Cairns: OS Grid Reference – SD 919 457 — NEW DISCOVERY
From Earby, go eastwards up the steep moorland Coolham Lane. A coupla hundred yards up past the little reservoirs on your right there’s a tall, large wooden stile to climb over, up the old heaps of quarried stone and onto the flat moorland plain of Bleara Moor. You’re here! If the heather’s grown back however, you’ve no chance of seeing ’em!
Archaeology & History
When we came up here the other day (ostensibly to check out the great Bleara Lowe tombs on top of the moor), a grey wet day scattered its more darkened light across the moor, which thankfully had been burnt back a few months previous. If this hadn’t happened, we’d have never seen what we found: a scattering of at least a dozen small single cairns, typical of those found on the upper and lower slopes of Green Crag Slack on Ilkley Moor. They’re on the lower northwest-facing plain of Bleara Moor and all are roughly the same size: about 3 yards by 3 yards across and only a foot or two in height, much overgrown in peat and vegetation. Although we found a good number of these small cairns where the heather had been burnt away, there also seemed to be others in the long heather itself, but this was, of course, hard to say with any certainty. A few more exploratory ventures in and around the moor would be good after the next heather-burning sessions!
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian