I got a phone call from a very good friend of mine last week, saying he was coming to Yorkshire and did I want to meet up to discuss the new website I am writing for him, and also to go for a few walks over the moors.
Paul Bennett has explored the moors for 40 years and probably knows them better that just about anyone alive. He is an author of several books and contributor to magazines, he lecturers, consults and has discovered more prehistoric rock art, burial mounds and stone circles on the moors than anyone else. He is a acknowledged authority on the prehistoric sites in this area, and is also just a really good guy.
Paul moved to Scotland a couple of years ago, so he only comes to Yorkshire about 2 or 3 times a year, and I always take time off work to go ‘bimbling’ on the moors whenever he comes up. It is a real experience!
I picked Paul up at his parents house yesterday and we headed up to Hawkesworth moor. Paul said there were some burial mounds he wanted to see, and I had found a strange ‘anomaly’ on Google Earth that we wanted to investigate. It looked like the remains of a stone circle but we weren’t sure.
It was a beautiful afternoon and as we headed up on the moors we stopped and watched a pair of Red Kites soaring silently overhead. The Kites are a fairly new visitor as one of the local stately homes, Harewood House, has a started breeding program and now the kites are becoming a common and very welcome sight in the skies.
These moors are also contain a great many ‘cup and ring‘ carvings – prehistoric indentations and circles which are carved on rocks. Along with the more elaborate carvings there are more than 600 of these, and many more are being discovered all the time. We found several new ones on our walk.
We soon got to the site of two burial mounds which were little more than ‘bumps’ protruding out of the heather. We didn’t disturb them in any way, we just showed them respect. Considering they are probably about 5000 years old it is amazing that they have remained intact all these years. We took lots of photos and Paul said there is some prehistoric tracks nearby, but they could only really be seen when the heather is much lower than it is now. We also found a couple of undiscovered ‘cup’ stones nestled in the deep heather.
Our ‘anomaly’ proved difficult to see – the heather was just too long for us to make anything out. But we had a good day out.
I have booked a few days off work this week and we have some more ‘Bimbles’ planned 🙂