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Lewis and Harris — News

Archaeology worth £4m to Western Isles' economy


Standing stones that are 5,000 years old are helping to boost the Western Isles economy by £4m a year, according to a new report.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-41498458
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
5th October 2017ce

Carn An MacAskill (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

About a mile up the road, on the A859 heading north from Kyle's Lodge, is Carn An MacAskill. The morning was still very moody but it didn't rain which ensured truly fantastic views towards the Sound Of Taransay, Ceapabhal (home to Toehead Broch) and the village of Northton could all be seen. Cloudy weather seems to add to the atmosphere especially when it starts to clear so different countryside colours can be seen, including the colour of the sea.

About 200 meters (south) before the road to Northton jump the fence and head to the top of the wee hill to the east. A small walkers cairn will led me to the site.

Some kerbs can be seen in the 6m wide cairn which has a height of about 0.5m. As usual there appears to be some houking damage. An impressive and scenic site.

Time to head to Croft 36 for a tremendous hot pie, a small diversion on the way to Toehead :-)

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

Kyle's Cairn (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Another early start on a dampish morning started at the Kyle's Lodge Cairn just to the north west of Leverburgh. There is a tarred road heading south west from the A859 and I walked until the corner just before the roads end.

The cairn is situated just above the road on a small platform and has several kerbs still standing. It is about 6m wide and 0.6m tall with impressive views over to Ensay, whose standing stone can be seen in the distance.

A fine place to watch various wildlife and ships/boats in the bay. Soon, maybe to soon, I was in full flow heading towards Northton.

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

Thing's Va (Broch) — Links

Canmore


More about the Iron Age Broch.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
4th October 2017ce

Thing's Va (Broch) — News

Possible evidence of Norse parliament site near Thurso


Possible evidence of a medieval Norse parliament meeting place may have been found at an archaeological site in the Highlands.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-41485948
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
4th October 2017ce

Sculptors Cave (Cave / Rock Shelter) — News

Old meets new as prehistoric cave is digitised


"Archaeologists from Bradford have created a digital model of the iconic Sculptor’s Cave in Moray, Scotland.

The high resolution digital model not only demonstrates the size and layout of the cave but importantly highlights the Pictish (early medieval) symbols found on the walls that make the cave so fascinating.

The cave was also used as a focus for complex funerary rites and the deposition of precious objects in the Late Bronze Age/Iron Age....."

http://www.bradford.ac.uk/news/2017/sculptors-cave-video.php

Nice walk through video on link.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
2nd October 2017ce

Tobar Childa (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Folklore

Tobair na h-oige

An old story told in previous centuries by the indigenous folk of Hirta (St. Kilda) described a long-lost well that was thought to be an abode of the little people, known as the Well of Eternal Youth. Not to be confused with the Well of Virtues near the Amazon’s House less than a mile west, the rough whereabouts of this site is cited by J. Sands (1878) in the folklore section of his otherwise historical account on these faraway Atlantic islands. He wrote:

“Once on a time an old fellow, in going up Connagher with a sheep on his back, observed a Well which he had never seen or heard of before. The water looked like cream, and was so tempting, that he knelt down and took a hearty drink. To his surprise all the infirmities of age immediately left him, and all the vigour and activity of youth returned. He laid down the sheep to mark the spot, and ran down the hill to tell his neighbours. But when he came up again neither sheep nor well were to be found, nor has any one been able to find the Tobair na h-oige to this day. Some say that if he had left a small bit of iron at the well—a brog with a tacket in it would have done quite well—the fairies would have been unable to take back their gift.”

Mrs Banks’ Scottish Calendar Customs (1937)

A nearby but long vanished sacred well.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
25th September 2017ce

The Macleod Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Walking further westwards on the A859 from the Coire Na Feinne Chamber Cairn we jumped the fence at the next cattle grid to head north over the dunes towards the MacLeod Stone. A few days before I'd been looking at several sites in the area but ran out of time but not today. Although we were all tired, even B, we plodded on to be re-invigorated when crossing the ridge to see the massive standing stone.

Not many people mention the possible wee cairn that surrounds the stone. There are at least two kerbs still earthfast in an area that has a scatter of stones almost 6m wide. Canmore says there isn't enough evidence but ever the optimist I'd like to think there had been a cairn at some point. One thing for sure is the fact that the stone can be seen for miles away coming in from the Atlantic.

Fantastic stone, fantastic scenery, fantastic day and some sun burnt legs!

Visited 3/8/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
25th September 2017ce

Coire na Feinne (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

We came to this site after a day at the beaches of Luskentyre with its fantastic colour schemes and the reverse walking of the Coffin Road. Normally coffins would come from the east to the west so we walked in the opposite direction to come back via the northern following the old main road, quarries and Laxdale. We spotted no coffins.

The best place to park is near the chippy van at the Horgabost Camp Site and walk west up the A859 until its junction with the minor road heading east to the Horgabost township. With the road passing nearby, indeed one of the stones looks like it is trying to escape, the chamber cairn is situated in a garden looking west into the beautiful bay. Only the capstone and six slabs remain in the well tended garden. At least the cairn is being looked after. All the smaller cairn material was removed long before the house was built.

After asking permission I was allowed to wander about and have a look. Great wee place, very easy to find.

Visited 3/8/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
25th September 2017ce

Dun Stuaidh (Promontory Fort) — Fieldnotes

After the stunning day at St Kilda and, for me, life changing events a next day early morning walk was required. The walk to Dun Stuaidh was perfect for the job, so I set of in the drizzle which soon turned into a beautiful Harris morning.

From our chalet I walked south towards St Clements Church taking the first tarred road heading south west. This crosses over a causeway/reservoir with beautiful views looking back north up the Abhainn Thorro Burn and the Rodel Valley.

As the road reaches the west end of the reservoir go onto the track which heads uphill to give glorious early morning views of Loch Roghadail, St Clements Church, Rodelpark Dun and the islands to the south. The track follows the coastline looking down onto the fort. Follow this until a dry stane dyke heads south, follow this downhill to the shore. All sorts of very old fishing boat material, long deserted houses and enclosures can be seen. In the bay can be seen several very expensive yachts.

The fort and its front door is straight south. A short climb through ancient walls leads to the northern end of this spectacular site. Erosion has played a big part in the forts history but there is plenty left to admire. Walls, especially on the eastern side, surround the fort. The western side is greatly eroded whilst to the south the fort is almost completely gone. Only a small finger of land, no more than a foot wide remains, with no one watching it is much easier to take chances so I walked to the end to get pictures looking back north. The northern defences still survive if somewhat crumbled. Near the entrance are a couple of enclosures. It appears to me that the sea doesn't seem to be affecting this area quite so much as grass and weeds appear to be fighting back on the low lying area just to the north of the fort.

A beautiful start to another wonderful day which would include Luskentyre Bay and the walking of 'The Coffin Road'.

Visited 3/8/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
25th September 2017ce
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