Monday we were once again out in the landscape. We had decided we needed to go back to Arbor Low stone circle. There were a few things we wanted to consider and a white stone to place. There had been a little rain… this is England after all, but even with the Bank Holiday traffic we were soon clear of the town and out into the lovely green and gold of spring.
We were going for leisurely again so stopped for the toasted teacake and obligatory coffee in Monyash. In the hopes of finding the doors open this time we wandered over to St Lawrence’s church while we were there. The font is an interesting one and so, it turned out, were the tiles in the choir and some of the statuary. Also interesting was the coincidental presence of a gravedigger… I have some odd dreams and this tied in precisely with the one the night before.
It is a short drive to Arbor Low from there. A curious place with a lot of earthworks and an almost complete stone circle… which is, and may always have been, recumbent. There are stories that tell how the stones were pushed down a few hundred years ago, but as no traces of postholes have been found it seems this may be the way it was designed.
We had some theories to test, so it was good to have the place to ourselves, apart from some interested sheep. We managed enough time to be useful before a young couple wandered laughing into the circle. Quite what they thought of the pair of us laid out on either side of the circle like a pair of corpses doesn’t bear thinking about. However, we had done enough.. for now.
The thing is with these sites that things don’t fall into place always at the first visit and you have to keep going back to explore the realisations that inevitably come later. The more often you go, the deeper the rapport you seem to establish, and the more knowledge you end up bringing to the problem of interpreting them. We had found some interesting alignments with other sites and the maps had been revealing… going back was a necessity. And that was without the theories!
We wandered over to Gib Hill… and ancient barrow that had also once been used as a gibbet. Laid out on top of that was revealing too… how much I didn’t know at the time until I got back home and did some research on the local area, which leads to a place now on our list of ones to visit; a place with possibly a gruesome event at its end. We shall see.
Meanwhile we had to escape the cow determined to get its picture taken then it was back to the Bull for the best salmon in Derbyshire before heading back to town. There was some question of going out later for dinner, but given the state of my eyes at this point discretion, cheese and crisps seemed a better idea. Anyway, we still had stuff to discuss and writing to be done. I wrote up what we had been working on while my companion dozed for a while. It had been a busy few days, and more to come next weekend as I head off to collect friends from the States to explore this beautiful landscape. I will even get as far as a dear friend in Scotland this time. There are adventures to come….