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BLACKHILL November 4th 2004

I still cannot get over the size of some of the stone pillars on the Blackhill signposted road. Compared to most of the standing stones in Orkney they are monstrous. With a square-foot cross-section they would appear to be beyond the efforts 'modern' people would choose to expend on their present purpose, and yet they don't sit well to my eye with an ancient standing-stone's 'sensibility' - so goddam regular, ugly to boot.

On hopefully more certain ground I have finally taken my tape measure with me. So on to record the Blackhill flatface-aligned stone pair. Distance apart 3.7m. That at the left/downhill side 1.4x0.25x0.1m with top at a jaunty angle, the right/uphill 1.2x0.3x0.1m and level-headed. As mentioned before a drystane wall extends from behind the LH one across the hill. Today I notice a long stone (0.8x0.1m) sticking 0.1m aboveground half-a-metre uphill of the pair, perpendicular to them. Perhaps a vanished/submerged drystane wall's endstone ? Going uphill to one side are two low banks with a curved section between them. I think hollow-way but that's just the greenness of it. Was this an old farm-track or some kind of ditch. Ancient, modern or World War ? Are the banks turf-covered stumps of walls I wonder. Strange that it stops dead at the stone pair, the centre bit ever so slightly below the level of the trackway to the gate as if cut with a border spade. If it continued the other side it does no longer, for there is a cottage and walled garden here. Behind the RH stone I see a small stone breaking the surface, possibly part of a stone-setting now adrift or maybe the scarce remains of yet another wall.
Retracing my steps, where the road turns I see a narrow channel going downhill from the road to the present-day reservoir. A stream or a low dyke it seems. Looking back I see a dead alignment with the LH stone and wall behind that - a boundary of sorts is my guess. It may also line up with (Upper) Saverock and/or Saverock cottages, the reservoir blocks my view of these.

Below the reservoir is the Burn of Wideford and Yinstay.

wideford Posted by wideford
7th November 2004ce
Edited 7th November 2004ce

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