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

Brodick (carvings)

Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art

Fieldnotes

My 1994 OS Landranger map had not one but two sites marked at Stronach Wood - one being the main one here in Stronach Wood and the other a few hundred yards further up the hill. I decided to start with the one further up the hill then walk down to the next. The first attempt ended with me sunk in a bog, totally drenched, bearing many midge bites and harbouring a deep sense of failure and disappointment. Then I set up a big Red Deer deep in the insect infested bracken and heard gun shots break the afternoon air a few minutes later. My sense of failure and disappointment turned immediately to one of getting off the hill before I caught a stalker's bullet. I made my way noisily down to my car on the String Road determined toreturn and find the carvings. Getting changed back at the cottage I found a derr tick munching its way into my shoulder. Nasty creatures, they are difficult to extract without leaving the jaws in your flesh. It left a very painful bite which swoll badly and is still draining a week later.
The following morning I found myself back in the same mire and unable to find the stone as marked on my map. It took a third attempt to come to the conclusion that the old edition of the map was simply wrong or I needed new specs. I do need new specs but the old OS map seems to show two sites and I've posted the relevant map clipping to show folks where not to go (just in case their map is as old as mine was).
I bought the new OS Pathfinder edition and there was only one site marked! Once I had tracked down the deer stalker's access track off the main road I was at the carvings in a few minutes. But get this folks… there were quad tyre marks across the panels! (Once you shoot that deer on the hill you gotta get that yummy venison down to the butcher's shop and onto the plate somehow. Maybe Arran Heritage should take out a few of the plantation trees and take the path around the carvings…)
These carvings are groovy. I've seen many a cup and ring from Ben Lawers to Achnabreck but nothing had prepared me for the utter grooviness of these. Fluid and writhing… some of these seem to have a real sense of movement in them. A devastating midge attack suddenly ensued when the wind dropped and I had to flee the site but I was drawn back twice more during my week on Arran to look at and photograph some other stuff I'd seen up there - but I'll post about that once it has all been checked out and verified. If they are for real it will be a big WOW! But until things are verified then I shall temper my enthusiasm and say nowt!
The complete removal of the forestry plantations around Giants Graves above Whiting Bay has transformed the landscape they occupy. I'm sure this plantation at Stronach Wood will soon be due for clear felling as well. It will help with interpretation of the this site in relation to the megaliths in the immediate area and the notable landmarks in the landscape (Goatfell, Cir Mhor etc). There must be more art lurking under the peat on the red Arran sandstone which forms this hill!
Howburn Digger Posted by Howburn Digger
10th July 2010ce
Edited 15th July 2010ce

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