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Glen Wood (Cairn(s))

From the Stone Of Morphie I walked to the A92 and headed south over the North Water Bridge which crosses the North Esk river, the border between Aberdeenshire and Angus. Take the first minor road west to Hillside, cross over the A937 and take the minor road north westish to Rosemount and keep going until a farm called the Three Laws, an apt name.

Just after the Three Laws take the farm track heading south. At the first dry stane dyke go south following the dyke. Just before the trees end, climb over the fence and head through the woods to western side.

Sadly two of the three cairns, hence the Three Laws, have been quarried out, removed altogether. The remaining cairn is in a terrible state. The width of the site is almost 20m but the damage is such that only some parts survive at 0.4m tall. Cairn material has been scattered everywhere making this once fine Wessex cairn barely recognisable.

Despite the sad end, a fine days walking completed by a hike back to Marykirk and eventually Canterland.

Visited 6/4/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
2nd June 2017ce

Stone of Morphie (Standing Stone / Menhir)

From Morphie Farm I headed south back down the farm road, past the recent additions of standing stone, and walked east along this twisty road. Drivers here, like everywhere else, seem to drive very fast. Still I arrived in one piece at this magnificent stone. Standing at 3.5m tall it made me feel small.

With that it was on with the longest part of the walk across the border into Angus :-).

Visited 6/4/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
2nd June 2017ce

Dun Maraig (Stone Fort / Dun)

Visited: May 25, 2017

I parked in a disused quarry half way along the Cuidrach road as the occupants of two mobile homes sat in the sunshine enjoying breakfast on this fantastic morning. The walk down to the shore then round to the neck of land to the southeast of Dùn Maraig is a pleasant two kilometres.

As luck would have it, my visit to Skye coincided with New Moon (on this actual day), which meant that neap tides were the lowest of the month. And to be sure, the islet of Dun Maraig lay absolutely high and dry—the perfect opportunity to make the short crossing and investigate the site. So, armed with two walking poles, I set out across the seaweed-encrusted boulders towards the dùn, taking what looked to be the shortest distance. The poles were a great help in keeping upright on the slippery weed, but the crossing was not difficult at all (stout boots advised, though).

Arriving at the northwest of Dùn Maraig, huge foundation blocks with the remains of four walling courses of smaller stones above them rose above me. But further progress was impossible on account of the seaweed-covered boulders that would have had to be climbed. I continued round the islet, to the southeast along a fairly easy terrace until a dip in the grassy surface above signified what was presumably the entrance to the dùn. Here it proved easy to ascend to the top of the islet's defences. Interestingly, there is no evidence of a 'built' entrance passage, just the slight grassy dip through the boulders. To the east of the entrance, defences resumed in the shape of some particularly large walling blocks, now largely collapsed, hinting that this must have been an impressive fort in its heyday.

The summit of Dùn Maraig is mainly grass-covered, with a splendid bloom of bluebells at the time of my visit. Walking round the islet, it was found to be defended by cliffs the length of its north and east coasts, walling only apparently having been necessary on the lower west and south sides. Canmore refers to the remains of two oblong structures on the islet, and one was just discernable beneath the lush overgrowth of vegetation.

Dùn Maraig was originally attached to the mainland by a gently curving causeway, marked out by large boulders on each side, most of which are now long gone. This was the route I chose to make my departure, and the walking was really firm and easy, much more so than the inward route chosen, and I barely required the walking poles to negotiate it.

For those disposed for exploring off the beaten track, this is a wonderful little expedition. Just one word of warning: consult tide charts (I used data for the Isle of Lewis—just across the Minch—which was the closest I could find) and ensure you don't become marooned by a rising tide.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
1st June 2017ce

Achnabreck (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

Visited 21/5/17: We passed the sign for Achnabreck on our way to the accommodation we were going to be staying in at Cairnbaan so it was with no difficulty we drove back there the next day. We could have walked but that morning it was raining ... heavily. We were undeterred and, after a bumpy drive up the forest track, found the designated parking area.
The information/interpretation boards are abundant and full of useful information. We followed the clearly marked trails up to Acknabreck 1. In no way did the rain spoil the enjoyment of seeing my first Kilmartin rock art panels although my photos didn't do them justice. On then to Achnabreck 2. A smaller though as equally impressive panel. We understood there was third panel further on and did walk on a bit to find it, unsuccessfully. Very much wanted to walk back up there from Cairnbaan - as there is a narrow short-cut road just past Cairnbaan Hotel which comes out opposite the sign for Achnabreck - in better weather but one week just wasn't long enough.

Achnabreck - also known as Achnabreac in Gaelic which might contain elements that mean 'speckled'.
tjj Posted by tjj
31st May 2017ce

Morphie (Cairn(s))

From the farm at Canterland I walked back down to the minor road and headed east over the impressive bridge crossing the Morphie Burn. The Morphie Farm is well signposted shortly after climbing up from the bridge. Impressive standing stones have recently been erected leading the way to an equally impressive farmhouse. Nobody at the farm had heard of the cairn but they all had heard of the nearby famous standing stone.

The cairn does remain. A track heads up a wee hill just to the north of the farm which is fenced containing masts and a small plantation. Canmore have the cairn to the west of this area, it is actually on the east side.

Part of the cairn has been damaged by fencing and also by the making of a road which leads to nearby quarry. Underneath the gorse plenty cairn material can be seen with possible kerbs hiding beneath the grass. Somehow the cairn survives at almost 14m wide being nearly 2m tall.

Perhaps its a lucky thing that not many people realise this cairn still exists. Good all round views including south into Angus.

Visited 6/4/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
30th May 2017ce
Edited 31st May 2017ce

Canterland (Cairn(s))

Canterland is a lovely cairn in a lovely location. Just south of the small village of Marykirk take the first minor road heading east. Take the farm track signposted Canterland, go past the farm and park at the small cottage. Walk a small distance north east and take the first track uphill. Follow this until the fields. Keep going following the dry stane dyke which leads to the top of the Hill Of Canterland. Over the fence and the cairn is slightly to the west.

Situated behind presumably a wee wall and ditch the cairn is over 9m wide and 1m tall. Pebbles can be spotted poking through the grass. The ditch is over 3m wide. Sadly the south side of the cairn has been houked. Fantastic views south and east on a clear day.

Lovely site, worth a visit.

Visited 6/4/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
30th May 2017ce

Carnasserie (Stone Row / Alignment)

Visited 25/5/17. This is a lovely spot - or was the warm sunny day we visited on the way back from the Ormaig rock carving panels. These two standing stones were not really visible on our outward walk to Ormaig - perhaps they were but as we weren't looking for them we didn't see them until our return walk. Walking back from Ormaig they are clearly visible from a distance and stand just below a cairn on the crest of the hill. They also appear to be visually aligned with the cairn on the opposite hilltop (I think called Cairn Baan though not near the village of Cairn Baan).

Great views towards Carnasserie Castle and Kilmartin village - and whatever the reason for these hillside standing stones they would of acted as an marker for any ancient travellers making their way from the coast to Kilmartin.
tjj Posted by tjj
30th May 2017ce

Ormaig (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

Visited Thursday 25/5/17 - the sun finally broke through the mist/drizzle of earlier in the week and it was actually hot. Started walk from the car park for Carnassarie Castle following the directions from 'Walk 3' in "In The Footsteps Of Kings" book (purchased earlier in the week from Kilmartin Museum shop) which also contains a clear map and grid references. Distance 7km/4.4 miles.

Quite a strenuous walk through pine woodland but mostly in the open so not much respite from the strange phenomena of strong sunshine. Much of what was forest has now been felled. Still a lovely walk though, with a cuckoo clearly calling throughout. The panels can be seen on the hillside as you approach downhill and the walk back up to them was particularly lovely with a fast flowing stream below, butterflies and moths scattering before us onto the late bluebells and other wild flowers.
The views from the panels towards Loch Craignish were stunning in the sunlight. The interpretation board at the bottom of the slope suggested that perhaps the carvings were made to indicate the way from the sea to Kilmartin Glen burial centre.
There are seven discrete panels exposed, one with the quite rare rosette design, rings, parallel lines and grooves. On one of the smaller stones just cup marks. Now protected as an Ancient Scheduled Monument, one of the lower panels has names carved by John Campbell in 1874 and Archie Campbell in 1877.

The walk back was very interesting as we took time to walk up to the two standing stones and cairn just above Carnasserie Castle, which was a wonderful spot. Perhaps it was the lovely weather or the slightly challenging walk - this visit remains very vivid in my memory.
tjj Posted by tjj
30th May 2017ce

Borrowston Rig (Stone Circle)

26/05/17 – We started from Lauder on what proved to be as hot a day for walking as I can remember in a long while. Bit too hot to be honest (yes, I know I shouldn’t really grumble). Following the Southern Upland Way, we headed NE past Thirlestane Castle (looks impressive) to the start of the wood just after Wanton Walls. From there we headed north through Edgarhope Wood and on to Dabshead Hill (hillfort & standing stone here). No access problems.

Borrowston Rigg stone circle is about a mile NE of Dabshead Hill. It’s an easy stroll across. Once away from the hillfort, the feeling of the landscape changed to one of a peaceful open moorland with big skies and gentle bird song as we walked along. Head for the old sheep pen, visible from a good distance and the circle is just beyond.

Listed as having 30-32 small stones. We did a quick count and got to 20. Too sleepy to look for more, it was enough. I just wanted to sit down and relax by the stones in the sunshine. It’s a lovely setting and makes for a nice visit on a good weather day.

Quicker access is from Burncastle if needed. Well worth the trip. I was very taken with the whole place.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
29th May 2017ce

Borrowston Rig South (Cairn(s))

26/05/17 - Borrowston Rig South cairn is just south of the stone circle. Not in great condition but it does have two nice earthfast stones in the centre. Canmore mentions ‘cup marks’ on the larger stone but like the marks on the standing stone on Dabshead hill nearby, looked more like natural weathering to me. thelonious Posted by thelonious
29th May 2017ce

Burrow Stones (Stone Setting)

26/05/17 – I like a little head-scratcher on a walk and this site fits the bill nicely. About 200m SE of the stone circle (easy fence to cross), the ‘Burrow Stones’ are classed as a stone setting.

On a slightly sloping area of the moor is a smattering of small stones, not dissimilar to the ones used in the stone circle nearby. If you completely ignore the inconveniently positioned ones that ruin the plan you can get some nice long straightish rows of stones :-)

Worth a look if you are visiting the circle nearby.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
29th May 2017ce

Dabshead (Standing Stone / Menhir)

26/05/17 – At the centre of the Hillfort on Dabshead Hill is this standing(ish) stone. It’s got some lean to it now and is supported by a modern cairn at the base. The stone is tall, about 3.5m and would look pretty impressive if straightened up a little.

Questions marks over its age and ‘cup marks’.

Canmore states that it was erected to commemorate a marriage in the 19th century but also that it was moved there from the moorland near Borrowston Rigg stone circle, so it could have first been a standing stone there. Classified as Prehistoric. Its height is quite different to the rest of the stones on the moor. Old OS maps have the fort marked on them but no mention of the standing stone anywhere.

Large ‘cups marks’ on the stone but looked natural to me.

Worth a visit for the view and it’s a nice walk.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
29th May 2017ce
Edited 30th May 2017ce

Dabshead (Hillfort)

26/05/17 – Decent sized hillfort on top of Dabshead Hill. We came from Lauder via Edgarhope Wood but if time is short it’s quicker to start from Burncastle. Ramparts and ditches can be made out OK. Views very good. Trigpoint and big standing stone at the centre. thelonious Posted by thelonious
29th May 2017ce

Balmakewan (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

This barrow is situated near the B974 and its crossroads with the A90 dual carriageway on the Marykirk side. I parked at Crosspoles, crossed the road, the B974, and walked the short distance south to the barrow.

The barrow is about 14m wide and no more than 0.5m high. Fallen trees sit on top and tree stumps that cause walking hazards. In rainy/damp conditions this area would become very marshy.

Not much to see here but nearby are several good barrows so it has fine company. Somehow I forgot about the cairn at nearby Hatton, that can wait until another day.

Visited 6/4/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
29th May 2017ce

Glenkindie 'Dun' (Enclosure)

This area has plenty of fine sites and this enclosure is an addition to that list. In the past it has been described as a fort or dun and its location is a good place for defences.

It is 32m wide and is surrounded by a wall which at its widest is 3m and is at least 1.8m at its tallest, being 0.3m at its lowest. The whole site is surrounded by a dry stane dyke, built to house a plantation, which gives an appearance of a large ditch. Superb all round views of the Donside countryside.

The nearest sites are the Glenkindie Standing Stone, Monaels cairns/cup marked rock and the nearby souterrain. Park at the lodge near the souterrain and head up through the wood following a hardly used trail. This ends at a dry stane dyke which can be easily climbed. Head south west and to the top of the small hill where the enclosure is situated.

Great site, well worth a visit.

Visited 8/4/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
29th May 2017ce

Corsindae (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

Follow the fieldnotes for the cairn and cup marked stone but this time keep going straight over the hill going half way down the other side. A previous attempt to find this was scuppered by dodgy grid refs on Canmore and the fact that the ring is difficult to spot.

The ring is about 19cm in width and is found on a rock that is over 1m in width/length. It is the flattest rock that side of the hill.

Visited 24/3/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
29th May 2017ce

Dun Mor (Stone Fort / Dun)

Visited: May 23, 2017

After crossing a footbridge across the stream behind Torrin Outdoor Centre, a track follows the coast southwards as far as two cottages. Beyond the second cottage, a footpath can be found rising up the hillside towards Dun Mor. At length this meets a fence, over a metre high, but a strategically placed boulder assists its crossing, and the path continues beyond it into the scrub that encircles the summit of the hill.

This scrub is not impenetrable, and minimal route searching is needed to fight through it for perhaps 50 metres until a stone wall comes into view: this is the latter-day cattle fold that was constructed by destroying almost all the original stonework of the fort. This construction fills almost the entire area of the fort, which is grassy with a number of bedrock intrusions.

The only significant remaining stretch of the original wall of this fort stands in its northwest corner where huge stones reach to almost two metres (topped by a scattering of broken fragments that don't belong there). From outside the cattle fold you can still see evidence of foundation courses of the walling, which was either double—or galleried—as shown in one of the photographs. At the far end of the structure (in the southeast) a few large foundation blocks remain in situ with the modern wall built over them.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
29th May 2017ce

St Augustine's Abbey (Standing Stones)

Visited April 2017

As part of my ongoing quest to visit every English Heritage site I found myself having a week in Kent and a visit to the abbey. I certainly wasn't expecting anything of a prehistoric nature in my visit. However, whilst walking around the ruins I came across two stones which are described as 'standing stones'. Apparently the stones are not local to the area and must have been brought to the site from some distance. The guide book I bought states that they are possibly re-used prehistoric standing stones?

One for the 'disputed antiquity' list I think!
Posted by CARL
29th May 2017ce

Dun Grugaig (Stone Fort / Dun)

Visited: May 23. 2017

During this week on Skye I determined to revisit the amazing Dun Grugaig at Glasnakille, and if possible to find a more direct route to the semi-broch. This time I walked north from the same starting point as previously, and right to the northern boundary of the fenced area (almost opposite the next property on the road). Here I found a stile (which I had used previously, but which simply led into an almost impenetrable tangle of scrub and undergrowth). Ignore this stile!

Instead, walk a couple of metres past this stile, and follow the outside of the fence towards the coast. A reasonable footpath has been tramped here, so Dun Grugaig must receive quite a number of visitors. Follow the path until it levels off at a point where the fence turns to the right and an open area dominated by bracken lies ahead.

Here the path becomes obscured, but actually heads left through the bracken towards the next stand of birch trees. Just walk towards these trees, and you will resdiscover the path running between them directly to Dun Grucaig. Because the birch trees are now quite rampant, you don't actually see the dun till the last moment, when you step out from under the trees.

The map below illustrates the path, including the short dog-leg from the fence through the bracken.


 
With more time to spend at the dun (rather than hunting for it), several previously unnoticed features came to light. To the right of the broch wall (in the interior) is a short flight of three steps, remnant of an original stairway to a second level. Climb these, and you can just catch a glimpse of a section of second-level gallery.

On the left-side of the wall is a promnent scarcement, a row of stones forming a ledge which would have supported one end of the original wooden flooring over the interior court.

The entrance passage is extremely well preserved, although one of its original complement of seven massive lintels has been lost. The broch would originally have possessed a wooden door, and door checks to keep it in place are prominent, as are bar holes in each side wall into which bars to secure the door would have slid.

This is a fascinating site, just five minute's walk from the road. The first part of the path is quite steep and could be tricky when wet, but poses no real obstacle. Good walking boots, though, are recommended.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
28th May 2017ce

Cock Marsh (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

27th March 2017

A recent revelation, hidden in plain sight. I had long suspected this to be a Bronze Age round barrow, with a planned trip to the Thames side bar The Bounty providing the perfect opportunity to investigate further.

Research reveals no less than 30 such burial mounds on Cock Marsh, although a cursory look showed three distinct mounds, the eye drawn to the largest and framed by a magnificent rolling hill in the background.

The hill is best accessed from the back gate of The Bounty, where you can witness a glorious sunset. The distance from the pub to the largest mound can be deceptive, as has been learned from the inevitable running games from the pub gate to the mound and back.

Atop the mound, look south to the right of the hill to see two of the smaller mounds. My recent trip revealed a discarded pint glass which I collected and returned to the pub, an inconsideration given that the marsh also doubles as a grazing field for cattle. The mound top has a considerable earthy divot, perhaps from a combination of excavation (an 1874-1877 exploration revealed finds of flint tools, animal bones, a cremation urn and pottery), and the occasional camp fire by an unwitting visitor. Given the Bronze Age tradition of capping such barrows in chalk, one is given to think that these mounds were more practical than for show and prestige.

All the same, a great find and food for thought to those in the know.
Spiddly Posted by Spiddly
27th May 2017ce

Dun Vallerain (Hillfort)

Visited: May 21, 2017

Dun Vallerain stands atop an impressinve, steep conical hill, a little to the west of the tiny community of An Digg. About 70 metres north of the junction where the service road from the A855 enters An Digg, a good track leads west to a white-walled house.

From the start of this path, head slightly left over easy grass till you reach a gate to the moors, just to the left of the house. From here Dun Vallerain looks daunting, rising steeply to crags that gird its summit.

Here, turn to the right and follow a good path that initially heads north towards Loch Vallerain, then starts to contour leftward around the hill, finally petering out when the slope eases on the west flank of the hill. Now make your way up the final grassy incline to the fort.

There is not a great deal left in situ on Dun Vallerain: around its margins stand several short stretches of walling two to three courses high while on the east, abutting the crags, is the remains of a wall standing up to five courses tall. The summit of the hill, precipitous on most sides, is grassed over and shows little evidence of any walling.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
27th May 2017ce

Dolmen dit Grand Juyan de Roubiac (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

This dolmen has similar features to some others in the area i.e. http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/17864/dolmen_feuilles.html , http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/17863/dolmen_lamalou.html and http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/17865/dolmen_du_capucin.html
The common features are paved floor ,an ante chamber usually smaller in width and length and the use of indented stones at points in the passage and a surrounding cairn .
tiompan Posted by tiompan
25th May 2017ce

Coolcreen (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

We traipsed up a waterlogged lane at the side of some forestry on the north side of the Slieve Bloom range. You never know quite what to expect on these little ventures, and when accompanied by two half-interested companions, trepidation that the discomfort might be a complete waste of time increases with proximity to the goal. This is one of those ones however that lives up to my middling expectations, with some awesome scenery and fairly magical atmosphere.

The first of the five barrows that we encountered as we approached from the west is named a pond barrow on the slightly dodgy entries at the National Monument database. It's very small, quite eroded and relatively dry at the centre, though with the tell-tale rushes signalling that it could be quite wet in winter. You'd almost pass it by as your eye is drawn to the next in the west-to-east line that we followed. This is the most impressive of the five and the most obvious, described on archaeology.ie as a 'mound barrow' and "On top of high ground in mountainous area. Circular flat topped mound (H 3m approx. top diam. 7m; base diam. 15m) with circular depression (Wth 2.5m; D 0.6m) on top with evidence of stone kerbing around depression (possible collapsed burial)." The collapsed, dead thorn tree on the flattened top added to the atmosphere.

We moved over to the middle of the 5 barrows, a so-called 'ring barrow' and indeed it is surrounded by a ring of hawthorn trees. There is a clatter of bushes growing on the mound itself and it's hard to make out, but, like at the mound barrow, there are some stones that may have formed a cist or chamber at one time.

In the next field over are the very large bowl barrow, described on archaeology.ie thus: "Located on top of high ground in mountainous area. Circular raised area (diam 16.5m; H 0.8m) enclosed by a slight bank (Wth 2m; ext. H 1m) and poorly preserved external fosse. Marshy raised interior is unusual." Not far from this a little further east are the very poor remains of the fifth, unclassified barrow.

The records for these at archaeology.ie are incorrect, with the bowl barrow and the mound barrow inverted and the ring barrow description given for the most easterly, least impressive of the five.

We spent quite a while here, only taking our leave when the bullocks in the fields decided that we did have food after all and approached us expectantly.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
22nd May 2017ce

Chatton Camp (Hillfort)

In between Chatton hill rock art panels, and the amazing Kettley crag is this smart little hill fort, well, I think it's smart, so I'm quite staggered that no ones added any pictures or the site.
The entrance faces south east and on the left side of the entry looking in there is some large chunks of masonry. Two substantial concentric banks with at least one hut circle surviving within. Also within the fort is another rock art panel, apparently dubbed Chatton 4, a very large ring has been carved, next to it a line of quarrying holes, but after seeing picture 80 by Pebbles I can see that there was more there than the big ring, so not only am I crap at finding the art panels I'm also crap at looking at them.
I think I'll stick mainly to big stones, circles and cairns, so i'll start with a toddle down the hill to Kettley crag rock art panel.
postman Posted by postman
21st May 2017ce

Chatton (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

Like everyone else I mainly came to see Kettley crags amazing rock art but got so much more for my money.
The parking place now has no long shed at all, black or otherwise, I also never saw any information board, but I wasn't looking for one.
A stile leads one into the first field, there was a poor little lamb stuck under it, Eric tip toed over it then wriggled free and ran off, I joined Eric and we tramped up the hill towards a gate and another stile.
Soon enough we started coming across many rocks and stones, we looked hard, at every sheet of rock and every boulder we came across, but inbetween the car and the trig point we only found the one panel, a very poor performance, if I were a football team I would've lost 8-1, if I were an American president I'd have got impeached. In my defence, there's very little rock art any where near where I live, so i'm more used to looking for big stones, circle and cairns, some of the carvings are quite worn, the light was very bright and not conducive to viewing faint carvings, I cant believe that one myself, either way the big white rock sheet was the only one I found, out of maybe a dozen, very poor. I did find a hillfort no else seems to care about though.
postman Posted by postman
21st May 2017ce
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