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

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Toe Head (Broch) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Toe Head</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Toe Head</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Toe Head</b>Posted by drewbhoy drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
15th August 2017ce

Rodel R141 (Promontory Fort) — Images

<b>Rodel R141</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Rodel R141</b>Posted by drewbhoy drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
15th August 2017ce

S64, Scarista (Burial Chamber) — Images

<b>S64, Scarista</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>S64, Scarista</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>S64, Scarista</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>S64, Scarista</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>S64, Scarista</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>S64, Scarista</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>S64, Scarista</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>S64, Scarista</b>Posted by drewbhoy drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
15th August 2017ce

Capler Camp (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

Visited 12 August 2017.

After last weekend's unplanned spontaneous trip to British Camp in the Malverns, this weekend I have a plan. And it's a cunning plan, so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a fox, etc. Anyway, I'm off to Fownhope, a little village on the banks of the River Wye towards the south of Herefordshire.

As well as two pubs (one called the Green Man), a shop and fine church with slightly twisty spire and a Norman tympanum carved with a toothy winged lion, Fownhope sits between two wooded Herefordshire hillforts. I have three hours to visit them both. That's the plan.

Things start promisingly, the sun has come out and the bus from Hereford drops me off on time. I've decided to visit Capler Camp first, on the basis that it looks less likely to be an overgrown slog and also it's further away than Cherry Hill, which is right next to the village, so will help gauge the time I have better. A fairly straight minor road leads from Fownhope church towards Capler. I've anticipated a slow climb followed by a steep bit at the end, but that's because I haven't read the map properly and don't realise that the whole way is a succession of up and down hill bits, guaranteed to tire out of practice legs before I even arrive at the proper hill. The first of these ridges does at least give a nice view of both forts from about halfway between them.

A buzzard flies over the tractor throwing up dust in the nearby fields, sheep are cajoled and corralled at Rise Farm, and I realise that there is a good view of Aconbury, another of Hereford's fine hillforts.

Passing Capler Cottages marks the start of the steep section of the road, but a slightly overgrown track beckons invitingly off to the left, promising a less direct and more zig-zag route up to the fort. It proves a good choice, quite dry despite the ridiculously wet summer, and far less steep than the road would have been. It emerges near the top of the footpath to the south of the fort.

From here I head to the ramparts. The fort is in two distinct halves, the western side covered in trees, the eastern side an open field. I head west, into the trees.

It's not a good time of year to visit wooded hillforts, brambles make the earthworks difficult to access and the thick canopy makes photography frustrating. Nevertheless, getting round this fort is easy enough as a wide swathe has been cleared inside the perimeter of the inner rampart, and a broad track follows what would have been a ditch between the inner and outer defences. The defences are strongest on the south, two lines of earthworks making up for the relatively shallow gradient compared to the west end and north side. It's very pleasant under the trees and on reaching the north side I drop down from the inner rampart to the track below.

On the north side the natural steepness does all the work, and the track is a good three metres or more below the inner rampart. Some of the trees that mark the outer "bank" here are towering, one is a venerable beech that wouldn't be out of place on the chalk Downs or limestone scarps to the southeast. The woods are an attractive deciduous mix, not the dense conifers of recent forestry plantations, but an older woodland that feels right on this hilltop.

At length I come round towards the eastern end. Climbing the inner bank brings me out into the open half of the fort. I'm somewhat surprised to find a tall post, carved to the effect that this is an Iron Age hillfort. It turns out that this is the end of a succession of similar posts marking a permissive path up from the picnic area on the road to the south. The interior is lovely, the inside of the southern rampart is rich with harebells. From here the view stretches south and east. I'm not in the slightest surprised to see the ever-present shape of May Hill, while the vista to the south is filled with the dark mass of the Forest of Dean, over the border in Gloucestershire. To the southwest the edge of the Black Mountains is visible. This is a great spot, and I end up sitting here for a while in the summer sunshine.

Finally leaving through the eastern entrance, past a lovely old stone barn and a neat cottage, I follow the Wye Valley Walk footpath along the outer rampart. It's a good hillfort this, not perhaps in the front rank of Herefordshire examples like Wapley Hill and British Camp, but a very decent site nonetheless.

Reluctant to leave, I take a final turn around the wooded half of the interior, before heading south back to the road. A little picnic area gives glimpses of the Wye sparkling in the sunshine below, living up to its picturesque billing. I follow the road down, noticing the steepness and also how many cars seem to be driving up and down this narrow lane, from nowhere to somewhere or back again.

The extended stay has wiped out the time I have left, and Cherry Hill will have to wait after all. A Spring visit would be better anyway I reckon. The best thing about a cunning plan is how easily it can be abandoned or reshaped, and this one will easily bear a bit of reshaping.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
14th August 2017ce

Trippet Stones (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Trippet Stones</b>Posted by Crazylegs14 Crazylegs14 Posted by Crazylegs14
14th August 2017ce

H141 - Horgabost (Stone Setting) — Images

<b>H141 - Horgabost</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>H141 - Horgabost</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>H141 - Horgabost</b>Posted by drewbhoy drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
14th August 2017ce

Coire na Feinne (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Coire na Feinne</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Coire na Feinne</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Coire na Feinne</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Coire na Feinne</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Coire na Feinne</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Coire na Feinne</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Coire na Feinne</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Coire na Feinne</b>Posted by drewbhoy drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
14th August 2017ce

Esslie the Greater (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Esslie the Greater</b>Posted by postman<b>Esslie the Greater</b>Posted by postman<b>Esslie the Greater</b>Posted by postman<b>Esslie the Greater</b>Posted by postman<b>Esslie the Greater</b>Posted by postman<b>Esslie the Greater</b>Posted by postman<b>Esslie the Greater</b>Posted by postman<b>Esslie the Greater</b>Posted by postman postman Posted by postman
14th August 2017ce

Dun Stuaidh (Promontory Fort) — Images

<b>Dun Stuaidh</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Dun Stuaidh</b>Posted by drewbhoy drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
14th August 2017ce

Creagan an Tuirc (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

From Loch Nan Geardas we walked south on B862 until the first minor road heading south, signposted Loch Ruthven. This passes the southern banks of Loch Duntelchaig and the hut circles of Dalcrombie. A serious walk with some serious long climbs but with magnificent scenery. Included in the scenery is Loch Ruthven, looking south west the crannog can be seen in the distance and also the enclosure at Tom Buidhe. The road continues above the north side of the loch gradually heading downhill towards Tullich and a sharp turn heading south. This leads to the nature research reserve at Loch Ruthven and another possible crannog at the lochs eastern end. From here its follow the road until its end at the small village of Croachy and the B851. It also looks straight up at Carn Mor, the start of my next hike.

Head north from Croachy following the road as it winds its way through the glorious, and very hot, Strathnairn countryside. Once past the Tomintoul farm Creagan an Tuirc comes clearly into view.

Situated opposite the Brin Rock (and Brin School, home to 5 barrows) it is an impressive sight with the fort perched on top of the 263 feet high hill. The farmyard has a track, fairly steep, heading north which leads to the front door of the fort, its south west. Once at the top it is easy to see that the builders have made use of the natural defences as well as building their walls. These walls are almost 3m wide in parts and almost surround the fort except for the east, severe cliffs see to that, at their highest 1m. It is a stunning place with stunning views.

A good place to have a long look about as Strathnairn is one of my favourite areas. One more place to go, the barrows across the road at the former Brin School.

Visited 1/7/2017.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
14th August 2017ce

Nine Stanes (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

My real target was the pair of Esslie circles, but seeing as it was so close I just had to have a look at this one too, best decision I made all day.
The Nine stanes of Garrol wood are really close to the road, so the kids decided to let me go on up alone, Mia the dog had other ideas so she joined me.
I don't half like stone circles that are hiding out in the trees, it lends a tremendous dose of atmosphere to any site. OK, they are conifer trees, planted by us to some unagreeable end, but they're still better than gorse. Lots of trees have recently been felled opening out the view somewhat, but what is left behind isn't pretty, not at all.
That ugliness is well off set by one of the best stone circles I've ever been to. There are quite a few stone circles that have somehow accrued the name Nine stones, but this is one of those rare occasions when someone who could count named the site. But the name is still so general that I'm surprised there isn't a stone circle somewhere that's called stone circle.
The stones are a lovely reddish granite, the recumbent still has both it's flankers, but one is having a lie down, six remaining circle stones makes nine, well done that man.
From the circle I can see Eric sat on the roof of my car, not ideal but I can stay in touch whist being in this other world, and that's how this place feels to me, another world, this has been a bit of a crap year for me, packed with such nasties as heart attacks, tax credit disputes, overworked underpaid and my old nemesis Sciatica, but whilst I potter about this ideal location it's all a billion miles away from it all.
After sitting on the recumbent with dog sitting quietly in lap for what I can only assume was too long Eric shouted me back to reality, it seemed my Garrol wood experience was over, but the reality that awaited me was a good one, Esslie's the Greater and lesser await my company, two more names that keep rattling round my noggin, beckoning me on, the show aint over til the last names done.
postman Posted by postman
14th August 2017ce

Nine Stanes (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Nine Stanes</b>Posted by postman<b>Nine Stanes</b>Posted by postman<b>Nine Stanes</b>Posted by postman<b>Nine Stanes</b>Posted by postman<b>Nine Stanes</b>Posted by postman<b>Nine Stanes</b>Posted by postman<b>Nine Stanes</b>Posted by postman<b>Nine Stanes</b>Posted by postman<b>Nine Stanes</b>Posted by postman postman Posted by postman
14th August 2017ce

Glassel (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

I parked up the road from the Glassel house main entrance, and started off up the track into the forest. Like everyone else we found the route very difficult to traverse, the deep ruts of the track were full of water and about half a dozen trees barred the way, at the end of the track I had no idea where to go, the map was still in the car, very useful, I wracked what's left of my brain and didn't come up with a great deal. A large clearing had tree stumps that looked like stones, I resisted Eric's temptation to go in and have a look, instead we took the dogs along the river, away from the forest track the going was much easier, the path we were following was quite worn, I was feeling hopeful. To our right was the river, to our left was a high bank, I mentioned my worry that the stones might be up the bank but from down here we could walk straight past it without ever spotting it. So I went up for a quick look, and there they were, maps, directions, who needs 'em.

This was another of those sweet little stone circles set within trees, the dappled light flicked across the small clearing, trees creaked in the breeze, Mia the Jack Russell pottered about the site unsupervised, whilst Arthur, same breed, sat with Eric who now and then yelled like a Bigfoot, Oooooooowhoooooooooo! No reply.

This stone circle is even more of a conundrum than Image wood from whence we've just come, in appearance it looked to me more like the Viking long ship stone settings they have in Scandawegia.
Burl calls it a four poster, with a very close outlier, Greywether suggests inlier.
Four stones are very much like a four poster, but then there's two low stones at one side three yards away is another flat stone, and there's that inlier, a variant recumbant stone circle, half way between RSC and 4 poster, is another theory, neither is very convincing, and then there's that old photo with another stone a standing.

One could sit and ponder what it is we have here for quite some time, and still not know. So we sit a while and listen to the birds, photograph the stones and then say goodbye.
Totally unwilling to go back the forest track way, where death by forest track is a definite worry, we follow the wee path by the river, it leads directly to the road right next to where it crosses the river. This is the route you should take, much easier.
postman Posted by postman
14th August 2017ce

Glassel (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Glassel</b>Posted by postman<b>Glassel</b>Posted by postman postman Posted by postman
14th August 2017ce
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