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

Mutiny Stones



Blimey. This is one hell of a long cairn, is it not? In fact, in a country chock-a-block with long cairns - albeit somewhat lacking in the vicinity - these Mutiny Stones form the longest long cairn I've seen this side of the incomparable Auchenlaich.

To stand at the head (or tail) of this truly monumental construction, despite the robbing of material to erect adjoining sheep folds and, shamefully, terminally moronic grouse butts, is to gawp in open mouthed wonder at the sheer human effort it must have taken to make the Neolithic vision a reality. I have no words. No, really, I don't... and if it wasn't for the conditions, I'd take off my hat to these people in recognition of what they achieved upon this desolate moor. A wobbly salute must suffice instead......

The standard route to the Mutiny Stones would appear to be along the Killpallet track to the north; however, nursing a somewhat 'tender' ankle (the result of too much cairn climbing, I guess) I decide to approach from the south. Hey, it looks shorter on the map, so it does. A very minor road leaves the Longformacus road and penetrates the fastness of the hills as far as Byrecleugh Farm, following the course of Dye Water. I ask permission to park here - permission readily granted by the very tall farmer - and set about making a complete hash of my map reading, descending from the track to investigate what appears to be a long cairn to my left. In my defence, it is a long cairn, but of the 'field clearance variety' only.

In retrospect, follow the road past Byrecleugh Farm to several more assorted dwellings, where you will be faced with a triple junction of tracks. Take the centre of these, climbing away to your right. A wide valley opens up to your left, with the aforementioned 'clearance cairn' visible on the far bank of the river. Ignore this - but not the view - and take the next, somewhat obscure right, following the left hand bank of a stream, a tall, spindly cairn visible upon Pyatshaw Ridge above to your right. The long cairn will soon come into view and is unmistakeable.

Set upon the south eastern slopes of Byrecleugh Ridge, the monument is surrounded by water courses - perhaps significantly so - with Dye Water to the south, Byrecleugh Burn to the east/north and Brock's Cleugh to the west. Here, silence is total in the absence, today, of any 'mighty' shotgun wielding hunters. Nobut's post has the technical stuff; suffice to say those who like their monuments to be somewhat 'remote' will love it here. Plonk yourself down upon the surprisingly wide head of the monument and simply enjoy one of the longest of Scotland's long cairns....
26th June 2010ce
Edited 26th June 2010ce

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