What Does Archaeology Tell Us?
The Simonside Hills have been a magnet for antiquarians and archaeologists since at least the nineteenth century. On the open moorland and hidden in the modern forestry areas are burial cairns, carved stones and ancient pathways. There are also dozens of rock outcrops with caves and overhangs that for thousands of years may have been used as shelters by weary travellers or even the summer homes of early hunter-gatherers. In more recent times the ancient tracks known as ‘hollow ways’ were used by cattle drovers, rustlers and smugglers and these same paths now make it possible to explore the area and appreciate the special qualities of the place
A recent archaeological survey of part of Simonside by the Lancaster Archaeology Unit for the National Park Authority has emphasised the importance of prehistoric burial sites in the area and the seeming lack of settlements of the living to accompany them - again reinforcing the idea of Simonside as a ‘sacred’ place?