Ancient mines and burial mounds
SUNNY skies were much in evidence for a recent walk with the East Cheshire Ramblers commencing from Hulme End, near Warslow in the Peak District.
The ramblers set out on a 12-mile walk initially along a short section of the Manifold Valley before a stiff ascent to the summit of Ecton Hill to admire the views.
Ecton Hill and its environs have been mined for copper since the Bronze Age and in places there is still evidence of mining activities.
During the 18th century Ecton Deep Mine was the deepest in Britain but mining came to an end in 1891.
Also in the 18th century the profit made at the mine was said to have been used by the Duke of Devonshire to finance the building of the Royal Crescent in Buxton.
Today the mine is managed by the Ecton Mine Educational Trust.
The walk continued to the upland village of Wetton and later followed the eastern rim of the deep sided Manifold Valley which proved to be an excellent spot to stop for a picnic lunch.
Skirting around by Castern Hall, the return part of the walk visited the prehistoric burial mound at Long Low which is a fairly unique feature and consists of a long bank of around 200 metres between what were two rounded cairns.
The monument has suffered much from farming activities over the last couple of centuries but an excavation in 1849 discovered bones from no less than 13 individuals and a number of arrowheads.
Finds from the site suggest that it was used for burials in both the late Neolithic and Bronze Age times.
Today one could quite easily miss this important archaeological site which over the centuries has merged into the surrounding landscape.
The walk back to Hulme End continued via field paths and quiet lanes and finished with the customary tea and cakes in the cafe to round off a successful walk.
For more details of East Cheshire Ramblers’ programme of weekend and midweek walks, ranging from four to 15 miles in length, go to ramblerseastcheshire.org. uk.
Admiring the view from the summit of Ecton Hill