This gnarled tree looks down on the lead miners track above Stump Cross in Nidderdale. I often stop and give this tree a ‘nod’ before I pass by. I don’t know how old it is, but just maybe it looked down on ‘t’old man’ as they passed by on their lonely way to the mines.
My friend Paulus gave me a ring from Scotland where he lives, and said he was coming over to Yorkshire to visit the prehistoric burial mounds of Kildwick and did I want to come with him. Paul is a writer and is doing an article on the mounds for a booklet he is authoring, and thought I might be interested in seeing them.
Never one to shy away from prehistoric burial mounds, or walking, or anything outdoors for that matter, I jumped at the chance and met him at his friends house in Keighley where he is staying.
The walk up to the site was superb, with long views over the little village of Cononley, and the glorious afternoon sun warmed the hills and made the lush grass seem a brilliant emerald green. We could see for miles and miles over the stunning landscape – towards Skipton and Embsay and Barden moors far far away.
We eventually reached a 7 ft. wall and scrambled over it – to be met with the first of two Bronze Age mounds. It was immense – 40 or 50 feet across, but all that was left was a huge pile of stones. It dominated the landscape. It must have been at least 20 ft. high in it’s prime, but sadly it was ransacked – although Paulus wasn’t sure if it had been completely excavated or not.
Fifty yards away was the second mound – this one was much larger and was frying pan shaped. In the centre was the chamber where the body of the Bronze Age King (Paulus says maybe a Queen) was buried. While Paulus wandered off down the hill to find a lost stone circle (he found it), I scrambled in and laid down in the chamber, and just for a brief moment I was transported back 5000 years – to a time much different from today. It was very peaceful and I listened to the sounds of silence, broken only by a curlews call.
We eventually left the peace of the moors and headed down, through a wood of silver birch and back to the car and the 21st century with all it’s crap. But I was lucky. There aren’t many people who can say they have laid in a Bronze Age Kings burial tomb out on the wild moors!
These late evenings are great as I get home from work and can have a quick walk or wander before the sun goes down. This one is a shot of a solitary climber belaying his friend on some local crags, whilst the sun sets over the moors. The tower in the distance is a local landmark at Norwood Edge and I think it has something to do with Leeds/Bradford airport a few miles away.