Saturday, 21 April 2012

Ratten Clough and Vaccary walls

The Bear drove at warp factor 9 to 001 on the map
most of the surrounding fields are Vaccary walled  (Latin vaccaria from vacca, a cow) walls are made with large flattish slabs

the footpaths have become hollow ways

Full moon and a fog they'd look like tombstones !

a nice wind break to have triplets
I drove to P on the map, squeezed the car off the road, and got out the passenger side to follow an old track up hill

It must have been rough in the medieval horse and cart days ?
but the eroding banks give Flint hunters a place to look !
going up hill you couldn't miss this stone at 002

where you could see the Herders Cross stone 005 but in between is a stone recorded as Ratten Clough Cross, stone base
though there's not much to see on top
then had to cross over Ratten Clough
 with a view of Pendle hill

 about the colour I like my Tea
Flora and Fauna time

and a Tewit
on the other side of Ratten Clough the Herders Cross base stone comes into view with Boulsworth hill
Lad Law behind
 before reaching it I raked a Molehill and found a piece of clay pipe stem and a 1973 1/2 new penny ? at 004
It was that windy I'd to stand the Bear in a billy to photo the Cross socket - check the scarf
but like the sheep it was out of the wind below, behind the stone. Russian Caravan Tea
and a look at Pendle Hill
back over to the road and a walk down hill back to the car passing more Vaccary walls
and a small Gooseberry bush growing at the side of the road
washed the Flints when I got back, the eye in today was easy ! just look for Toffee colour
they might not be Arrow heads and Axes, but Flint 's not native so probably scraps from knapping and a couple of Microliths ?
just thought I'd share cheers all Danny


  1. Danny,
    Do you know when the stones were set? I was interested in your finding a piece of a clay pipe. Your moles must be more skilled than mine who haven't produced a damn thing other than dirt hills. Very nice photos of some interesting countryside. Did the bear give up eating? Cousin John from the land of bad beer and fat women.

    1. Hi John, 12th. 13th. century here's a link I found of area

      It was Ham & mustard (home made bread) sandwiches eaten in the car while a heavy shower passed over at the start
      cheers thanks for comment Danny

  2. That's no a tewit - it's a teuchat !

    1. 'teuchat, teuchit noun lapwing;
      teuchat's storm, wintry weather in March, when lapwings arrive.'
      Don't know about March it's winter here now !
      cheers Danny


      Every Scottish schoolkid used to be able to recite this.

      (mild and wet here at the moment)

  3. Thanks for that a new one on me I'll put it on here

    The Whistle

    He cut a sappy sucker from the muckle rodden-tree,

    He trimmed it, an' he wet it, an' he thumped it on his knee;

    He never heard the teuchat when the harrow broke her eggs,

    He missed the craggit heron nabbin' puddocks in the seggs,

    He forgot to hound the collie at the cattle when they strayed,

    But you should hae seen the whistle that the wee herd made!

    He blew them rants sae lively, schottisches, reels, an' jigs,

    The foalie flang his muckle legs an' capered ower the rigs,

    The grey-tailed futt'rat bobbit oot to hear his ain strathspey,

    The bawd cam' loupin' through the corn to "Clean Pease Strae";

    The feet o' ilka man an' beast gat youkie when he played -

    Hae ye ever heard o' whistle like the wee herd made?

    But the snaw it stopped the herdin' an' the winter brocht him dool,

    When in spite o' hacks an' chilblains he was shod again for school;

    He couldna sough the catechis nor pipe the rule o' three,

    He was keepit in an' lickit when the ither loons got free;

    But he aften played the truant - 'twas the only thing he played,

    For the maister brunt the whistle that the wee herd made!

    thanks again Danny

  4. Wow, what an amazing collection of photos. Fantastic blog.

    1. the Bear takes them ! no, but he could I just press the button and let the camera (Canon A720) do all the hard work. Thanks for the comment - Danny

  5. I thought they were peewits, but I'm not getting into this discussion. Those walls are impressive, Danny. I've never seen anything like them. There are some slate slab fences near Hawkshead in the Lakes, but these walls look far older. Incidentally, where is the nearest source of flint? I know it was mined on quite a large scale in ancient times at Grimes Graves, in Norfolk, so was it all imported?
    Alen McF

    1. Hi Alen, with the house stove being lit with flint and steel for the last 25+ years
      I've been on a couple of Flint expeditions, but the nearest I've found has been at Flanbourgh Head in the chalk beds,there might be some in the Yorkshire Wolds chalk but I don't know of any nearer, not even glacial deposit ? My best Black (big lump) came from Grimes Graves when I asked someone going on holiday to bring me some back. thanks for comment, Danny

  6. hi DaD ...hey what a way to fence in cattle...a solid weather wearing fence... on photo 15 the track ... that slab stone track ... could of been once covered ... maybe worn to how you see today ... would make it difficult for a horse on that... thankyou hugs xxxxxxxjustine

    1. Hello Justine (Italy) the fence has lasted a good 700 years ! the slab stone track is the original bedrock I don't know how slippy it'd be for a horse and cart but it wouldn't be muddy, hugs back Dad

  7. Moles that smoke pipes and loose ha'pennies - does Kenneth Grahame know? Fascinating stuff. (Peewit's where I come from too. Plenty of flint there.)

  8. Hi Mark, stem and 1/2p. maybe thrown away in the spring clean ? there's a couple of bus routes here which flag up Tewit Lane, though I've always known them as Peewit's unless they're wearing a kilt then there Teuchat's
    cheers Danny

  9. Lapwings are also called Green Plovers in some places. Danny you are right about flint in the wolds. Its mostly the white, cream, and caramel flints there. Prehistoric Lancashire appears to have been well served by flint traders bringing material from all over Britain. The closest 'natural' flint source is from the place on the coast were pebbles are exposed. Beach flint tends to be quite small and harder to work. It is often fractured due to being tumbled on its sea bottom journey.
    Did your walk today, found a fragment of burnt clay pipe bowl near the little quarry but no flint at all. :-(

  10. Hi Alex, thanks for comment I realy am going to have to explore the Wolds if only because the nearest I've ever been
    is on Memory Map, it does help when searching for flints to have a rake and molehills though 9 out of 10 trips I'll draw a blank. Did you see :-
    cheers Danny