Back in the Peak District! A few weekends ago, before Aberystwyth even, before the anthropocene decided that summer would be cut short. I am writing an editorial for City in my own blood at the minute, so thought I would take a break to vicariously breathe the wind, taste the air and freedom, regain perspective on deadlines, cross this little thing off the to-do list. We were following the walk as signposted by Ali Cooper in Archaeology Walks in the Peak District, but started at Hope train station as all those without cars must do. It was beautiful.
In this field, the Roman fort of Navio once stood, occupied between AD 75-120 and from about AD 160-360.
A town full of civilians also once stood here — all that is left still visible are some stones of the wall embedded in the ground and a collection of masonry in the field’s middle. They found lead ingots here, so the Romans were definitely mining these hills. We walked up towards Castleton
Skipped Peveril’s castle as we’d already been.
On towards Odin Mine:
Through a field with two lost lambs who didn’t understand the concept of lateral movement.
Mined for lead since the 13th Century, legend has Odin mined by the Romans and the Danes as well (hence the name). This mine comes complete with ore-crushing circle, where a horse once pulled a gritstone to crush the rock! Now I know what those are.
And then up to Mam Tor starting along the old road fractured through subsidence in a fairly apocalyptic way
We climbed up, really really far up and then up some more. The tor is surrounded by an immense ditch from the Iron Age, once home to a large settlement over a long span of years — though it is hard to tell now how regularly it was occupied. This is what archaeologists think it might have looked like once.
It is looking back you can get a better sense of the scale of the ditch marked along the hillside though you have to look closely at the photograph which doesn’t do justice (of course) to how marked it was as we stood there.
It is beautiful, windy, wild, from here we walked along the ridge towards Black Tor and Lose Hill.Artifacts have been found on Black Tor as well, though it is unknown if this was a residential or burial site.
We continued on
Chased by the rain
And down, passing a horde of London youth mourning the lack of escalators. We laughed, marveled at the foxgloves.
Found a pint.
It is hard to remember the moors exist on a day like today in front of the computer filled with frustrations. I have to remember that the road goes ever ever on. Just like in this cool display from the Hobbit.
Of course, Mark wanted me to call this post ‘Circling the Cement Factory’, which we did. I quite loved the cement factory I must confess.
But I loved most the wild, misty windswept hills with as few people on them as possible. I am far too domesticated.