Dig unearths ancient mine and Roman road
Last posted: Friday 10 October 2003 12:10
ARCHAEOLOGISTS have unearthed evidence of a Roman road and Bronze Age settlement at a multi-million pound business and leisure park development... continues...
Dr. Borlase, in his Antiquities of Cornwall, notices the existence of Druidical Rock Basins, which appear to have been scooped out of the granite rocks and boulders which lie on the tops of the hills in the county. Several such cavities in stones are found on Brimham Rocks, near Knaresborough, and they have also been found at Plumpton and Rigton, in Yorkshire, and on Stanton Moor, in Derbyshire.
The writer first drew attention to the fact of similar Druidical remains existing in Lancashire in a paper read before the Historical Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, in December, 1864. They are found in considerable numbers around Boulsworth, Gorple, Todmorden, and on the hills which separate Lancashire from Yorkshire between these places.
Commencing the enumeration of the groups of boulders, &c., containing rock basins, with the slopes of Boulsworth, about seven miles from Burnley, we have first the Standing Stones, mostly single blocks of millstone grit, at short distances from each other on the north-western side of the hill. one is locally termed the Buttock Stone, and near it is a block which has a circular cavity scooped out on its flat upper surface. Not far from these are the Joiner Stones, the Abbot Stone, the Weather Stones, and the Law Lad Stones (? from llad, British, sacrifices).
Next come the Great and Little Saucer Stones, so named from the cavities scooped out upon them. The Little Chair Stones, the Fox Stones, and the Broad Head Stones lie at no great distance, each group containing numerous like cavities. Several of these groups are locally named from resemblance to animals or other objects, as the Grey Stones and the Steeple Stones on Barn Hill, and one spur of Boulsworth is called Wycoller Ark, as resembling a farmer's chest or ark.
On Warcock Hill several groups of natural rocks and boulders are locally named Dave or Dew Stones. On the surface of one immense Dave Stone boulder is a perfect hemispherical cavity, ten inches in diameter. The surface of a nother contains an oblong basin of larger dimensions, with a long grooved channel leading from its curved contour towards the edge of the stone. On a third there are four circular cavities of varying dimensions, the largest in the centre, and three others surrounding it, but none of these is more than a few inches in diameter. At the Bride Stones, near Todmorden, thirteen cavities were counted on one block, and eleven on another. All the basins here and elsewhere are formed on the flat surfaces of the blocks; their upper surfaces always being parallel to the lamination of the stone.
Along Widdop Moor we find the Grey Stones, the Fold Hole Stones, the Clattering Stones, and the Rigging Stones; the last named from occupying the rig or ridge of the hills in the locality. Amongst the Bride Stones is an immense mass of rock which might almost be classed among the rocking stones. it is about twenty-five feet in height, at least twelve feet across its broadest part, and rests on a base only about two feet in diameter.
The Todmorden group contains the Hawk Stones, on Stansfield Moor, not far from Stiperden Cross, on the line of the Long Causeway (a Roman road); the Bride Stones, near Windy Harbour; the Chisley Stones, near Keelham; and Hoar Law, not far from Ashenhurst Royd and Todmorden. The rock basins on these boulders are very numerous, and of all sizes from a few inches in diameter and depth to upwards of two feet. The elliptical axes of some of these basins did not appear to the writer to have been caused by the action of wind or water, or to follow any regular law.
Lastly, taking for a centre, Gorple, about five miles south-east of Burnley is another extensive group of naked rocks and boulders. Close to the solitary farm-house there are the Gorple Stones; and at a short distance the Hanging Stones form conspicuous objects in the sombre landscape. On Thistleden Dean are the Upper, Middle, and Lower Whinberry Stones, so named from the "whinberry" shrubs, with which this moor abounds. The Higher and Lower Boggart Stones come next, and these are followed by the Wicken Clough, and other minor groups of stones. Above Gorple Bottom is another set of grey stones; and these are followed by the Upper, Middle, and Lower Hanging Stones, on Shuttleworth Moor. The rock basins here are very numerous, and mostly well defined. There are forty-three cavities in these Gorple, Gorple Gate, and Hanging Stones, ranging from four to forty inches in length, from four to twenty-five in breadth, and from two to thirteen inches in depth.
The County Council has done it again !. Unlike MARIO, this site gives access to a lagre collecton of maps covering the county.
From general Lancasire maps such as Speed 1610, Lancashire Town maps c. 1890 to O.S. 1st Edition 6" maps c. 1845. A useful research tool!
A great research tool provided by Lancashire County Council that enables you to overlay and compare the current edition of O.S. map for Lancashire with the 1st edition O.S. map. You can also drop on aerial photograph layer to give you a better feel of the lay of the land.
The first time I came here was about a decade ago, the day before my son went to nursery, the day before I began to lose him, that's what school does, it peels away your fingers from gripping his little hand one by one, and smiles in your face while it does it. So I decided we would go somewhere good, somewhere far away, somewhere far removed from organised schooling, so that at least I could remember him in his natural surroundings. But that was an awful long time ago, he thinks for himself now unfortunately, muuum he's thinking for himself again, tell him.
I borrowed a library map last time, and would've this time too if they didn't keep such wimpy hours. So I bought one, a tenner it cost me, you can have it if you want, I left it there, knowing that the next people to visit the three brothers would get horribly lost and there would be this map, like a gift from god (small G) probably.
My daughter came out with me, but as with the other four places I went to today she stayed in the car, I blame the schools whole heartedly.
I'd forgotten how steep and narrow the path gets on the way up, but I do like a nice walk in the woods, and this is one. Turn right at the gate and stile in the wall, take note of the map on the wall, it wont help much, but it is reassuring to know your in the vicinity.
The terrain changes much depending on the time of year and which decade you go, ten years ago there was no trees growing out of and next to the brothers, no brambles choking the southern brother, they were all perfectly intervisible, not anymore.
Passing through the gate take the second turning left, ignore the path, it wont take you to the brothers, look for some small white rocky cliffs on your right, the brothers are above and to the left of the bright white cliffs, I don't think any of that will help, call out loud to the stones, ask any and all animal life for directions, if in doubt a big tree will always help you out, you probably think I'm being daft, give it a go next time your failing to find your way.
The three brothers is a quiet and beautiful place, the endless peace was only interrupted by bird song, gun fire and car racing noises, ok so it was just beautiful this time, but normally........
I really hope this place hasn't been abandoned to nature, it wont look after the brothers, the southern brother was almost entirely covered in brambles, I removed as much as I could without cutting myself to ribbons, again. It is all just too overgrown to appreciate so I climb up onto the middle brother, and sit quietly contemplating this little world, now that I can see all three brothers, I can also see my map on the fence and remind myself not to forget it.
But I do anyway, I blame the schools.
2 Cairns & a Mesolithic scatter site are listed very close together in The Anglezarke survey report & also by Pastscape, so having worked out where the sites should be I headed off on the short walk from Moor Lane. The first of the cairns is quite easily found, but the second is more problematic, I think I found it but it’s buried deep in the Anglezarke tufty grass & a winter trip when the vegetation is at its lowest is needed to confirm it.
Listed on Pastscape as a “Broken standing stone on Anglezarke Moor. Possibly prehistoric, but more likely a med/post-medieval waymarker” this stone at least has its feet rooted in the ground, not in peat & is also situated away from any major stone working sites, but as with so much up here the question of its antiquity remains. In common with most of the Anglezarke sites whichever way you try to access this stone, bogs & tufty grass are on the menu!