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Cultoon (Stone Circle)

Visited 30.7.16

Directions:
Adjacent to a minor road leading north out of Portnahaven. A short distance south of Kilchiaran cup marked stone. The stones can be seen from the road to the west. Access is via the usual rusty metal gate.


This is a fine stone circle with good sized stones. This is a good place to build a stone circle with fine views out over the sea. Other than having to walk across boggy ground this is a very easy site to access. It is very unlikely you will have to share your visit with anyone else that's for sure!

Islay is a nice Island with plenty to offer the visitor. Friendly people, lots of interesting places to see, some fine beaches and lots of wildlife. I am really pleased to have finally got here. It's not the sort of place that many people get chance to visit so I do feel very fortunate. Some people I know think I am mad taking my summer holidays in such places but I know who the lucky one is. Give me an Islay over a Costa Del Sol every day of the week! :)

p.s. I agree with Merrick - that is definitely a cairn next to the stone circle.
Posted by CARL
8th August 2016ce

Kilchiaran (Cup Marked Stone)

Visited 30.7.16

Directions:
Next to the ruined St Ciaron's Church which is alongside the minor road north of Portnahaven. The church is sign posted and parking is easy enough.

Even by Islay standards this is pretty remote.

I like old churches and this is a lovely, ruined old church situated in a lovely spot overlooking Kilchiaran Bay. The fact it has a cup marked stone immediately next to it obviously adds to its attraction!

The various cup marks are of different sizes and depths. The largest one has worn right through the stone.

It's a nice enough stone and worth stopping off for however I must say the church was my biggest thrill. Inside and overgrown were several medieval grave stones. The rocky shore of Kilchiaran Bay only a short distance away. No doubt this must have been a place of pilgrimage. It is a very atmospheric place and one I would highly recommend visiting.
Posted by CARL
8th August 2016ce

Carse (Stone Row / Alignment)

After visiting the Kilberry sculptured stones (H.S. site) we stopped off on the way to the ferry to have a look at these fine stones, which are visible from the road.
Both fields are easily accessed via metal gates.

There is a single stone in one field - approximately 7ft high. The two other stones are in the field next door. These stones are approximately 8ft and 10ft high respectively. The tallest stone has large lumps of quartz veined throughout it.

There are fine views over Loch Stornoway.

These stones are very easy to access and are a 'must see' when visiting this fairly remote part of mainland Scotland.
Posted by CARL
8th August 2016ce

Giant's Graves (Chambered Cairn)

Visited 27.7.16

There is a signpost for the Glenashdale Falls and the Giant's Grave is then signposted off this path to the left - all zig zag uphill. On the way up you pass a tree that has been planted in memory of Terry, and photos, who passed away in 2013.

It takes 30 minutes to walk to the tombs and you need to be fairly mobile to be able to make it but the path is easy to follow. Once you reach the site there are good views over to Holy Island and the Scottish Scotland.

It was amazing the difference in the weather from when I started to when I got to the top. When I started there was little wind and although overcast it was fairly warm. At the top it was windy, misty and cold!

The two tombs are well worth the effort to walk up the hill. The first tomb you come to is the better preserved and it was good to be able to clamber about the stones and look inside to see how it was constructed. The remaining upright stones are of a good size. The nearby second tomb is not as extensive but obviously still worth checking out. It was no great surprise to find I had the hilltop to myself. I have found that when visiting any site on the Scottish islands / highlands you are virtually guaranteed to get the place to yourself. Orkney and Callanish excepted of course!

It is surprising how some very good sites are not under the care of Historic Scotland etc yet lesser preserved sites are. This site is well worthy of such recognition.
Posted by CARL
8th August 2016ce

Cnoc Seannda (Cairn(s))

This very large mound is right next to the visitor centre. You can't possibly miss it! In the museum they have the Time Team episode playing on a loop when they visited and excavated the mound in 1994.

Also outside the visitor centre is another smaller stone. I asked the lady in the museum if she knew anything about the stone. She said that it was unknown at present if the stone is prehistoric or connected to the time of the Lord of the Isles. She added that a chap was due to visit the site later this year to carry out a dig. It was hoped that more can be discovered about the stone then.

The Time Team dig revealed animal bones, a flint arrowhead of Bronze Age type and a bone disc within a stone-lined chamber on top of the mound. There was found a Bronze Age cairn next to the chamber.
Posted by CARL
8th August 2016ce

Finlaggan (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Visited 31.7.16

Directions:
Finlaggan is sign posted off the A846 south of Port Askaig. There is a visitor center and adjacent car park.
The stone is in a field overlooking the visitor centre. Access is via a metal field gate above the stone.


The stone is a good size and overlooks and predates the famous Finlaggan - home of the Lord of the Isles. The visitor centre and museum is well worth visiting and some prehistoric flints etc are on display. The walk down to the island and ruins, across a wooden walk way is well worth it.

A great place to visit - my favorite place on Islay.
Posted by CARL
8th August 2016ce

Camas an Staca (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Visited 30.7.16

Directions:
Upon arriving on the lovely island of Jura take the A846 (the only road) towards Craighouse. As you start to reach the southern end of the island you will see a wooden sign directing you to the stone on your right (south). You can park near the sign. The top of the stone can just about be seen from the road.

You need to walk back down the road a bit to find the stile to get over the fence. Just to confuse you the sign doesn't align itself to the stile! (It's an 'island thing' a local told me!)

Once over the stile it is only a short walk but very boggy, particularly near the fence where the ground is at its lowest. It gradually dries out as you get higher. The whole area is covered in chest high ferns. This is of little relevance to the stone which dominates its surroundings. The stone is huge, a real whopper. Given its size and location I would assume it was erected as a marker to be seen by those travelling by boat?

Whatever the reason for its erection it is a very fine stone and well worth visiting if you are lucky enough to be able to visit Arran.
Posted by CARL
8th August 2016ce

Holm of Daltallochan (Stone Circle)

Visited 30.7.16

Directions:
Driving north out of Carsphairn on the A713 you shortly come to a minor road to your left (west) which runs past a farm house. The stones can be seen in a field opposite the farm house.

I would suggest you park at the turning and not do what we did which was to drive up the 'road' which rapidly becomes narrower and very rough. There is no way of turning around and you have to drive all the way to the end of the track which ends at a farm - and then all the way back - all the time giving your suspension and tyres a bit of a kicking!

I viewed the stones from the track as the field was full of cows. It's not that cows bother me too much but when I looked at the stones I had the distinct impression that this wasn't a stone circle. I am not expert by any stretch of the imagination but it just didn't look or feel right.

I have visited many stone circles over the years, all over the country, but have never seen one built on such uneven ground. It just didn't look right. Even my O/S map has them marked as 'stones, and not as you would expect 'stone circle'. I have checked Canmore who also only state that this is a possible stone circle. Reading Canmore's comments they too have their reservations about this site.

Perhaps another TMAer can visit when in the area and give their views?
Posted by CARL
8th August 2016ce

North Sannox (Cairn(s))

Visited 27.7.16

Directions:
Just to the north of Sannox is a signposted turning for a forestry commission picnic / camping area. Follow this narrow road until you reach the car park at the end. The cairn is right next to the car park - can't miss it.

Strangely enough the info board at the car park makes no mention of the cairn.

The cairn is approximately 3 metres high x 25m across. The mound has many large stones scattered all around and on top of it amid the long, rough grass. One of the stones lying on top looks like a giant arrowhead! On top of the cairn is a 'standing stone' made up of lots of pretty pink quartz pieces.

This is a nice cairn in a nice spot. Dominated by the surrounding mountains of north Arran.
Posted by CARL
7th August 2016ce

Deer Park (Standing Stones)

Visited 28.7.16

Directions:
Driving north out of Brodick you soon come to the Arran cheese and Arran aromatic centre on your left. Park here (free). Directly opposite is a rough track. Walk along the track (past a house on your right and a lake on your left) until you reach the tarmac road. Turn right and you will shortly see two metal field gates opposite each other. The 3 stones can be seen in their respective fields from these gates.

I left Karen and the children to browse the shops, sample cheese and sniff smellies whilst I walked along the track to the see the stones. The day was dry but it was cloudy and rain threatened - as it often does on the Scottish islands.

I first peered over the gate to my left and easily spotted the single stone, the smallest of the three. There was no crop in the field but it was like a bog all around the gate and getting any closer to the stone would have meant trudging shin height in mud. I settled for the view from the gate.

I then crossed over to the opposite gate and was rewarded with a stunning vista. The field was golden, full of wheat, and out from it stood the two tall standing stones. The stones were surrounded by hills which had clouds of mist swirling around. It was all very atmospheric. No wind and no noise other than a bird of prey shrieking somewhere in the trees and mist in the distance.

I walked along some tractor tracks to get as close to the stones as possible without damaging the crop. Once I got as close as I could I just stood and stared and tried to take it all in. Wonderful, simply wonderful. This is what makes Scotland the special place it is and why I save up all year in order to make my annual pilgrimage to sample some of its delights.

The sign at the visitor centre proclaims that you can 'experience' of Scotland by buying the cheese or the smellies. No my friend, you get a real 'experience' of Scotland by crossing the road and visiting the stones and taking in the wonderful scenery.

As an aside, the cheese is very nice! :)
Posted by CARL
7th August 2016ce

Ben Freiceadain (Chambered Cairn)

02/08/2016 - I've been wanting to visit here after seeing Gladman's photos a few years back. Hillfort and cairn in what looked like a great area. Finally made the trip and wasn't disappointed. The cairn is nice and the view is one of the best I have seen from any of the cairns I've been to, just wonderful. Parked at Dorrery, followed the track up to the trigpoint and then walked across to Ben Freiceadain. Great spot for wildlife at this time of year. We had five ospreys in the sky at once on the way. Sunny visit to a lovely place. thelonious Posted by thelonious
7th August 2016ce

Cladh Maolrithe (Standing Stone / Menhir)

As you cross the causeway over to Berneray there is a hill right in front of you, a small modern cairn crowns its summit. Park, jump fence, go up, pass little cairn and the standing stone is quite visible, at 8ft6 you wont miss it.
A mucho complicato place this(that's Italian, don't ask me why), the stone is tall and fine and by shape almost stolen from Stenness, hoary moss and yellow lichen occupy the upper half of it, fantastic views of distant hills and white sandy beaches.
Now the complicato, right next to the menhir is a rectangular structure, canmore says it's a very old chapel, they also have an aerial picture showing the stone and chapel sitting in a large oval/squarish enclosure, apparently an old burial ground, they then go on to call the whole structure a Cashel, like what they have in Ireland.
Then they say that part of the enclosure wall could once have been a cairn.
So there was much going on here over a long period of time, which is nice.
Just over the hill is a possible chambered cairn, it's not on my map but i'm still kicking myself for not having the time or the wits to find it.
This is very a nice place, we lay down among the wild flowers and watched birds and flying insects whooshing about, rested our heads on the chapel wall, of course we didnt know it at the time.

Something interesting , no funny, is at the bottom of the hill, The Ardmaree stores forecasting stone, a rock on a string.
https://canmore.org.uk/site/300960/berneray-ardmaree-stores-forecasting-stone
postman Posted by postman
7th August 2016ce

Crois Mhic Jamain (Standing Stones)

The two big stones that one immediately sees are not the standing stones your looking for, they are there only to confuse us, and they do a good job of it. The two standing stones are the ones on the mounds, conjoined mounds no less, from the road the stone on the right is still up and the one on the left is having a lie down.
So I think Carl did find and see the stones, he just didn't believe in himself.
Not much else you can say about them, they're small, probably best to go across to Berneray and have a look at Cladh Maolrithe standing stone, it's a good one.
postman Posted by postman
7th August 2016ce

Clach An T-sagairt (Natural Rock Feature)

About a mile and a bit north east from the souterrain Cnoc A' Chaisteal, is a big stone, a large Clach, and seeing as it's on route to the ferry, I have to stop and look.
The stone is massive, it's not set into the ground but rests somewhat precariously on top of it, surely it didn't come to rest in that position, it just has to have been stood up.
Canmore says this...
Clach an t-Sagairt is a large stone block set on edge, facing SE, and measuring 8ft long(I think they mean tall), 11ft broad, and 4 1/2ft thick, with a Latin cross incised on it towards the sinister top corner of its face.
This cross is also known as Clach na h'Ulaidh and Crois Aona'ain.
It may have marked a sanctuary limit of St Columba's Chapel......
None of that negates the idea that it was up and had meaning to ancient man, so I've added it as a natural feature, like a mountain, cave, tree or mole hill.
postman Posted by postman
7th August 2016ce

Cnoc A' Chaisteal (Souterrain)

There is only a couple of hours til the ferry takes us away from this hard yet idyllic island so a few sites closer to the ferry terminal are what were up to now, a souterrain to start off with.
Heading north on the B893 take second left, then at the T junction turn left and go to the end and look left. You'll see a couple of long mounds, the one on the right has some stones on it, so I headed across the field towards that, Eric reckoned it was the other mound, and so it turned out to be, we'll get him stone hunting on his own one day.
I didn't know where the actual entrance to the souterrain was, there's a fence with the beach right below it, from field to sea is maybe ten yards, it wont be down there I confidently assert. But where is it, I look all over the edge of two fields and its not there, there are some half buried stones, and I was beginning to convince myself it was a buried none get-into-able site. But just for the sake of completion I hopped over the fence down to the beach and found it almost straight away.
The entrance was covered by stones, so I peeled them away and revealed a strange little thing. A square stone lined hole no more than 18 inches tall, I stuck my head in and could see that after a yard or two it turns left. Should I crawl in? I decided not to, it's very cramped, I took too long to find it and flies are beginning to swarm on me, they're not midges, unless someone has been doing gamma ray experiments on them, big stupid flies that you can catch in your fingers.
I've never seen a souterrain on a beach before, and I never would have if I'd stayed at home, god save the outdoors.
postman Posted by postman
7th August 2016ce

Shurrey, Sithean Dubh (Chambered Cairn)

01/08/2016 - Easy access from the road (ND 0511 5844, good parking). Only about a 200m walk. Nice views from this one. thelonious Posted by thelonious
7th August 2016ce

Machriewater Foot (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Failed visit 27.7.16

Directions:
Somewhere near the first and second tee of the golf course, next to a house.


This is an odd place. The road goes through the first / second tee and the house provides a further challenge to those of a golfing nature. Fortunately there was no one playing golf so we parked up next to the tee!

When we were on Arran last year I distinctly remember spotting the stone as we drove past. This year I couldn't find it! I walked around the first / second tee and house several times but couldn't see the stone. Although the area is surrounded by chest high ferns (another challenge for the golfers) I didn't think they were high enough to obscure the stone?

In fact I returned the next day for another quick look but again failed to find the stone. Therefore it is either shorther than I remember and swamped by the ferns (but surely that would have applied last year?) or I was looking in the wrong place or the stone has fallen or been removed?

In all probability it is still there - but I couldn't find it. One mystery for the next TMAer to visit Arran to solve!
Posted by CARL
7th August 2016ce

Bowes Barrows (Round Barrow(s))

Visited 4.8.16

Directions:
Immediately west of Bowes Castle (E.H. site)

The O/S map shows 4 barrows. They can be observed as slight 'bumps' in a grass field.

The village of Bowes is small but very pretty. The nearby castle is worth a look and the church also looks interesting. Unfortunately it was locked on my visit.
Posted by CARL
7th August 2016ce

Stanwick Fortifications (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

Visited 5.8.16

Almost 6 years since my previous visit - where does the time go?

We were heading home after our latest adventures in Scotland and as we were in the area ish..........

The site is pretty much as I remembered although the E.H. information board is now looking the worse for wear. The depth of the excavated ditch is very impressive. From the top of the bank I would guess it must be 5-6 metres to the bottom. The bank itself is still about 3 metres high compared with the surrounding countryside.

The sky above was dark blue, the sun shone warmly and as far as the eye could see the fields were golden with wheat ready for harvesting. Across the other side of the ditch were two women training dogs to run over and through an obstacle course. I wonder what the builders of Stanwick would have made of that? :)

All in all, Stanwick is a good place to visit. Particularly when the weather is as fine as it is today.
Posted by CARL
7th August 2016ce

Aultan Broubster (Stone Circle)

01/08/2016 - We came from the stones at Broubster to the north. Underfoot not too bad. We left the circle, heading SW to the road near the ruins of Broubster Village. A little warning that this way was very, very boggy. Still doable but wet. Maybe better from Achnacly, directly west of the circle?

A large circle and fine placement in the middle of an open landscape. A few stones still standing and it was good fun trying to find more hiding in the bog. Enough left to get a good feel of the size of the circle. Nice visit and good site to link up a walk with any of the other many sites nearby.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
7th August 2016ce

Bridge of Broubster (Standing Stones)

01/08/2016 - Only about 100m between these two stones but I was tired by then so it seemed like forever. Nice stones in a lovely grassy area. thelonious Posted by thelonious
7th August 2016ce

Broubster (Standing Stones)

01/08/2016 - Not many stones left standing but it doesn't really matter. Broubster stone setting is good. An elongated horse shoe shaped setting of standing stones like the Great U of Stemster (I think these are the only two like this round here? Please correct me if I'm wrong). Like Stemster, the stones are turned to point towards the centre. I had been looking forward to this and I really liked it. Access is a bit of a pain. We came from the SE, through rides from the Tulach Buaile Assery. OKish this way. Access out of the forest is tricky from here though. Heading south down the fence line, we found no gate so a deer fence has to be climbed to head across to Aultan Broubster stone circle. Could be better from the north. thelonious Posted by thelonious
7th August 2016ce

Tulach Buaile Assery (Chambered Cairn)

01/08/2016 - Described on Canmore as a 'turf-covered long horned cairn of the Orkney-Cromarty group, with a Camster-type chamber.' This cairn really is a good one. Over 200ft long with the east side looking to be intact. Small entrance to a passage on the cairn but looked too small and dangerous to go in. Setting is just great, looking over Loch Calder. A real favourite. This and the nearby Torr Ban Na Gruagaich chambered cairn are well worth a visit. Access wise we followed the shoreline of the loch from the south and then headed into the forest west to Broubster stone setting. thelonious Posted by thelonious
7th August 2016ce

Torr Ban Na Gruagaich (Chambered Cairn)

01/08/2016 - I liked this one. Good location, overlooking Loch Calder. Similar to Tulach Buaile Assery chambered cairn nearby. A fine couple of cairns, well worth the walk. thelonious Posted by thelonious
7th August 2016ce

Carriside (Chambered Cairn)

01/08/2016 - Grassed over chambered cairn. Started from the road to the west (ND 0511 5844, good parking) near Monadh nan Carn. Just follow rides through the trees. Probably just as easy to walk the shoreline of Loch Calder round to the cairn from either north or south. There is a gate just east of the cairn to gain access to the forest from the loch side. thelonious Posted by thelonious
7th August 2016ce
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