16 July 2018

Outcrops

I love to visit stone outcrops on my rambles. The one above lies to the west of Sheffield, overlooking the A57 road near Hollow Meadows. It is called The Head Stone. Often I wonder what ancient inhabitants of this land would have made of  such an outcrop. I can't help imagining that it if not somehow revered, it must have been a focal point for them. Below you can see The Head Stone from a different angle. The pictures were taken yesterday afternoon.
Before I reached The Head Stone I had climbed up from Wyming Brook Drive and along Reddicar Clough through swathes of bracken, noticing that there were  thousands of bilberries waiting to be picked. I ate a handful and wished I had brought a container to fill.  They would be very nice scattered on one's morning bowl of muesli.

On the slope to my right I noticed a small unnamed stone outcrop and as I scrambled through the bracken I guessed that it would have been good a place for ancient hunters to rest or base themselves in distant times gone by. They would have had a good view of the valley below and the area around the stone would be dry and solid. They could have left or stored things here and might have even made temporary camps.

See the big millstone slab to the left...
I looked underneath it and what I saw was a crude collection of rocks above a secret hollow. The rocks appear to be holding that two ton slab in place. As I say, I have investigated many stone outcrops but have never noticed such an undercarriage before. It crossed my mind that what you see under that great slab is not natural. The rocks may well have been placed there by human beings. Had I stumbled across a burial place? 

It is very possible that this place has never been subject to archaeological investigation. It is a good distance from any passing public footpaths and though I am sure that grouse shooters and other walkers have been there perhaps none of them considered why that slab of stone has a bunch of rocks beneath it.  I am going to refer my questions to The University of Sheffield's Department of Archaeology.

27 comments:

  1. I hope you will share any responses from the Archaeology Department; it certainly looks similar to some sort of burial place.

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    1. I have seen similar burial places in western Ireland.

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  2. Just from that one photograph, Mr. Pudding, I think I see that a couple of the stones are flattened on one side which could indicate cutting or slashing tools also. Hard to know if those smaller stones were placed there or forced into that crevice by forces of nature. You must let us know. Very interesting.

    Had to look up bilberry. What a beautiful, healthful berry! Much better than our blueberry, which I love. Good for your eyes, too!

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    1. I love blueberries but bilberries are just as good. Regarding the stone slab - thank you for confirming that I am not going mad. It just could be a burial place.

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  3. Lovely photos, and I will echo Sue and say that I hope you will share any responses you get from the Archaeology Department. You live in a fascinating place.

    I've never heard of bilberries. I suppose they don't grow around here!

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    1. There's no "bill" for collecting bilberries! They are free.

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  4. Whenever I see outcrops like that, I wish I had one in my yard to landscape around. What I've ended up with, instead, is a bunch of smallish rocks from wherever I go.

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    1. You should get one of your farming friends to bring a massive rock into your yard with a big digger/tractor.

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    2. We have 80 feet of sandy topsoil here in our farming valley, no rocks. I have to rerock the driveway every 5 years because the rocks sink into the soil. You'd have to drive that tractor for 10-15 miles on a busy highway to get to a decent-sized rock. Whenever I do a favor for someone and they ask how to pay, I say, "Bring me a big rock." It hasn't happened yet. Maybe I should just figure out how to make a nice fake outcropping out of concrete or something.

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  5. Could the stone have served as marker ? Now since I'm too lazy to look it up, what's a Clough? What's a bilberry?

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    1. A clough is a small valley running from the hills with a stream in the middle of it. A bilberry is a small black berry -similar to a blueberry that grows on short squat moorland shrubs.

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    2. Thanks. I'm sure we use terms that we should explain.

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  6. Well worth mentioning as I'm sure the departments looking into these things are understaffed and appreciate possible leads from the public.

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  7. Tony Robinson step aside, lol
    Briony
    x

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    1. And now on BBC 2, it's "The Archaeology of Ancient Britain" with your genial host Yorkshire Pudding...
      "Hello again... Today we will be looking at a find made recently in Brighton. She's brassy. She's blonde. She's Briony!"

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    2. Well, Tom thinks he had a good find in me but he's never called me brassy.

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  8. I, too, wish to hear what replies you get from the Archaeology department.

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  9. I have just spent two fantastic weeks scratching at the earth alongside archaeologists in Greece and can say that with their experienced eye they could tell you pretty quickly what it is you're looking at ... once you've got their attention. So many rocks on the earth, so little time to investigate. Well found, YP!

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  10. There is a famous liqueur in Sardenia called Mirto, it is made from bilberries - served as a digestive after dinner in small glasses and cold from the freezer.
    Greetings Maria x

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  11. I am looking forward to you telling us what the archaelogoy department says about the rock you found.
    The photos make me long for a nice long hike/walk, but as I am booked for another operation on Thursday, I won't be able or allowed to be out and about much for at least a week.

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  12. When I think of the number of outcrops I have seen and passed by without giving a though as to their provenance I'm a little ashamed of myself. I suppose the slab on the stones couldn't be an erratic could it?

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    1. It looks like one but I don't think Derbyshire had glaciers. It had ice but no ice flows to carry stuff about.

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  13. When I worked in herbal medicine factory I loved bottling the bilberry extract, the rich colour and the scent were just gorgeous.

    I could have seen those rocks a hundred times and not thought about the configuration, well spotted

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  14. Loved your comment on John's blog - you said what I'd been trying not to think. Perhaps he is hurting too, but it's John I'm weeping for. If you are in touch with him, please give him a big hug from me. VIrginia (Now I'll go and enjoy your ramblings.)

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  15. Those rocks have an Easter Island vibe about them.

    You've been very quiet these past few days, Yorkie. I do hope everything is okay with you and yours.

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  16. Your blog is very nice,Thanks for sharing good blog.
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