|The terrier and I recently spent a couple of days camping on the shores of Loch Tay.
I could see by the map that getting to this site was going to be a bit of a struggle but Tiompans lovely pictures and Stan Beckensall's description of the site in his lovely book Circles of Stone had this marked down as a must-see.
I parked up in a gap on the roadside at approx NN697422 and then passed through the field gate onto the steep hillside. The contours fall pretty close together here and the ground is pretty wet. It took the terrier and I a good bit of too'ing and fro'ing to pick our way through the chest-high bracken and shin-deep bogs to climb the steepest part of the hill. Eventually we reached the final stone wall, the slope eased off a little and the walking became a little easier.
As we worked our way up the slope I could see a group of people standing roughly where I had worked out that the carvings should be. Bollocks!, just my luck I thought, having slogged up the hill to have my peace disturbed by a bunch of folk shooting rabbits or some such nonsense.
As I moved up the hill the figures began to take shape "that fella doesn't half look like George" I thought, "that other fella is the dead pop of Stan Beckensall, fuck me there's Richard Bradley!" I began to think that perhaps the pot of expresso that I'd drunk before setting off was having some bizarre hallucinogenic effect. As I got closer I could see the bloke who looked like George squinting and smiling at me.
Basically what I'd stumbled upon was the tail-end of an excavation by Richard Bradley and his team with George, Stan with Paul Frodsham paying a visit. Here was me on my first visit to Perthshire, I pick an obscure upland site to visit and stumble across this jolly bunch.
As for the site itself, the excavations were coming to an end, Richard Bradley busied himself ensuring that the recording and back-filling was all going to plan. Stan kindly showed me around the site including some new carvings. I was fortunate enough to be able to lift the turf off some of the known carvings and basically drink the whole thing in.
From my point of view it was a real privilege to be able to sit down in the landscape and discuss archaeology and rock art with such lovely folk as George and Stan.
Beautiful rock art in a fantastic landscape shared with excellent company. Who could ask for more?
Posted by fitzcoraldo
15th August 2007ce
Edited 15th October 2007ce