Bleasdale Circle, Lancashire.

Posted by on June 9, 2014

Billy Connolly, talking about Stonehenge and other such mysterious monuments, suggests that there should be a sign of honesty next to each one. “We have no idea what this is”, he urges authorities to confess, “please try and leave it as you found it”.

Bleasdale Circle, ten miles or so north of Preston, actually has one of these.

A handy overview that awaits you as you hop the fence.

A handy overview that awaits you as you hop the fence.

After ogling an exhibit in Preston’s Harris Museum with Small Keefe one wet and windy half – term afternoon, I was struck with the urge to go and have a nosey at the place myself. It’s a tricky place to find, being on private land, and you need to ask permission of a ranger before you go, but it’s well worth it. There are few signposts, less landmarks, and the whole trip’s a lot like cycling into Narnia. Still, I knew I was on the right track, karma – wise, as the first thing of interest that I found was this:

 

This week's old church picture, St Eadmer's of Admarsh - In _Bleasdale.

This week’s Old Church Picture, St Eadmer’s of Admarsh – In – Bleasdale. A gorgeous wee place, all the more colourful for all the spring flowers that were bursting forth around the Lychgate.

 

Up the road then, across a few fields, (Trigger wasn’t happy at being walked across the countryside), and we get in sight of our goal:

See those woods on the right? That's where we're going.

See those woods on the right? That’s where we’re going.

 

So, the Bleasdale Circle is a collection of circular posts set into the ground discovered in 1898 by a pair of gents out walking their dog, and dating back to the Bronze age. There are two circles, one surrounded by a shallow ditch, and a larger one encircling it that’s much more difficult to spot. Allegedly, on Midsummer morn, the sun rises in direct line with two of the posts through the entrance to the glade, though as it was an overcast afternoon in May, I couldn’t possibly comment.

 

The inner circle, looking towards the entrance. You can see the posts here and the encircling ditch.

The inner circle, looking towards the entrance. You can see the posts here and the encircling ditch.

 

The place has a very serene and untouched quality to it, almost as though the air is breathing gently and politely. What’s interesting about it, though, (and what has the boffins scratching their heads), is the fact that traces of human bones were discovered in burial urns in the centre of the inner circle.

If you squint and look at your screen very closely, you'll see a slight rise in the very centre of the picture. This was a burial mound.

If you squint and look at your screen very closely, you’ll see a slight rise in the very centre of the picture. This was a burial mound.

 

Now this is pretty funky stuff – it’s the only example of this in existence. No – one quite knows why these remains were buried here, though conjecture holds that it could have been a place of sacrifice.

 

Tree ribbons, placed recently by modern day Pagans as prayers and offerings.

Tree ribbons, placed recently by modern day Pagans as prayers and offerings.

 

I found that many of the older trees here seemed to take on odd shapes, almost wrapping around one another.

 

Trees intertwined like lovers in one anothers arms.

Trees intertwined like lovers in one anothers arms.

 

The Outer Circle is now completely overgrown, almost impossible to make out. I was awed by how the hell somebody had managed to find it in the first place, when it would have been even worse:

 

You can just about make out the traces of an ancient path amongst the ferns and bracken.

You can just about make out the traces of an ancient path amongst the ferns and bracken.

 

It appears that what we’re seeing are the posts of an ancient hall, surrounded by an outer defensive wall.  It’s not hard to stand in the centre of the circle and imagine a wooden or thatched roof over your head, the smell of a wood fire in your nostrils.

 

Logs placed to show the depth of the ditch.

Logs placed to show the depth of the ditch.

 

So, there we go. A fun journey, and a sign with some real honesty at the end of the ride:

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In other words, “we don’t know what this is, please try and leave it as you found it”. Cheers, Big Yin.

 

 

 

2 Responses to Bleasdale Circle, Lancashire.

  1. Marcus

    Was there myself recently, Sean. Was good to see the ribbons tied on the branches, definitely added to the magic.

    I spent a few minutes in St Eadmer’s too, nice church.

  2. Tarquin Scott

    Must go and discover this for myself sooner rather than later. If Trigger takes you to the circle I’ve told you about near Wray, then we’ll have swapped circles!

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