Barharrow Seven and Eight - Saturday 17 September 2011
Barharrow 1-8 is a collection of rock art panels first discovered in 1995. The outcrops form a rough trapezoid shape, whose points extend into fields on either side of a minor road near Twynholm. Canmap helps a lot.
You'll want to get yourself here. All the panels are within this frame.
A phone call late last Thursday brought myself and junior down to stay Friday night with holidaying friends a couple of miles from Barharrow.
I rose early today (Sat 17th September 2011) and was joined by General S as we squelched through foot deep mud in search of Barharrow 8. It was easy to find, visible from the road and at the end of a hundred yard long submarine shaped hillock at the road-side of the field.
(Here it is on Google Streetview the little outcrop just to the right of the yellow gorse is the one)
The hillock has many rocky outcrops and exposed faces. The little crag at the end is where you want to head once you navigate the fence and quite a meaty bit of rock art it is too. The lichen (yellow and white) encrusted rock has very deep motifs. A central cup has seven maybe eight deep curving channels radiating out (a bit like a spider shape). There were another couple of likely looking cups on the rock which connected with the radiating lines. A real chunky motif!
The field was also home to twenty five black Galloway bullocks and once they'd spotted us they came trotting over - we nipped smartly to the fence and got over while the bullocks were still plopping through the mud!
Barharrow 7 was next, back across the road, up the little access to the field and through the gate. You pass a couple of little old quarries which have been used for dumping rubble and old bits of corrugated iron in. Keep going. We were looking for the gate in the drystane dyke on our right. When we peered over there was a massive Charolais bull standing right where I wanted to go. After about a quarter of an hour's waving and distracting we got the monster with the horns and nose-ring to wander off along the edge of the fielddyke till it was far enough down for me to venture in, while General S stood on the dyke keeping watch. I'd had a brief visit to the panel a few months back but had no time to tarry then.
The panel is a beauty. Exquisite. A real treasure. A spiral - at least a foot across - sitting at the base of a gorse bush, staring at your face. If you check out Canmore the directions are quite clear. Just do the paces and look for the prominent outcrop (on the left of an old causeway...). It was a beautiful still Autumn morning and just a perfect day to see this panel. There is something about a spiral... and this one really is a lovely piece of work.
The delay with the bull meant Barharrow 1-6 will have to wait for a week's holiday in Gatehouse of Fleet mid October. My camera also had a malfunction and my pictures came out a bit blurry, however I also used the camera of General S, but as he's still down by Twynholm it'll be a few days before I can post them here.