Souns grim Postie. I have been in a similar situation a couple of times (I am sure most of us have). Whatever the outcome - whether you get to see the site or not the 'confrontation' certainly spoils the visit anyway. I guess we just have to accept that some land owners (as with people in general) are not nice. I am afraid it is probably best to 'write off' these sites until there is a change of owner who is more 'welcoming'. I know it shouldn't be like that - and most land owners are reasonable.
I usually ask permission where it is obvious to do so simply because I think it is the right thing to do, however, I help myself where I have to and when I have run foul of the farmer I am afraid my intention not to be bullied nor intimidated has come before the good reputation of all antiquarians. Wish they were all like the lady at Gunnerkeld who could not do enough to help, however, unfortunately, they are not. Never had a problem in Scotland, Wales or down South, always Lakes or Peaks
I love how you just decide to pack your van and go somewhere that to me sounds impossibly distant and exotic and doomed to failure, language barriers and possibly monsters. I should try to be more fearless I think.
For me it all boils down to an expectation of common courtesy on both sides; where that isn't fulfilled in reality the offending party (visitor or landowner) should be educated - shouted down, if necessary - by the other or else they will never learn what basic level of civility is required from a citizen of the UK. I am never - repeat never - aggressive or discourteous unless I have been forced upon the defensive by aggressive action.
The landowners needed to be taught civility in the case of the Kinder mass trespasses. One doubts if those brave people would be called 'rude' nowadays.
You'll agree such confrontations are the exception rather than the norm... most land owners I've come across are 'tolerantly dismissive', others 'only too happy', some damn interested in what you might tell them about what's on their land. A minority are like your macho man in his 4x4... ignorance is no excuse when, like it or not, you are custodian of part of our ancient heritage. Accosting you and taking your picture on a public road was arguably an action likely to cause a breach of the peace, whereby trespass is simply a civil transgression. You left when asked to do so... end of story.
Well I for one would have loved to see Gladman in full swing defending the common man's right to have a look, I realise that most farming types wont understand that I've come a long way to see a pile of stones, a mound, a stone or whatever, I barely understand it myself why would someone else. It's much more readily understandable to presume i'm out up to no good, signs of the times I suppose. The only way round it is to ask permission from any site that looks like you might need it, I wont be doing that any time soon, so I'll just have to be ready for negative and ignorant landowners. They exist, we don't have the same views upon the land, so always take that into account when wandering off piste.
In my opinion it is not being 'rude' to object to aggressive interrogation which manifestly refuses to countenance any counter-argument whatsoever. To meekly allow landowners to ride rough-shod over what I would suggest are basic levels of civility may be your preferred option.. but I do not agree with you.
Rhiannon; please do not accuse me of being 'rude' and having a negative impact upon future visitors when you were not there and consequently do not know what you are talking about.
It would appear you believe it is acceptable to be accosted by aggressive, confrontational individuals when upon a PUBLIC right of way - I was not upon Willy Howe at the time - and, basically, to be accused of being a liar, to be engaged in criminal activity. I do not. When such occurs I therefore feel I am morally justified in defending myself as appropriate, according to circumstances. According to the circumstances. That this individual repeatedly asserted that Willy Howe was not a prehistoric monument - that there were no 'monuments' in the area - completely contradicts what you are saying. He clearly thought it was just a mound.
You have a right to an opinion, but it is my opinion that worthwhile opinions need to have at least some grounding in fact. The countless times I've knocked on doors, engaged land owners in conversation... basically been a fine ambassador for TMA... should be self evident to anyone who bothers to read my notes objectively.
I was at Gunnerkeld recently and knocked at the farmhouse door as I thought I'd better ask permission rather than assume I could just swan past it on my way to the circle; the lady who answered could not have been more welcoming or informative both as to directions (simple) and about the circle itself, also telling me that the bull and cows might be in the field but I wasn't to worry, they wouldn't bother me (they didn't). With my habitual hopelessness at reading OS maps I've more than once lost my way en route to some or other site and been helpfully redirected by fortuitously passing farmers. Yes, open access would be ideal but in its absence there's nothing for it but plain old-fashioned courtesy and if that fails, well, that's the way it is.
Just maybe, the man who wanted to kick you off Willy Howe was actually very protective of it and perfectly aware of what it was. He couldn't not be, it's likely his family have been in the area (maybe owning the land) for hundreds of years. The legends are about as famous as you can get with mounds and fairies and suchlike.
Perhaps he thought you were going to try and dig it up and spoil it. I'd be immensely protective of it and be suspicious of people lurking about as well. I climbed up in it and it's more hole than mound, I thought it had a very special air.
Maybe he doesn't know all about neolithic archaeology llike you do but that doesn't mean he doesn't value the mound. It's part of his landscape, you can know it and appreciate it without knowing the scientific details, it has value beyond that.
If you're getting so angry you make grown men cry it sounds a bit frightening.
Whether one believes in private property or not, it doesn't help the next visitor if the last one has been rude does it. Well that's my opinion anyway.
This is why I hardly ever go to sites in England, except access land like Dartmoor and the Cornish moors. Sadly English farmers are unlikely to ever welcome something as sensible as Scotland's outdoor access code. If I farmed land with a monument on it there would be "this way to the cairn" signs up.
That's the problem with allowing certain people to 'own' things that they do not have the intellectual capacity to even begin to comprehend, let alone safeguard in an appropriate manner for future generations.
I once had a similar episode at Willy Howe, North Yorks. The individual refused to believe I was there to visit the enormous mound and said 'Suppose you tell me what you're really doing here since I can assure you there are no monuments around here', or words to that effect. Incredulous, I asked whether it had ever crossed his mind why he should happen to have an immense mound on his land... just, maybe wonder where it had come from.. and he said 'no'. I duly lost my rag and laid into him whereby he burst into tears! Thought I'd better leave sharpish before I got a kicking from the, er, no very reliable local police. But really, the mentality of some land owners is absolutely beyond belief.
According to Breverton; The later church contained the 'Maen Morddwydd - thigh bone' "possibly a small Bronze Age carved pillar which always returned to its original spot". Shackled to a larger rock it was thrown into the sea but came back again, Gerald of Wales said that the Earl who had done this built a protective wall round it, decreeing that no one should touch it..
So where is (as mentioned by Breverton) the Tre'r Dryw Bach stone circle with 12 stones recorded in 1772. In 1872 there were just two left, one measuring 18 feet high by 10 feet wide?
Or is he muddled as well ;)
The ruined church was dedicated to St.Nidan - 6th century and his church was built over a spring, so there was an ever-filling stoup Rhiannon..
Well something says that someone strapped the stone to their thigh (inspired by its shape??) so it can't be enormous. Assuming the author of the story wasn't confused and like me had never seen the thing in their life.
Llwyd (or is it someone else... so confused...) blames its disappearance on the Papists. Ah isn't religious tolerance brilliant. It reminded me of a random thing I learnt today - Oliver Cromwell apparently died of malaria because he refused to have anything to do with quinine because the bloody Papists grew all the cinchona trees from whence it came. Silly man.
Yes the anthropomorphs /crosses are quite common in Spain and southern France .Unlike here they are contemporary with the other engravings i.e. non christian and not engraved with metal .
I'll post some recent finds too .