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

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Bleaberry Haws Cairn (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

From the summit cairn of Bleaberry Haws (Follow directions for stone circle) I head off towards the big mountain the "Old man". First a strange linear feature is crossed, it's named as a dyke but it's exact function is I presume being guessed at.
Another hundred yards or so in the same direction is the cairn. A cairn, after several thousand years can take on a different shape depending on what's occurred there, some more pleasing to the eye than others. This cairn to my eye is very pleasing, the depth of the hole at it's center, the height of the cairn, the percentage of clear stone to grassed over stone, the fabulous views, the nearby rocky outcrop, all these things make you just wander round it, staring in wonder, sitting and staring in wonder. What a wonderful place.
Off to the ring cairn now.

Bleaberry Haws Summit Cairn (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Follow directions for the stone circle and then just head up.
Crowning the summit of Bleaberry Haws is a small modern walkers cairn but it sits on a much wider obvious bronze age cairn. The views are spellbinding in all directions, but it's the Old Man of Coniston that holds your attention. While looking towards the Old Man bring your gaze down to ground level and in the distance is a cairn to which I'm off to next but between us is the odd linear feature or Dyke.

Bleaberry Haws (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

I've been putting this one off for literally decades, there always seemed to be bigger fish to fry, and a long, perhaps difficult walk to seven little stones. Little stones or not, it's a stone circle, i'm going to have a look, one day. That one day ends up being today, well, over a week ago now.
It's the weekend of the autumn equinox and I've been out and about all day, this is site number five and the last port of call today. Desperate to make an easier job of it than Fitzcoraldo did, he definitely seems to have gone the hard and long way, but at least at the end of his notes he suggests another route, the quarry track to the south west does look better.

I was hoping to drive up the track a bit but the gate was locked, so I had to park at the entrance and walk up it. Having arrived at the tracks left hand hairpin, we depart right, cross over a low point in the wall and head towards the grassy hill that is Bleaberry Haws, directly behind the grassy hill is the Iconic south Lakes mountain The Old Man of Coniston.
It doesn't take long before the summit isn't far off, although the summit is where i'm heading it isn't where I'm looking, the mountains are pretty over powering attracting ones gaze and keeping it, i'm falling about the place whilst not looking where I'm going, but just then, over to my left I can see some grey blobs just above the grass line and I know I have found the stones. I without doubt let out a little whoop.

The stones are certainly small, seven in number and unequally spaced suggesting missing stones, perhaps only a couple though. I sit for a while on the largest stone drinking in the grand mountain view, it's also pretty good in the other direction down to the shimmering waters of the Duddon estuary and the Irish sea. This place has me incredulous, why did I put it off for so long? I absolutely should have been here before now, but being here today with such perfect weather, not a cloud to be seen, or perhaps there was a cloud or two but my sunny demeanor just edits them out, nothing could mire this sublime moment and place.
The only thing that could possibly have made it better is Scarlett Johansson insisting on holding my hand throughout. Failing that the Old Man will do.

The stone circle isn't the only ancient site up here, there's a cairn or two a ring cairn and some sort of Dyke thing, so that's where I'm off to now, starting off with the summit cairn north east of the circle. But Ill return to it on my way back to the car.

Bleaberry Haws (Stone Circle) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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Bleaberry Haws Cairn (Cairn(s)) — Images

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Bleaberry Haws Summit Cairn (Cairn(s)) — Images

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Bleaberry Haws Ringcairn (Ring Cairn) — Images

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Torver High Common Dyke — Images

<b>Torver High Common Dyke</b>Posted by postman

Stockdale Moor (Cairn(s)) — Images

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Sampson's Bratfull (Long Cairn) — Fieldnotes

I'm here, the enthusiast has arrived (See Treehuggers fieldnotes).
Mr Hugger was right, the walk was not easy.
Walking is really overrated, I try to avoid it where ever I can, to that end I drove the car up the very often bumpy farm track, and when that ended and turned into a forestry track I drove up that too. In the end I parked at the south edge of Blengdale forest, by where the map says homestead, saved me a couple of ankle twisting miles, but there was at least four more to come.
The walk through the forest was easy enough, a good if up hill track, straight as you like. Until it ends at the River Bleng, where there is no bridge, I doubt the river gets much lower than when I saw it, you could, if fleet of foot stepping stone it across, I turned left and saw a gate across the river which I could shimmy across, you don't get much chance of shimmying these days so I was glad of the opportunity. Once across I walk back down the river until I'm opposite the footpath that brought me to the river, I couldn't find my compass so I'm going on wisdom and blind luck. With the path behind me, map in hand, my hand points north turn slightly right and onward.

It's quite steep going up from the river, but it soon levels out. The steepness is now replaced by a wind that definitely has somewhere to be, and that crap kind of tussocky ground/grass, the going was rough and slow, and quite a bit sweary.
My predecessor also noted many cairns on the way, he wasn't joking about that either, there is loads of them, surely they can't be all burial cairns, barely a foot high but ten feet across is the average footprint of them, some are in rows, none have a cist surviving. There among the small cairns is the whopper, the big one, The Bratfull that belongeth to Sampson.
I don't know when I first heard the name of Sampson's Bratfull (What is a Bratfull?) it was so long ago I don't even know where I heard it, but it's been in my head rattling around like the last grape in the fruit bowl. So in the spirit of getting things done here I am.
It's about seventy feet from end to end and aligned I think NW/SE. They could have put it on top of the hill on Stockdale moor, with some good mountain views, but instead they opted for the sea view. I'm now on mission number four of today's equinox jaunt and so far they've all had sea views.

I sit for a while in one of the excavations in the long cairn, of which there are three, keeping out of the wind, it's so strong walking on the uneven cobbles of the cairn was dangerous to impossible, and getting knocked about whilst trying to get that higher view by holding the tripod aloft was getting me very angry. I told the wind it was stupid, it didn't care. All too soon it was time to go, not back to the car, but further up the hill where there is a string of three very definite burial cairns, big and crazy with exciting mountain views.

Sampson's Bratfull (Long Cairn) — Images

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Showing 1-50 of 10,378 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
After visiting over a thousand ancient places and driving between fifteen to twenty thousand miles every year I can only conclude that I'm obsessed with these places, and finding this website ten years ago only compounded that obsession, at least I'm not alone anymore.

My favourite places are:

Ring of Brodgar
Callanish
Balnauran of Clava
Torhouskie
Swinside
Nine stones close
Bryn Celli Ddu
The Druids circle (penmaenmawr)
HafodyGors Wen
Gwal y Filiast
Grey Wethers
Boscawen Un
La Roche au Fees
Drombeg
Uragh
Talati De Dalt

and these are only the ones that immediatly spring to mind, so many stones and not enough lifetimes.

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