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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

Longhill (Cairn(s))

15/04/2017 – I like to look over maps, especially in the winter months, planning, always planning that’s me. This cairn overlooking Maywick really got me a few months back. Just a little cairn marked on the OS map, probably not that exciting but you never know. We started to plan a little trip up north around it to have a look. Even if the cairn was a bit rubbish it beats staying home ignoring all the jobs that need doing round the house, I can ignore them just as well whilst I’m away.

Early flight from Aberdeen to Sumburgh then a short taxi to Maywick and we were good to go at the start of the walk by half nine in the morning. Weather was fantastic, little wind, sunshine and blue skies, very lucky. It’s a short walk up the track from the road to the west.

From the photos, the cairn might come across as just a few jumbled up stones but it really is a good one. Canmore has it as a round cairn adapted from an earlier heel-shaped cairn. Decent size foot print. The cairn is much robbed but because of this the facade of the heel-shaped cairn is revealed. Also stones of the probable chamber with two lovely what are surely portal stones still standing. Probably just a coincidence but looking out through the portal stones the view seemed to point straight to the distant island of Foula.

Really taken with the cairn and so glad it caught my eye on the map a few months back. Great location and wonderful views. A magic visit.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
18th April 2017ce

Paul Mathew Hill (Cairn(s))

On a day of missing cairns the fact that this cairn remained was a major source of contentment. However the turbines aren't far away as the next hill to the east had 2 in mid construction. In driving around the area I noticed that this wee hill could be seen from various sites. I wonder if in ancient times it was a place of importance.

Good all round views surround the Paul Matthew Hill, the east has the North Sea Coast and everywhere else has (or had) prehistory.

I approached from the north from the Balhagarty Plantation walking north east along the minor road until the first farm track heading south east. This leads to the disused Forth Hill quarry. I skirted along the southern edge and found a track of sorts to a small valley which houses a small drained loch or pond. After climbing a few gates it was up to the top of the hill.

The Paul Matthew Hill cairn can be seen for miles around which surprised me as it is quite small sitting at 6.5m wide and 0.5m tall. It is turf covered and appears to have been houked. Stones can felt underneath the turf. Still, it has a feeling of defiance considering it is surrounded in turbines. Hopefully it survives unlike some of its very near neighbours.

Visited 30/3/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
12th April 2017ce

Tormain Hill (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

Easier to get to than before (no barbed wire to negotiate) approached by a well used path with handy new stile and sign posts at the top.

Following the path that accompanies a narrow line of trees on the Wilkiston road out of Ratho head to the top of the hill past a rope swing, very popular with dog walkers (not the rope swing...or at least i think not) If you like you can get the number 20 lothian bus from Slateford (Chesser) to Ratho then after your neolithic detour go along the canal for cake and coffee at the brilliantly odd international climbing centre.

If you are visiting Jupiter Art Land then you can walk stealthily out through the farm at the back of the estate through Bonnington mains, cross the road and head towards Ratho. Then take sign posted path on the right to tree topped Tomain hill opposite the horribly vast water filled quarry on the other side of the road.
olly Posted by olly
11th April 2017ce

Kenshot East (Cairn(s))

After the disgrace near the trig point on Kenshot Hill I headed east for about a 1/2 mile past some man made lakes. The first cairn is near the fence.

This cairn is badly damaged and sits at almost 5m wide being no more than 0.4m high. Two kerbs remain steadfast on the western arc.

The second cairn is over the fence and slightly further to the east. This a much larger cairn and probably in better condition despite the fact it is covered in turf. Originally this must have been a large site but now it sits at 12m wide and is well over 0.5m high. Cairn material can seen along with hints of a kerb.

I went to look for four cairns and discovered two had been removed. Possibly the trig cairn had been destroyed on the same day. To add to my woes when I reached the gate to look down the hill to were the car was parked the previously clean green grass had been visited by a muck spreader. It was that type of day.

Visited 30/3/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
11th April 2017ce

Blackhills (Stone Circle)

Just after the Queen's viewpoint on the road to Tarland, to the west on the B9119, I took the road to Alamein Farm to see what Tiompan had been excavating. A few yards west from here is the famous souterrain at Culsh. At the farm I asked permission a bemused tractor driver for permission to park, which was given. He didn't have a clue what I was talking about.

From here take the track uphill to the north and keep going all the way, over the gate, until a deer fence is reached. From here go though the gate at the fence to east and look for a single tall tree. The site is just to the north.

The size of this site is breathetaking, the ring cairn had a double kerb. Just outside the ring cairn might also have been a RSC because of the 2 possible sockets for flankers and a gap left for the recumbent. Also noticeable is the amount of stone flooring. When I first arrived my first thoughts that this was a large henge due to the banks of stones. According to Canmore,, these might have been used by onlookers to look at Lochnagar, which today was impressive as it shimmered white in the Spring sun. The site would have had (and still has) stunning views to the circles at Tomnaverie, Waulkmill and to almost all of the surrounding cairns. Pittenderich is immediately west. Also clearly visible is Mither Tap (Bennachie) to the North East.

After phoning Tiompan , later that day (he loves the Doric dialect), I discovered that 13,000 pieces of quartz had been used at the site to cover funeral pyres. This must have been some place. Hopefully more excavations will take place to uncover more secrets.

With that it was time to look for other sites on the hill. These, sadly, appear to have suffered badly at the hands of the forestry people as I couldn't make out any definite structures.

So, eventually, it was back down the hill on a sunny day enjoying the sights/sites of the Howe Of Cromar. The tractor driver continued to work in the fields which had probably been worked on for thousands of years.

Visited 9/3/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
11th April 2017ce

Den Wood (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

Following the directions given by Les I found three candidates for the cairn cemetery.

This cairn as described by Les is almost 5m wide and about 0.5m tall. Some kerb survives on the site which is the least tree covered. Cairn material also survives poking through the turf.

Sadly this cairn has been badly trashed and has misplaced kerbs scattered. Trees cover the site which sits at 4m wide and 0.5m high.

In much the same condition as the previous site but the one I feel would do best if excavated.

Visited 17/3/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
11th April 2017ce

Migvie (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

Visited: April 10, 2017

Following Drew's rediscovery of the Migvie Cupmarked Stone, I took the first opportunity to check it out for myself.

On the map below, the orange marker points to the stone's original location (where it had lain for over a century), and the red marker indicates its new location within the confines of the kirkyard. The blue marker indicates Migvie kirk.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
10th April 2017ce
Edited 11th April 2017ce

Haremuir (Cairn(s))

Follow the directions to the wonderful Philla Cairn and keep heading west until a large rock plate. Haremuir is situated next to this with clear views of the much changed Kenshot Hill.

Most of the cairn lies covered in gorse and furse but the central section remains clear. One kerb sits in place to the north east whilst others can be felt underneath the turf. The site is 14m wide and is almost 0.5m high. Worth a visit if going to the Philla Cairn.

Visited 6/4/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
10th April 2017ce

Knock Hill (South) (Cairn(s))

What remains of the southern cairn can be found on the first Knock Hill crowned with gorse and furze. It is over 13 metres wide and at its tallest 0.5m. As usual the site has been 'houked'. Like the other nearby but completely different sites it has stunning views.

This will be the first site met if the directions to Knock Hill North are followed.

Visited 2/3/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
8th April 2017ce

Migvie (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

The cup marked rock has now been placed in the neighbouring Migvie Churchyard. Plenty parking at the church, which is beautiful on the outside as well as in the inside. Pictish stones are in the churchyard and also in the church.

Most importantly, for us, the cup marked rock has re-appeared and sits at NJ4369606817 near the wall on the east side. It is now in a much safer place.

Visited 8/4/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
8th April 2017ce

Clune Wood (Cairn(s))

Visited: April 7, 2017

Just a short distance east from Clune Hill Stone Circle lie several cairns.

Canmore states: "At least four cairns were recorded in mature woodland just E of the stone circle and ring cairn. They seem to be associated with ceremonial monuments rather than being the products of clearance."

This map shows the 10 metre OS reference square (green rectangle) and the position of the stone circle (blue marker).

The ground here is extremely hummocky, most of the small mounds being either moss-covered tree stumps of mature grassy tussocks. Additionally, almost everything was covered by dead bracken and the usual forestry detritus. In the event, I located just one likely candidate for a cairn.

The mound in the photographs, though, was made of sterner stuff: measuring approximately 2½×1½ metres and not far short of a metre in height, it proved to be solid. And although no evidence of a kerb was visible, probing around its base did hit stone at a couple of locations.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
7th April 2017ce
Edited 9th April 2017ce

Kenshot Hill (Cairn(s))

Went to look for this cairn and sadly it has gone. Probably last week or maybe on the same day as I visited, except much earlier (I appeared in the afternoon). The people who had made the road were still at the bottom of the hill with their various machinery. Turbines are being put up almost everywhere in this area at the moment and the site was probably trashed by the making of the road to reach the site of the yet to be built turbine.

Sadly the cairn at NO787720 has also been destroyed and replaced by a quarry or the beginnings of a man made loch.

This information has been passed onto the people at Canmore.

Visited 30/3/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
3rd April 2017ce

Braehead (Logie Coldstone) (Cairn(s))

Braehead Cairn has superb views looking west over to Morven and south to the Mulloch Hill. Also to the south west are Knockargety and Knock Hill.

Sitting at 21m wide the centre of the cairn has all but been removed to be replaced by several piles of field clearance. Remnants of the centre that haven't been 'houked' still sit at 1m tall. However several kerbs remain in place including the beautifully shaped stone on the south west arc.

From Tarland head south west on the B9119 taking the first minor road heading north. Follow the minor road until it ends and becomes a farm track, I parked here. Head to Braeside Farm at the top of track. Just to the west of the farm follow the edge of the field next to the trees which will lead straight to the cairn and its wonderful views.

Visited 24/2/2017
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
28th March 2017ce

Drummy Wood (Cairn(s))

This cairn is set amongst the Bronze Age settlement at Drummy Wood, most of which is now covered in turf, gorse etc. A winter visit might uncover several hut circles and enclosures.

Luckily the cairn can be still be spotted sitting at 6m wide and 0.5m tall. Several fallen stones are to be found at 10m wide. Once again these are under the vegetation. Underfoot conditions are good as the trees are well spaced. This is a nice little site situated beside some famous near neighbours.

From Tarland head south on the B9119 and take the farm track north west immediately after Tonley. I pulled in at the first sharp corner. From here I walked north east on a walkers track. A small woodland track heads north after about 200 yards, follow this and it will lead, almost, straight to the cairn.

Visited 24/2/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
28th March 2017ce

Leacet Circle (Stone Circle)

The easiest way (but not most direct) to get here is a walk up through Centre Parcs, follow signs for activity centre, then follow signs for the horse riding centre, short walk up the steep hill. You can then follow the right of way down an incline through the trees to the South east corner of the plantation where you cross a stile to a field. Now next bit is not a path so keep to the edge and dont walk on the crops, follow the field along the plantation going due west north west and you will get to the stones.
On your way back through centre parcs you could have a shot on the canyon water slide or the flumes (if they are open) just remember your swimming gear.
olly Posted by olly
28th March 2017ce

Garn Boduan (Hillfort)

I've wanted to come here to Garn Boduan for so long that I cant tell how long I've been waiting, nor do I know how I first learned about it, it seems like we've been waiting for ever to get to meet each other, and when we met (it was murder) the pleasure was all mine, seeing as Garn Boduan is an inanimate object, not alive, or is it. No its not, or is it.

This is the third peak of the day and not the last, and to tell you honestly i'm really quite crackered, things just aint what they used to be. I parked on the B4354 where I presume Gladman did, and started the long walk, hopefully there would be no explosion at the end, unless it's an explosion of enlightenment.
Despite my exhaustion the walk up the switchback path wasn't unpleasant, the trees are nice, the views are nice and the weather is still uncharacteristically nice.
Eventually I reach the fort, my first sight of the forts entrance brought a cry of relief from me, "that's an entrance" I gasped, just as a bloke and his son emerged from god knows where, I presume they didn't hear me and nod sagely as I pass them. I'm in the fort.

Once through the entrance I'm confronted with a superabundance of large hut circles, but I turn my back on them all momentarily and continue up the hill, there's a "Citadel" at the top of the hill and that is where I shall start my exploration of the fort. En route to the citadel a couple with a barking dog barr my way, the dog is barking at me of course, I must ooze postie from every pore by now, but I do what I must and I stride through the heather to confront my noisy assailant, why do some people seem to have no control over their animals, they never told it to shut up once, I still smile at them as I pass, but shoot the dog an unsympathetic glare.
They tell me its windy up there, talk about superfluous information.
When I hear the word citadel, I cant help thinking of The Lord of the rings, Minas Tirith mostly. But here on Garn Boduan a citadel apparently is nowt more than a broken wall on top of a hill, no knights, no ale quaffing, and no needy princess, lots of wind though.
I'm not disappointed though, far from it, sat out of the wind in what I presume is a walkers shelter built into one end of the wall, I've got a good view of the Rivals and my sexy hill, and much more besides. After a good long rest I get my camera out and set to having a good look round the cit, nope I cant do it, it's just the top of the hill, ok, so I'm looking round the top of the hill and it's a bit confusing really. The top of the hill isn't a big place, at either end of the hilltop is a pile of rubble with scooped out interiors and inbetween them a wall, the wall is still very together and good looking in places. The piles of rubble could be cairns, I hear, and that kind of makes sense, but why have a wall join them, confusing.
From on top, I should be able to see lots hut circles all round me, the information board has them all over the place, but the heather is quite high, and though the huts are without doubt there theyre walls are all quite low, unlike those at Tre'r Ceiri.

So I start the walk back to the south west corner of the fort where all the visible hut circles are. On route another dog starts barking at me, I shall call him Barky, Barky the stupid dog, his mistress to be fair told him to stop it and shut up but he refused and barked at me constantly, I sat and watched and waited for them to go, here theres a cliff type thing where you can stand above the hut circles and take them all in, they do look really good, one of them has walls five times higher than the rest, Im guessing, but I think this one is the one folk sit and eat butties out of the wind in or someone likes to do a spot of wild camping in, i'll just build that wall up a little bit.
Even here though on the lowest terraces only those huts in the south end of the fort are visible, why cant we see more? has there been some clearing or restoration work done.
Passing by several well defined but low circles I get to the wall, but it's too overgrown to have the prescribed circuit of the fort,
so I concentrate on the houses.
They're walls are not as tall as those at Tre'r Ceiri, but better than those at Carn Fadryn, so the middle fort has the middle best hut circles, if that makes any sense at all, I congratulate you.
Then lastly it's back to the entrance, there is now nobody round to bark at me or overhear me talking to myself, so I have a good look round, I try and follow the wall through the trees round the corner, but it's all too dense, so I sit for a while on the entrance, it's all very well defined and the stonework is good, and that's about it, how much can one say about a long big pile of stones with a gap in it, it's old and it looks good, and i'm betting much much more, if you reeeally try.
That's it for round here now, it's time for a long drive down near Barmouth for the last fort of the day, I'm not sure I have the energy or the time but I'm going for it anyway.
postman Posted by postman
27th March 2017ce

Periton Hill Barrows (Round Barrow(s))

24/03/2017 - Walk over Periton Hill from Dunster to Minehead. Just north of the trigpoint are two barrows. Little to see but you can just make them out. Go for the walk, which is nice, not the barrows. thelonious Posted by thelonious
26th March 2017ce

Bats Castle (Hillfort)

23/03/2017 - What a great hillfort this one is. Well worth a visit along with Black Ball Camp just NE on Gallox Hill, if you are in the area. Easy access from Dunster. Good sized ramparts and ditch. Very fine views. Even a bench to rest a couple of weary feet. thelonious Posted by thelonious
26th March 2017ce
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