Round rings of stone on the fellside
Bedded with bluebells, the ancient home
On terrace banked with rock
Pink Ennerdale Granophyre, ground round by glacier,
Dragged down from Dodds heights
Weathered to fertile soil.
Now people return to the fold, above Scales Beck
The new-found steading, measured with laser and staff
Drawn with Derwent pencil
Whose core was once wadd from over the pass.
Black and white watches sheep
Where once short cattle grazed.
In the shadow of Scales Knott
The fertile delta lies with cup-marked slab
Soon peat and bracken reclaim the cairn-fields,
Just now laid bare
Before the swelling fronds
Return to cloak the land
Across the lake above Rannerdale’s green fields
Whiteless Pike’s pointed pyramid
Another ancient homestead’s blue banks
A squint of the eye, the lights right and they’re there
Soon they grow,
Even deep enough to hide a dog
Notes: Bluebells seem to like prehistoric settlements! The complex settlement features at Scales Beck cover a broad chronology and the recent discoveries of hut circles and a cup marked slab would suggest that this stretches back at least to the later prehistoric period. Amongst the the numerous features are cairn-fields and post medieval farmsteads and a series of rectangular “bothy” or shieling structures which surround but are discrete the core settlement site on the delta. The latest phase of settlement was first noted in 1936 by Nicolas Size and recorded more fully by Thomas Hey in 1945 who considered some of the features to be “Native British” in origin, these can be seen in the Transactions of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society . The more enclosed nature of the settlement at Rannerdale also suggests that this is a later prehistoric feature although it was previously considered to be a later deserted settlement. Both these structures have now been surveyed by the Lake District National Park Archaeology Volunteers to whom thanks are due, out in all weathers, fine and not so good.