within the time it took me to walk around the hill. Of course this is area of high military activity and farmers with a strange sense of humour!

In the 60's and 70's this area was apparently also associated with "earth lights" and UFO activity, as reported in the Warminster Journal and various Ufology texts, although these reports have subsequently been disputed as hoaxes.

The location of Cley Hill in the surrounding landscape is interesting, being visible from all side of the surrounding valley and escarpment of Salisbury Plain.

The photos are from a visit in 1999. I have blanked myself out from the picture showing the vulva area, cup and ring marks and round barrow.
No archaelogical training, just interested in our pre-Roman past.
Comes from growing up in the middle of Salisbury Plain and spending a lot of time on the North Yorks Moors!

Also have a keen interest in the archaeology and history of Crete and other Greek islands, in particular proto-Minoan and Minoan culture.

Pic taken at Castlerigg Dec 2004

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