The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Latest Posts — Fieldnotes

Previous 25 | Showing 26-50 of 16,629 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 25

Glennan (Cup Marked Stone)

This site deserves it's own page but as there is no appropriate site type (Cinerary Urn (findspot )) in the site type list list it will have to be included with the nearest available site .

It's approx 500 m east of the Glennan marked rocks .

Discovered by a bird watcher ,after publication of the RCAHMS Kilmartin guide .

"NM 8622 0097 An evaluation was undertaken of the findspot of a cremation deposit in an urn within a boulder shelter near to Kilmartin Glen.

Excavation established that the urn was cordoned and had been inverted in an irregular cut into the scree slope below the boulder shelter. The urn is decorated with horizontal lines of impressed decoration comprising twisted cord and bone. Only the upper 0.15m of the vessel survives; its poor condition necessitated the contents being excavated in situ and the vessel was lifted in pieces. All spoil was sieved, resulting in the recovery of further burnt bone, fragments of pot and a single retouched flint flake.

It was impossible to establish the nature of potential further archaeological deposits under the area of the boulder shelter because of constraints of space and issues of safety.

For more detail .
tiompan Posted by tiompan
5th May 2017ce

Kempstone Hill Cairn (Cairn(s))

Just south of Muchalls on the A90 take the third minor road heading west past the Auquorthies Farm. In the middle of the long straight there is room to park at the entrance to yet another turbine farm.

From here walk in a north westerly direction until north of the gorse/furze/jabby stuff. Head west then head south into the gap between the vegetation, looking for a small clump of trees. These trees mark the site of the cairn. To get there it was a mixture of brute force and crawling beneath the branches of the head high gorse until the trees were reached.

The cairn has the branches and roots of trees (and the jabby stuff) crawling on top of it. Its almost as if nature was keeping this one to itself. Cairn material can be seen but the kerb seems to have gone. The cairn appears to around 20 meters wide and is at least 0.5m high.

It might have been difficult to find or get to this place but the next site was to prove even more difficult, on a very warm March day.

Visited 23/3/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
5th May 2017ce

West Bradieston (Cairn(s))

Unlike its near neighbour at the far southern end of the hill, West Bradieston is under threat from farm machinery, equipment and cows. The farmer at Bradieston gave permission to park at his farm and from there I walked about a 1/2 mile south on the minor road. A well used track heading uphill and west leads almost straight to the site, nearer the top it becomes interesting to those who like mud.

Sitting near the summit of the hill the cairn is 9m in width and is 0.5m high. Scattered kerbs and cairn material give evidence to the damage here. It also doesn't help the the cows have turned most of the surrounding area into a mud bath. Still its an impressive area surrounded in prehistory. Tower Of Johnston and its neighbours are to the west with wonderful views of the North Sea/St Cyrus Nature Reserve to the east.

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

Pen Maen Wern (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Probably best to combine a visit with Waun Lydan standing stone one mile east, I approached from that direction, but I cant say whether it's the best way up.

So, the walk starts easily enough at Waun Lydan standing stone, Idwal says the way is pathless tussocky grass but surprisingly dry underfoot, I would go along with all that but I'd also add that the place looked to be totally devoid of life, no birds, no insects, nothing, just one mad postman stumbling round muttering to himself. The mutterings were mostly, god! where is it? how much further? and am I nearly there yet?
I couldn't see the stone from my start point so with limited help from map and compass I just aimed at something in the way and make it up from there, it was further than I anticipated, I nearly turned back, the only thing that kept me going was, you'll have to come back another time, and I really wanted to avoid that, this hill, not the whole place.
Nearing the top of the hill, for that is where the stone is, I could now see that the black shapes i'd seen from afar was extensive rock outcropping, which was nice. Among the rocks I could see the stone, massive sigh of relief intermixed with gasping for air and then I thought, what if it's a trig point? I am on top of a hill, I decided that if it was, and I couldn't see the stone from there, then screw it I'm going home.
Fortunately it was the standing stone, and it was a beauty.
Like it's not very near neighbour, it is wearing a ground protecting wire mesh skirt, which seems to be working well, and the views again are extensive, to be expected on top of a hill. One mile north is Claerwen dam where land rovers climb, but thats a different show.
There is far more quartz in this stone than it's neighbour, it is almost all perfectly white, like a covering of soft, refreshing snow. It is very lovely.
When I got there, there was two things that had been placed next to and on the stone, on top of it was a rams skull, complete with long curly horns, it was quite heavy so I didn't take it home, but I couldn't leave it on top of the standing stone so I put it on another smaller stone close by, it could still see the standing stone and perform any stone protecting from there. At the foot of the stone was a framed photo of a bunch of paratroopers next to their plane, perplexing, did they all die in a crash here in the last two years? did one of them die in action and this was a place he loved? who knows, it was better than some of the tat you see left at some Wiltshire sites.
On a nicer day with less wind and time to spare, this would be a good place to sit and relax some, but I have to go, right now, so channeling the spirit of tough as nails soldiers everywhere I set off across this grassy desert at a quick march, which then turned into a yomp, and then ended as it always does as a stumbling stagger.
postman Posted by postman
3rd May 2017ce

Waun Lydan (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Driving south on the west side of Caban Coch reservoir, look for the end of the lake, there is a left turn by a telephone box and a small car park, if your a good boy, park there and walk all the way, it is a long way.
But if like me, your a naughty boy, take the left turn by the phone box, cross the bridge, turn right and proceed through the Rhiwnant farm yard, real quiet like.
A number of gates have to be got through and it's about here where you'll decide that the track has become way too rough and you should have left the car way back there. Unperturbed I left my watch daughter looking after the car, at the end of a long stand of conifers, and started the long walk up hill.

Proceeding up the track the nearest hill right in front of you is the one you want, the track will look like it's taking you away from where you want to go, passing the car mostly buried by house bricks, wait for the track to split in two, ignore both tracks now and just keep going up, up and a bit more up til you can see the stone.
Avery nice stone is this Waun Lydan, it's about 6ft tall, vaguely triangular in shape from two sides. At the bottom of the stone it is wearing a wire mesh skirt, is this stone a girl then? or, more likely, is it protecting the stones nether region from snuggling sheep, probably the latter.
Most noteworthy are the quartz seems, orange and white ribboning all over the stone, actual crystals are pooling in places, very nice.
The views from the stone are quite extensive, to be expected from the top of a hill, north, and east are the reservoirs, south are bigger hills like Drygarn Fawr, west is the distant rock strewn hill top of Pen Maen - Wern, site of another stone, even more quartzy than this one. To Pen Maen-Wern we go then.
postman Posted by postman
3rd May 2017ce

Blacktop (Cup Marked Stone)

Visited: May 2, 2017

This fine prehistoric example of rock art, a granite boulder over a metre tall, bears over 30 cup-marks on its east-facing surface. On my visit, it was shortly after noon, and the oblique illumination showed the cup-marks to best effect.

Access is by the drive leading to Treetops House. As you approach the house, you pass a tall hedge on your left till finally a grassy path leads left into the field beyond. From here, follow the path for a few metres and look left behind the hedge, where you will see the stone.

The position of the stone is shown by the red marker on the map below.

You can read more about this site on The Aberdeen City website.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
2nd May 2017ce

Barnhill (Cairn(s))

From Garvock Hill I retraced my steps and went over the road, B9120, heading north east, jumping over the western gate. They say you learn something new every day and on this day I found out about the St James Lochs. I'd never heard of them.

The cairn is situated just short of the lochs with superb views north, west and south. Sadly, like Garvock, it is badly damaged, and like Garvock it has a better known neighbour, the Cairn Of Shiels.

Sitting at 8m wide and no more than 0.4m high there isn't much to see. Displaced kerbs and cairn material sit amongst the turf.

This is a beautiful area, a beautiful walk. Having a look at the Tower of Johnston and Cairn of Shiels and their lesser known neighbours makes for a fine way to spend an afternoon.

Visited 6/4/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
1st May 2017ce

Queena Fjold (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

September 2015.Finally went into the field. The worked stones in a pile in the corner have come from the uphill mound/s. My guess is they formed a kerb around ine or both mounds - I feel some of the mounds only appear seperate because of later activity. There are two stones still in situ, the most exposed one a rather large cuboid IIRC about 6" square in cross section wideford Posted by wideford
1st May 2017ce

Beddau Folau (Chambered Cairn)

On the east side of the Garreg-ddu reservoir there is a small wooded waterfall with room for two or three cars to park, as already mentioned by Gladman. Walk back south down the road til you come to the path, a sign states it is a bridleway but I cant imagine many folk take their horses up there, that would be bordering on animal cruelty, like riding round on it's back isn't.
The temptation is to follow the stream up but it is impassable, the bridleway is the way. It's pretty steep going, many pauses were had, and one lie down. Once over a rocky outcrop the path levels out, crosses the small river, the Afon Dolfolau, then heads straight off into the hills.

I knew it was close to the footpath, but I didn't know it was that close, if your wandering round with your eyes on the hill tops you will fall over it.
After picking myself up I scampered away up the heather covered outcrop right next to the cairn to have an over view of the site, something one has to do, surely. It's well worth the twenty yard detour.
Back at the cairn and I'm having another lie down inside the monument, it's stone, grass, earth and ants nest was surprisingly comfy so I closed my eyes for a while, then I remembered my daughter is in the car waiting for me and it took longer than expected to get here, so I arise creaking from my near slumber and set about the place with my camera, it's very photogenic from most sides.
I wont describe the site, photos do that best, but I will pile a bit of scorn on the Ordnance survey for calling this a cairn, it's much more, so, scooooooorn.
postman Posted by postman
1st May 2017ce

Garvock Hill (Cairn(s))

Heading west and uphill on the B9120 from Laurencekirk park at the viewpoint to look down on the Mearns capital.

Head south along the grassy ridge towards the Tower Of Johnston and the Garvock cairn will be easily found, situated a mile from its more famous or noticed neighbour.

It is set in a superb position but sadly little remains. The turf covered remnants sit at 9m wide and 0.5m tall. Possibly some kerbs remain in place with cairn material noticeable. Like a lot of its neighbours the views are spectacular, farmland, the mountains and the sea mixed in with buzz of traffic heading north to Aberdeen, south to Dundee.

On beautiful day like this was, there is no finer place than the Mearns and its prehistory.

Visited 6/4/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
1st May 2017ce

Crugian Bach Cairn(s)

Not including Ty'n Y Graig, Craig Cnwch cairn with cist, there are three cairns here, one a low stoney grassy mound north of the path by a pair of stones. The other two are left of the path that you might take to Crugian Bach stone circle, both have more exposed stone than the lowest of the three, but not much in the way of cists. Good views of valley and hills, cant see the reservoir from here, but I can see where Rhos y Gelynnen stone row is, away west. postman Posted by postman
1st May 2017ce

Craig Cnwch (Standing Stones)

From the south west corner of the woods by The Clyn farm house strike out on the well defined footpath/bridleway south west, first you'll come to a low grassy cairn, about fifty feet further west is a clump of tall reedy grass which is trying and failing to hide these two big stones.
So Coflein are calling this a stone setting are they? the most non committal naming of a site, ever.
A stone setting, yes, there are stones, two in fact, but a setting? does that not mean they have been purposely set in this position. They look like they are still awaiting their uprighting rather than having fallen.
Both stones are fairly squarish in section, one stone is much bigger than the other and would look good as a recumbent stone up in Aberdeenshire. These two are not the only prostrate stones in the area, there are more over the hill closer to the stone circle of Crugian Bach, some mentioned by Coflein some not, but all are hiding in tall reedy grasses. Bother. There are also two other stone rows less than four kilometers away. Brilliant.
postman Posted by postman
1st May 2017ce

Ty'n Y Graig, Craig Cnwch (Cairn(s))

Leaving Elan village on the small road to Llanwrthwl take the even smaller lane south to the Clyn. Either walk all the way up, or drive up to the south west corner of the trees, by a gate and park there.
I'm not quite sure why this site isn't grouped together with the other three Crugian Bach cairns, does having a half decent cist afford one ones owns site, apparently.
From the gate by the trees follow the path south east, passing a low cairn and a pair of fallen stones, the cairn we're after is on a small hillock north of the path, it's fairly unmissable.

Getting up to the same level as the cairn you can see that it's a fair sized cairn this one, from one side it's as tall as me. Cairns are one thing where bigger is better, but better still is to have your cist showing, show us yer cists, get yer cists out, and so on.
The side slabs of the cist are fairly battered and incomprehensible, but the cist lid, the capstone, is still big bright and beautiful and more or less in place, quite an oddly shaped capstone, more hexagonal than rectangular.
From up on the cairn you can see the positioning of the other three cairns, if you know where they are, and the two big stones, and away over the hill the unassuming stone circle of Crugian Bach. Which is where I'm off to now.
postman Posted by postman
1st May 2017ce

Crugian Bach (Stone Circle)

I don't get out as often as I used to, for a variety of reasons, so if I do get the chance it has to be somewhere high on the list, the list has by necessity and my endeavors gotten smaller, the Elan valley is one such place high on my list. I've been near here before seeing stone rows and standing stones, but thanks to Gladman a burial chamber and a stone circle had been brought to my attention. But really just a quick look at a good map shows that there's all sorts of something interesting on just about every hill top. The pretty hills and valleys are a much needed bonus, juxtaposing nicely with the flat concrete of home.

I parked the car as out of the way as possible at SN932633, the top of a farm lane just through a gate by the turn off for the Clyn farmhouse. The stone circle is almost exactly half a mile away south.
The walk starts off with many delays, by way of fallen standing stones and cairns and a cist, some delays are worth putting up with. Then it's fairly plain sailing through the grasses, mires and bogs until you get out into the middle of this particular no where. There isn't much around to get ones bearings by, so I wasn't at all surprised to find that the stone circle was proving elusive, exasperated by the stones lack of height. I could tell I was getting closer when I came across what I presumed were two fallen stones, they looked more like it than the coflein certified fallen pair further north. From these I could see a stone sticking up so I made for that, it was one of those confounding boundary stones, but from that I could see another stone sticking up so I made for that. Tadaa, restlessly wandering about swearing quietly to oneself payed off again, stone circle.

I just cant get into the mind of the prehistoric Welsh, why are the stones so low, big hills, big views, big barren wasteland moors, equals little stones does it? Did they come up with a magical reason for smaller stones, or were they just lazy, was the stone circle fad losing it's power by the time it got here, yes they needed a stone circle, for what ever reasons, but great big super heavy stones, apparently not.
Is it wrong of me to want a Callanish everywhere, surely part of the draw of standing stones is, how did they do it? that question doesn't come up here.
I don't know, I just wish they'd tried a bit harder.

Despite my sizeist reaction to the stones I still liked it here, this is after all a stone circle, over three thousand years old, when three thousand years you reach look so good you will not.
The central stone is intriguing, I think it is exactly that, once standing in the middle, what are they for, some kind of scientific or magical reason or just another trend in stone circle building?
The edge of the circle nearest to cairn topped Y Gamriw has the tallest bulkiest stones, the stones on the other side are barely above grass height. It's quite satisfying pulling moss and grasses from these lowest stones, bringing them back into the light, it's usually best to be above ground, Ive found anyway.
postman Posted by postman
30th April 2017ce

Knockargety (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

Leave the B9119 after Tarland at the first minor road heading north at Leys farm. This road ends at Braehead which leads to the cairn of the same name and Corrachree Hill.

About a 1/2m mile up the road there is an old quarry to the east (plenty parking room), opposite this to the west is the homestead. Although a short walk the terrain is fairly rough as trees have recently been taken down.

On the highest hillock is the enclosure with its hut circle. Sitting at 18 meters wide with a 1.5m ruinous wall the enclosure has the adjoining hut circle on its northern side. Piles of stones are probably field clearance. The hut circle is about 10m wide. This site has taken a battering but it is in the middle of prehistoric central and a good starting point for a long walk.

Visited 17/3/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
28th April 2017ce

Rubh an Dunain (Broch)

Visited: May 19, 2012

The Rubh an Dunain promontory semi-broch is a classic site of its type. All that remains to be seen nowadays is a well built drystone wall, 3½ metres tall, that separates the level tip of the promontory from its hinterland. Probably walling was never required around its perimeter, as it is defended by sheer cliffs on all other sides.

You can read an extensive treatise on this site at Canmore.

To access the broch requires a delightful 5½ kilometre walk from the Glen Brittle Campsite, along the southern shore of Loch Brittle, mainly on well-defined paths. Stream crossing can be a problem in wet conditions, but on a sunny day the walk is most enjoyable.

After visiting the broch, further interest is afforded by the Chambered Cairn close to the northwest corner of Loch na h-Airde.

But the highlight of the day is certainly the return walk towards the Campsite, facing the Cuillin Mountains, surely one of the most scenic coastal excursions in Scotland.

Loch na h-Airde and the 'Viking Canal'
Immediately below the broch is an artificial channel 100 metres long that links Loch na h-Airde with the sea. Believed to date from the Viking era, this enabled small boats to harbour in the loch at high tide (mediaeval boat timbers were discovered on the northern edge of the loch in 2000 and 2008).

It's a fascinating story, which is related in detail at Canmore

Further Reading

Rubh an Dunain Data Structure Report 2009
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
27th April 2017ce
Edited 4th May 2017ce

Cold Kitchen Hill (Long Barrow)

Visited this substantial long barrow in deep Wiltshire near Warminster today. Almost at the top of Cold Kitchen Hill but not quite. Situated just below the brow of the hill - can be seen clearly on the walk up but not from the highest point of the hill. I think there have been discussions in the past on why it seems Neolithic people chose this position rather than the summit of the hill. Visuals perhaps.
A great walk from Longbridge Deverill (traveled by train to Westbury where met by walk friend) then along the ridge to Bidcombe Wood which was full of bluebells and wild garlic. All pretty wonderful.
Not posting a photo of long barrow as can't add anything to Gladman's marvelous sky/cloud photos.
tjj Posted by tjj
24th April 2017ce

Culsten Burn (Kerbed Cairn)

Park near St Nathalan's Kirk for this site and also the nearby Braehead Farm souterrain in the field to the south.

Cross over the busy A93 and go through the Braehead Of Tullich farm which leads to the track winding its way up the Crannach Hill. Today the track was also busy with thousands of male toads carrying their partners to the small but very lovely Culsten Loch, which has seen its dam repaired in recent years.

Keep going until a track veers north west. Follow this until a small clump of trees to the east of the track. The kerb cairn is just before this and slightly to the west.

Sitting at no more than 2m wide this is a difficult site to find. However a solitary kerb just pokes through the turf and heather. Its colleagues are under the vegetation and I uncovered another 4. This is a lovely place with superb views to the south east following the River Dee.

Just after the Braehead Of Tullich, heading towards the cairn, there is a site that looks like a henge or a severely houked cairn. It is in fact a filled in quarry.

This place is rarely visited and maybe we should be grateful as it leaves the toads and other wildlife in peace.

Visited 17/3/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
24th April 2017ce
Edited 25th April 2017ce

Sumburgh Head (Promontory Fort)

17/04/2017 - OK the bad news first, on the megalithic side there is little to see. The good news is that there is now a pop up cafe at the top. Along with stones, coffee and cake plays a very important part in my life so this cafe came as a most welcome surprise. It must have one of the best views of any cafe I've been to. Having a coffee and sitting by the window looking out over Sumburgh to Jarlshof and Ness of Burgi far below - a fine place to while away some time.

One minor bit of bad luck, this is the second time I've been to Sumburgh Head and the second time I didn't see any puffins in one of the best places for them! I don't think they like me.

I'll have to make do with this until next time
thelonious Posted by thelonious
20th April 2017ce

Old Scatness (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

17/04/2017 – I can’t tell you how happy we were when we arrived to see the open today sign. Missed this place on our last trip to Shetland a few years back. Great to make it this time round.

A fiver to get in and you are given a guided tour round the site. The tour was excellent and the site itself is just fantastic. Bigger than it looked from the outside. The south mainland of Shetland has some lovely old stuff to see and this site is a must visit.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
20th April 2017ce

Clevigarth (Broch)

17/04/2017 – Morning walk to Clevigarth Broch. Access OK from North Town, just past Exnaboe. I think you can walk round the coast as well which could be nicer but we unfortunately didn’t have time to try that way. The Broch is really just a big pile of stones now but two cells are exposed in the walls. Location is good and just to the south are The Cletts where you might get lucky and see a fish fossil. Weather was changeable today, sunshine one minute, heavyish snow the next. I liked this one. thelonious Posted by thelonious
19th April 2017ce

Tonga, Scatness (Promontory Fort)

16/04/2017- If you are visiting Ness of Burgi it’s worth stopping by the blockhouse at Tonga on the way. Similar to Ness of Burgi but not in as good a condition. Enclosed by a bank and ditch with fine views. Though near the path it’s easy to miss as you walk past. thelonious Posted by thelonious
19th April 2017ce

Ness of Burgi (Cliff Fort)

16/04/2017 – Just over three weeks ago I was in Somerset, making my way up to Lype Hill. I remember at the time thinking I bet that’s where Carl parked by the entrance to the field which contains the cairns. A few weeks on and at the other end of the British Isles, as we passed the end of the public road, south of Scatness I thought again I wonder if Carl parked there? It’s like I’m following his shadow. Always good to think about fellow TMAers and their trips whilst visiting a site. Probably would have missed this one if I hadn’t read about it on here. Anyway I’ll stop waffling and get on with my thoughts of the trip and site.

It had been a long day so far with a trip to Fitful Head and a lovely walk round the sea cliffs there. Great for birds and top views. After a walk along the beach at Bay of Quendale and then through Toab we got to the turn off for Scatness. I was tired but really wanted to see Ness of Burgi so a quick bit of chocolate for power and off we headed south. The walk isn’t that long and it’s quite gentle. As others have mentioned it gets a little narrow near the end but no problems in good weather.

I really liked this site. Location is fantastic with great views over to Sumburgh Head and back to Jarlshof (a place this site is surely connected with?). The Blockhouse is defended by two ditches with a bank. It contains a passageway and two cells which you can go into (hands and knees job). The walls are good and the site has a nice blockiness to it.

Really worth a visit alongside Jarlshof and the broch at Old Scatness if you are in the area and the three together make for a good day out.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
19th April 2017ce

Ward Of Scousburgh (Cairn(s))

15/04/2017 – We walked over from Midi Field via Hallilee to the north for this cairn on top of Ward of Scousburgh. You can drive up to the summit as well if you have a car. Not the most exciting cairn to be honest and the nearby antennas could detract from the scene for some, they don’t bother me much. The views are very good from this one so it’s worth going just for that. thelonious Posted by thelonious
18th April 2017ce

North Lochend (Cairn(s))

15/04/2017 – Just a short walk south of Longhill cairn is this cairn on a little crest. Biggish but not much showing of any inner structure. Stones used are quite large. There is an odd cist like hole just a little down the slope. thelonious Posted by thelonious
18th April 2017ce
Previous 25 | Showing 26-50 of 16,629 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 25