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Tre'r Ceiri (Hillfort)

Cor my blimey it's been ten years since I was last here, time passes far too quickly, in the end there may not be time to do everything one wants, so this spring equinox provides me with the drive to get out and see a few hill forts. Leaving the house at 4am, the plan is to get to Tre'r Ceiri before the sun rises. I very nearly made it too, after parking in the wrong layby, and following the wrong path, which then vanishes whilst I'm checking on the suns progress, forcing me to pick a route, any route, and go up, I'm getting too old for this shite, clearly. The sun approved of my star watching position, sat amid big stone scree two thirds of the way up and granted me a quick glimpse of it's starry magnificence, before it clothed itself in low clouds hanging over the Moelwyns. It was a quickie sunrise, the sun was as it always is at daybreak, the golden glow wrapped the land in beauty and I smiled my sunrise smile, then it was over, it was like the sun knew I had a few things to do today so it let me get on my way, which I did. I knew early on that I was going up the wrong way, nay, the very wrong way, but it didn't take me by surprise when upon reaching the very top right next to the cairn, it wasn't just the wrong way up, it is by far the hardest.
But, easy or steep, hard or soft, I had reached the top. It was windy, really very quite windy, but it was sunny and the countryside was looking good, the sun came back out and after a sit upon the cairn, which was lots bigger than I remembered, I set off down the north west wall. Until I came into the hole in the wall, is it an entrance, a secret exit, is it originally original, post Roman, or what, I sat here too, relishing the stones humble gift of wind blocking. Follow the wall south to the big posh entrance, wonder in silence for a minute or three, then dive into the interior of the fort to get lost among the houses.
There's maybe a dozen places in the whole of Britain where you can see and touch the past in such a satisfying manner as this, I love the closeness of the houses to each other, I love the size of the walls and the perfect corners, surely there must be some restoration at work here, but it doesn't matter at all, I am far too blown away to dig up such minor trifles. Now over at the east wall north of the entrance where I should have come in. I sit at the battlements, the rocky outcrop that grows out of the wall, from here Mynydd Carngwch has it's most evocative side to me, it has the desired effect once more, bending myself back into the upright position I walk over to some hut circles packed in right up to the wall. Then after a bit more hutting I'm back at the main west entrance facing Yr Eifl. It is now that I must decide whether or not to put into action part two of my plan, climb up there and have a meet with the big cairn, I'm cold and a bit knackered, hungry, thirsty, but whilst thinking these thoughts my feet decide for me and i'm off, striding across the wilderness like a man with a plan, which I aint.

It has to be said that though Tre'r Ceiri is a brilliant place to be, the place you want to see it from is on top of Yr Eifl, god what an eyeful.
Outstanding.
postman Posted by postman
22nd March 2017ce

Nieuwigein (Burial Chamber)

6000 Year Old Skeletons Unearthed in Nieuwigein
(Nieuwegein is a municipality and city just south of the Dutch city of Utrecht)

During the construction of 'Het Klooster' Business Park in Nieuwigein during the summer of 2016, archaeological research was undertaken, mainly by drilling cores to locate potential sites of interest.

These cores showed evidence of a possible stone age site covering some 6,500 square metres, and trial trenching followed by excavation took place through November and December. This revealed a site that gave a virtually undisturbed picture of habitation during the Swifterbant Culture (5300 BCE to 3400 BCE). Sites of this period are rare, and finds here included almost 800 pieces of worked flint, chisels of animal bone, a piece of grinding stone and decorated pottery, including three fairly intact pots, complete with leftovers from meals.

Of particular note was a fine jet ornament which had been pierced with a flint tool for wearing as a pendant. Jet is not found in The Netherlands, so this piece must have been imported, most probably from England or France.

The highlight in terms of finds were three human skeletons buried in a thick layer of clay. Uniquely for The Netherlands, the bones were all well preserved because they had been surrounded by wet clay, and not sand as is more usual in this part of Europe.

In December 2016, the almost complete skeleton of a man, accompanied by leg bones and a jaw which could have been from a juvenile or a woman were unearthed. And not far away was a skull, probably belonging to the latter.

Then, in late January 2017, in another part of the site, archaeologists discovered a third Stone Age grave, which proved to be a milestone in Nieuwegein history, because it was a fully intact male skeleton dating from around 4000 BCE.

All the skeletons were excavated in blocks of the surrounding clay and taken to Stichting RAAP (Netherlands Archaeological Agency) in Leiden for detailed examination.

It is intended that the finds will eventually be put on display to the public.

You can view an 8 minute YouTube video which illustrates the discovery of these skeletons. Although the commentary is in Dutch, the images speak for themselves.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
20th March 2017ce

Alkmaar Paardenmarkt (Burial Chamber)

This is a follow-up to the News Item by 'Sweetcheat'

A 2010 excavation of the remains of a Franciscan monastery that stood below Alkmaar's present-day Paardenmarkt between 1448 to 1574, uncovered a mass grave dating from 1573, the year when Alkmaar was besieged by the Spaniards.

But more excitingly, further research below a layer of drift sand revealed a unique prehistoric tomb dating back to the Iron Age - around 700 BCE.

The sandy soils of the Netherlands rarely preserve remains of this age (not even bones), but remarkably, a silhouette was discovered, in the customary squatting interment position of that era. The silhouette was protected by a coating of lacquer and removed in its entirety for preservation.

You can refer to the original story in the final paragraph of this report (in Dutch / illustrated).
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
18th March 2017ce

Kirk Wood (Leochel) (Cairn(s))

The Kirk Wood cairn is situated to the north of Leochel Cushnie Parish Church. I parked at the church, near another cairn, walked a short distance west and then followed a track heading uphill/north. As the track veered east at the top of the first climb I headed west to the top of the small hill.

The cairn is situated in a small clearing but has unfortunately a fallen tree sitting on top of it to keep it company. There seems to be a good atmosphere at this place and a feeling of extreme old age. The trees feel old and that the area is covered in prehistory adds to the feeling. Sitting at almost 13m and no more than 0.5m high the cairn must have had superb views before the forestry. One of the views to the south being my next stop.

Visited 9/3/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
15th March 2017ce

Den Wood (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

Visited: March 13, 2017

Canmore visited this site in late 2002 and reported a scatter of small cairns. But the forest floor here is a dense jumble of debris ranging from twigs to fallen branches and stumps of an earlier generation of trees making it hard to detect anything. Small cairns could easily be missed.

I used the path shown on Canmore's map as a guide and did discover a likely candidate for a cairn about 7 to 8 metres north of the path. This elevated area was around 4 metres wide and under half a metre tall, and surrounded by several earthfast stones to its south and east suggestive of the remnants of a kerb.

Unfortunately, even on 'Power Search', my camera was unable to check the GPS coordinates.

A challenge, perhaps, for Drew with his GPS compass!
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
13th March 2017ce
Edited 22nd March 2017ce

Knowe of Gullow (Broch)

Up from the Harray Community Centre take the Netherbrough Road, go way down past Maesquoy and The Castle is on your right before the Ballarat House turn-off abutting the road. Because of the conflicting measurements I suspect some belong to the mound and others to the slight eminence it sits on. But most definitely well above head height from the road ! I didn't have time to go on the mound, so I don't know if the outcropping stones are still visible - perhaps they have been used for the modern cairn, thought to be broch material.
I went as far as the turn for Ballarat House, and in the field opposite Gullow is what looked like a banked feature which looks equally Iron Age but must be modern as it is not noted anywhere.
wideford Posted by wideford
13th March 2017ce

Bryn Cader Faner (Cairn(s))

I thought I'd seen them all, all of the sites with that unmistakable 'wow' factor; Brodgar, Callanish, Machrie Moor, Pobhuill Finn, Swinside, we all know them, but then I came here and was blown away all over again, and not by the wind since I had the enviable good fortune to arrive on the warmest and sunniest day of the year so far. Those old weather Gods were smiling on me again; the forecast four days beforehand was so unpropitious (the symbol with a dark cloud and two drops of rain for the whole day) that I foresaw myself having to give it a miss but gradually it improved until I knew that I was going to be blessed with fine weather to make what I anticipated was going to be a bit of a hike. Previous fieldnotes seem to presume a knowledge of the site or an easy competence in map/landscape reading, skills with which I'm totally unfamiliar so although it's pretty obvious from the OS map where it is and how to get there I was still anxious about finding it without more precise guidance. How windy and narrow is the road? Is it easy to park at the end? Is there room to turn round? These are the sorts of questions I want answers to before I set off. Ok, so here's my take; you follow the B4573 through the centre of Harlech until just before it veers left to rejoin the A496; there's a right turn which should be signposted 'Eisingrug' but isn't. Follow that until you reach said hamlet where there's a sign pointing left to Maes-y-neuadd. Take that turning and then almost immediately turn right on to a very narrow single-track road marked as a dead-end. This winds slowly upwards with no real passing-places but eventually arrives at a grassy space just before an open gate with room to park half a dozen or so cars. It would be tempting to take the track just ahead of you but that simply leads to the farm; the correct one is to the right (ie behind you if you've parked on the right) and that eventually goes round in a rough semi-circle until you arrive at a gate with a footpath sign. Although the map shows a path going to the left as the one that leads to the circle, on the ground it's not that apparent with the terrain very churned-up so I followed what I assumed must be the path only to find myself arriving at the little lake Llyn Eiddew-bach. Possibly others have made the same mistake as I was able to make out a reasonably-trodden path that then veered to the left across the bogs and brought me on to the correct path leading directly to the circle. You see it from a fair way away so it's a genuinely thrilling approach. When I got there I was puzzled; in my 'Circles Of Stone' book from 1999 Burl describes it as having been vandalised by 'licentious soldiery' in WW2 with only 15 stones standing on one arc but I counted 26 or so making a virtually complete circle. Has it been restored in the intervening period? Maybe I'm just misunderstanding his description but, whatever, it's stupendously well-sited and unique.
The walk's about half an hour each way; as others have observed, it's tremendously squelchy but so well worth the effort. I went on to see Harlech Circle, Argoth and Diffryn Ardudwy, all wonderful in their own ways but it was the buzz of visiting this memorable monument that stayed with me all day.
ironstone Posted by ironstone
11th March 2017ce

Knock Hill (Saddle) (Cairn(s))

Cromar, the area that surrounds the villages of Logie Coldstone and Dinnet has loads of fantastic sites. Some are in tremendous condition, some have suffered badly in the past, and sadly this site which is being gradually eroded away by careless agriculture in the present.

This once impressive (and perhaps still is if tidied up) cairn sits in the saddle between what I call the two Knock Hills. On top of the northern Knock an impressive kerb cairn, on the southern hill a badly damaged round cairn.

Sitting at the bottom of the small valley this site has a completely different feel. As usual Morven dominates the western view with other directions blocked by the hills.

Slightly to the north the cairn has been damaged by a track used mainly by cattle, next to that a proper track and barrier has been built and to the western side farm waste has been piled up. The south side doesn't escape as that is boggy and has been obviously clipped by farm machinery. Unbelievably the cairn still maintains some shape and height. Sitting at 13m wide and almost 1m tall it still stands. As usual some houking has also occurred. Cairn material also pokes it head through the turf.

Since damage to this cairn seems to have be done recently photos and a report have been sent to HS and AA in the hope (small) something might be done to protect it.

Visited 2/3/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
11th March 2017ce

Gallow House Hill (Cairn(s))

After asking permission to park at the Gallow Hill House I was accompanied to the cairn by its owner who didn't even realise there was a cairn on his land. This didn't come as much of a surprise as the site proved to be difficult to find.

Instead of taking the track, or dried up mud bath, we clambered up the east side of the Gallow Hill. Heading down the other side proved to a bit of a nightmare with head high vegetation meaning a lot of double backs. Eventually we made through to clearer areas. It was all worth it when we spotted a single tree surrounded by the stones of the cairn.

Not many people have been here recently but quite a few have been to the several cairns on the hills to the south, Mulloch, Scar, Blue etc. This is a wonderful site which sits at over 14m wide and is almost 1m tall to the south/0.5 to the north. Some boulders do surround the site but they aren't a circle just some randomly landed stones. Once again tremendous views surround this site. On the way back we used the track which is what we should have used in the first place despite the mud.

From Tarland head south west on the B9119 and take the track heading south, to Gallow Hill House, before the first minor road which heads north.

What an area this is and still more to come!

Visited 24/2/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
10th March 2017ce

Knock Hill North (Kerbed Cairn)

This Knock Hill seems to consist of several wee hills and this site is on the furthest north of them. Several large kerbs stand earthfast to the south, swinging round to smaller kerbs on the west. The north side has larger kerbs which join on to smaller stones to east. Therefore the kerb is fairly continuous and in much better condition than its near neighbours which have taken some severe punishment. In its centre a furze bush takes centre stage amongst cairn material on a site that is over 5m wide.

I parked, asking permission to do so, at Ferneyhowe. Another cairn, to the east, is just along the track which leads to Knockargety Wood, home to a hillfort. From here I crossed the small bog to the north of the house, jumped over a fence and stream heading the same direction. Going over the first hill, down into the valley and climbing to the top of second slightly higher hill to reach my first destination. The other two cairns I'd get on the way back. Apart from the bog, underfoot conditions are fairly decent.

The views all round this place are decent as well especially to the west.

Visited 2/3/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
10th March 2017ce

Bervie Brow (Cairn(s))

Just before the bridge nearing Inverbervie on the A92, coast road, and before its junction with B967 take the minor road heading back north east. This climbs the locally known Bervie Brow. I parked at the West View cottage at the track which heads up the brae.

This isn't a very steep climb up a decent track which is still used to get vans up to various masts. These masts are surrounded in high fences and various buildings suggest that this was once probably an RAF or Navy look out post. There is certainly a more modern building suggests shipping. Interestingly the house at the end of the track is called The Guard Room. Once at the top of the hill be prepared for a shock to the system on a late January morning, I was met with driving winds and snow.

Sadly the cairn looks like it's being kept prisoner nearest the furthest east of the masts. It has been clipped by an out building and looks like it has been houked. Still it seems to keep its shape being 16m wide and almost 1m tall. Impossible to tell if stonework remains as visitors aren't allowed. Still on a sunny day, despite the masts, this would be a beautiful place looking on to the North Sea, down to Inverbervie and the Bervie Water. In fact decent views would be seen looking north and south along the Aberdeenshire coast.

Visited 24/1/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
6th March 2017ce

Malcolm's Mount (Cairn(s))

Somehow and unbelievably Malcolm's Mount still exists to the north side of the busy Broomhill Road in Stonehaven. The cairn, or what remains of it is about 10m wide and possibly 1m tall. Sadly there are no remnants of cists or old Scottish kings. Hard to tell if there are remnants because of all the bramble branches lying all over the place. Originally surrounded by the wall, it now sits on top of a small hillock near a house called Rivendell. A nearby street is also called Malcolm's Mount.

Leave Kirkton Road and take Broomhill Road which heads south west(ish). I parked in the small industrial estate to the right and nipped back up the road, crossed over Broomhill and went through a gap in the hedge.

Visited 24/1/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
4th March 2017ce

Dolmen del barranc d'Espolla (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

There are 10 dolmens in the hills surrounding Espolla . None are oriented towards any solstice event and 8 are oriented towards a part of the horizon where the sun will never be seen to rise or set . This is one of the eight . tiompan Posted by tiompan
22nd February 2017ce

Soussons Common Cairn Circle

Visited 5th February

It’s getting on in the afternoon, so looking for an ancient site that was a) easily accessible, with no massive hike required, and b) somewhere we’d never been before, limited the options somewhat. However a cursory look at the OS map seemed to show a likely candidate in the temptingly close to the road form of the Soussons Common cairn circle.

Heading south from Moretonhampstead on the B3212 we initially missed the turning, which probably in hindsight was a good thing, as it’s a very sharp left turn, which almost doubles back on itself. So turning around in the ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ village of Postbridge, and back up the road, we headed down the lane signposted towards Widecombe.

Within a couple of minutes the circle was visible off to our left in a clearing screened by forestry. There’s plenty of space to pull in, and I scamper out of the car and into the perfect little circle of twenty-three stones.

It’s almost too perfect here but I’m immediately struck by the atmosphere, it feels so welcoming and homely. Sheltered but not overpowered by the trees, seemingly remote but accessible on the quiet moors, pristine but not over-restored, there is just something about the place. An old camper van is discretely parked on a forestry track nearby, and the smell of wood smoke emanating from its chimney, along with the sound of wood being chopped for the fire, somehow just adds to the cosy air of domesticity.

It’s too damp for sitting, but I stand in the circle and ponder, surrounded by the sounds of the wind in the trees, birdsong, and the aforementioned crusty’s axe work. The central cist is well grassed over now, with only the top edges of the cist stones remaining as a faded outline, such a shame that people fail to treat these places with the respect they deserve, but at least this part of the monument is now protected as it slumbers beneath the turf.

Another of Dartmoor’s many gems, the circle is intimate in size, yet still gives a feeling of the specialness of the place. Once cairn stones would have filled this space, but today instead it feels a place of life, a small posy of heather placed by one of the stones showing it still holds a significant meaning for some, of which I am one.
Ravenfeather Posted by Ravenfeather
15th February 2017ce

East Hill Croft (Cairn(s))

I hadn't heard of this cairn until the old chap who lived at West Learney Farm mentioned it when I asked permission to park there. So after visiting Sundayswells and Craigienet it was time to visit this unexpected site.

From West Learney I headed back east to the minor road and went north, which after several severe corners leads back to the B993. Once again head north until the both sides of the road are clear of trees. I pulled in at the farm track to Tillenturk and walked the short distance back down the road beyond East Hill Croft.

The cairn is situated in a small tree plantation to the west side of the road. It is almost 10m wide and about 1m at its tallest. Most likely some field clearance might have ended up here as well. What appear to be kerbs can be seen especially on the southern side. Two stones looking like a recumbent and flanker rest on the eastern side but that might be a vivid imagination. Another large stone rests a few meters from the cairn to the north west. More tremendous views especially to the North East.

A lovely site for a cairn but with snow hard on my heals it was time to head North and back to the warmth.

Visited 9/2/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
13th February 2017ce

Knowe of Burrian (Garth Farm) (Broch)

North of Harray Community Hall is the Netherbrough Road. Just past Yeldavale the knowe stands out boldly in the far corner of a field, at this time swamped by bright vegetation vegetation. If only I hadn't already been walking for miles I would have paid a visit despite the blooming plants. It sits on marshy ground thought to have been a lochan. Less than a kilometre further down is another broch, the Knowe of Gullow.From there I went as far as the turn for Ballarat House, where in the field opposite Gullow is what looked like a banked feature which looks equally Iron Age but must be modern as it is not noted anywhere. Burrian's underground structure brings to my mind two Orcadian sites, one where a broch was built over a tomb and another where the supposed broch was purely ceremonial/ritual wideford Posted by wideford
12th February 2017ce

Dolmen Palet de Rolan (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

This dolmen and http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/18146/dolmen_roquetraoucade.html are on the same hillside , less than 400m apart , much the same height and have very similar views . The orientation of each differs by 100 degrees . tiompan Posted by tiompan
10th February 2017ce

Tibradden (Wedge Tomb)

I've scouted around this area before and always given up due to access issues. We're just in the foothills of the mountains here, so there's maybe a bit more paranoia so close to the city when it comes to strangers traipsing across private land.

I realised from the archaeology.ie map that the 'tomb' is actually fairly close to some forestry and there's a car park in there not 400 metres from the site, so having given up on the Tibradden Lane eastern approach, I flew around to the Tibradden wood car-park.

About 200 metres south, in from the car-park you can walk though the thinned forestry and head north-west to the remains. The field here has been extensively quarried for gravel. I'm not sure that what I found is the tomb. It's listed as 'Megalithic tomb - Unclassified' on archaeology.ie and there are no more details. The only other online mention that I can find is the photo on the link that I posted. I've given this a wedge tomb classification given that Kilakee and Kilmashogue are close by, but I'm not confident that it's correct.

What does remain is overgrown and wrecked. There are some dressed stones and the most visible stones look like a capstone and a sidestone, part of some sort of chamber, though the capstone looks more like one from a portal tomb than a wedge tomb.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
10th February 2017ce

Cluseburn (Cairn(s))

From the A92 head north west on the B967, the Arbuthnott road, Lewis Grassic Gibbon country. Opposite Allardice take the road heading north past Millplough Farm (also past the remains of a RSC, cairn and standing stone), then take the next road heading north west past Craighead and keep going until the road ends at Cluseburn Farm. After being almost blown into the North Sea and frozen at Bervie, Cluseburn proved to be slightly sheltered from the storm. Permission was given to park and up the hill I went.

NO82007628
This is the best preserved of the cairns and sits at the top of the hill in the field to the north east. It sits at 14m and is 1m high. The turf covered site has had a 'fair houking' but still looks impressive despite the damage caused by cattle to the south western side.

NO81897628
This site is down the hill from 8200 and is the second best site here. It is almost 14m wide and is 0.6m tall. An upright stone maybe the remains of a cist according to Canmore.

NO82027626
All that is left of a once massive cairn is a bank or rim that would have well over 15m wide is a circular rim that doesn't reach more than 0.3m in height. It is only a few metres east of the best preserved cairn.

NO81807620
The smallest of the cairns is also the site nearest the farm and didn't receive any mercy from the 'houkers'. It is 6m wide and 0.5 tall. The enclosure shaped site nearby which has confused historians is simply a place were the farmer puts his cattle feeders.

To be fair, the farmer at Cluseburn has tried to protect the cairns on his land. His cattle have had different ideas and always knocked down the fences. During summer the cattle like to laze in the best preserved cairn to soak up (unlikely to be soaking up, being soaked is more likely|) the sun. He also explained about the nearby sites at Millplough, Montgoldrum and Cot Hillock.

Lovely site, freezing day :-)

Visited 24/1/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
10th February 2017ce

Craigenet (Cairn(s))

For this visit I walked north east on a track up Bogenchapel Hill going thru two sets of large new deer gates. From the second gate head north east skirting the flanks of Garnet Hill until a junction with a track leading south east. Split the corner and go straight east, uphill.

With snow coming down every site has a different atmosphere and this place is no exception. I love the snow so an added bonus for me. Another bonus is that the snow shows up the old cairn better revealing that it is at least 8m probably nearer 10m wide and 1m tall.

The views are once again stunning. From here I could see Pittenderich, Pressendye, Morven, Kerloch, Clachmaben, various Cairngorms etc all getting heavy snow thanks to the fact I couldn't see them.

With that in mind and the fact that I live north of here it was time to head back down, this time on the northern side of Garnet Hill which eventually leads back to Sundayswells.

Re-visited 9/2/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
10th February 2017ce

Nine Stones (Cairn(s))

Visited 4th February 2017

There's surely nothing better than a pasty, a pint, and the prospect of seeing a hitherto unvisited stone circle. So as we finish up our lunch in the Tors Inn in Belstone, and I peruse the O.S. map, I couldn't feel more content.

Leaving the car at the pub we head off up the road past the old chapel/telegraph station (honestly!) towards the moor. It's been a while since I've tried to track down a new site with a map, and I'm hoping my navigational skills are not totally rusty, particularly if I'm looking for somewhere on a trackless moor, but at least the Nine Stones looks reassuringly close to the village.

Soon we reach the gate which opens on to the moor, there's space to park here if you want, but it's only a couple of minutes closer than where we left the car. Now checking the map I can see that we just need to head south-west to find the circle. It's been so long since I've been out in the field that I couldn't find my compass before setting off, but never fear, with modern technology to the rescue I turn to the compass function on my phone, only to discover that I first need to 'calibrate' it, which of course, requires a phone signal. Drifting between half a bar and emergency calls only, I manoeuvre the phone around as if attempting to signal by semaphore or perhaps deter a particularly persistent wasp, until just enough connection is made that the compass will now work.

Striking off across the moor we pass several walkers coming the other way, and quite a distinct and well-trodden path to follow. It's a crisp cold day, but blue skies soar above us, and the horizon is given a gauzy, soft focus look by a lingering vague mist in the distance. It's not long though before the stones of the kerb circle make themselves visible to our left, and I realise I probably didn't need the map and compass after all, so close are they to the path.

The first thing I'm struck by is the setting. The granite tops of Belstone and Higher Tors commanding the view as they overlook the circle, the landscape seeming very ancient indeed as you stand here amongst the stones.

Although called Nine Stones there are at least twelve by my count, and probably at one time even more. Nine I'm sure relates more to the sacred trinity of the number three in Celtic myth, as I'm sure does the etymology of the name Belstone itself, after the Celtic god of fire and the sun. Inside the circle there is an obvious depression in the centre, probably the remains of a cist, but it's really the setting and sense of place that affect me here.

Dramatic and windswept it feels remote, but is actually only about a ten minute walk from the village, hidden atop the moor, with the only sign of life a remote farmhouse to the west, a small stream and waterfall glistening as it cuts across the deeper green of the fields below us, and then of course the huge tors, like the fossilised remains of ancient leviathans as they dominate the moor.

Sadly I note that I must have missed the stones capering's, as it's 1pm now and everything is still, but you can't be too disappointed. It's a perfect place on a perfect day, the sky remains, dare I say it, a hazy shade of winter, but Bel must be pleased someone is taking an interest in his stones, as standing in the circle, the gentle warmth of the sun reminded me that the first stirrings of spring are at hand, and as life returns to the land, so I too feel alive here, such is the power still of 'old stones'.
Ravenfeather Posted by Ravenfeather
8th February 2017ce

Corsee Wood (Stone Setting)

I parked at the Banchory Hospital, now almost completely flattened, and headed uphill on a path at the northern end of the car park. Follow the path uphill until the top of a small hillock can be seen a few metres to the north east of the track.

This stone setting could be an incomplete ring or kerb cairn or, a long shot, the beginnings of a RSC. The site is about 12m wide. Whatever it was it had views to the hills just to the south of the River Dee.

Several large stones make up a semi circle with some smaller stones creating a smaller inner circle. Both of these are set facing the south east.

These woods are full of prehistory, including the nearby cairn, sites at East Brathens and a long cairn which so far has eluded me.

Visited 17/1/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
7th February 2017ce
Edited 8th February 2017ce

Kerloch Hill (Cairn(s))

From the ring cairn at Blarourie head south west from back to the track and jump over the gate into the forest (the northern edge of Fetteresso Forest I think). Follow the track downhill until it meets up with another track heading south. Follow this until the trees clear on the eastern side, a weird wooden but 'n' ben can be seen with three outside toilets (they looked like that anyway), until a track veers south west. Until now the tracks have been in pretty good condition. Heading through the trees in a zig zaggy route the track basically resembles the bottom of a very rocky river, other parts have been washed away completely leaving deep ruts so the need for the Nordic sticks is a good idea to keep balance. Eventually the zig zags end and the tree line is reached. After a small climb the summit of Kerloch can be seen to the west.

The standard of the track greatly improves as a wee path heading north west to top can be seen. Go past the two walkers cairns and the cairn, which has a trig plonked on top (as usual) for good measure, can be seen to the west of the summit. How this site like Pittenderich (and a few others) has been missed is beyond belief.

The turf covered, with stones jutting out, cairn must be at least 15m wide and is over 2m high. Possible kerbs are dotted about here and there with a wind break built on the north western side. Stunning views, Aberdeen can be seen to the east, all the way south almost to Dundee, north to all the sites mentioned at Blarourie and to west the Grampians/Cairngorms. This truly is a stunning place! Closer to hand is the more modern wind turbine site to the south.

Thelonius had said this site would be worth a visit and he was most definitely right. With that it was back to the zig zags and the long trek north avoiding the drones.

Update

The site and a report has been submitted to Historic Scotland and Aberdeen Archaeology (who also said they would look into the condition of the zig zag track).

Visited 10/1/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
7th February 2017ce

Blarourie Ring Cairn

Take the first minor road heading east, signposted Stonehaven, on the B974 just south of Strachan. (Cairn O Mount road) I parked at the small car park at the Knockburn Activity centre opposite Knockhill Cottage.

From here head south past the airport for models/drones, past the quarry, until the way south is blocked by a closed gate. From here head east again, go over another gate following the track as it veers south west and uphill. Worth having a look at various hut circles and enclosures near the track. (as mentioned by Thelonius) Just before this track ends go a small distance north to the top of Blarourie Hill.

After spending some time clearing branches and site became clearly visible. At least 7 earthfast stones remain in the ring and a cist of sorts remains in the middle. Sadly people have also used this as a place to have a fire. The width of the site would be 8m plus, being about 0.5m high. Superb views from this site. Mulloch, Shampher, Buchaarn, Tillygarmond and the mountains to west are all clearly visible. The shoulder of Little Kerloch can be seen to the south west, the neighbour of its much larger relative Kerloch.

Visited 10/1/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
7th February 2017ce

D29 Buinen (Hunebed)

Visited: May 3, 2011

Hunebed D29 Buinen stands just 37 metres south of its twin, D28, in the same wooded area. Measuring 7.5 × 3.1 metres, this passage grave consists of a full set of eight sidestones and two endstones and still possesses two of its original three capstones and a two stone entrance portal.

Interestingly, these capstones (one of which has slipped into the interior of the grave) are exceptionally flat, and some archaeologists consider that they were once part of the same erratic boulder. If this is the case, then the hunebed builders must have possessed advanced fission techniques in order to be able to cleave the boulder in two. How is unknown, but one suggestion is that the boulder could have been repeatedly heated by fire then cooled with water until it cracked in two; another is that wedges could have been driven into existing cracks. It is a fact that many of the hunebedden throughout Drenthe are built from stones with almost perfectly flat sides.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
3rd February 2017ce
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