One of those sites I'd meant to do on my previous visit to this side of Luce Bay in '14 but got tripped up by 'busman's holiday' garden visits. I'd made it to Barsalloch, but not here. So near yet so far. A return to Barsalloch first, a contemplative chill and bask there, then, yes Wren's Egg, I'm on my way. I parked in Monreith and went across the fields to Blairbuy Stones first - see fieldnotes. The Wren's Egg and Nest called me in. Through the open gate with lady at farm's ready approval, then up the slope to the Wren's Egg and attendant smaller stones, sadly unmentioned in the name of this place. Like Barsalloch, I was it seems, having read his notes subsequently, following in CARL's wake. Woof woof, pitter patter, widdle. Same impression as him and Postie. Bloody nice place, especially on this blue sky autumn day. Why, why, why don't more people make it here??? Ffs, latitudinally it and MoG over the other side of lovely Luce Bay are south of Carlisle and Newcastle. The A75's a fine drive, a Euroroute even, and the A747 from Glenluce is even finer. Come. Please. Anyway, rant over. I circled the Egg, then had a look at the two stones, checking the alignments with those at Blairbuy. Snap, snap, snap. Then, as is my wont, off for a fieldwalk. I headed east away down the rise to check on the alignment of the Small Stones - they at least deserve capital letters - with the Egg. Then walked further away towards the the N-S field wall with its belt of trees behind, and farm buildings beyond them. As I approached the wall something in it caught my eye....... TWO ADDITIONAL STONES...... I have walling experience, and looked at what was before me from a structural, non fanciful perspective. I was adamant that the stones in this wall were in situ, but in light of info recieved now accept that they have been probably placed there in more recent times... however they are of the same shape and distance apart as the two by the Egg, and align with it. The wall has been built around them, and at present the ground level on the 'Egg' side means they look very squat, but I am confident that they are of the same size as the Egg's attendants, should a test excavation take place. Further stones from the site, displaced? I stood and looked at them for a bit, and had already decided there was more to this place than met the eye. Back up the slope to Egg and Stones for an alignment double check, then I decided to have a good look, circle and scramble over the oak covered Nest. Exposure by stock of soil and stones on it makes it plain that it is not a natural feature. What it is, pass, but.... not natural. Like the strange gorse covered conical mound by Terally Stone and the identical gorsey conical top to the outlier at Kemp's Walk, I'd love a ground penetrating survey out of curiosity. I carried on round the Nest, circling its perimiter anticlockwise, looking at the bare soil exposures and pretty uniform small rocks within. Under a tree on it's western side between about a third and half way along I found a large stone in the long grass. It had a fine, laminated structure, running from top to bottom. Something caught my eye again.. the light was right. There were about eight lines of long horizontal incisions on the lefthand of its 'field/W' side. Each line had other shorter cutmarks leading off from it, either at right angles or at an angle. Convinced then that this was made by human hand, I now accept Tiompan's judgement that what I had found were ploughmarks. It just goes to show how the inexperienced can be decieved. At the time though I confess I was a bit blown away after finding this stone in addition to the other two. Drumtroddan and more awaited though. My last day. Back to the open gate, and I thought I'd walk along the road back to Monreith. After a few yards walk along it I thought I'd get some more Egg pics and leant against the field wall. I looked over the wall to my right. Two further stones, resting against each other, incorporated in it. On the 'road' side of the wall they don't look much, on the lower, 'field' side they are revealed to be the best part of five feet long. Uprooted Wren's attendants? They are visible in this TMA image: http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/img_fullsize/126593.jpg Look at the left hand edge of the left hand stone, then to the field wall beyond. Two whitish lines therein. Another, possibly, to their left. While stamping back the grass on the road side of the wall to take some pics of the stones, herewith, a couple approached with their dog. She was a local, and had never noticed what I'd found. We had a natter, and I told her the purpose of my trip. She then told me about some carved and cup and ring marked stones locally, "plain to see when I was young, now covered in nettles and brambles". Oh, how I wish I'd had the presence of mind to ask her to point out their location on the map in my hand. I have not checked others Blairbuy fieldnotes yet, but, there may be yet more to find and record around here. I have read on preceeding fieldnotes Julian's assessment of this place as a 'protoneolithic temple'. Too right, Drude, too right. NOW will someone else come? A fine, intriguing and undervisited site.
Just to keep Postie happy I came to visit the next and egg(s). Oh OK I admit it - I was coming anyway!
There is plenty of room to park at the start of the drive to Blairbuy Farm. The approach road is in good condition so don't worry about the suspension etc.
The others stayed in the car whilst I walked through the open metal field gate, around the edge of the empty field and across to the obvious stones and 'nest'. The large boulder is approximately 2m across and the smaller boulders less than 1m across. Both of the smaller stones were surrounded by nettles.
I was surprised to find an Historic Scotland sign next to the trees. Although this site shows on the AA map it isn't on the 'official' Historic Scotland places to visit list. Perhaps it once used to?
Anyway, as Postie says, this is a good place to visit and well worth the minimal effort required to reach it. Assuming you happen to be in this part of the world of course!
I really can't believe no TMA'er has been here but me in over ten years, perhaps they have, but have no pictures and nothing to say about this rather bizarre site, I find it hard to believe.
The name of this site is a bit of a problem for me, it struck me as just a bit off, The Wrens egg and nest, ok, the nest is the big apparently natural stony mound, that bits ok, but is the egg the big boulder, what of the two small standing stones, why aren't they mentioned ? and why a Wren ? if all you've got is a nest and an egg, how would you know what species bird it is ?
Unless, the big boulder is the Wren and the two small standing stones are the eggs, and they've rolled out of the nest and the bird is trying to get them back in. That would make more sense of what is there, the big boulder is even slightly reminiscent of a little Wren scurrying about.
So the sites real name should be .................... The Wren, nest and eggs.
The site has lost none of its charm in the intervening eight years or so, the sun was low in the sky and shining yet again as it always does in bonny Scotland. The stones seemed bigger than in my memory, it often happens, the notice board seems even more ineffective than before though, a big boulder and concrete lump with a sign saying the sites name and who cares for it, if this is the best their care gets I suggest perhaps someone more caring would be better. A big friendly Golden Retriever ( is there any other sort )followed us down the road and looked mournfully at us as we left it to cross the field to the stones.
A really brilliant site, much to think about here, please can someone else come, I know it's kind of on the edge of the world but there is tonnes of other stuff round here.
Less than a mile north of Monreith. A small lane links the A747 with the B7085 and a smaller lane leads east to Blairbuy farm, the stones can be seen to the left, park at the side of the road if you can we didn't ask permission to see the stones but were spotted by the farmer though he didn't say owt so I presume it's ok.
Cope describes it as a proto-neolithic temple,the nest is a natural tree covered level mound and the Egg is a big glacial eratic with two smallish stones 20-30yards to the west.It was late on the sum sol morn when we visited with big fluffy white clouds ,a wonderful place to sit and ponder the ancient world
Apparently if you stand on top of the Wren's Egg on Midwinter's Day the Sun will set over Big Scaur - Scare on the OS - a large rock in the middle of Luce Bay. On every other day it sets further west. I remain interested whether this alignment is reflected in the two stones I found embedded in the stone dyke E of the site though accept that they are most probably of later date. I would also like to return to double check whether the Wren's Egg erratic is held in place by any visible chocking stones, indicating rolling into its present day position, perhaps in relation to this solar alignment.