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

Fieldnotes by whipangel

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Round Loaf (Artificial Mound)

Visited Round Loaf for the first time since childhood last Saturday. It's very familiar shape seen from the top of Lever's gardens doesn't prepare you for it's size, it's got quite a footprint.

Starting in the morning on a good cold December day was perfect timing - easy walking on the ice and peat, entertaining too as it cracks beneath your feet.

Leaving just as the sun was high enough to begin thawing the ground, we avoided anything too boggy. This is the best time of year to visit - for ease of access, solitude, and clear skies.

Boar's Den (Round Barrow(s))

Just a field away from the A5209 Wrightington/Parbold with ample parking in a parallel roadway, this mound (described by WLDC as a bowl barrow -see links) is impressive in scale and easily accessed on foot using one of two footpaths either side of a small row of houses on the N side of the road. Walk to the first field boundary behind the houses and there it is.

Access-wise, using the path E of the houses, the ground is level but has one low stile. The other path may provide easier access. The distance from the road is quite short.

It's quite tall, taller than I'd expected, and doesn't have a discernible base, whether this is by design or down to agricultural erosion wasn't clear. Molehills in the field were mainly of earth, while those on the barrow slope contained more in the way of small stones. Viewed from a distance it's evident that something gets driven over it from time to time, perhaps to keep the turf short.

Just for interest, the field boundary walls were of a dark and damp stone, while if you enter from the E side of the houses, you'll see a very light coloured stone block. only a few small stones seen in surrounding fields were of the same colour, but I'm not well up on the geology of the area yet.

Good views S from the top towards other high points in the landscape, such as Ashurst Beacon, but the W and N horizons are very close by.

Castlerigg (Stone Circle)

Night of the 21st December 2005, the nearest we could make it to a Winter Solstice pilgrimage. Many miles after a day's work.

It's amazing at night. We knew we wanted to go, but never imagined it would be so dark, devoid of people, so incredible a sight silhouetted against the sky between the mountains. It's truly a different place out of hours, and far more enjoyable.

a composite photo posted of the stones, one of the Southern stones with a (biodegradable?...looked like) wreath on it.

Moel ty Uchaf (Stone Circle)

I don't think we could have picked a better day for our first visit to this beautiful place. Late February brought snowfall that was in places knee-deep and when we reached the circle itself was drifted right up Eastern-most stones. I've attached a wraparound photo of the snow-covered hill.

The walk up was not too challenging, there is a handy parking area where the road splits in two, quite low down the hill. Best to park here and enjoy the walk up the road through the (open already) gate that's on the right fork, and enjoy all the wildlife scurrying about, from rabbits to birds of prey. When the road ends there's another gate, then head up the nearest highest hill (high up,on your left), the circle comes into tantalizing view just before you reach it.

The cold weather and time of day meant we had the place to ourselves, sharing it only with the sheep, biting wind and dramatic views in between the storm clouds.
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