I won an election! Single candidate, single party Viva Blobista!, tiny electorate. As the new Heritage Liaison Officer for our commonage, I am licensed to yomp across the hill paying attention to some of the details: rocks, plants, beetles, spiders, birds and the built environment. I am particularly interested in the latter: where human sweat and broken fingernails have changed the living rock into things with human utility: lintels, sills, walls, pillars, shaughs, dwellings, tombs, altars. But also remember that the whole upland, dry-heath landscape is creation of human activity: without sheep there would be bog or forest. Mutton and wool, and their getting, have given a two century long pause to the natural succession.
Last Wednesday was a Perfect Day: sunny with scudding clouds driven by a warm damp Westerly wind and I had the entire 200 hectares of mountain to myself. I tasked myself to establish GPS coordinates for the more obvious landmarks on the hill. The Marian Year (1950) Cross; The Giant's Table; Dreelan's, Mackey's and The Great Shaugh. It was on the dot of lunchtime when I arrived at the Giant's Table: a chunky dolmen on the East ridge of our hill. I'd made me a sandwich with cheese and lamb's lettuce Valerianella locusta stuffed into half a homemade chapatti and Bliss was it in that lunch to be alive. But soon enough I was heading downslope to flatter land known as Mackey's Walls which is a ruined steading NE of the Giant's table.
That humble dwelling consisted of three rooms, one tiny and a two room shed [granny-flat??!] just to the West. Our family know it as Mog's Bothy because that's where The Boy used to go camping. The Mackey haggard has about the only patch of levelish dryish grass on which you can pitch a couple of tents. When his sisters were small, he'd take them up there for an overnight of magic, wet socks and pee in the bushes. Mackey's is interesting because of a row of five [one missing, one leaning] substantial squared granite pillars running parallel to one face of a rectangular walled enclosure: