Ward’s Stone

Now, at that highest point
on the fells, no trace remains of what
was done so long ago,
but its name has endured.
They call it
the Wardstone.
– Joseph Delaney

What was done so long ago?
Bog feet squelch across the moors.
Black peaty waters know.
Underground streams pour.

Its name has endured.
Sphagnum knows the springy secret
of the one known as the ward
but cannot keep it.

They call it the Wardstone,
say it keeps the fells in place,
some Annuvian monster down.
At the highest point no trace.

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I’ve lived in Lancashire since I was six but this is the first time I’ve been to Ward’s Stone, the highest fell, made hauntingly legendary by Joseph Delaney in his awesome Wardstone Chronicles.

It’s a wonderful place although not many humans seem to visit. I saw one group of students who gave up after the first few boggy patches and a couple who vanished into the earth at the Queen’s Chair. Somehow, in spite of all the bogs, I didn’t get wet feet. Walking boots are the best invention ever!

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