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

Miscellaneous Posts by drewbhoy

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Davie's Castle (Hillfort)

'The green track ahead brings us to commercial forestry and forges dead straight ahead for a couple of miles. Half a mile along is a second wonder. We plunge off road to our second fortress of the day - Davie's Castle. A glacial tummock above the Glen Burn was fortified (in the Iron Age - say 2500 years ago) - defended with a circuit of ditch and a low bank (originally topped with a wall or palisade). Not a major hillfort but a suitable place for a petty chief to asset status among his own dependants and to proclaim power to his envious neighbours.'

John Barrett Knock News - No. 112 June 2106.

Dundee Law (Hillfort)

the Law was the site of a vitrified hillfort probably occupied during the Bronze Age. Remains of a settlement were found where the road was built to the top of The Law in the 1920s. Over the centuries it has been occupied by the Picts and Scots.

Old Dundee (postcards of Dundee) by Andrew Cronshaw.

Cothiemuir Wood (Stone Circle)

Cothiemuir Hill - Aberdeenshire

Cothiemuir Hill natural burial ground is located on the Forbes Estate in rural Aberdeenshire and is rich in wildlife, history and heritage.

Lying at the western end of the Lord Throat's road, the ancient wooded hill rises from verdant land, through a belt of deciduous mixed woodland including Scots Pine, to a Neolithic stone circle that crowns it crest. Flanking the hill, beneath the slopes of Bennachie, newly planted trees shelter the burial glades. here, plots for natural burial or the internment of ashes can be reserved, giving mourners the space to connect with nature, and more importantly the people buried there.

From the pamphlet advertising natural burials.

(also a couple of nice photos of the stone circle)

Lord Arthur's Hill (Cairn(s))

This is also a name of a Scottish Reel (fiddle music) written in G Major. Composed by Alexander Walker it is part of the 'A Collection of Strathspeys, Reels and Marches' published in 1866.

Summerhouse Hill (Round Cairn)

In 1935 Yealand archaeologist Colonel Oliver North carried out a survey of the site. He plotted the position of 6 limestone boulders and demonstrated that 4 of them were on the circumference of a circle 460 feet in diameter. He also noted depressions in the ground which might have housed other stones from the circle. Two remaining stones could conceivably have formed part of an outer ring, and were both about 330 feet from the centre of the supposed monument. Colonel North detected what he thought might be a large ditch on the north-western side of the circle. And he speculated that some of the large stones used as foundations for the Rawlinson summerhouse might have been pillaged from the stone circle. Others have suggested that summerhouse was itself built upon a cairn.

There has never been an archaeological dig on the site and some experts are not convinced that the stones are anything other than lime-stone boulders randomly deposited by a retreating glacier. But Summerhouse Hill is an atmospheric place.

Leighton Moss Ice Age To Present Day by Andy Denwood (Published 2014)

Barrow Hill (Kerbed Cairn)

There are a few other reasons to suggest that Summerhouse Hill was special to the people who lived around Leighton Moss. A few hundred yards to the south east, down the slope towards the metalled road on Peter Hill, are the remains of a round kerbed cairn.

Set among the trees and difficult to spot at first, the cairn is less than 2 feet high but 40 feet across. It has a noticeable circular dent in its top where it was opened up more than 200m years ago. The celebrated London physician and sometime amateur antiquarian John Coakley Lettsom witness the excavation of the burial site in 1778.

Lettsom was a Quaker and the founder of the Medical Society of London. He was also a regular visitor at the home of Thomas Rawlinson, the Yealand merchant and shipowner. In an address to the Society of Antiquaries of London, Lettsom declared that on opening the cairn he had discovered 'an urn containing between 3 and 4 quarts of human bones' and 'a human skeleton, and a large glass bead of a blue colour above an inch in diameter'.

Sadly no trace remains of the bones or bead. And while the Bronze Age beaker sat for many years on a shelf at nearby Yealand Manor, local gossip has it that it was broken and thrown away by a superstitious house-maid. Interestingly, in his talk to fellow antiquarians Lettsom said that his dig took place on Barrow Hill - an old name for Summerhouse Hill - where there were 'many barrows of earth and stone'. And he added that since his own excavation other barrows had been opened and many human bones found.

Leighton Moss Ice Age To Present Day by Andy Denwood (Published 2014)

Dog Holes Cave (Cave / Rock Shelter)

A short walk south-west from Summerhouse Hill is the highest point overlooking the moss. Warton Crag is 530 feet above sea level and here too there's evidence of early human settlement. A cave called the Dog Holes was excavated between 1909 and 1913 by the Manchester Museum curator J. W. Jackson. His work showed that it had been lived in from Neolithic times, through the Iron Age to Roman times. Jackson unearthed human and animal bones as well as Roman and pre-Roman pottery fragments and jewellery. He also discovered lumps of iron slag which suggested that early residents may have been smelting iron ore that had been mined locally.

Leighton Moss Ice Age To Present Day by Andy Denwood (Published 2014)

Warton Crag (Hillfort)

The summit of the Crag has a commanding view over Morecambe Bay and vessels approaching the sea entrance to Leighton Moss could be spotted immediately from here. On the northern and eastern sides of the summit - and really difficult to make out - are the remains of three stone-built ramparts which make up a small fort. Thought for a long time to be Iron Age, archaeologists more recently have been divided about it's origins. Some have suggested it could be older - perhaps Neolithic or Bronze Age - while others have noted a similarity with post-Roman defensive settlements elsewhere in Britain. As with Summerhouse Hill, eighteenth-century antiquarians report the excavation of burial mounds on the skirts of Warton Crag' in which human remains and earthenware beakers were found.

Walking around the moss and exploring the surrounding hills, the impression gained is that this was an important area for prehistoric peoples. The woods, the marshy fringes of the bay and the seashore itself were clearly valuable sources of food and materials.

The hills provided sites to bury their dead and possibly somewhere where religious ceremonies and celebrations were held. The summit of Warton Crag meanwhile has been a safe haven for many generations of local people: a look-out post to spot the arrival of threatening newcomers and a fortress to retreat into in the event of attack.

Leighton Moss Ice Age To Present Day by Andy Denwood (Published 2014)

Greece (Country)

An article summarising recently published work on hominins in Greece, suggesting reasons for lack of finds from the early Palaeolithic: climate change, tectonic activity, and sea level rises.

Stonehenge (Stone Circle)

Very important picture of Stonehenge.


Standing Stones of Urquhart (Stone Circle)

'In the midst of Fife's tastefully controlled countryside, we are plunged into another age.

Suffered to remain as a decorative feature in Fife's improved landscape are the bulky megaliths of a Bronze Age stone circle. These alternating pink and grey granite boulders were erected when in Egypt pharaohs were building pyramids. The magic of this Pagan temple of the Sun and Moon persisted into Christian times : ancient gods are remembered in the popular name for the monument - 'The De'il's Stanes'

J. R. Barrett Knock News.

No. 64/June 2012.

Sandend (Cairn(s))

Near the distillery lies the affectionately named 'Cup And Saucer'. This tower like structure is the remains of a windmill, built in the mid-eighteenth century by the local proprietor, General James Alexander of Glasshaugh. Abercromby was at one point Commander in Chief of the British forces in North America, but returned home after a humiliating defeat in battle at Ticonderoga. His windmill was built on top of a Bronze Age Cairn using much of it's stonework. It ceased production during the first half of nineteenth century but stands as a reminder of times gone by.

Mark Leith, Knock News Issue 61
March 2012.

Perth and Kinross

More news about Carpow Log Boat.


These stunningly beautiful glass beads with intricate spiral patterns are known only in the North East. Who made them and why?

More info :

Banchory Manse (Cist)

The inscription on the stone says :

These stones formed part of a Prehistoric Stone Cist which, containing an urn, was discovered here when the highway was made about 1800. An early Celtic Round cross probably from St. Ternan's churchyard is built into the manse wall opposite.

Recorded by the Provost and Town Council of Banchory 1923.

Blackhills House (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

'We march down to Blackhills House. Our wonder is a garden feature. Six stone pillars support a jaunty stone-tiled roof. Within this shelter a rugged stone block perches on a little plinth. One face is pocked with a random rash of round pits. On the opposite face are two linked spirals. My map tells me that this a prehistoric Cup Marked Stone. These things are old : Neolithic-Stone Age-the age of the first farmers whose slash-and-burn and simple ploughs tore open Scotland's soil 5,000 years ago-or maybe more. We do not touch the carved designs, though tempted. There is an ancient magic here that urges us to trace the spiralled coils or to place a finger in each pecked-out cup. But what supernatural forces might inhabit the stone-awaiting ritual release.'

John Barrett.

Knock News Issue 42 August 2010.

Mither Tap (Hillfort)

'On the summit of Mither Tap (1698 feet) are the ruins of what is probably a Pictish fort. It was an enormous structure, the total circumference of which must have been over 700 feet. The outer wall is fully fifteen feet in thickness and is carefully built with well coursed masonry having a rampart walk and a parapet. Inside the protected area were found the remains of around ten hut circles, a well and a second wall.'

Algy Watson.

Oyne Past and Present.

Newlands Of Oyne (Cist)

'Two graves of an early historical age, containing some bones and dust, and at least one burial urn were found on the farm of Newlands. In the beginning of August, 1932, the cover stone of a short cist was discovered while excavation was taking place for material to repair the road leading up to the farm of Newlands. On raising this stone a short cist was uncovered on the floor of which lay the remains of a human skeleton and an urn. Mr. George Murray, the farmer, removed the urn to his house, left the bones undisturbed and replaced the cover so that the burial might be examined by one familiar with such deposits. This was a typical short cist of the early Bronze Age and was formed by four slabs set on edge, one at each side and one at each end. The urn which belongs to the beaker class was found intact apart from two cracks on opposite sides of the lip.'

Algy Watson.

Oyne Past and Present.

New Kinord (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

From The Muir Of Dinnet Nature Reserve Leaflet.

The first people probably came to Dinnet around 8,000 years ago but the only evidence that remains is the odd flint chip in the ploughed fields. Some of Scotland's very first farmers settled in Deeside, in Neolithic times around 5,000 years ago. Tiny pollen grains trapped in the mud of the reserve's lochs give a picture of agricultural changes from then onwards. A drop in the amount of tree pollen and an increase in the amount of cereal pollen shows that people were cutting down trees and growing crops 5,000 years ago. Iron Age people, roughly 2,700 to 1,900 years ago, left more visible evidence of a settled farming community in the form of field boundaries, trackways and hut circles in the neck of land between the lochs. Now grassed-over and among the woods, these circles show were the bases of large timber huts once stood. Some two millennia later, farming still forms part of the activity on the Dinnet and Kinord estate, part of which now forms the nature reserve.

Loch Kinord (Crannog)

Loch Kinord is in the Muir Of Dinnet nature reserve. This comes from the info sheet.

Kettle, crannog and castle.

Lochs Kinord and Davan also result from the long vanished ice. They formed when two huge chunks of ice pressed down into the land and melted slowly, leaving hollows called 'kettle holes' which then filled with water as the ice melted.

Loch Kinord, the larger of the two lochs, has a number of small islands. One of these near the north-east shore is artificial. It's an old crannog~a loch dwelling where a large hut sat on a platform, once connected to the shore by a narrow causeway. Around 2.000 years ago, Iron Age people using dug-out oak canoes built it by pushing large oak trunks into the loch bed and piling layers of stone, eart and timber on top, to form the base. A large hut was then built on stakes above the water. The crannog stayed in use until medieval times when King Malcolm Canmore (Malcolm III0 may have kept prisoners here in the 11th century. Malcolm used a wooden 'peel' tower on Castle Island (largest island in the loch) as a hunting lodge.
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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)

Protect your heritage!

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