We walked through the cairns, seeing their contours in the rise and fall of the heather, knowing many more were now hidden by the late summer bracken. We were heading for the prosaically named Barbrook II. We know it better by another name, but that is a different story.
“…We reach the house-place. My eyes see only the encircling wall of stones, a few courses high… standing stones in the walls… even here she did not escape the Seeing… Her eyes join mine and I see the angled roof of thatch… the low opening covered with hide.
A fire burns within and I enter.
By the door a rough cot covered with fur… On the far side an alcove, draped in hides to keep out the draught, piled with furs… a necklace of seashells, incongruous on the moor, lies beside the bed. Beneath it, I know, is the stone cyst where she placed their ashes. The last of the embers glow softly on the hearth.
The remains of a meal discarded.
It is warm, homely.
They were here not so long ago…”
From Doomsday: Dark Sage, Stuart France & Sue Vincent
It is a curious place, unlike any other stone circle I have ever seen. At first glance it seems no more than a hut circle, the remains of a dry stone wall that might once have supported a conical roof, thatched with reeds. That was my first impression, though I have never found any recorded evidence of this. Closer inspection, though, reveals something extraordinary… a small stone circle of nine stones is built into the internal face of the walls. The site is recorded as a ringcairn with a revetment of dry-stone walls and an earthen embankment, but that is only a technical description…
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