Spring is in the air at last and as it was a reasonable day and I didn’t have much else I desperately needed to do I decided to go out for a walk. A short drive, park up the car and put on my boots and then I was heading towards Anglezarke Moor, a favourite haunt of mine since I was in my teens.
Last year when we went on holiday to Pembrokeshire we saw quite a few prehistoric dolmens – standing stones – which are the remains of prehistoric burial mounds. Anglezarke also has a number of prehistoric sites so I decided to base my walk on them.
Pikestones is a collection of stones that used to be a Neolithic burial mound. There are several large slabs of millstone grit which at one time would have stood upright to form a burial chamber. Its a scheduled Ancient Monument
The stones themselves don’t look much, but it doesn’t take too much imagination to picture what they looked like when they were upright. Of course, originally they would have been covered over with earth to form a mound and the stones themselves wouldn’t have been visible. However, the mound must have been a fairly impressive sight when it was standing, especially given the prominent location on a high ridge. Standing by them today there was a reasonably clear view over the west Lancashire plain right down to the sea, which was just about visible.
Sadly some idiot has defaced one of the main stones, carving in some sort of symbol – this, in turn, has now been defaced.
A short distance away, over the moor, there is another prehistoric relic – “Round Loaf”, which is a Neolithic or Bronze age Tumulus, or burial mound. It’s constructed on top of a flattish area of the moor so that it stands out and is visible from quite a distance away, silhouetted against the horizon, particularly when viewed during a walk up to Great Hill from White Coppice, when it stands out against the sky. Its the largest example of a round barrow in the north west of England and, because of its remote location, its never been excavated.
I didn’t trek over to the tumulus today. It involves yomping over the peaty moor and conditions underfoot weren’t that great. It’s worth it on a good day, though, as if you are lucky there are magnificent views. One particularly clear day, standing on top of the tumulus, as well as views of the West Lancashire Moors and the Liverpool Bay I was able to see the mountains of three national parks – the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and Snowdonia.