An­cient mines and burial mounds

Macclesfield Express - - WHAT’S ON - COLIN PARK

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

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