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Sidhean Mor Dail A' Chaorainn (Square) (Cairn(s))

Moving up from the cairn, on the way to the fort, we climbed over the small hill to the west of Sidhean and squelched through a small bog to a fence over which the cairn is situated. This Iron Age cairn, first I've seen specifically called that, is almost 4m square with stones clearly marking the corners.

The main views are south west, looking down Glen Banchor towards the River Calder. Beautiful views!

Visited 6/4/2018.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
28th May 2018ce

Sidhean Mor Dail A' Chaorainn (Cairn) (Cairn(s))

From the car park, at the road's end, we continued over the Allt A Chaorainn burn and took the track , heading north, which heads straight to the fort/enclosure.

About 3/4s of a mile up there is a small cairn just to the west of the path.

Sitting at just over 3m in width and 0.3m in height the cairn has impressive views of all the surrounding mountains, rivers and other prehistoric monuments. Several kerbs remain in place despite the site being slightly houked.

Difficult to spot, find the area that looks like a large platform area, the cairn is about 100 metres south.

Visited 6/4/2018.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
28th May 2018ce

Lochan nan Dunan (Stone Fort / Dun)

Visited: April 29, 2018

About half a kilometre south of Flodigarry, on the A855, you pass Lochan nan Dunan, a small roadside lochan with a parking area beside it. Immediately on the right hand side of the road (if travelling north) is a heathery hillside rising steeply for about 15 metres. A stout barbed wire fence precludes immediate access opposite the parking area, but walking back down the road for 50 metres or so revals twin boulders arranged to form a stile.The fort of Lochan nan Dunan is revealed after making this short climb.

The fort comprises two enclosures, separated by a mighty rock stack twelve metres in height. There is little of real note to see although the grassy stumps of the enclosing wall of the eastern enclosure, little more than half a metre in height, can still be picked out. The western enclosure, located on a gentle slope, boasts an even less significant grass-grown wall.

The best part of the visit is the view it provides towards the mountainous backbone of the Trotternish peninsula. Particularly prominent is Sron Vourlinn, the gaunt flat topped hill to the northwest, and the Quiraing to the southwest.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
27th May 2018ce

Leana (Cl. 68) (Wedge Tomb)

Visited 22/5/18: Having just visited Parknabinnia we spotted a small group of people at what appeared to be another wedge tomb on a high point on the other side of the narrow road. It was a beautiful morning so a pleasure to make our way slowly towards them looking at all the wild flowers (mostly orchids) on the way.

I think we were sort of hoping the group would have moved on by the time we reached the wedge tomb but they were engrossed in drawing and measuring the tomb. We could also see it was the same small group we had had a happy chance encounter with the previous day - an archaeologist named Ros and three American students. As with the day before, Ros was helpful and generous with the information he gave us - am very grateful, as our two encounters enhanced our own visits tremendously.
tjj Posted by tjj
23rd May 2018ce

Parknabinnia (Cl. 67) (Wedge Tomb)

Visited 22/5/18: Following on from previous day when we had a happy chance encounter with Ros, an archaeologist, and his three archaeology students, who had told us about Parknabinnia wedge tomb we made our way out there this morning full of anticipation. Close to the village of Kilnaboy, what a wonderful site - easily accessed as well sign-posted near to the narrow road which is part of the Burren Way. The wedge tomb is still in reasonable condition and set inside a stony circular area.
We could see some people on the other side of the road at what appeared to be another wedge tomb on a high point. We slowly made our way towards them taking in the wonderful displays of wild orchids on the way. The people turned out to be Ros and his students again. Ros generously spent some time talking to us telling us where we might find other wedge tombs further back in the fields behind Parknabinnia around a large area of hazel scrub.

We thanked him for his help, went off to examine another collapsed wedge tomb before going back to Parknabinnia. The field behind Parknabinnia turned out to be a bit hazardous as the spongy moss concealed not just limestones but lots of holes too. Although the OS map shows many red dots representing megalithic tombs we decided we wouldn't risk twisting an ankle (or worse) and were unsuccessful in finding any more.
tjj Posted by tjj
22nd May 2018ce
Edited 23rd May 2018ce

Creagan Mor (Cairn(s))

The last stop of another wonderful day in the Banchor valley. After several attempts to cross the River Calder I was finally persuaded by A to take the car and dog back to Newtonmore to find a place to park at Ballaid.

From Ballaid we followed a track which led round the edges of a wood, from here we could see the Sidhean car park (near to the scene of my heroic attempts to navigate the river). The track somewhat peters out eventually becoming more of a bog. We headed south west following the edge of the bog which fortunately led straight to a clump of trees which housed the cairn. As with everywhere here the views are simply stunning.

In a great place for a cairn a mound of about 11m in width and 0.6m high is all that remains except for two slabs one which can be easily found, the other covered in deep turf which I left in peace.

After a good look round, there is a lot of scenery, we found a track which turned into path which led straight back to the car. A fine walk through the birches ended a fine day.

Visited 6/4/2018.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
22nd May 2018ce

Raedykes (Ring Cairn)

Like other visitors to Raedykes I thought there was 4 cairns/stone circles, however according to Canmore there are five. Canmore is right, unfortunately they don't describe the complete nightmare to find it.

I approached from the north (on a beautiful crisp Spring day), from Eddieslaw looked for cairns here, sadly all ploughed out) and there are much easier routes. After ploughing through a bog, jumping several burns and jumping over several fences I made it to dry land without injury. From here its head to the top of the hill. On the hill several deer looked down, their thoughts easy to read....check that idiot! Polite version!

NO 83220 90680

This ring cairn is surrounded by a stone circle with 9 stones still standing, inside several kerbs remain in place. It has been described before. This is the site nearest to West Raedykes steading.

NO 832716 90608

Sitting a short distance west, about 20m, is a cairn half covered in jabby stuff. Still it looks in reasonable condition and looks like it might have a been a kerb cairn. It has been houked in the centre.

From here I walked past the high gorse, jabby stuff etc to the most famous site.

NO 83226 90655

This is a truly fantastic site with truly fantastic scenery to match the imposing standing stones which appear to be looking west, imo. Apart from these stones smaller stones still stand whilst others have fallen. The inner kerb is in the same condition. Sweetcheat's oft used phrase 'gentle restoration' screams here. Maybe one day!

NO 83220 90680

Slightly to the north of the previous there is a small cairn. A small ditch appears to lead to the possible remnants of a cist. Several kerbs also remain in place.

NO 83255 90610

I walked back past the famous standing stones to look south at the highest of the gorse, whins etc over a fairly ruined fence. There was no way through except to crawl or throw myself into the gorse. After what seemed ages I made it through to the tiniest of clearings. If you find this you are standing on the cairn. Crawling round the edges I found several kerbs still in place. It is almost 7m wide and 0.5m high. There is a small hollow in the middle but nothing to suggest serious the cairn.

As for me, another battering but it doesn't matter as Raedykes is one of my favourite places, an essential visit if in the area.

Visited 15/3/2018.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
22nd May 2018ce

Teergonean (Court Tomb)

Visited Monday 21/5/18: A perfect antidote to the Cliffs of Moher - not that they are anything but breathtaking and spectacular. Dispiriting in the same way visiting Stonehenge is - pay at the carpark for the 'Cliffs of Moher Experience', Visitor's Centre and shops built into the hillside, limestone paved walkways ... and hundreds of people.

To find Teergonean Court Tomb we headed to the seaside village of Doolin and eventually found the right road out towards the sea (road signposted to Roadford House restaurant). Drove along this narrow road until it stopped and then climbed over a small stone stile. In front of us lay limestone slabs, lots of gorse and to our delight quite a few bloody crane'sbill (a lovely deep pink flower, common throughout the Burren but not commonly found elsewhere). We spotted a small group of people by the court tomb and headed towards them. They turned out to be a friendly, knowledgeable archaeologist and three American's doing a course in archaeology. The archaeologist was explaining to them the court tomb was probably of great significance because it was at a crossing point to the Aran Islands. He seemed happy for us to join in and ask questions and went on to tell us about the wedge tombs at Parknabinnia near Kilnaboy.
This encounter made cheered me up no end as felt the Burren was now starting to give up its secrets. Tomorrow Parknabinnia.
tjj Posted by tjj
21st May 2018ce
Edited 22nd May 2018ce

Poulnabrone (Portal Tomb)

Visited today Sunday 20/5/18 - am in County Clare exploring the Burren, this trip mainly focusing on the flora and geology. This being the west coast of Ireland, however, while the rest of the British Isles has clear skies and sunshine, it was overcast and windy this morning on the Burren. The weather cannot detract from this amazing landscape though - wild flowers out in profusion. Orchids, violets, primroses are everywhere, also gentian and large patches of mountain avens. Two delicate quite rare alpine flowers I've personally never seen before.

At the car parking area there is a man selling trinkets and another one playing Danny Boy on a tin whistle whilst sitting in a plastic tent. A film crew seem to be there with cameras and a drone. There are lots of people wandering over the the limestone slabs, including a botany group from Germany who managed to find the tiny gentian flowers.

The information board tells me Poulnabrone is a portal tomb situated in a karst limestone plateau 150 metres above sea level. The tomb was constructed from great slabs of lime stone over 5,000 years ago. Archaeologists have discovered the remains of 30 people at this ancient site.

The Burren is an amazing landscape - have only just scratched the surface of what it has to offer but here for the rest of the week. At the moment of writing this the rain is coming down in stair rods ...
tjj Posted by tjj
20th May 2018ce

Wheedlemont (Hillfort)

19/05/2018 - As the weather was so fine we decided to make a day of it and take the longer approach from the west. We parked at Glackhead (NJ 44382797) on the A971, a lovely scenic road from Rhynie to Cabrach.

A steep climb up Orditeach then little ups and downs over fine rocky tops to Turf Hill. Great view from here east to our way to Cnoc Cailliche hillfort. I've been wanting to visit this area for some time as it looked good from Tap o' Noth. Rocks and boulders everywhere. The walk from Turf Hill was easy going. No access problems.

If yellow has a smell, it's gorse on a sunny day, it was wonderfully strong on the last little climb that brought us to the top of Cnoc Cailliche.

It's a nice fort with grassed over ramparts. Location is excellent and well worth a visit. Great views of the surrounding area.

We made our way back via Red Craig (fine place for a brew). A lovely sunny day out.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
20th May 2018ce

Dun Aird (Stone Fort / Dun)

Visited: April 29, 2018

Near the farthest northeast point of Skye's Trotternish peninsula lies Kilmaluig Bay with its mighty Stac Lachlainn, a sea stac of truly immense proportions that towers above the clifftops. And immediately adjacent to the stac, to its northwest, is a small promontory on which stand the ruins of Skye's northernmost fort, Dun Aird.

Like many if its ilk, little of the structure of Dun Aird has survived to the present day other than an obvious grassed bank to the west that is all that remains of its walls and a hint of facing stones on the appwoach to the crag from the gate in the fence. The interior is generally level and grassed over, sloping noticeably down towards the sea.

As with such eyries, the main pay-off comes with the views the dun affords, specially on a sunny day, when the shallow coastal waters of Kilmaluig Bay glisten with myriad hues. To the north the sea stretches off towards the North Pole, but the finest views are southward, towards Stac Lachlainn and the mountainous spine of the peninsula.

Access to the dun seems fraught by fences from all directions. There is certainly a coastal path skirting the bay, and though it is clearly well worn, it still requires the negotiation of at least three stout, gateless barbed wire fences. The other option is to take the metalled road up from the bay for a few hundred metres and then branch to the right past Aird House. This road ends at a gate that leads on to the moor. From here the dun and stac are due east, but again there are fences to negotiate (but no definite path to take - unless I missed it). Finally you arrive at the fence cordoning off the clifftops, which does, thankfully, offer an access gate immediately above the dun.

For the motorist, there is a car-park at Kilmaluig Bay.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
20th May 2018ce

Meall An Duna (Stone Fort / Dun)

Visited: May 2, 2018

The rarely visited fort of Meall An Duna stands of a low, crag girt ridge west of Greshornish Hotel and some hundred metres from the shore of an attractive unnamed lochan. Little of the structure remains but the broad vegetated northern arc of its surrounding wall still stands around a metre in height with facing stones peeking out intermittently. At the east of the dun a level rising path leading to the summit might be the entrance passage. On reaching the fort, the reward for the intrepid adventurer is a wonderful view to the east, encompassing Loch Greshornish and the Trotternish mountains beyond.

From the end of the metalled road, just west of the Greshornish House Hotel, a dirt road heads west and curves northward for 250 metres towards a small stand of mature trees. Here, another path branches west through a gate, for about 180 metres, and through a second gate, till it meets a fence line heading due south. Just follow the west side of the fence for 250 metres and you arrive at the foot of the crag bearing the fort of Meall an Duna (marker 'F').
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
16th May 2018ce

Knockargety Hill (Hillfort)

12/05/2018 – What a lovely sunny day to visit this one. Good parking and access from the east. A track then small path leads straight to the top. The place was full of butterflies today enjoying the sunshine, mainly Green-veined White but also the odd Peacock and one Orange Tip which was nice as we don’t see many of them round here.

Not much in the way of ramparts to see of the unfinished hillfort. It covers quite a large area and would have been some site had it been completed.

It’s worth walking on to have a look at Fernyhowe cairn as well.

This was our last visit of the day so we had time to have a sit on top for a while and take in the view. I love this time of year. Everything seems so green and alive.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
15th May 2018ce

Little Hill (Enclosure)

12/05/2018 - Good parking at the bend on the minor road just before Boddomend (NJ 5492 0013). Nice track leads north towards Little Hill. After about half a mile or so we passed a biggish borrow pit on our right, then took the next track after that which led to the top of hill. From the top (which had a trace of what might be a cairn) it was an easy stroll east to the enclosure. Not a bad time of year to visit as the bracken hasn't started to grow back yet.

Interesting enclosure. I'd love to know what it was used for and when. It's location is lovely with grand views out across the countryside.

Fine place for a stroll on a sunny day. You can extend the walk with a visit to Mortlich to the NW as well if you have the time.

Easy access with no fence problems.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
13th May 2018ce

Loch Leum Na Luirginn (Stone Fort / Dun)

Visited: April 29, 2018

Surely few megalithic monuments in Britain can be found in such stunning surroundings as this diminuative dun, just 200 metres north of Loch Leum Na Luirginn in Skye's Trotternish peninsula. Nestling just east of the spectacular Trotternish mountains there are views to the pyramidal Cleat in the south while northward rise the precipitous, cliffs and pinnacles of the Cuiraing.

The dun itself lies 150 metres south of the Brogaig to Uig road, behind the modern cemetery, itself about two kilometres from Brogaig (not the old cemetery adjacent to the community). From the cemetery gate, follow the fence line south outside the cemetery as far as the unnamed stream that flows east into the River Brogaig. Step across the stream where the slope rises steeply (too steep to consider an ascent) for 20 metres, but a path follows the stream to the right (west) towards easier heather clad slopes where an ascent can be made.

All of a sudden you emerge on a plateau with the loch and Cleat prominent, and the site of the dun is obvious as a low, grassy platform amongst the heather. The dun stands at an altitude of 149 metres and has clearly been severely robbed. Nonetheless, though heavily vegetated, its outline is clear, with a pronounced saucer-shaped depression within. Inside the dun sufficient stonework can be seen to surmise that two or three courses of foundation blocks probably lurk beneath the tussocks of grass.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
9th May 2018ce

Trum Gelli (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

I don't read too much into symbolism. Generally speaking. However perhaps there is a degree inherent in citing Wales' glory as her abundance of mountains, rivers and coastline. Interdependent components of the hydrologic cycle. A triumvirate, if you will, one pretty much responsible for life on Earth when one stops to think about such things; as I'm pretty sure we should all more often do so. Yeah, intrinsic to existence, utilitarian, yet nevertheless infused with an aesthetic that has long haunted the susceptible such as I. Maybe you, too?

I think it's fair to say that Wales' rivers and mountains share a fundamentally closer infinity (as coastline is obviously not always 'within scope'), the latter channelling precipitate run off to define the former. From the iconic Afon Glaslyn, cascading from its legendary source beneath Yr Wyddfa to a conflux with the Afon Mawddach within its sublime estuary... to the River Dee (the Brythonic "River of the Goddess") flowing to Chester, via Llyn Tegid, from an obscure inception upon the slopes of Dduallt... Wales possesses its fair share of iconic rivers. Primus inter pares, as scholars would say, is probably the River Severn (Afon Hafren), the UK's longest watercourse, rising upon the incomparable 'Mother of Rivers' that is Pumlumon, close by the birthplace of the Wye (Afon Gwy), the latter arguably our most serpentine? Nonetheless it is the Afon Dyfi which gets my vote, all things considered. Sourced and nurtured within the epic, primordial bosom of Aran Fawddwy, the tumultuous birth of the nascent water course perfectly complemented by the final, stately procession to merge with Cardigan Bay 23 miles hence.

Which - finally - brings me to Trum Gelli following a morning drive from an overnight sojourn - as you do - upon said Pumlumon. Set at the south-western extremity of Y Tarrenau overlooking the Afon Dyfi's exquisite journey's end at Aberdyfi, the 1,754ft 'Ridge of the Grove' is, to be fair, not where the thoroughly modern mind would expect to find the locale's premier Bronze Age funerary monuments. Granted, I don't consider myself to be of this ilk; but then again, despite all the bollocks spouted by archaeologists proffering pet theories, what does the thoroughly modern mind really know of the Bronze Age mindset? It would appear there is a conundrum to be considered here. Hey, could it be that my preamble has a bearing and that the view from the summit was all important, an attempt to cement an association between life/death/rebirth... as symbolised by the nurturing waters of the Afon Dyfi merging with the sea prior to repeating the cycle, the process - to go 'round again'? OK, mere supposition, but intriguing nonetheless; and given credence by the location of a similar disposition of monuments upon Allt-llwyd, overlooking the end game of the Afon Dysynni to the north-west? Perhaps placement in relation to water really did have great symbolic meaning back in the day? The mountain/river duology or... even better, as here... the mountain/river/sea sacred trilogy?

Now I first became aware of the potential significance of Trum Gelli's archaeology through a '3m cairns' reference in Dave Ing's 'Hill Walks in Mid Wales' (ISBN 1-85058-433-8). Checking the veracity of this has, to be fair, taken quite a while. But there you are. Although I would, in retrospect, recommend that interested travellers start from the (now 'retired'?) chapel within Cwm Maethlon (Happy Valley) to the south-west and make their ascent via Bryn Dinas, I end up coming from the east. It is possible (even for me) to park a car upon the hairpin bend at Pant-yr-or, west of Cwrt, whence a by-way climbs away to the north-west, accessing the excellent little cairn circle of Eglwys Gwyddelod before heading off west toward Bryn Dinas. This track is unfortunately also the legal preserve of those odd, noisy people whom appear to enjoy the mad adrenaline rush of riding a motor bike at 1mph. But there you are. Whooah! Crazy, far out dudes! It takes all sorts, doesn't it? Anyway, the track is an enjoyable stomp in its own right according excellent, sweeping views across Cwm Maethlon and Mynydd-y-Llyn (the lake in question being the curious 'Bearded Lake', Llyn Barfog) to the wondrous Aberdyfi and, beyond again, Pumlumon.

At the col before Bryn Dinas the track swings to the northwest. I therefore leave it here at the fence junction and head for the southern slopes of Allt Gwyddgwion rising above, the route just to the left of an overgrown cairn featuring remnants of a possible - nay, surely probable? - cist. The path, such as it is, heads straight for Trum Gelli so Citizens Cairn'd wishing to check out Allt Gwyddgwion's two cairns are advised to following the ascending fence line instead. The first, over to the left, is a small yet tidy monument. However that upon the crest [SH65150123] at a further fence intersection is, aside from a concrete 'capstone', actually rather good, complete with what I take to be the remains of a kerb still in situ. According to Coflein [RCAHMW, 14/11/2007] it measures "approximately 10 metres square and 1.5 metres high", the concrete slab perhaps the base of a former temporary OS trig pillar? Curiously they clearly don't seem to know for sure. Whatever, the watery vistas to be enjoyed from here are, quite frankly, majestic. Perhaps unsurprisingly.

The ridge continues approx north-east to finally grant an audience with Trum Gelli's brace of summit monuments. These are in a different league altogether, the southern, just beyond a stile, surmounted by a (presumably) modern beehive very much in the style of Drygarn Fawr topping the Cwmdeuddwr Hills not that far to the south. The underlying footprint is substantial - very much so - and, furthermore, embedded with strategically placed blocks of quartzite. I get the impression some degree of reconstruction has taken place, but nevertheless the effect is aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

The northern [SH6561801554], at the actual summit (or so it would appear) is more 'ragged', yet - or perhaps because of this - my favourite of the quartet. Once again the footprint is very substantial, more so than its southern neighbour, perhaps since it possesses a smaller beehive. The onward view across Cwm Ffernol toward Tarrenhendre is excellent, the cwm itself featuring woodland.... although I couldn't decide if this represented forestry or perhaps the vestiges of the original namechecked 'grove'? Coflein gives dimensions as "5m wide, 2.5m in height" [S.D. Lowden, Archaeophysica, 1/6/2006] although their records do appear a little confused at the present time.

As I sit and contemplate H2O-related stuff - fortunately none sees fit to fall upon my head - I elect to enjoy an extra 30 mins up here by not reprising my ascent route in reverse, so to speak, instead descending steeply southwards more-or-less straight down to the byway far below. Suffice to say it is a mistake, the latter regions of this, er, route proving to be malevolent, deep bog. Schoolboy error and most certainly not the water association I was looking for, but there you are. Guess that's one way to retain the child inside. Albeit a rather soggy, smelly one. Whatever, I decide to undertake my own symbolic gesture, my personal homage to the principles of hydrology... by 'closing the loop' and following the Afon Dyfi back into its nursery upon The Arans. I spend the night at Bwlch-y-Groes.
7th May 2018ce
Edited 8th May 2018ce

Druid's Altar (Stone Circle)

It's been about a million years since I was last here, pre digital, pre children, pre lots of things. Because I've got no pictures on my computer and because I'm apparently into four posters that have a cairn, I decided that the new cars first outing would be to take me back there. Only this time with a digital camera and a child, don't worry it's one of mine.
Moths directions are fairly spot on, don't waste time parking miles away and walking in drive right up to the point you see the stones on the left side of the wall, park by cattle grid and right hand bend. See picture.
No field notes for fourteen years?
BrigantesNation recognised that it's a four poster, but not a stone circle, talk about contradictions.

Far away in North Wales I've championed a hugely unknown site called Hafodygors Wen, I think it is what it looks like but am unable to prove it, so I've taken to seeing as many actual accepted four posters as I can, for comparison like.
This one compares quite well.

Stupidly, we started the walk towards the stones on the wrong side of the wall, at the stones there is no gate only a wall and wire fence, we crept through at a place where the wall is tumbling slightly. In hind sight, we should have gone back down the road away from the stones, opened the gate, and walked unhindered straight to the stones. If I was here with a certain other TMA'er we probably would have gone up the hill first to inspect the settlement remains, hut circles and stuff. But my daughter is not very outdoorsy so I don't push my luck.

It's quite a large cairn, maybe a meter high, like untold thousands of others all over Britain, only this one has a stone circle in it. Ooh's and aah's indeed.
Four posters are sometimes in a cairn, whether the cairn and the stones were done at the same time has yet to be revealed to me, for some four posters don't seem to have any cairn at all, the Goat stones for instance.
One of the stones has gone, or migrated slightly, there is a very suspect stone right in the middle of the circle, and another just a few yards away towards the hill. Or, perhaps one of these stones is the stone that made up the trilithon, mentioned by Burl several times in his books, he's doubtful of this assertion and we should be too, because it's undoubtedly a load of old boules.
We sat around for a bit drinking in the sunshine, it's been a long time coming, having a butty, also a long time coming, then the sun went in and I pointed out to Phil that because the suns now gone in we are just sitting round in a field. She agreed.

The views aren't bad, for Yorkshire, some nice limestone paving, and caves, but it's all too barren for me. I do like a nice tree, they're alive you know.

Then we ran into the dreaded Tour de Yorkshire, what a bunch of gobshites.
postman Posted by postman
7th May 2018ce

Trumpan (Cairn(s))

Visited: May 2, 2018

The location of this cairn, according to Canmore, lies at the junction of two dykes on a gentle rise directly southeast of the graveyard of Trumpan Church and just 60 metres distant from the back wall of the cemetery.

There is absolutely no mistaking the location, but the site is so completely trashed that there is little evidence of a cairn now. There are a few moss covered stones that could be the remnants of a kerb, but no clear rise in the topography into the 'V' between the two dykes.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
6th May 2018ce

Dun Connavern (Stone Fort / Dun)

Visited: April 29, 2018

Dun Connavern sits just 2½ kilometres south—as the crow flies—of the well-known Loch Mealt Kilt Rock viewpoint.

The starting point for the one kilometre walk to Dun Connavern is from the prominent roadside sign on the A855 advertising the Ben Edra Hotel at NG 5144 6341. Here, a small section of old road near the entranceway affords a parking space (marker 'S').

Next, walk 50 metres north along the main road to the sign for the Taigh nam Brathrean self-catering cottage and follow the path that leads between it and the hotel to a gate (marker 'G').

The path beyond this gate, though overgrown, still provides excellent walking, and continues for some 250 metres before curving left (south) for a similar distance before finally making a sharp turn to the right. From here, a prominent fence-line leads directly to Dun Connavern (marker 'D'), first ascending a very steep but short grassy slope, 100 metres beyond which, at an altitude of 140 metres, lies the dun, on the summit of an oval rocky knoll.

Little structure remains of the encircling walls of Dun Connavern, save for a section of walling blocks, two courses high, on its northeast facing slope. But visiting the dun is greatly rewarding, its modest elevation providing unsurpassed views towards the Trotternish mountains from the Storr in the south to the Cuiraing in the north.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
6th May 2018ce

Cley Hill (Hillfort)

I've not been up here for a very long time. Perhaps you're guilty of the same sort of thing - tending to overlook local places for new and exciting ones that are further away. But my sister and I found this excellent, complete with its air of weirdness. (A couple of vaguely peculiar things happened while we were here, although normal people wouldn't have given them a second thought. Maybe you find more weirdness when you're expecting it.)

It was exposed here but dry, and we could see great globs of low dark cloud moving across the landscape, pouring on less fortunate places. There's a 360 degree view - quite uncommon round here where lots of high spots are joined onto bigger bits of land like Salisbury Plain.

We were mostly here for the wildlife (we saw kites, a yellowhammer and oil beetles among other things) and specifically for the snails. It got hilariously competitive as we hunched over little chalky scrapes out of the wind, my sister triumphantly brandishing a tiny shell a few millimetres high - What?! Why haven't I got that one... (Competitive snailing eh, whatever next. But it's amazing how much variety there is, and because they're empty, you don't have to feel too guilty about collecting a few shells.)

On reflection I suppose we climbed the hill in a spiralling way like the shape of a shell. Much nicer than the more ghastly straight-up approach - it's precipitously steep in places. Most of the hill is so windswept and open, but the quarried area on the south is such a strange muddle of lumps and bumps. They loom up over you and it feels strangely enclosed and surprisingly claustrophobic. But the quarried area doesn't take up the amount of space that you expect from the carpark. It's only a little area really.

There are other earthworks too -the Iron Age ridge that circles the hill for one. It doesn't feel very usefully defensive but maybe the slope would be enough to put most people off storming up. I did start to wonder, did anyone ever really live up here? The top isn't particularly big or flat like nearby Scratchbury and Battlesbury. You can imagine people in their huts there but not so much here. Yet Martin and Dave from the National Trust did find some here with their resistivity experiments.

This strange isolated hill advertises itself from all sorts of spots for miles around. You'd want to know who was in charge of it. And who was buried in the Bronze age barrows on top? It's funny to sit in their lea and have the same sort of view that people have seen for thousands of years (if you ignore industrial agriculture). There's also a linear dyke that's said to cut across one of the barrows, dating it at least a bit.

We also walked down the amazing sunken lane on the hill's south (part of the Mid-Wiltshire Way) - recommended as another numinous spot.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
30th April 2018ce

Cader Berwyn (Round Cairn)

Dawn arrives at Bwlch-y-Groes without due fanfare, the elevated 'Pass of the Cross' (presumably another nod to the influence of that Tydecho?) separating the upper reaches of the exquisite Cwm Dyfi from Cwm Cynllwyd too exposed to offer shelter to any of the usual feathery suspects generally contributing to an avian chorus. In lieu, within the pregnant silence, I perceive a sense of heightened possibilities, of unspecified opportunities to be grasped whilst the relatively high cloud base lingers. So, what to do then? Fortunately the answer is forthcoming upon administering a Coco Pops catalyst, my gaze being drawn north across the aforementioned Cwm Cynllwyd to the rounded summits of Y Berwyn. In keeping with the all pervading silence, the call is unspoken. But nevertheless it registers loud and clear. Just need to do something about it, then. Damn. I am aware there are easier hobbies.

So.... following a splendidly scenic drive toward Y Bala, I take the B4391 across the high moors to descend Cwm Rhiwarth to Llangynog and, henceforth, Dyffryn Tanat. Samuel Coleridge came here in July 1794 and noted that the mountains were 'sublimely terrible', which is a pretty classy description, to be fair. One assumes - being a poet and that - that, like I, he made it to Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, whereupon a single track road heads NW to Tan-y-Pistyll... and the magnificent c250ft cascade of Pistyll Rhaeadr, the 'Spout Waterfall', traditionally one of the Seven Wonders of Wales. The little café serves alcohol to tourist punters who flock here to gaze at the awesome aqueous spectacle. The Citizen Cairn'd, however, may well wish to drink his/her fill of the landscape beforehand. If so, rocky steps ascend to the right of the wondrous waterfall to access Trum Felen, the southern ridge of Moel Sych ('Dry Hill', appropriately enough in this context, but very much not so in nearly any other!).

To be honest this direct route to the main ridge of Y Berwyn is, in my opinion, better suited to a descent (an ascent through the valley of the Nant y Llyn further to the east is recommended) but there you are. One is compelled to seek out new experiences. Nevertheless as I slowly.... very slowly... gain height I begin to doubt the wisdom of this selection, particularly since this morning's cloud base is high no longer, the summit of the mountain conspicuous by its absence, subsumed within a mass of opaque vapour. In due course I must venture into this surreal environment of curtailed vision and apparent swirling wraiths.... a sensation of mild claustrophobia countered by having (with apologies to Andy Partridge) one, two, three, four senses working overtime to compensate. Navigation, however, is not an issue, the fence line leading unerringly to the 2,713ft summit crowned by the profile of a Bronze Age funerary cairn slowly materialising through the gloom. Although of no significant elevation, the embedded footprint of the monument is much more extensive than I recall from my previous visit here.... some 21 years ago. Hey, it is quite something to return almost half a lifetime hence. What's more, this time around I reckon I can even discern a trace of former kerb.

As I sit in my own private little spirit world pondering imponderables, wondering what to do next, Nature castes a final, emphatic deciding vote by sweeping away the cloud mantle in an instant to reveal Cadair Berwyn standing angular and proud to the north, its form in complete contrast to Moel Sych's broad, rounded dome. Recognising a sign from the heavens when I see one I cross the fence line (via a stile) and head east to Craig-y-Llyn, the escarpment edge towering above Llyn Lluncaws cradled far below. The lake is suitably idiosyncratic featuring a curious surface covering of weed that is quite unique in my experience. A kamikaze sheep track now engenders a somewhat 'airy' onward route toward the castellated, rocky pinnacles of Cadair Berwyn's 2,722ft summit, the cliff line, progressively fragmented in nature, displaying quite literally 'another side' to Y Berwyn, one completely at odds with the gently rolling profile seen to the west. But there you are; Y Berwyn are secretive hills... and all the better for that, in my opinion.

Anyway, cresting the craggy summit the first of a brace of cairns gracing the mountain is seen a little below and beyond. The location is classic, albeit taking great pains to avoid any view of the wondrous Llyn Lluncaws in true Bronze Age style. Yeah, I'm not saying this is pedantic, but what were these people like? There is good news and bad news to relate here. Firstly, the bad: the stone pile is defaced by a large 'shelter' clearly constructed from the original monument fabric; although whether this is to cater for sheep of the Ovis aires variety or homo sapiens is open to debate. I suspect the latter, but happy to be corrected. The good, however, more than compensates: the circumference of the footprint is very impressive indeed. Far more so than vague visions from my youth had led me to earlier surmise. Clearly this was the last resting place of a major personality back in the day. The second cairn lies a little further on, beyond a diminutive little tarn - or lakelet, if you prefer (which, as it happens, I do) - and surmounts Cadair Berwyn's northern summit. This is a much more subtle monument consisting of a very large, grassy (apparent) mound topped by an OS trig pillar. Stonework protruding from the surface confirms that this is indeed a cairn, however. Again, the views are superb, and not without archaeological foci. Looking east, the distant summit of Mynydd Tarw ("Bull Mountain") is crowned by another, massive funerary cairn as is, looking north across Bwlch Maen Gwynedd, Cadair Bronwen, the last of Y Berwyn's big trio. This, a significant 'platform cairn' known as Brwdd Arthur (Arthur's Table - yes, Himself again) is unfortunately about a mile and a half distant. Consequently unless you are superfit - or, as I was back in 1994, somewhat on a mission and only beginning to appreciate the overpowering significance of these cairns - a separate ascent from the north-west, via the wondrous cairn circle of Moel ty Uchaf, not to mention the 'circle at Bwlch y Fedw, is highly recommended.

It is fair to say that Cadair Berwyn is not a spot to leave in a hurry. Exquisite vistas and copious archaeology to boot, er, sort of make that a 'no brainer'. Consequently I linger, let the aura, the atmosphere, the ambience... whatever you want to call that peculiar 'upland vibe' enhanced with the human element.... slowly seep into my consciousness. Although far from unique in this respect, Y Berwyn has nevertheless witnessed its fair share of legendary, historic events to complement whatever 'metaphysical stuff' may or may not have occurred back in those days of yore when the cairns were in use. For it was here in 1165 - well upon Ffordd Saeson, apparently a little east of Moel ty Uchaf at SJ091369 - that the forces of Henry II feverishly engaged in the pursuit of Owain Gwynedd were routed. Given a sound thrashing, so to speak. Not by the then Prince of North Wales... but by the ferociously inclement weather these mountains are able to conjure up on a whim. One can just imagine the poor old Plantagenet dude retreating in soggy shame citing witchcraft and sorcery by the fiendish Welsh as reasons for failure; anything but arrogant incompetence.

With time marching forever onwards - tell me about it - I reluctantly retrace my steps to Moel Sych and begin the descent to the car. However, prior to the obligatory, not to mention essential final gawp at the Pistyll Rhaeadr, I stop off within the glacial 'hanging valley' of the Afon Disgynfa, specifically to take an all-too-brief look at yet another mighty cairn at SJ070297. Citizens Cairn'd may be interested to be reminded that this valley is also graced by a stone circle at Rhos y Beddau (SJ058302). Is there no end to the attractions of this wondrous area? Overtaken by darkness I spend the night upon Coleridge's 'sublimely terrible' mountains... assuming he was heading for Y Bala... below the summit of Foel y Geifr (at the head of the Hirnant Pass). The rain lashes down and, unlike Henry II, I think I get the point.
29th April 2018ce
Edited 1st May 2018ce

Garlogie (Cairn(s))

The cairn at Garlogie is in a sad state of affairs. As well as forestry inflicted damage, a track has made the eastern half vanish completely. Surely there was room to move track a few metres further east!!

Sitting at 10m (north - south) and 5m wide (due to damage), it looks a decent site approaching from the west being just over 0.5m high. Even several kerbs remain in place.

There has been a lot of prehistory in this area, many hut circles, enclosures and cairns have sadly been removed.

In the middle of Garlogie take the minor road north and pull in at one of small parking spaces. Take a track, any track east, then head south looking for were the ditch deepens. The cairn is immediately west, or what remains of it.

Visited 18/1/2018.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
27th April 2018ce

Crabs Cairn (Cairn(s))

Visited: April 20, 2018

Crabs Cairn Revealed

With summer in full flow I spent the morning enjoying a ramble round the Tullos Hill Cairns in Aberdeen. And I was delighted to note that major removal of gorse thickets had at last opened up Crab's Cairn to view.

The offending undergrowth had been sawn off about 15 centimetres above ground level, and completely removed from the site. My only complaint is that the remaining stumps of the gorse bushes now represent a significant 'trip hazard' for the unwary.

Hopefully, further work to render this site visitor friendly will be undertaken before long.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
20th April 2018ce

Binn Hill (Cairn(s))

14/04/2018 - It had been a nice day so far mooching about a few hills between Keith and Fochabers. We were making good time so in the afternoon we decided to head a little north to the coast and visit Binn Hill. I had remembered seeing Drew's post about the cairn on TMA a while ago and thought the location looked good.

Parking and access from the south is good. The walk around Binn Hill is excellent. A very pretty place especially in the sunshine. The cairn wasn't too hard to find at this time of year before the bracken does its thing. OKish cairn with a couple of decent sized kerb stones still left.

If you visit and have the time, it's worth walking round the hill. The top has what looked to me like an old enclosure, very intriguing. From east of the summit you can head down through the 'sea of stones' to the sea. Just a lovely area with one of the most extensive shingle systems in Britain.

I've been a bit fed up recently so it was a good visit to cheer me up a little. Sunshine, a nice place to walk and old stuff to look at, that will do me.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
17th April 2018ce

Brodie Wood (Cairn(s))

Heading east, from Aberdeen on the B9077 take the first minor road heading south past Tollohill. Keep going until a short distance past the primary school. I was given permission to park at a nearby cottage. From there I jumped the fence into a field and headed the short distance west, jumped another fence and was immediately in the Brodie Wood cairnfield.

The main cairn at Brodie is situated on a rocky knoll. It is 9m wide by 5.5 long and is 0.5 high being rectangular in shape. Various misplaced boulders make up a type of kerb.

NJ9159901001 This cairn is circular in shape sitting at almost 4m wide and 0.5 tall.

NJ9160300977 The best of the smaller cairns is very similar to it's near neighbour but has some larger boulders presumably kerbs.

NJ9158600964 Once again very similar to the above cairns.

All of the cairns are to the eastern side of Brodie Wood and look over to Kincorth Hill as well as looking down the River Dee. A little hidden gem next to Aberdeen. Nice place!

Visited 18/1/2018.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
17th April 2018ce
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