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Highland (Mainland) — News

Evidence of 'special site' for Bronze Age burials near Loch Ness

Archaeologists say they are finding increasing evidence that a site near Loch Ness was important for burials in the Bronze Age.

Isle of Skye — News

60 million-year-old meteorite impact found on Skye

Geologists have found evidence of a 60 million-year-old meteorite impact on the Isle of Skye.

Auchlee (Ring Cairn) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Auchlee</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Auchlee</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Auchlee</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Auchlee</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Auchlee</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Auchlee</b>Posted by drewbhoy

Cairnwell Ring Cairn (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Cairnwell Ring Cairn</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Cairnwell Ring Cairn</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Cairnwell Ring Cairn</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Cairnwell Ring Cairn</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Cairnwell Ring Cairn</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Cairnwell Ring Cairn</b>Posted by drewbhoy

Craighead (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Craighead</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Craighead</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Craighead</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Craighead</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Craighead</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Craighead</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Craighead</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Craighead</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Craighead</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Craighead</b>Posted by drewbhoy

Clerkhill Wood (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Fieldnotes

With Storm Caroline for company obviously the best place to go for a walk was Clerkhill Wood near Bridge Of Don, Aberdeen.

From the Bridge of Don take the B997 north west taking the first minor road heading south, signposted Whitestripes (love that name!) and Grandhome. Go past the next minor road and pull in just at the next wood. There is a forest walk and it can be easily found. Sadly just look for all the empty tins (and other evidence of a fairly wild party) and you have reached the start of walk.

Follow the track straight west following the dry stane dykes which lead to Clerkhill Wood, once past the rubbish dump at the start, a very nice walk.

NJ 9078 1190 This is the best preserved hut circle and is an impressive size. It is almost 10m wide with walls well over 4m in width and in some places almost 1m high. The trees standing on these walls almost mark out the site. To the south the front door is almost 1.5m wide.

NJ 9079 1192 Going by my ratings this is the second best hut circle and is only a short distance from NJ9078 1190, only just over 20m to its centre. It also is 10m in width but has seen better days. The walls are about 3m in thickness and almost 0.3m high. Once again trees sit atop these walls.

Both of these sites are just to the north of the track. The third hut circle is to the south.

NJ 9077 1183 On the 'drew scale ratings' this is least preserved hut circle. Difficult to find it is just over 6m wide and has walls up 3m wide which come to height of 0.2m at its highest with trees sitting top. From its neighbours it is 60m to the south.

I walked to the southern edge of the wood, following the track, and found a view of the place were I used to work except instead of an office and a couple of warehouse there are thousands of houses stretching from Stoneywood, all through Mugiemoss (home to quite a few paper mills), Danestone and up to Bridge Of Don with more going up all the time. Sad really!

However Clerkhill Wood, worth a further visit I think.

Visited 7/12/2017.

Clerkhill Wood (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Images

<b>Clerkhill Wood</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Clerkhill Wood</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Clerkhill Wood</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Clerkhill Wood</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Clerkhill Wood</b>Posted by drewbhoy

S64, Scarista (Burial Chamber) — Images

<b>S64, Scarista</b>Posted by drewbhoy

Clachtoll (Broch) — News

Discoveries made at Iron Age house site in Assynt

Volcanic pumice stone and pottery of a type common on the Isle of Lewis have been found at a 2,000-year-old site in the Highlands.

Lynchat (Souterrain) — News

Work on A9 leads to 'Iron Age finds' in Cairngorms

Work on the A9 has led to the discovery of a possible structure, pottery and a stone tool from the Iron Age.

Sanday — News

Archaeologists exploring the secrets of Sanday whales

Archaeologists based in Orkney are investigating a number of 19th century whale skeletons recovered during a dig at a neolithic site.

Norrie's Law (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

The last stop of another fine say in Fife was at the Norrie's Law cairn with its magnificent views of the Firth Of Forth to the south, Craig Law to the east, the flaring of the refinery at Grangemouth and the River Forth to the west. Some less than superb views of fir trees are to the north. Still 3 out of 4 is pretty good.

Situated right next to a farm track, the cairn is housed in by a fence which looks equally prehistoric. I jumped the fence as if I opened the gate it looked like it might never recover. Despite being overgrown it is an impressive place and with night fast falling the views and silence added to the atmosphere. The flare to the west only indicating how dark it really was, also it indicated how beacons would have worked back in olden days.

It still sits at almost 20m wide and is around 4m high.

From the centre of Ceres take the minor road south then take the first minor road east. After a wee wood take the first farm track south which will lead straight to the cairn. A nice way to end the day.

Visited 27/10/2017.

Penchrise Pen (Hillfort) — Links


Nice wintry film of the fort.


Beautiful winter scenes of the fort.

Penchrise Pen (Hillfort) — News

Turbine plans near hill fort near Hawick rejected

Plans for a wind farm near the site of an ancient hill fort in the Scottish Borders have been unanimously rejected by councillors.

Original Story.

Down Law (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

Down Law is situated to the east of Bowden Hill but it reminded me of the fort much further east at Sales, near Trieste in North East Italy. The big difference being Sales is covered in trees and Down Law is covered in short grass. Like Sales, Down Law has huge ramparts/ditches all over the place covering the top of the hill except on the north. The north side makes use of the natural defences with other defences being simply attached.

The entrance is on the south side and it is impressive in size. At least 3-4m wide, the ramparts are easily 2m in height and 3-4m wide. More but slightly smaller ramparts can be found to the west. Sadly, clearly visible quarrying has destroyed part of the western section. Even on top of the hill there is a small ditch that surrounds the fort. Also dotted round the edge are boulders which, presumably, would have been used to bolster a wooden palisade. Inside the fort there appears to an enclosure of sorts.

Sadly you sometimes have to wonder at the positioning of buildings and masts, right next to the fort to the north are the aforementioned eyesores. Still they do provide an excellent location marker.

Maybe not as big as some forts, but for Fife this is massive and it made me wonder how important this place was.

As we made our way back down we all noticed that the temperature had dropped considerably. From double figures it had plummeted to down to 4. Away to the north west a friend had texted from Aviemore to say that it was snowing. My favourite conditions are on the way :-)

Normally I would have gone cross country from Bowden Hill as there are no real obstacles in the way but since there was a group of us we took to the road. Head north from Bowden following the road as it swings east until a crossroads. Take the road south, very twisty, until the aptly named Fort Fishery is seen. Plenty room to park, head down the hill looking for a gate near the office and then head back up hill through the entrance into a series of wonderful ramparts.

Fantastic site!

Visited 27/10/2017.

Bowden Hill (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

Bowden Hill has wonderful views of The Lomonds to the west, Down Law to the east, Normans Law/Green Craig to the north and the Firth Of Forth to the south.

Sadly there is very little traces of fort now except for some on the western slopes which are almost impossible to photograph. However changes of colour in the grass give an idea of how large the fort was. The builders also had the good sense to use the slopes on three sides to their advantage. To the east Down Law might have given protection or a place of safe haven. Whatever Down Law was to Bowden is uncertain but it was going to be our next stop.

Just south east of the village of Balmalcolm on the A914 take the next road east which will then swing south. Follow the sign to the small village of Kettlehill and keep going till this road ends. At the junction head north, Bowden Hill being the first hill. At the bottom of the hill there is a track that provides enough room to park. Stunning all round views at the top.

Visited 27/10/2017.

Lady Mary's Wood (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

Lady Mary's Fort must have been some place back in the Iron Age nestling under the summit of nearby Walton Hill. Also in the fort is a mausoleum which is in various states of decay.

Despite the vegetation I thought the ramparts and ditches were easily enough found especially to the south east were there are multiple lines of defence and a possible entrance. Another possible entrance is to the north west, our entrance, with an inner rampart almost encircling the whole fort. Steep slopes to the east also were used in the construction. Canmore must have had a bad time of it but we certainly found more defences despite the vegetation. Perhaps falling into them helped.

Head south east from Cupar on the A914 taking the second minor road south. At the first corner park and look north. Inside the wood is the fort (and mausoleum). Follow the track through the field until the wood. Unwittingly we walked all the way round and approached from near the top of Walton Hill and therefore took a more northerly approach which also showed the steep slopes of the northern section. Near the small lakes eastern end look for a small path which leads straight to the centre of the fort over one of the ramparts we found (or fell into).

From the forts east side take path to the edge of the wood which obviously was the path we should have taken but it was a good mistake to make. Heading back south west towards our parking spot we were treated to beautiful views of The Lomonds, the dominant high spots of Fife.

Visited 27/10/2017.

Dun Dearduil South (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

Just to the south west and slightly downhill from Dearduils highest point, home to the wonderful North fort, is another fort. This one, however, hasn't aged quite so well.

A lot of the walls have fallen down the slopes but rough boulders still surround the fort especially to the south. Canmore suggests these walls could have been up to 5m wide surrounding an area up to 31m in length and 26m wide.

After that it was find a nice spot for something to eat and a easier route in which to walk or fall down the hill. Mr T and myself showing how to fall down holes and Mrs T showing how to stay upright.

Visited 24/10/2017.

Lady Mary's Wood (Hillfort) — Miscellaneous

This is an isolated burial in a mausoleum within the remains of an Iron Age fort, which is now densely tree covered. The mausoleum was built in parkland of Crawford Priory, which Lady Mary Lindsay had built in the early 19th century. The mausoleum was a finely-built structure, using quality sandstone ashlar masonry. It has suffered much damage in later years, with walls and the roof structure partly collapsing. The gabled porch with rounded arch doorway survives mostly intact. It is thought only Lady Mary was buried here. Crawford Priory is itself a ruin and the parkland is now mostly farm land.

J Dowling 2017

Westerton (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Links


Interesting picture.

Westerton (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Follow Mr Brands directions and you will find that the stone and its cup marks haven't moved. We couldn't see the man on the stone so presumably he has moved on. Quite what this man was up to I'm not clearly sure but it looks like some kind of fertility symbol. The picture on the link seems get a grip of the situation.

The stone has been fenced in and the entrance is near the wall.

Visited 26/10/2017.

Slivia 1 (Hillfort) — Miscellaneous

The open-air Museum of Mt. Ermada offers a chance to discover the Austro-Hungarian defensive line fortified in September 1916 following the Sixth Battle of the Isonzo. The Italian victory had forced the Habsburg Imperial Army to abandon the high ground around Monfalcone and move to this area around the Karst surrounding Trieste. The choice of settling at Mt. Ermada and the surrounding hilltops was not random, but rather driven by strategic and practical reasons.
From here, in fact, you could control both the Valley of Brestovizza (Brestovica Dol, now part of Slovenia) and the passage to Trieste, the Habsburg town claimed by the Italians. The sinkholes, the passages between the rocks and the natural caves of the Karst Plateau perfectly adapted to the needs of the Great War. Trenches, observation posts and housing for soldiers were built in no time, practically creating an insurmountable barrier for the Italians. All assaults of the Third Army between the Eighth and Tenth Battle of the Isonzo were indeed rejected despite the lower number of Austro-Hungarian soldiers.

Open-air Museum of Mt. Ermada

(From here you can see almost all of the Karst Forts which the Austro Hungarians used.)

Slivia 1 (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

Follow the signs from the centre of another beautiful village, this time Slivia, once again parking the near the information board. The hillfort is around 600m away to the south east. Once again when the trees clear it is another astonishing array of white lime stone walls. Some of the original late Bronze Age dykes remain which surround the top of this fantastic viewpoint.

The inner walls stand at an astounding 5m high and must be at least the same wide. I managed to walk the 300 meters all the way round with the only real gap being the entrance which is on the eastern side approaching from the north. Even the outer wall and ramparts are enormous. These cover the south, south east and south west. They stand at least 2m tall with the ditch being 2m wide. Just for good measure there is further defence with a dry stane dyke lying to south of the ditch. Just for size it is a mind blowing place, I've certainly never seen nothing like it.

Like a lot of these forts it was used in later wars. The nearby Mount Ermada was protected by this and several other forts in the Isonzo Wars (see Misc) of 1916 between the Italians and Hapsburgs. Trenches and shacks can be found within the walls to the north east. In the beautiful places horrendous things happen and this area has had its fair share. However Carlo Marchesetti, an archaeologist who I'd read a lot about, restored a lot of the fort and is considered the areas greatest historian.

It is very fitting that the fort now bears his name, so another glass was raised to him.

Visited 18/10/2017.

Slivia 1 (Hillfort) — Miscellaneous

Castle of Slivia I

From the centre of the village you can see the first of the two castles of Slivia, and reach it by following path no. 47 which runs through meadows dedicated to hay production. The summit, located at 199 m above sea level, is surrounded by an imposing wall, up to 5 meters high, characterized by the presence of a passage. The inner circle, circular, was further defended by another semi-circular outer structure. The chateau was widely used, from 1500 to 400 BC. The stones nowadays scattered in confusing times are most likely due to both the perimeter wall and the protostorical buildings that found space inside the inner shelves. Scary remains demonstrate how the castle was frequented sporadically even in Roman times.

The strategic importance of the altitude for the control of the surrounding area has also been noted in a much recent era: on the northeast side are still visible the shacks and trenches excavated to protect Mount Ermada during World War I. The castles for the grandeur of the remains and for the goodness of the research conducted here has been titled to the greatest local scholar of the castles: Carlo Marchesetti

Castelliere di Slivia I - Percorsi in Provincia di Trieste

Sales (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

Once again we parked at a crossroads this time in the village of Sales, another beautiful wee place. Across the road there is a memorial to the local Slovene and Italian Partisans so it seemed apt that we were going to visit the hillfort that centuries ago had also defended this area.

Head north from here until the tarred road runs out at a crossroads. Luckily a local man was working on a wall and gave us precise directions to the fort. Go west and keep going following the path until a filled in (by leaves etc) pond, man made centuries ago to help feed animals. Go round the pond and head south. This will lead directly to a notice board which gives info about the fort.

Climb west over a couple of ancient walls until the huge rampart is met. The ditch for this is over 4m wide with the ramparts themselves still standing at 3m tall. There is 500m of this all round the top of the hill. Funnily enough if this fort had no trees it would resemble Down Law in Fife. (a stretch of imagination but reasonable I think.) The main entrance is on the south west and is 3.5m wide. Also in the middle of the fort there appears to be a cairn with perhaps a cist beginning to appear.

I walked all the way round the fort and climbed to the top of the southern wall. Looking down it seemed the whole of the south face was a wall, this must have been an important place and a place of habitation. Land around here seems, nowadays, to quite fertile so maybe back in the late Bronze Age/early Iron Age they decided to stay. One thing they did know about was how to built walls, most of them are still standing.

Then it was back down the hill retracing our steps back to the crossroads. On the other side of the road, a wee pub and fantastic food. I raised a glass to the memorial across the road!

Visited 17/10/2017.

Rupinpiccolo (Hillfort) — Miscellaneous

Rupinpiccolo Castle

The castle's outer wall is 240 meters long and is distinguished by the presence of two access roads. The imposing remains of the walls led the local Superintendence to restore the site in view of its importance. The originally elliptical profile of the castle wall is now interrupted in its western part from the underlying quarry, but from the section it still perceives the robustness of the enclosure formed by a drywall wall, with the outer skirts formed by large limestone blocks and the internal filling made up of stones and earth, to give greater stability to the structure. The castellary had a purely defensive function and control of the territory: they are almost all places on the hills that enjoy a great view on the surrounding area and generally succeed in seeing each other, letting them think that in the era of for which the Second Millennium BC was used, there was a kind of network of reports between a castler and the other, so as to form a true line of defense.

Castelliere di Rupinpiccolo - Percorsi in Provincia di Trieste
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Still doing the music, following that team, drinking far to much and getting lost in the hills! (Some Simple Minds, Glasvegas, Athlete, George Harrison, Empire Of The Sun, Nazareth on the headphones, good boots and sticks, away I go!)

(The Delerium Trees)

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