Photograph of Close Moss on Marsden moor Pennine Hike

A choice of sleet or sun.. a walk around Close Moss

I had a choice this weekend: go for a long walk around the Marsden Moors on Saturday (forecast: sleet / snow and low cloud on the tops) or Sunday (forecast: sunshine). I went for Saturday, as I’m perverse like that and I fancied a bit o’ weather to get me in the zone for a trip in early February up to Crianlarich.

And also I wanted be around for my son heading back to his current hometown (work placement) of Oxford. You know, make sure he got the train and checking he hadn’t snaffled all my selection box.

I used the ‘Brigadoon Stone’ (my name) as a mid-way focus for the walk. This is (to my mind) an unusual stone up on Close Moss (above Marsden).

Why this particular large stone intrigues me:

– It looks to me to have been placed on top of another protruding bit of millstone grit. I haven’t seen any other stone combinations like this in the area.. most other large rocks e.g at nearby Millstone Edge are one contiguous (albeit weather shaped) piece.
[Though it is probably just an erratic from the last ice age..]

– It is bench size and works really well as a seat with views of Pule Hill in one direction and March Hill in the other. (Both at approx the same angle of viewing). In fact, Pule Hill’s western ‘peak’ (where bronze age burial pots were found) cuts the more distant Shooters Nab and West Nab ‘massif’ almost exactly in half, as seen from where you sit on this stone.
[probably just a pleasing visual coincidence]

– It has ‘grooves’ in it, running right across the top, approximately (depending on the time of year) orientated to the rising and setting sun.
[Very likely just water action from the days of the giant lagoon that was the formation of this rock. And my sketchy placing of the rising sun above Shooters / West Nab].

– The stone it rests on has a circular cup shape in it.. what’s left of a cup and ring work?
[Now I’m being really fanciful and no doubt it’s a natural indentation]

I’ve nicknamed it the Brigadoon Stone as, despite revisiting the area (which isn’t that large ) a couple or so times since I first ‘found’ it, I can’t relocate the stone/s. It must just appear every few months or years 😉

Saturday’s four and half hour jaunt up and around Pule Hill, across Close Moss and then back (via part of The Pennine Way) to Eastergate was mostly in rain, sleet, some snow and low cloud. So even it had been a megalith I may well have walked straight past it and missed it!

Here are some photos of the day, suitably atmospheric..

Photograph of Close Moss on Marsden moor Pennine Hike
Heading away uphill from Marsden and Bank Bottom Mills
Photograph of Close Moss on Marsden moor Pennine Hike
On Pule Hill close to the Roman Road and the weather started to turn sleety (looking back to Marsden below)
Photograph of Close Moss on Marsden moor Pennine Hike
On Millstone Edge and sleet proper. Castleshaw reservoirs in the distance.

 

Photograph of Close Moss on Marsden moor Pennine Hike
Wet dog has enough
Photograph of Close Moss on Marsden moor Pennine Hike
Near the Oldham Way marker stone. the sleet had passed over so just low cloud at this stage. Brodie on a lead as always up here – what with the sheep (never been able to train her to just ignore them).

 

Photograph of Close Moss on Marsden moor Pennine Hike
The misty mountains (hills) of Pule then Shooters Nab (far left) and West Nab (right ..but still left of Pule at this angle)
Photograph of Close Moss on Marsden moor Pennine Hike
Heading down to Willikay Clough and eventually Eastergate

 

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