Bigges Pillar
Crag, Rock And Cairn Edlingham Northumberland

Bigges Pillar

Crag, Rock And Cairn In Edlingham, Northumberland

Mysterious large stone pillar remains situated high up in Edlingham Woods giving views across Northumberland.

Bigges Pillar is a mysterious large stone pillar that sits atop Edlingham Woods at a height of 269 metres. Bigges Pillar itself stands around 3 metres tall. It is a Grade II listed scheduled monument and it is believed to be the remains to the base of a beacon, possibly medieval.

The side of the pillar has clear evidence of stairs, adding further weight to the belief it is the remains of the base of a beacon.

Beacons were used as a way of warning local residents of approaching enemies. They were often placed on hills and would be lit with fire which could be seen for miles around. There would sometimes be a chain of beacons which would be used to rapidly convey a warning.

Riley the dog sits on Bigges Pillar to highlight its size!

The word Bigges is reputedly derived from the Anglo-Saxon word for 'beetle' or 'large or stout man', perhaps it's the latter given the size of the pillar!

The walk to the pillar is initially over-grown as you pass Wellhope but becomes easier once the forestry road is reached. If you walk from Edlingham then access land gives a less difficult initial ascent as you can follow the forestry track from the B6341. Once on the forestry track it's a pleasant uphill walk until you reach its end. At its end you head left along a well-defined path which leads you to the Pillar.

The walk at its shortest is around a 3 mile round trip but is longer if starting at Edlingham. It is essentially uphill in one direction and downhill in the other! Follow this map, or find it on OS Maps.

Show Route On OS Maps

The views from Bigges Pillar are far reaching with the Cheviot Hills and Thrunton Woods being familiar landmarks which are easily visible on a clear day!

Views from Bigges Pillar across to the Cheviot Hills

The track behind the pillar leads a short way and if followed takes you to a large stone cairn on the OS map named as Nanny Felton's Cairn. Who Nanny Felton was is lost to time but the cairn is large in size and gives commanding views across the Northumberland countryside.

The nearby Nanny Felton's Cairn.

If stones could talk then these would almost certainly have some fascinating stories to tell!

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How To Find Bigges Pillar

Where Is Bigges Pillar?

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Lat / Long

55.357969, -1.8087719

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Where To Park For Bigges Pillar?

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Lat / Long

55.344854, 55.344854

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Layby on the A697 or alternatively for a longer walk park in Edlingham. Please park considerately.

Contributed by Sean Linley

A keen walker and wildlife enthusiast and dog dad originally from Leeds but a Newcastle resident for 10 years with a passion for history and heritage. Always curious about my local area and always on the lookout for something new. You’ll often find me studying the OS map for new places to explore!

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Sean Linley

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Bigges Pillar was listed in Crag, Rock And Cairn // Northumberland // Edlingham