31/12/2013 - Last day of the year and I fancied a bit of a mad adventure to end on so I turned again to the fieldnotes of drewbhoy for inspiration and picked this cairn to try and find. It turned out as tricky as it looked. Starting from the same place as Drew,we headed north first, then looped west to climb Millstone Hill and back east through the woods to find the cairn. Trees are well spaced, so no problem there but under foot it's pretty hard going. Got there in the end. Cairn is very overgrown and not that exciting. The stone with Ogham inscription is worth the trip on it's own though. I really liked it. Back to the car via the ring cairn, which was again hard work and a bit tricky to find. Nice way to finish the year and made it back before the rain started, which is always a good thing.
To the north of Mains of Afforsk there is lay-by in which I parked to have a look of the OS maps. No tracks or anything could be seen but I estimated that I was at least 600 meters north of the farm entrance, which in theory put me closer to the cairn. I walked for at least a mile thru bogs, ditches and burns as well as dead trees and heather until I came to dry stane dyke. Turning right, therefore uphill, and kept going until the wall ran out. However luck was on my side and the forest clearing was just ahead with cairn in the middle.
The cairn is about 15 meters wide and 1 meter high. As Canmore says it has suffered thanks to the forestry work. I couldn't find any kerbs or stones of any kind except one. This stone was cross incised and had scratch marks on it. Was it worth the hike probably, but after some photos were taken the heavens opened along with thunder and lightning. The speed of the weather changing took me by surprise so a soaking was added to my collection of cuts and bruises.
To be honest I was looking for the ring cairn and became lost. This cairn, luckily for me, appeared from out of nowhere. The ring cairn can wait another day and I'll stop at Newton of Braco instead!
edit. Not being very wise on the subject the scratch marks are indeed Ogham.
Just like the last time I parked at the layby just north of Mains Of Afforsk, this time with a lot of gorse, grass etc being cut down or flattened by snow a forestry track could now be seen. This isn't the safest of paths, it is littered with fallen trees and branches, the recent rain has turned it into a series of small lochs. Still as it meanders west all over the place it climbs steadily until it meets another track in a clearing. In the south east quadrant at the crossroads sits the ring cairn.
It reeks of age probably due to the trees and Mither Tap which looks down on top. (It was busy today!) Although badly overgrown and damaged by forestry the ring cairn survives. Sitting at 14 meters wide and 1 meter tall. The inner section isn't central and is 4 meters in width. I wonder what a 'dig' would show.
The other cairn complete with cross incised and ogham marked stone is also quite difficult to find but can be found by heading west and uphill amongst another clearing.
Lovely area, lovely walk but drenched on the way back.