Giants Graves, Smardale, Coast to Coast

The Smardale pillow mounds are also known as the Giants Graves. There are two areas of Pillow Mounds on the western bank of Smardale Fell above Scandel Beck, and another area next to Smardale Bridge. Pillow mounds are small, artificial flat topped structures sometimes surrounded by a shallow ditch, used for the purpose of breeding wild rabbits and hares for commercial purposes. There will be a network of small tunnels and chambers within leading to one or more entrances. When the warren owner is ready to farm the rabbits or hares he will net the entrances and introduce a ferret to flush them out.

The way this is done is reminiscent of that described by Richard Adams in his best selling novel, Watership Down, where Fiver and Hazel come into contact with another warren that seems too good to be true, food supplied, no obvious enemies, ready made warren, etc. The dark secret withheld from them, though, is that rabbits are taken by the farmer at regular intervals. Pillow mounds were areas of piled earth built onto rocky terrain that rabbits could not dig into. The area was often divided into several warrens, each fenced in and separated. A pair of rabbits were introduced and allowed to breed. The landowner provided herbage and cut grass as food.
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Giants Graves Pillow Mounds above Scandel Beck

The pillow mounds are clearly visible on the image below as the foreground hillocks with stone out-croppings
Smardale Pillow Mounds

Smardale Bridge with Pillow mounds on the right

Smardale Bridge with Pillow Mounds on the right

Smardale Bridge and Pillow Mounds
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Wild Beauty of the Coast to Coast Path

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Coast to Coast eBook

The Wild Beauty of the Coast to Coast Path

The Wild Beauty of the Coast to Coast Path is designed both as a trail guide, and as an informative and adventurous travelogue. Written by Roy David McKee, this is a must-read for anyone contemplating the walk.

The book is available from the iBooks store and has been digitally enhanced.

Features of the Book:
  • Route described in detail
  • Large scale detailed digital Maps of the route
  • Hundreds of colour photographs that can be expanded to full page
  • Photo-galleries of particular areas of interest.
  • Research notes of Historic and Interesting places on the path.
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