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

Latest Posts — Fieldnotes

Showing 1-25 of 17,160 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 25

White Cairn, Culroy (Cairn(s))

Visited 14.10.18
Turn onto the A747 Port William road from the A75 at Glenluce. Take the first L for Whitefield Loch after around 1.5 miles. This is a narrow lane with few passing places! Continue past the loch until you reach a Y junction at Culroy farm after around 2 miles. The White Cairn lies 50 yards N of the Y junction, in the moorland. Retrace you route to return as this is effectively a dead end.

I expected to see a gleaming white cairn from a distance. The reality was somewhat different. I found the cairn more by GPS than sight.
The cairn is constructed of white stones however it is hidden under vegetation and the centre has been robbed out. A horseshoe wall structure is all that remains.
Canmore ID 62210 records that on the 1911 visit the cairn was being « broken up for road metal ».
Posted by markj99
18th October 2018ce

Upper Cragabus (Cairn(s))

The Upper Cragabus cairn is to be found on top of a small hill on the south side of Oa road. Walking west from Lower Cragabus we headed for the sharp corner at the bottom of the Upper Cragabus brae, just before the Cragabus Burn.

Head uphill and south east into the field, this will lead straight to the cairn.

The cairn is located next to fence next to the Gleann an Dobhrain wood. Sadly the cairn has taken a severe battering with two large houks. Anything that could be used was taken from the cairn which despite everything remains at 8m wide and 1m tall.

A case of 'what if' but still a very worthwhile visit as it has great views down the Oa valley to the east and north to another cairn, our next stop.

Let the fun begin!!

Visited 29/7/2018.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
16th October 2018ce

Cragabus (Chambered Tomb)

The previous day had seen the drive to Oban and the ferry to Port Askaig, Islay. When we arrived it was pitch dark, the ferry was an hour late and it was a pea soupper mist for the drive to Port Ellen. The twisty minor road along heading west towards The Oa memorial provided a test as we headed towards Upper Cragabus, our base camp.

We could have driven through Glasgow and never noticed as the mist was almost zero visibility, it also meant that we had driven past the chamber cairn at Lower Cragabus.

Fortunately the next morning provided clearer weather in what would prove an adventuresome morning. From Upper Cragabus head back east towards Port Ellen. Go past Middle Cragabus and the remaining standing stone can be next to the road on top of a mound near to Lower Cragabus.

The standing stone and the chamber cairn sit on top of the rocky crag called Creag Mhor. Damage to the site can be clearly seen, cairn material has been removed, quarrying has happened and as usual robbing had been evident.

Fortunately there is stone still standing and a lovely stone it is, almost 2m in height. The shape of the chamber can be clearly seen with several slabs still standing in the chambers three sections, the chamber being almost 5m in length. Despite the robbing several finds of bones, flints and pottery shards were found.

The stone would wave us goodbye in the morning and say hello on the way back to Upper Cragabus, or if I left early in the morning to visit 'difficult' sites it would get a good laugh at the various states I'd come back in.

Great start, well worth a visit :-)

Visited 29/7/2018.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
15th October 2018ce

Hatten 1

Only six scattered stones are all that remains from this megalithic tomb. It lies in the southwest of the village Sandhatten. If you drive from Huntlosen to Sandhatten turn left into the road Haferkampstraße and continue for about 150m, the tomb lies northeast of the road on a private field. According to Sprockhoff, the tomb was originally about 12m long.

Visited July 2018
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
15th October 2018ce

Huntlosen 1

Despite the fact the this megalithic tomb is signed from the road "Zum Döhler Wehe", a visit is only recommended for the really enthusiastic (but I think there are some here on this website ;-) ) as the tomb is heavily destroyed and overgrown. You'll find the tomb if you drive from Huntlosen on the K337 westward to Hengstlage. About 2.5km behind Huntlosen turn left into "Zum Döhler Wehe" drive for another 725m and park at N52° 59' 01.8" E8° 14' 30.3". There is a track which leads roughly soutwest around a field, after 100m the track turn westwards and after additional 380m a tracks leads north into the wood (there is also a sign for the tomb). After 90m into the wood, the tomb lies to the right.

As I said, the tomb is heavily destroyed, only some of the supporting stones and a end stone survived, none of the capstones. Also the heavy vegetation prevents a clearer view of the site. According to the information baord the original size was about 14 x 2m. There are some grave mounds in this area as well.

Visited July 2018
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
15th October 2018ce

taken from the information board:

Neolithic tomb

The megalithic tomb was exposed early to human destruction. Today it is one of the less well-preserved Neolithic tombs of the Wildeshauser Geest. The remaining stones nevertheless give an idea of the original layout.

Testimony of sedentary life
Megalithic tombs are considered the oldest surviving structures of northern Central Europe. Until the fourth millennium BC only hunters and gatherers lived in the Wildeshauser Geest. Only the "funnel beaker culture" (about 3500 - 2700 BC) settled down permanently.

They bred cattle, planted grain and lived in post constructions. Presumably, they believed in an otherworldly life and therefore built their deceased sometimes monumental graves of boulders. Those megalithic graves or megalithic tombs (Greek: mega = large, lithos = stone) were erected not for individuals, but for groups and used over many generations.
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
15th October 2018ce

Riggan of Kami (Broch)

The first time I went I came south from the Gloup via a group of minor earthworks only to be stopped by a field fence. Next time I walked the Sandside road and a track runs across the field to the promontory. Owing to its hazardous nature this is blocked by a fence. As I stepped over I saw my foot going below the level of the other, and having short legs and being alone I might get stuck for many hours. But a high-zoom camera worked wonders, wideford Posted by wideford
14th October 2018ce

Corradooey (Court Tomb)

I had an appointment in a hotel in Letterkenny and it finished earlier than I had expected. Usually if I'm traveling that far I'll have done an itinerary and have my maps with me, but as I thought I'd be in the hotel until nightfall, I hadn't bothered. Now I had about 2 and a half hours of daylight to spare so I typed in Drumskinny stone circle into Google Maps and headed off. It was 50 minutes away and was going to add 30 minutes to my three hour journey home but what the hell.

I headed out the Letterkenny to Ballybofey road but was traveling almost blind as I'd never been in this part of the country. I kept pretty much to the GM directions but peered over any hedgerows I could to see if there any wayward sites. After about 25 minutes and heading downhill towards some forestry I noticed a bunch of upright stones beside a field wall about 50 metres into a field on my left. I was fairly moving it but jammed on a bit past and out of sight of the site. The speed limit sign I parked beside was in mph and as I left the car and headed back, there was one in kph – I was right on the border.

The border-line runs right through this tomb. It is not mentioned in the Survey of the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland, Vol. VI, County Donegal but is mentioned in the Archaeological Inventory of County Donegal. It is very much a court tomb and is a wrecked mess that could do with a bit of tidying up. The remains of the court lie mostly in Donegal but most of the tomb, with an ante-chamber, a full chamber entranced through a classic pair of jambstones and a completely destroyed sub-chamber are in Tyrone. Indeed, the only online mention I can find for this calls it Garvagh, and places it in that townland in Tyrone. It's mentioned in the inventory section of Tomb Travel, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency SMR number TYR 015:005.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
14th October 2018ce

The Longstone of Mottistone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

As this is the only remaining neolithic long barrow on the IoW it was a must to visit whilst spending a few days there earlier in the week. We accessed it by taking an uphill, woodland hollow-way track from the back entrance to the small old church (also worth a visit for the wildlife churchyard). Road on a blind bend so cross with care.

The now faded interpretation board told us it is 6,000 years old and that the stones had been moved from their original position by the end of the 1800s. The long barrow remained intact until the 1700s when it was disturbed by quarrying and later by excavations in 1850 and 1956.
tjj Posted by tjj
12th October 2018ce

Burpham Camp (Promontory Fort)

As Carl says, there's not a great deal to see here as the interior of the fort has been used for farming for centuries and any trace of earthworks at the Northern end near the pub have all but disappeared. No other earthworks were necessary as when this fort first came into being it would have been surrounded on three sides by either the sea or the flood plains of the River Arun. Indeed the Arun and one of it's tributaries still surround it. Later on it was a Saxon Burh and now just adjoined to a quaint little Sussex village, though worthy of being bombed by the Luftwaffe in WW2 apparently. A R Cane Posted by A R Cane
11th October 2018ce

The Grey Man (Natural Rock Feature)

Visited 16.05.15.
The Grey Man lives at NX 436 845, in the middle of nowhere. To find him requires good map and compass work or a GPS.
I followed the Loch Valley Route. Avoid the first Merrick path, continue down the road, cross a bridge and bear left at the Loch Valley sign. The path was defined but boggy in places, continuing upwards towards Loch Valley, then Loch Neldricken. From here head N over boggy ground towards the small Loch Arrow. Continue N to climb Craig Neldricken. Loch Enoch lies straight ahead, a substantial body of water. When you reach the loch head turn L round the shore. Look out for a valley between two rigs, heading SW. Hug the R side of the valley until you emerge into the expansive Rig of the Gloon. The Grey Man should be on your R, silhouetted on Benyallery.
I retraced my steps to return, however it is possible to head for the summit of The Merrick and return by the Benyallery and Culsharg Bothy route given a long day and plenty of energy.
Posted by markj99
8th October 2018ce

Düste (Passage Grave)

In the fall of 1984, large stones that disturbed plowing on a field near Düste were to be removed. It turned out that these were the remains of a megalithic grave, which were immediately examined by an official excavation. Unfortunately, the chamber had been ransacked earlier by grave robbers, but it still found remains of 60 clay pots, an arrowhead and a stone ax.

The tomb was then transferred to the northwest edge of Barnstorf to the Walsener ponds, whereby not only supporting and cover stones, but also the soil paving were restored. A shattered stone was replaced by a foreign stone, the original fragments are still next to the chamber. The chamber measures 5.2 x 1.5 m inside. Of the original four capstones only two are preserved.

Visited July 2018
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
7th October 2018ce

Esgair Beddau, Cwmdeuddwr (Cairn(s))

Ah, Cwmdeuddwr. So, what's in a name? Now whilst Welsh speakers will no doubt already have a pretty good idea where I'm heading, those unfamiliar with the vernacular, but nonetheless harbouring a fascination with language, with words... may be interested to discover the prosaic epithet transposed to my mother tongue as 'Valley of the Two Waters'. Or something like that. It would be churlish to deny that there certainly is a lot of water in these parts; however my understanding is we're concerned with two rivers here: the Afon Ystwyth and Afon Elan. Not house hold names to the uninitiated, perhaps, particularly with that superstar of UK rivers - the mighty Wye - flowing a few miles to the east, en route from its enigmatic birth upon Pumlumon to subsequently caress the less rugged landscape of blighty. However it is fair to say both of the underlings have their moments: the nascent Ystwyth undertaking an initial alacritous, youthful cascade through Cwm Ystwyth to finally merge with the Irish Sea at Aberystwyth... clearly with nothing more to prove - an analogy for life itself maybe?; the Elan, flowing in the opposite direction, of course gives rise, in a quite literal sense, to the wondrous water world of the Elan Valley Reservoirs so beloved of travellers and tourists alike. Mind you, I'd wager even Costner couldn't find 'Dry Land' here in Mid Wales.

Yeah, water. For me, one of the signature features of the Cwmdeuddwr Hills is the supporting cast of a myriad crystal clear streams feeding the ever-demanding reservoirs. Arguably, few offer a more impressive spectacle than the Nant Cletwr where discharging into the Craig Goch Reservoir, here spanned by an old stone bridge carrying tourists upon their motor itineraries looping back toward Rhayader. Now, according to a scrawled annotation upon my somewhat distressed map, I stopped here on 15/4/95 and duly observed: 'Good valley and falls'. 23 years later... a stone track leading westward along the northern bank to the (now derelict) farmstead of Lluest Abercaethon beckons the curious traveller onward into the unknown. Should he feel so inclined. I do, as it happens. Well, as Einstein once famously said, "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious....". Now, whether or not one believes in the faster-than-light neutrino, I reckon Al had 'beauty' bang to rights.

Speaking of which the track, although traversing a working landscape devoted to sheep husbandry, as you might expect in Wales, is not without aesthetic appeal, this courtesy of the aforementioned river. The farm buildings stand in stark profile at the head of the cwm, roofless, gaping door and windows in drystone walls inviting - or rather compelling - the traveller to enter and view what was once a glowing, vibrant hearth in curiously hushed reverence. Beyond the stock control paraphernalia and fence lines: the open hillside. Here, at SN87156877, my map shows.... bugger all. However owners of the latest 1:25K version will note a 'mound' at said spot. I prefer the much more enigmatic 'Tumulus', but there you are. To be honest this is but splitting hairs, not that I've much to spare myself, you understand, since Coflein has no doubt that this represents the remains of a round barrow. A pretty substantial, impressive one, too. Furthermore, the monument has no corresponding issue with 'top cover', duly sporting a mop of that ubiquitous 'tussocky' Mid Walian grass so luxuriant that even Boris might well consider reaching for the shears. When not spouting shite about Brexit, that is. It's all that rain, see? Whatever, it surely doesn't take an Einstein to deduce that the sight of early morning light illuminating the round barrow is infinitely preferable to that upon Mr Johnson's napper? Theoretically speaking... not that I've experienced the latter. The barrow's positioning is excellent: surrounded - nay, encircled - by the bleak, clean lines of the grassy ridges of Cwmdeuddwr stretching away into the hinterland, the latter strangely inviting under blue skies. A natural amphitheatre.

So, that's the 'easy bit' over, then. Yeah, tell me about it. No more tracks to ease a Citizen Cairn'd's progress across this brutally uncompromising landscape. To the (very) approx north-west one of the aforementioned ridges, Esgair Beddau, is my next objective, the site of two obscure cairns. Again, these are absent from my map but highlighted upon the new in that wondrous 'antiquarian' typeface. Don't you just love it? Now this is the point where I reacquaint myself with the equally wondrous Nant Cletwr, the erosive action of the river across millennia ensuring I must descend steeply to, then step over its nascent flow prior to undertaking an equally abrupt upward scramble beyond. Suffice to say the cairns are not exactly upstanding. However, upon electing to follow the vague ghost of a sheep track to the west, I finally notice an orthostat peeping above the grass. This belongs to the western of the pair; there are more uprights, albeit of lesser size, it being - in my opinion - fair to state the sum of the whole representing a former kerb. There is also what appears to be the remains of a cist, although in no great repair. The companion cairn, a short distance to the approx east, lacks the surviving orthostats of its neighbouring monument, but compensates the traveller with a more obvious cist element... if still not conclusive. But there you are. It is the overwhelming sense of place which engulfs here, not the archaeology.

Needless to say both cairns share the same 'other worldly' vibe, their lack of stony profile ensuring the gaze is drawn upward to focus upon the billowing, white galleons of cloud... advancing across a disconcertingly blue canvas in stately procession. Yeah, it's more or less impossible to think of mundane topics in such an environment. Not with the 'big picture' quite literally before my very eyes. Such vibrant colour can not last, of course, as Winsor apparently noted to JMWT himself. So one must enjoy the moment. Time flies, as it always seems to do 'up here'; however, loathe not to explore further, I decide to continue my ascent to the west and, upon circling around the headwall, return to the car via Trumau across the cwm. Looks easy on the map - even an old one - and, for that matter, on the ground, too. However half way 'round I find myself cursing the lack of any kind of path whatsoever... whilst simultaneously revelling in the fact of their very absence. Now this may seem paradoxical, absurd even? Maybe. But then perhaps having the opportunity to experience a landscape so raw, so uncompromising, yet within scope of an average punter is the prime reason, the whole point of coming to Cwmdeuddwr. Truly, it is the Green Desert. Only with water. Lots of water.

I arrive back at the car, intent upon sleeping below the source of the Ystwyth, with satiated questions duly replaced by yet more to ponder. The mystery of why I love these bleak uplands still very much undiminished. I hope Einstein would've approved of the harmonious equilibrium of the universe remaining intact. If not Mick Jones.
7th October 2018ce
Edited 9th October 2018ce

Mid Gleniron I and II (Chambered Tomb)

Visited 04.10.18

Following in GLADMAN's footsteps there were two coincidences. I ran into a friendly farmer but forgot to ask his name. He was relaxed about me visiting the cairns. Secondly I also had "bovine bovver". Mid Gleniron I & II are in the same field 100 yards apart. Mid Gleniron II is close to the dyke but Mid Gleniron I is in the middle of the field. Mid Gleniron I was surrounded by a large bull and beef cattle. I have visited it before so I reluctantly decided to miss it out this time. However Mid Gleniron II was close to the dyke so I explored it instead. It has been extensively robbed out but I did discover a Bullean stone near the top of the cairn as a bonus.
Canmore ID 61594 gives an interesting overview of Mid Gleniron I's evolution through time. Canmore ID 61608 tells the sad tale of Mid Gleniron II's decline.
Posted by markj99
7th October 2018ce

Beinn Ghott Cairn (Kerbed Cairn)

Visited 29.08.18

Parking is available in a large roadside lay-by 500m from Dun Beinn Ghott on the way from Gott to Scarinish. Head for the old military building then veer left to the summit of the dun. Looking S from the summit a medium sized stone can be seen in the field 100m away.
On approach I found a round cairn 5m across, 1m high with a prominent Kerb Stone.
There was another cairn 50m further S however I thought that this was a natural cairn.
Posted by markj99
5th October 2018ce
Edited 6th October 2018ce

Maryholm Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

This stone is marked on the online 1850 OS map of Dumfries. It now lies prostrate and broken and may have done so for a very long time, It is 4'6" long and it may well have been a 'coo scratcher'. Nevertheless, it is still there and deserves to be recorded. It is easily accessible on signposted walking route along the flat west bank of the River Nith opposite Nunholm Rd. The photos show it's position in relation to the opposite bank and it is close to an existing large tree. Though the field often has cows and sheep - they are generally friendly enough. Just wave your arms if they get too nosey and keep any dogs under close control. new abbey Posted by new abbey
4th October 2018ce

White Cairn, Boreland (Cairn(s))

Visited 15.09.18

See Boreland for directions to Car Park NX 3575 5797. Drive on the B7052 Sorbie for 50 yards, turn R onto a single track road. After approximately half a mile, park in a gateway to the L from which the Boreland Standing Stones can be seen, 150 yards to the N.
The cairn can easily be visited after Boreland Standing Stones. The White Cairn, Boreland lies in a concealed hollow 200 yards N of the two stones.
The cairn is around 30m across by 2m high. The cairn's earth bank is well preserved in places however the summit plateau has many scattered stones.
Posted by markj99
4th October 2018ce

Cerrig Cewri (Round Cairn)

There is, I reckon it's fair to say, a widespread view prevalent amongst the 'hillwalking fraternity' assuming a direct correlation between increasing height above OD and quality of 'outdoor experience'... to resort to the annoying modern parlance. Now whilst I'll happily concede there is some merit in this outlook - altitude does, after all, tend to help eliminate periphery obstructions to far reaching vistas, not to mention progressively isolate the potentially transcendental 'up there' from the everyday, humdrum 'down here' - my experience over the course of some 30 odd years inclines me to believe that it is the exceptions which, in this respect, very much disprove the rule.

Consider a visit to the great upland cairn of Cerrig Cewri (Giant's Stones) a little to the approx north of Carn Twrch, an obscure Mid Walian summit looming above the southern, sinuous extremity of Llyn Brianne: a perfunctory, somewhat blurry perusal of the map over breakfast upon Cwmdeuddwr had suggested a relatively easy, straightforward mile and a half (or so) walk along a public bridleway to what is, after all, a hill not quite reaching 1,600ft in height. Yeah, how hard can it be? No, really? Suffice to say I reckon, with the warm glow of hindsight, that the approach from the north is quite possibly one of the most physically demanding ascents/descents of any Mid Walian summit I've undertaken. All things considered.

To be fair, the proverbial penny drops as soon as I park up above Bwlch-y-ffin and lament the initial height loss inherent in following - or rather attempting to follow - the aforementioned official 'bridleway' depicted upon the map. You see, these little details matter when the knees don't want to keep on doing what you want them to keep on doing any more. Furthermore, I soon find myself apparently bereft of any map reading skills I may - or may not - have been born with as my chosen route is abruptly terminated by a semi-trampled barbed wire fence above a stream. Mmm, seems I'm following in the uncertain steps of other, more militant punters before me? Where's the friendly(?) neighbourhood giant to stand upon the shoulders of when you need him. Or her?

Anyway... beyond, the terrain rears up at a seemingly prohibitive angle, the Nant y ffin cascading down the hillside within a seriously deep gulley so steep-sided I baulk at the thought of crossing. Instead I elect to continue onwards and upwards following the natural line of ascent where, theoretically at least, Nature will provide a less overwhelming obstacle. Sure enough, a little before the forestry limit upon Cefn Ystrad-ffin, I step over the nascent stream... and ... straight into deep bog. But there you are. Serves me right for losing the 'obvious' track, doesn't it? The low ridge of Cerrig Cewri is soon visible to the approx south-west, significantly further away than I had anticipated, to be truthful. The landscape is an unforgiving mix of the aforementioned bog and tussocky grass ensuring my yomp is subject to a bovine grace. Hell, this bloody cairn had better be worth it.

It is. According to RCAHMW (12/2/2009) it measures "13.20m in diameter and is up to 2.0m high". So pretty substantial, then, despite being, assuming the 'Inventory of the Ancient Monuments in Wales and Monmouthshire' (HMSO 1917) is to be believed, but a surviving remnant of what once was: "The carnedd has been so much reduced within living memory as to be now no more than 4 feet high, and it is said that in the course of its disturbance traces of fire and some burnt bones were met with". Ha! Voices from yesteryear throwing light upon our own tentative forays into that yawning void BCE, observations published at a time when the very fabric of society was being torn asunder by the clash of imperialistic titans and the birth of the fledgling, evil spectre of Lenin and his acolytes. For me it is this desire to understand the past, to view what went before as the foundations of an ongoing, hopefully improving story which defines the western democracies; a worldview which, if maintained, will ensure our way of life will always be worth fighting for. Precious detail... adding additional pixels, further definition, clarity to that image of who we were, what we are and, potentially, what we could be. So to speak.

A sun burst streams through a crack in the otherwise minacious cloud base illuminating the ancient stone pile for but a fleeting moment. All too soon it is gone, a tantalisingly brief wash of colour from the cosmic paintbrush rendering all the poetry, prose and whatever other descriptive language you may think of redundant. For a few seconds. To the south, appropriately enough, the great, mountainous escarpment demarcating South Wales rears up, darkly brooding in sombre intensity, upon the horizon. Nearer to hand and on a more intimate scale is Twm Siôn Cati Cave, set upon the sculptured crags of Dinas to the west, the legendary, infamous former owner apparently a sort of Welsh 'Robin Hood'... only without the 'giving to the poor' bit. Which is kinda missing the point of being a 'people's hero', one would have thought? But there you are. A case study in notoriety for a certain Jessie James, perhaps? The dubious heroic ethics of our Twm notwithstanding, Dinas is a striking landscape feature fully prototypical of the harmonious aesthetic of the area. And to think, as compelled to think the traveller most certainly is here, that this haunting, ethereal cairn is not even at 1,600ft. Surely some mistake? I fumble for my glasses and check the map again. No. It would appear not.

All is not rosy up here where giants apparently did not fear to tread, however, for forestry plantations encroach with their attendant widespread devastation, the shrill clatter of logging lorries upon forestry tracks, their whereabouts betrayed by clouds of dust, periodically echoing across the hill side. Indeed the great, summit cairn of Carn Twrch, visible to the immediate approx south(ish) sits within a landscape which may well have brought a shudder to the contemporaries of those 1917-era archaeologists. But there you are.... at least Carn Twrch survives, albeit topped by an OS trig pillar. And pretty hefty it is, too.

For me, however, the Giant's Stones are the jewel within this Mid Walian crown and it is a bummer to have to begin the descent. If anything, this proves to be more difficult than the ascent, the terrain sending me sprawling, head first, into a murky pool at one point. In no uncertain manner. Yeah, I find no sign of the supposed 'bridleway'... although, of course, that might well have just been me. Again. Losing patience, not to mention reserve endurance, I go for broke and fling myself down and up the other side of the mighty defile of the Nant y ffin. The final pull to the car is sheer purgatory. Whether one believes in that sort of thing, or not. But hey, it was worth every step to prove - once again - that spending a few hours or so 'being elevated' doesn't necessarily mean what your average hill walking punter might think it does.
30th September 2018ce

Whitefield Loch (Crannog)

Visited 29.09.18
There are no less than 5 crannogs listed for Whitefield loch on Canmore. The only crannog surveyed since 1976 is Dorman's Island which yielded evidence of occupation in 2003 & 2006 archaeological excavations (Canmore ID 62160).
The overgrown island is in the right location and the right size for this crannog, however I didn't find the causeway. The water's edge had a blue green algae and I didn't want to get too close.
Posted by markj99
30th September 2018ce

Dun Borve (Broch)

Visited: September 23, 2018

Dun Borve, situated at an altitude of 180 metres on the hillside just east of the village of Borve, was probably the final outstanding broch I had yet to visit on the Isle of Skye. All too often it had been bypassed en route to other sites to the north and west of the island. But it proved somewhat trickier than I had anticipated.

There was no problem parking at the farm as advocated by Gladman (blue marker), but where was that stile? The hillside now seems to be isolated by high fences and padlocked gates, with 'Danger do not enter' signs attached. So I walked down the road west into the community of Borve, a few metres past the first two houses, to find the moorland just two grassy fields distant: and there were convenient gates for access (white markers on the map above).

Entering the first field from the road, head diagonally left almost to its far corner, where an open gate leads to the second field. Then head diagonally right to its far corner where another gate leads out to the hillside. Thereafter it is just a 400 metre walk to the broch. Time taken, about 15 minutes.

Although Dun Borve is an almost featureless pile of long displaced stones at close quarters, it is well worth venturing up the hillside from where it offers its most striking profile. Down at the broch, the only major structure is a row of a few large outer foundation blocks on the southwest. As stated below, the exercise is well worth the effort for the views the broch offers.

By the way, if you are using an up-to-date map of Skye, the A856 is no more. Both the former A856, and the section of the A850 from Portree to Borve, were reclassified as the A87 when the Skye Bridge opened in 1995.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
29th September 2018ce
Edited 30th September 2018ce

Carlin Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Visited 22.09.18

See the Loch Head Fieldnotes on how to get to Loch Elrig car park. It makes sense to visit Carlin Stone and Loch Head together since they are 500m apart and share the same car park.
The Carlin Stone is near the dry stane dyke in the field opposite the car park. Walk around 200m NW along the road looking N across the field to see the stone. You can walk around the perimeter of the field to access the Carlin Stone. It is around 1.5m high and pointed.
Posted by markj99
28th September 2018ce

Loch Head (Cairn(s))

Visited 22.09.18

Loch Head is a small hamlet around a crossroads. The easiest way to get there is to take the Elrig turn off the A747 1 mile W of Port William. This is a sharp turn onto a narrow road. Continue through Elrig and you will glimpse a loch on your R. This is Loch Elrig. As you reach the crossroads the cairn is on the R opposite the first house in Loch Head. Parking is available if you turn right at the crossroads, travel around 100 m to a large car park on the L for Loch Elrig.
The cairn is around 10m across by 1.5m high. There are some scattered stones remaining in the circle.
Carlin Stone is 500m N of the cairn and can be accessed from your current car park.
Posted by markj99
28th September 2018ce

Old Harestanes (Stone Circle)

This is my first time at the Old Harestanes, it's been on the list for ages, so it's high on the list of today's must see's. The reason it's taken so long to get here is it's on private property, in fact it's at the back of someones back yard. Some door knocking and mild smiling is the order of the day here.
Eric and myself approached with some trepidation, which door should we knock on, being who I am I always go for the door with a letter box in it, you can't go far wrong there.
I knocked on the inner door of the porch, on the west side of the house. Twice. An old man came to the door, I asked him if he had a stone circle on his property, and could we have a look, pretty please, smile, think happy thought's. He said we do, it's over there, he pointed. We couldn't see it, but he clearly wasn't going to show us so we said thank you very much and walked off behind his house. It's not a big garden, it was quickly found.

Hob said from RCAHMS "No comparable monument exists in Peeblesshire, but one near Penmaenmawr, Caernarvonshire, dateable to the Middle Bronze Age, is strikingly similar." where on earth is that then? Penmaenmawr isn't in Caernarvonshire is it? They don't mean Circle 275 do they? I cant agree with that. RCAHMS also says theres four stones in the circle, looks more like five, with a little intruder.

It's in someones garden, did I say that, I thought it would be good living next door to Balbirnie, but this ol' feller has one all to himself. Just imagine having an actual stone circle that has appeared in books and stuff, in your garden.
So, there are six stones, one is tiny, and I think an intruder to the true stones. Five actual large stones form what's left of the circle, which was never large. On the floor inside the circle is a raised area, it could be an overgrown getting buried stone, as its in a garden I didn't go digging. There may have been some lithic movement.

Not the best location to see a ruined stone circle, but glad to have gotten to see it anyway, hopefully the words Old Harestanes will now begin to move into the back of my mind, and settle down with all the other names. Funny thing about names of ancient sites, I think I can remember all their names, yet not an idea who that boy my son hangs round with is.
postman Posted by postman
27th September 2018ce

Orwell (Standing Stones)

I came here once a long time ago, but have no digital pictures, which was the only reason I needed to make the detour further up north to the lovely Loch Leven.
The fact that this pair of standing stones are tall, strong and good looking stones that over look the western edge of the Lomond hills (which are actually miles away from the Loch of the same name)had something to do with it as well.

No map needed here much either, easily seen on the north side of the A911 between Milnathort and Wester Balgedie, opposite Orwell farm, which gives the stones their names, named after a farm, how inglorious.

There's no where good to park, I made do with blocking a field entrance, leaving kids in the car, and jumping the fence for a ten minute quick meet and greet. Hi I'm the postie, no not that one, and you are? big stone? ok, and your friend there? he's big stone too eh? Not very talkative, stones, it's nearly always a rather one sided conversation.

Two stones, separated by about fifteen yards, one stone is tall and bulbous, with rounded edges, the other is more angular, rough and sporting the undressed look. The rough stone has pinky quartz veins on it's lower half of one side, the side facing the other stone. Both stones have been reset in concrete.
The Lomond hills fall away quickly on it's western edge and the look is of dramatic scree and cliffs. Further north along the hills is a hill prosaically named West Lomond, it has a cairn upon it's summit and can be seen framed by these tall stones, if you stand in the right place of course.

A good stone pair.
postman Posted by postman
27th September 2018ce

Tuilyies (Standing Stones)

You don't need an ordnance survey map to find this one, easily spotted on the south side of the A985 between Kincardine and Dunfermline, just west of Cairneyhill, north of Torryburn. There is a layby right next to the stones, but no way of gaining access to the stones field, except for jumping the barbed wire fence, even with an injured leg it is but a two second ordeal.
The tall single standing stone is a very good example of the type, taller than me, grooved by precipitation, and an almost hole, it doesn't go right the way through.
It's reminiscent of the Queen stone near Symonds Yat, and the tall Machrie moor stones on Arran.

Just yards away is the remaining three quarters of a good four poster stone circle. I like four posters, the most economical of stone circles there is. It's the Toyota Prius of the megalithic world, whilst not being intensely irritating.
So three stones remain, the smallest stone is fairly unremarkable, grey and squat. The middle sized stone was just right. Leaning maybe and a very flat surface to one side. The tallest stone is most impressive, maybe eight times the size of the smaller one, pretty yellow lichen crowns it's pate.

Is the taller single stone an outlier to the circle? or was the circle put here because the stone was already here? What happened to the missing fourth stone? Lots of four posters end up as threesomes, how come? Questions questions.

Nice place, I do like four posters.
postman Posted by postman
27th September 2018ce
Showing 1-25 of 17,160 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 25