Tumulus: OS Grid Reference – SD 9266 4538
There’s no footpath to this site, but we came to it via the car park on Coolham Lane on the southeast side of Earby. Walking uphill, we got over the wooden stile on the moorside and walked up the side of the walling, all the way upwards till we reached the top of the moor. You’ll pass the large Bleara Moor tumulus just by the walling, then head towards the rounded hillock on the top of the moor a coupla hundred yards away. Y’ can’t really miss it!
Archaeology & History
As with many sites in this area, very little has been said of this usually overgrown Bronze Age burial mound. Although no known recorded excavation of the tomb has ever been done, someone dug into the top of the mound in the 1960s, but we have no record of any finds. The tomb stands on the local boundary line between Earby and Lothersdale to the east and was known as ‘Bleara Haugh’ in the 1819 Enclosure Act. But little else has ever been said of it.
When we visited the place a few months ago, we were fortunate in that the heather had been burnt back, so allowing a much better view of the site than normally afforded when it’s covered in heather. The rounded mound was between 4 and 5 feet high and measured approximately 20 yards across. The pit which had been dug into the top of the mound was still visible, though much overgrown. The view from the tomb itself was very impressive — which would have been of some importance in the construction of the place. The Pastscape website describes Bleara Lowe as:
“A slightly oval mound of peat and heather-covered stones up to 1.4m high with max dimensions of 21m E-W x 19m N-S. There is a rectangular hollow 3m x 1.5m x 0.4m deep on the cairn’s summit.”
Another larger tumulus or overgrown cairn can be found over 200 yards west of here; plus a number of small singular prehistoric cairns have been located further down the western slope of the moor, known as the Bleara Moor Cairnfield. None of these sites have ever been excavated.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian