I haven’t been on a long walk since October – it seems to have done nothing but rain every weekend (and most weekdays). I have had to cancel several walking trips as the weather has been atrocious.
But it does have a positive side – it allows me to explore the moors near my home. I can get to the moors in about 10 minutes (provided there are no Police cars about – hem, hem) and I can explore ‘between the showers’. James my friend, and now proud owner of the ‘Smacked Pentax’ often accompanies me and together we walk the moors – if it looks like torrential rain we don’t go or wait until we get a clear spot.
It was forecast to rain Saturday afternoon, so in the morning we decided to go and look for some Neolithic grave tombs. The moors in this area abound in these tombs, stone circles, carved stones, standing stones and remains of prehistoric settlements. It is a fascinating and mysterious place. And I am thoroughly loving exploring it. I will be posting more on this amazing area later (hopefully I won’t bore you too much).
We decided to visit two burial mounds – ‘Great SKirtful of Stones’ and ‘Little Skirtful of Stones’ – both now sadly destroyed, which are thought to be about 4000 years old. There has been human habitation on these moors for 7000 years! So, I guess you could say these graves are quite new 🙂
The legend has it that Giant Rombald, who lived on these moors was arguing with his wife and she dropped a ‘skirtful’ of stones on the moor (a likely story – if you believe that you’ll believe anything…).
The mounds are about half a mile apart and are near some stone circles I have yet to visit. Also there is an Neolithic cemetery to the East of ‘Great Skirtful’, again I will visit it another day (stay tuned)…
It is amazing to stand on these mounds and just let your imagination go back to 2000 years before Christianity and try and imagine what it was like. Let the winds of time blow over you – it is an amazing place – and it feels ancient. Close your eyes and you can feel the Spirit of the place. The views from the mounds are stunning – what a place to be laid to rest. Great Skirtful can be seen form miles around as a ‘pimple’ on the hills. I can see it from my back bedroom window.
I guess we’ll never know who is buried under the mounds – they haven’t been excavated properly (but human bones were found many years ago under ‘Great Skirtful’ – no trace of them now exist) – but according to one legend a Norse giant named Rawmr, “fell fighting against the Britons of Elmet and is buried, they say, on Hawksworth Moor” – possible under ‘Great Skirtful’…we’ll probably never know. As far as I know ‘Little Skirtful hasn’t been excavated so there may well be a skeleton buried there.