Landscape In Houghton-le-Spring, Tyne And Wear
Mound marked by Beech trees, dating back to the Mesolithic period.
The Seven Sisters are actually now just five and a half sisters, sitting on Copt Hill near Houghton-le-Spring, but there were once seven beech trees at the top.
The mound which they are sitting on is known as a bowl barrow, which is a type of burial ground, or tumulus. A tumulus is a mound of stones and earth built on top of ancient graves, measuring around 3m high.
The site was first excavated in 1877 by Canon William Greenwell of Durham Cathedral Library (cool job). At this point, it was thought to be a burial ground dating back to the Neolithic period (2400-1500 years ago). However, after further excavations in 2003, evidence was unearthed that dated it's origins to the Mesolithic period (7000 years ago). Due to it's significant history, the site is now a scheduled monument.
There are a couple of benches if you fancy a sit, and there are some waymarked paths that surround the area if you want to extend your walk. The views from the top are fantastic too and there's not too much effort involved in getting to the top, but be aware there might be some cows mooching about.
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The car park is around 1 mile away from the Seven Sisters. There may be on street parking a bit closer and there is potential space just at the start of the walk, but we would recommend parking safely in the centre and walking the rest of the way.
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Parking is available in Houghton-le-Spring at the library.
Contributed by Sandra Clemens
I love the great outdoors and have been a National Trust & English Heritage member for years. I also love going off the beaten track and finding places like Sharp's Folly or Rothley Castle which are hidden gems in Northumberland. My favourite recent hike was climbing Red Screes in the Lake District on a whim, not fully grasping how high 776m was. It was still an achievement to conquer a Wainwright walk and I hope to do more one day.
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