Saturday, January 14, 2017

A small site in the foot hills of Blood Hill Ashburham

Where Spring Hill Rd branches off from Piper Rd in Ashburnham, there is a little site along a small brook:
On the right you see a pile ['right-click' and 'open in new tab' to see these details] with an unusually large chunk of quartz. Next to it on the other side of the brook is a small pile and then, slightly in the background in the upper left, in the middle of the snow patch, there is a low horseshoe of a rock pile. Beyond that, you can't see it, there are several nicely built piles and a wall with a break, leading to a few more.
I found the site driving slowly along Piper Rd going west and looking to my right. Just after Spring Hill Rd, I think I see a pile in the woods and, leaving the key in ignition, I get out to take a quick peek. At first, I could not decide if these were part of a wall:

But looking around I saw others (farther from the car, shoe lace untied, hurrying and worrying I was trespassing):
There is a wall behind, and I see other piles through a break in the wall:
They are getting nicer...
These are starting to look good as "marker" piles - with vertical sides. It is always great seeing a well built pile:
Looking east from here:
It is not hard to see a trail. Having seen marker piles, I was hoping to find a larger mound, so I followed the trail. And here is a little horseshoe:
From the other side:
And then here is the brook and the view across to the pile with the large chunk of quartz:

A discussion of the location:
I had gone out to explore these types of low areas around Blood Hill but why do you suppose there were rock piles in that particular place? Seen as a random spot along the brook it doesn't seem special in any way. Then the obvious comes out: there is cross-road right there. Then, speculating that the modern road follows the old trails, you see that the old trails follow the brook. The brook goes around a corner at this spot and the trail forks at the bend. In this light it is not at all a random place: one would be following the trail that follows the brook. When the brook turns sharply uphill there is a choice of following the brook or continuing in the direction you have been going. A quite strategic spot.

No comments :