27 May 2012

Moorland

Seven miles to the south west of Sheffield there's a piece of wild moorland surrounded by roads. It's called Big Moor. I estimate that if you circumnavigated it on foot by the boundary roads it would take you over seven hours. In spite of its wild appearance, Big Moor was once home to generations of neolithic people. They built at least three significant stone circles, several cairns, dwelling houses and field systems. This was in days when there were still wolves in the British Isles, long before the Romans introduced rabbits and horse chestnut trees and in a time when there were no horses or wheat or potatoes. Life must have been very hard.
By the middle ages, the stone circle builders had gone but the country had very few roads and most travel was still on foot. Trading tracks began to criss-cross the land and on Big Moor several stone posts or stoops were erected to guide travellers and traders across the difficult terrain with its bogs and dips, rivulets and hardy moorland vegetation. Mick Jagger's surname harks back to the jaggers of yesteryear - hardy men who carried heavy packs - they were pedlars and hawkers. The verb "to jag" meant to pack or to carry. When good roads were built and roadworthy coaches developed, the jaggers disappeared but their paths and their guideposts were left behind. 

In the nineteenth century, as the importance of clean, reliable water supplies became more obvious, many reservoirs were constructed across England and on Big Moor you can see the location of Barbrook Reservoir which is now disused.
Barbrook II stone circle
Highland cattle avoiding the hot British sunshine
One of the remote guideposts on Big Moor
Another one - taller, more weathered
Perhaps an old cross in the middle of the moor - not marked on maps
Highland cow about to charge the photographer

 I would like to express my personal thanks to Sticky Toffee Pudding who was responsible for all these photos. He's now on Ward 13 in Chesterfield Hospital. I've never felt Highland cow horns plunging into my muscular and rather shapely buttocks but I imagine it would be pretty painful. Ah well. Now excuse me while I scan the social club's lunch menu,,,

5 comments:

  1. The doctor is in.

    After starting out in a seemingly innocent way, all travelogue, your post became rather phallic rather quickly through the photographs, and your last paragraph only enhanced the effect, if you get my drift.

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  2. Mick Jagger may not have inherited a physique to carry great loads, but he sure carried the comedy on Saturday Night Live last week. I've never much cared for the fellow, but he was better than a lot of so-called actors who have hosted the show.

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  3. ooooh oooh oooh oooh ooooh ooooh ooooh I got the moves like a packhore!

    Not got the same ring to it has it?

    The skies you and your camera are generating have a nice timeless quality that almost reminds me of film camera photos from my childhood!!

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  4. It's the par for the course, Robert.

    http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/YKS/Misc/Books/FolkTalk/Chapter9.html

    See para 4.

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  5. RHYMES WITH TEX It's all in your sinful imagination!
    JAN BLAWAT When he's over in England, Jagger likes to watch cricket and is often spotted by the camera operators.
    ARCTIC FOX You made me laugh with the song reference. And thanks for the photo praise - much appreciated.
    KATHERINE I find your reference interesting. True Yorkshire folk are certainly not much like the southern English. We're rough and tough and we call a spade a spade.

    ReplyDelete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.