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Clerkhill Wood (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

With Storm Caroline for company obviously the best place to go for a walk was Clerkhill Wood near Bridge Of Don, Aberdeen.

From the Bridge of Don take the B997 north west taking the first minor road heading south, signposted Whitestripes (love that name!) and Grandhome. Go past the next minor road and pull in just at the next wood. There is a forest walk and it can be easily found. Sadly just look for all the empty tins (and other evidence of a fairly wild party) and you have reached the start of walk.

Follow the track straight west following the dry stane dykes which lead to Clerkhill Wood, once past the rubbish dump at the start, a very nice walk.

NJ 9078 1190 This is the best preserved hut circle and is an impressive size. It is almost 10m wide with walls well over 4m in width and in some places almost 1m high. The trees standing on these walls almost mark out the site. To the south the front door is almost 1.5m wide.

NJ 9079 1192 Going by my ratings this is the second best hut circle and is only a short distance from NJ9078 1190, only just over 20m to its centre. It also is 10m in width but has seen better days. The walls are about 3m in thickness and almost 0.3m high. Once again trees sit atop these walls.

Both of these sites are just to the north of the track. The third hut circle is to the south.

NJ 9077 1183 On the 'drew scale ratings' this is least preserved hut circle. Difficult to find it is just over 6m wide and has walls up 3m wide which come to height of 0.2m at its highest with trees sitting top. From its neighbours it is 60m to the south.

I walked to the southern edge of the wood, following the track, and found a view of the place were I used to work except instead of an office and a couple of warehouse there are thousands of houses stretching from Stoneywood, all through Mugiemoss (home to quite a few paper mills), Danestone and up to Bridge Of Don with more going up all the time. Sad really!

However Clerkhill Wood, worth a further visit I think.

Visited 7/12/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
7th December 2017ce

Torbreck (Stone Circle)

Why is it that I look at the pictures of circles on this website but then what I actually encounter sometimes ends up looking quite different? I'm thinking Lundin Farm, Lamlash and Gunnerkeld to name but three and now here's another one, the reason being the same in all four cases, namely that they've all turned out to be much more overgrown in the flesh (so to speak) than on the screen. I guess I've just been unlucky in each case, the respective custodians of the circles just not having got round lately to a bit of cutting back of the shrubbery/undergrowth and that's a particular shame in the case of this delightful little ring upon whose merits others have better held forth than I can probably manage. It's also particularly surprising given the care which has obviously been lavished on cultivating the field in which it stands on its little mound, a local walker who I spent a few minutes chatting with aptly describing the surrounding area as being populated by 'The Good Life' types with much evidence of small-scale self-sufficiency going on. Anyway, it's still well worth a visit and I daresay if I come back again I'll find it shorn of all its encroaching foliage. ironstone Posted by ironstone
17th November 2017ce

Gurnard's Head (Cliff Fort)

I think it's taken me this long since our visit to Cornwall yet again, to properly absorb this place. It haunts me. If I'd followed my instincts over the years id have walked the dragons back long before now..only ever viewing it from a car driving past.
Viewing it on tma i knew I'd wasted a lot of time. It was a glorious September day. We walked from the pub. The gently sloping field down to a monster of a place. It is truly monumental. On one side of the cliff roaring raging sea & the other side calm rolling waves. We alternated between being blasted with delicious sea spray & an absolute wind blasting roar to calm white topped rollling waves with seals playing in the swell all in the span of a few metres. Truly amazing. Looking up & down the ridges of this place it appeared to me as a dragons back. I saw what I presumed was a concoction of arranged stones on the way & then thought how could this be a place to inhabit for any time. But sitting & drifting away under the shelter of the uppermost rocks, choosing wether or not to be blasted or becalmed depending on which side of the outcrop i chose was astonishing to me. I know this is presumably a defensive hill fort but this place sent me into a trance with its absolute beauty. It was a particularly balmy day; I'd still tackle it when slippy but be very careful, those spines could be vicious:)
Posted by carol27
15th November 2017ce

Norrie's Law (Cairn(s))

The last stop of another fine say in Fife was at the Norrie's Law cairn with its magnificent views of the Firth Of Forth to the south, Craig Law to the east, the flaring of the refinery at Grangemouth and the River Forth to the west. Some less than superb views of fir trees are to the north. Still 3 out of 4 is pretty good.

Situated right next to a farm track, the cairn is housed in by a fence which looks equally prehistoric. I jumped the fence as if I opened the gate it looked like it might never recover. Despite being overgrown it is an impressive place and with night fast falling the views and silence added to the atmosphere. The flare to the west only indicating how dark it really was, also it indicated how beacons would have worked back in olden days.

It still sits at almost 20m wide and is around 4m high.

From the centre of Ceres take the minor road south then take the first minor road east. After a wee wood take the first farm track south which will lead straight to the cairn. A nice way to end the day.

Visited 27/10/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
8th November 2017ce

Down Law (Hillfort)

Down Law is situated to the east of Bowden Hill but it reminded me of the fort much further east at Sales, near Trieste in North East Italy. The big difference being Sales is covered in trees and Down Law is covered in short grass. Like Sales, Down Law has huge ramparts/ditches all over the place covering the top of the hill except on the north. The north side makes use of the natural defences with other defences being simply attached.

The entrance is on the south side and it is impressive in size. At least 3-4m wide, the ramparts are easily 2m in height and 3-4m wide. More but slightly smaller ramparts can be found to the west. Sadly, clearly visible quarrying has destroyed part of the western section. Even on top of the hill there is a small ditch that surrounds the fort. Also dotted round the edge are boulders which, presumably, would have been used to bolster a wooden palisade. Inside the fort there appears to an enclosure of sorts.

Sadly you sometimes have to wonder at the positioning of buildings and masts, right next to the fort to the north are the aforementioned eyesores. Still they do provide an excellent location marker.

Maybe not as big as some forts, but for Fife this is massive and it made me wonder how important this place was.

As we made our way back down we all noticed that the temperature had dropped considerably. From double figures it had plummeted to down to 4. Away to the north west a friend had texted from Aviemore to say that it was snowing. My favourite conditions are on the way :-)

Normally I would have gone cross country from Bowden Hill as there are no real obstacles in the way but since there was a group of us we took to the road. Head north from Bowden following the road as it swings east until a crossroads. Take the road south, very twisty, until the aptly named Fort Fishery is seen. Plenty room to park, head down the hill looking for a gate near the office and then head back up hill through the entrance into a series of wonderful ramparts.

Fantastic site!

Visited 27/10/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
7th November 2017ce

Bowden Hill (Hillfort)

Bowden Hill has wonderful views of The Lomonds to the west, Down Law to the east, Normans Law/Green Craig to the north and the Firth Of Forth to the south.

Sadly there is very little traces of fort now except for some on the western slopes which are almost impossible to photograph. However changes of colour in the grass give an idea of how large the fort was. The builders also had the good sense to use the slopes on three sides to their advantage. To the east Down Law might have given protection or a place of safe haven. Whatever Down Law was to Bowden is uncertain but it was going to be our next stop.

Just south east of the village of Balmalcolm on the A914 take the next road east which will then swing south. Follow the sign to the small village of Kettlehill and keep going till this road ends. At the junction head north, Bowden Hill being the first hill. At the bottom of the hill there is a track that provides enough room to park. Stunning all round views at the top.

Visited 27/10/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
7th November 2017ce

Lady Mary's Wood (Hillfort)

Lady Mary's Fort must have been some place back in the Iron Age nestling under the summit of nearby Walton Hill. Also in the fort is a mausoleum which is in various states of decay.

Despite the vegetation I thought the ramparts and ditches were easily enough found especially to the south east were there are multiple lines of defence and a possible entrance. Another possible entrance is to the north west, our entrance, with an inner rampart almost encircling the whole fort. Steep slopes to the east also were used in the construction. Canmore must have had a bad time of it but we certainly found more defences despite the vegetation. Perhaps falling into them helped.

Head south east from Cupar on the A914 taking the second minor road south. At the first corner park and look north. Inside the wood is the fort (and mausoleum). Follow the track through the field until the wood. Unwittingly we walked all the way round and approached from near the top of Walton Hill and therefore took a more northerly approach which also showed the steep slopes of the northern section. Near the small lakes eastern end look for a small path which leads straight to the centre of the fort over one of the ramparts we found (or fell into).

From the forts east side take path to the edge of the wood which obviously was the path we should have taken but it was a good mistake to make. Heading back south west towards our parking spot we were treated to beautiful views of The Lomonds, the dominant high spots of Fife.

Visited 27/10/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
7th November 2017ce

Dun Dearduil South (Hillfort)

Just to the south west and slightly downhill from Dearduils highest point, home to the wonderful North fort, is another fort. This one, however, hasn't aged quite so well.

A lot of the walls have fallen down the slopes but rough boulders still surround the fort especially to the south. Canmore suggests these walls could have been up to 5m wide surrounding an area up to 31m in length and 26m wide.

After that it was find a nice spot for something to eat and a easier route in which to walk or fall down the hill. Mr T and myself showing how to fall down holes and Mrs T showing how to stay upright.

Visited 24/10/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
7th November 2017ce

Westerton (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Follow Mr Brands directions and you will find that the stone and its cup marks haven't moved. We couldn't see the man on the stone so presumably he has moved on. Quite what this man was up to I'm not clearly sure but it looks like some kind of fertility symbol. The picture on the link seems get a grip of the situation.

The stone has been fenced in and the entrance is near the wall.

Visited 26/10/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
4th November 2017ce

Caherdaniel (Stone Fort / Dun)

During my planing for the next trip around the Iveragh Peninslua, I found an interesting ring structure on Google Earth near Caherdaniel West.

After checking some books and the great Historic Environment Viewer from NMS I realized that this must be Caherdaniel Ringfort. Actually there are two ringforts (KE106-063001- and KE106-062----) only 100m apart from each other. But the first one is the far better one. As access to the ringfort looked quite easy, I decided to include it for my next drive around The Ring of Kerry.

You can park your car on the N70 at N51 46 16.2 W10 06 33.3 between Ballycarnahan and Caherdaniel West, where there is a sharp right bend and a small access road. Walk along the access road and you can already see the ringfort.

I wonder, why I never noticed the ringfort before, as I drove The Ring Of Kerry several times, but always clockwise. To my apology, I have to say that the ringfort is much more visible, if you drive The Ring Of Kerry anti-clockwise.

Unfortunately while visiting the ringfort, it rained heavily, so I just stayed for a short time to make at least some (fuzzy) photos.

Visited November 2010
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
4th November 2017ce

Cool (Standing Stones)

The name should be Cool East (refer to KE078-007----).

Visited November 2010
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
3rd November 2017ce

Moyne (Standing Stones)

This stone pair stands in the center of a medieval ecclesiastical enclosure, west of a medieval church. Both stones are ~1.7m high.

This really is a tranquill place, in the next field you can see Kinlough Castle.

Both sites are highly recommend and easy to access.

Visited June 2010
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
3rd November 2017ce

Killeen (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Site 15 of the Clew Bay Archaeological Trail is Killeen Graveyard and Cross Slab. Parking and access is very easy.

In the graveyard there is a standing stone, leaning precariously, which was christianised during the seventh century with a Maltese Cross.

Visited June 2010
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
3rd November 2017ce

Slivia 1 (Hillfort)

Follow the signs from the centre of another beautiful village, this time Slivia, once again parking the near the information board. The hillfort is around 600m away to the south east. Once again when the trees clear it is another astonishing array of white lime stone walls. Some of the original late Bronze Age dykes remain which surround the top of this fantastic viewpoint.

The inner walls stand at an astounding 5m high and must be at least the same wide. I managed to walk the 300 meters all the way round with the only real gap being the entrance which is on the eastern side approaching from the north. Even the outer wall and ramparts are enormous. These cover the south, south east and south west. They stand at least 2m tall with the ditch being 2m wide. Just for good measure there is further defence with a dry stane dyke lying to south of the ditch. Just for size it is a mind blowing place, I've certainly never seen nothing like it.

Like a lot of these forts it was used in later wars. The nearby Mount Ermada was protected by this and several other forts in the Isonzo Wars (see Misc) of 1916 between the Italians and Hapsburgs. Trenches and shacks can be found within the walls to the north east. In the beautiful places horrendous things happen and this area has had its fair share. However Carlo Marchesetti, an archaeologist who I'd read a lot about, restored a lot of the fort and is considered the areas greatest historian.

It is very fitting that the fort now bears his name, so another glass was raised to him.

Visited 18/10/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
3rd November 2017ce

Ballynastaig (Stone Fort / Dun)

Sorry for the images, due to the vegetation it was nearly impossible to get better ones.

The coordinates for the site are wrong, here are the actual ones:
N53 06 06.3 W8 51 57.5

Visited May 2010
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
3rd November 2017ce

Sales (Hillfort)

Once again we parked at a crossroads this time in the village of Sales, another beautiful wee place. Across the road there is a memorial to the local Slovene and Italian Partisans so it seemed apt that we were going to visit the hillfort that centuries ago had also defended this area.

Head north from here until the tarred road runs out at a crossroads. Luckily a local man was working on a wall and gave us precise directions to the fort. Go west and keep going following the path until a filled in (by leaves etc) pond, man made centuries ago to help feed animals. Go round the pond and head south. This will lead directly to a notice board which gives info about the fort.

Climb west over a couple of ancient walls until the huge rampart is met. The ditch for this is over 4m wide with the ramparts themselves still standing at 3m tall. There is 500m of this all round the top of the hill. Funnily enough if this fort had no trees it would resemble Down Law in Fife. (a stretch of imagination but reasonable I think.) The main entrance is on the south west and is 3.5m wide. Also in the middle of the fort there appears to be a cairn with perhaps a cist beginning to appear.

I walked all the way round the fort and climbed to the top of the southern wall. Looking down it seemed the whole of the south face was a wall, this must have been an important place and a place of habitation. Land around here seems, nowadays, to quite fertile so maybe back in the late Bronze Age/early Iron Age they decided to stay. One thing they did know about was how to built walls, most of them are still standing.

Then it was back down the hill retracing our steps back to the crossroads. On the other side of the road, a wee pub and fantastic food. I raised a glass to the memorial across the road!

Visited 17/10/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
3rd November 2017ce

Rupinpiccolo (Hillfort)

We parked at main crossroads in the middle of the small but beautiful Carse village of Rupinpiccolo, near the information board. Take the tarred road heading east until it ends then follow a track heading south, marked by white/red painted signs, until the trees clear. This was a very pleasant walk in nice warm weather, the week before had seen torrential rain.

In this clearing there is the astonishing and dazzling white limestone east entrance to the fort. It is a stunning place. On the western side there is a similar steep access probably used to transport large weapons. The walls are gigantic being almost 4m tall and are at least 4 to 5m wide. They encircle the hill coming to at least 240m in length. Further down the hill there is a second defensive wall to the south. To the west there has been quarrying but luckily the locals seem to have repaired a lot of the damage.

Sadly this area, as we all know, has seen a lot of war through the centuries and this fort was used as a gun emplacement during World 1. Evidence of this can be seen on the summit of the hill. Trieste, one of Europe's major ports, is just over the hills to the south.

I later found out that there are three more forts nearby surrounding Rupinpiccolo. In fact all the Slovenian/Italian border area is covered in prehistory. What an excellent reason to go back, which we will.

Visited 17/10/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
3rd November 2017ce

Ardrahan (Standing Stone / Menhir)

This is a phallus stone, unfortunatley when we visited the site, the stone was knocked over by someone (see link section for a beter picture).

The location of the site is wrong, actually it is:
N53 09 27.1 W8 48 29.1

Visited May 2010
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
2nd November 2017ce

Corrower (Rath)

While visiting Corrower Standing Stone I realize a odd megalithic structure in another field. From the road it looked like a big megalithic tomb, so I jumped over a gate to went about 120m up to the small mound to see what I have discovered.

To be honest, when I came closer to the stones, I couldn't spot, if this is really a megalithic object. As some of the stones are big boulders, I don't think it is just field clearance.

According to the National Monuments Service the mound is a Rath (MA040-046----), but unfortunately there is no reference of the stones.

What do you think?

Visited May 2010
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
2nd November 2017ce

Behy (Court Tomb)

While we are visited Céide Fields we also tooked the chance to see Behy Court Tomb (about 400m from the car park). I asked for directions to the tomb and one of the ladies from the staff gave me detailed information how to get to the tomb.

Only parts of the tomb can be seen, as most of the tomb is still buried in the peat.

Nevertheless a nice addition to a visit of the highly recommended visitor centre of Céide Fields.

Visited May 2010
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
2nd November 2017ce

Rosdoagh (Court Tomb)

While driving around northwest Mayo and the Bellmullet Peninsula, we also passed Rosdoagh Court Tomb.

It lies behind a modern house, but parking and access is very easy. Simply go straight on, when the 'main' roads bends right angular.

To be honest there is not much to see anymore, the information board is more impressive than the tomb itself.
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
2nd November 2017ce

Abbeyquarter North (Passage Grave)

If you would like to drive around a megalithic tomb, here is your chance, as the remains of this passage grave lies in the center of a roundabout!

This and the fact that there is also a crucifix and two statues errected in the middle of the tomb makes Abbeyquarter North one of the most weired megalithic sites in Ireland.

Visited May 2010
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
1st November 2017ce

Fenagh (Glebe) (Wedge Tomb)

I think this entry is not valid. According to the NMS (LE029-002----) the tomb with this coordinates isn't a Wedge Tomb, but a Court Tomb and it is called Commons. Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
1st November 2017ce

Commons (Court Tomb)

On our drive from Dublin airport to our cottage in Ballina (County Mayo), we passed this tomb. Because we were in a hurry, I was only able to take a zoom shot from the road.

Visited May 2010
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
1st November 2017ce

Whitebridge (Stone Fort / Dun)

From the hut circle at Duntirhal look east, the first hill is the ridge leading towards the dun, the second is the wonderfully shaped Ben Sgurrach. Compared to Dun Dearduil (see the Thelonius fieldnote) this is a sleepwalk as underfoot conditions are solid unlike the partially flooded track to the east of Whitebridge.

The ridge leads to a wall which still has one or two stones standing, this is also the front door. Sadly most of the walls have fallen down in the surrounding slopes. Surviving wall indicates that this must have been two to three metres wide. At the west the fort is 7m wide and increases to 9m in the east. It is 26m in length.

Happily the fort still has inhabitants. Quite a few brown mice were running about and managed to avoid our boots.

After revisiting the hut circles we made our way back to Whitebridge as the first hint of darkness appeared. Ben Sgurrach started to change its heathery colour. A wonderful end to another fine day in the hills to the east of Loch Ness, this time in the excellent company of the Blackburners :-)

Visited 24/10/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
31st October 2017ce
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