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Fieldnotes by thelonious

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Showing 1-20 of 284 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20

Pressendye (Cairn(s))

19/11/2016 - It's a funny old hill Pressendye. A decent size (just over 2000ft) but it can be easily overlooked, sandwiched between lovely small hills like Bennachie to the east and wonderful Morven and the big hills in the Cairngorms to the west.

The usual approach is from the Tarland side, south of the hill but today we thought we'd try from the north for a change.

Cold start to the day. Car said minus 5 as we parked not long after sunrise at the beginning of the track into Loanend Plantation (NJ 5112 1276). The track goes west through trees. After curving round Beadshallock Hill it gets a bit vague but nothing too bad and then becomes more distinct again up Scar Hill. From here the view of the landscape opens up as the track heads across The Socach to the top of Pressendye.

I love this top and the cairn is nice. We sat down for a sandwich and brew alongside it. The ground was a little chilly to be honest but still the rest felt good. Very peaceful place and the frost on the heather looked lovely in the low November sunlight.

I guess like most upland cairns the walk there is as important as the cairn itself and luckily the way up is good for this one. Got me thinking as we walked, about the folk who had travelled this hill before me to place this cairn in such a nice location. A fine day again on Pressendye.

Lord Arthur's Hill (Cairn(s))

12/11/2016 - Posting really just to give a different route up than Drew's. It's no better or worse but more options are always good, access wise.

We parked opposite the lovely church at Tullynessle, east of the hill. It's a nice walk west along a tarmac road to Terpersie. As the road splits at NJ 5482 2007 (good parking here too and close to Corrie cairn stone circle as well) we turned left to cross the Esset Burn and followed the track past Dubston. From here it's just a case of keeping to the track as it climbs Fouchie Shank (hut circle half way up) to the top of Lord Arthur's Hill. For a longer walk, cross the burn just before the start of Fouchie Shank and head north along the old right of way past the disused quarry for a long loop round the Correen Hills to the Lord Arthur's Hill.

The cairn is just east of the trigpoint. A modern shelter has been built on top but the cairn footprint is still visible. The top is lovely. Great views all round from Bennachie to the east and west to the Cairngorms. The Correen Hills are usually a quiet place to visit and you would normally have the cairn to yourself. It's a lovely spot to sit and while away a few hours.

Loanhead of Daviot (Stone Circle)

21/08/2016 - Been back home a couple of weeks now since my trip north. I've been feeling a bit sad the last few days as that's probably it trip-wise until next year. Woke up this morning thinking I should visit a nearby site to cheer myself up a little. Not a great time of year for visits to RSCs on farmland as a lot are in crop so we picked Loanhead as the parking's good and there are no access problems. I don't think I've been here in the summer before, I always think of it as a cold place. The sun on the stones made them shine out against the lovely greens all around and the whole setting reminded me a little of the cairns at Clava today. The stones of the circle were bigger than I remembered, especially the recumbent. I guess everyone does different things to blow the blues away. Saying hello to old stones works for me :-)

Carn Liath (Chambered Cairn)

05/08/2016 – After a visit to Creag a'Bhlair we strolled over to the edge of the forest with Carn Liath chambered cairn just inside. Luckily the fence has a good few gaps in it but after that, the last 40 or so metres to the cairn is quite tricky because of wind fell and maybe a little unsafe but we got there in the end. Really good cairn this one. High sides with the passage and chamber visible and intact. The whole place had a feeling of calm and stillness in its clearing, surrounded by tall trees. As this cairn is a bit in the middle of nowhere I thought we would have it to ourselves. Turned out not to be the case, a million midges also decided to visit the cairn at the same time. We didn’t stay as long as we would of liked.

Torboll (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

05/08/2016 – Between the chambered cairns of Craig A' Bhlair and Carn Liath are these great hut circles and field system. I don’t normally add these but I do like the circleyness of hut circles and the one at NH 7377 9968 is very fine indeed. Inner face of the wall is visible and the surrounding field system can be made out. Nice place.

Craig A' Bhlair (Chambered Cairn)

05/08/2016 – Started from the train station at Rogart. It’s a nice walk down the lane and then uphill to the top of Creag a'Bhlair. Just a little past the top, the chambered cairn comes into view on the south side along with an opening of the landscape. Coming from this direction, looking down on to the cairn, the setting really reminded me of another cairn Creag An Amalaidh, just a few miles farther south. Craig A' Bhlair chambered cairn is a good one. A large mound of stones with not much in the way of a chamber showing. The placement below Creag a'Bhlair with the ground stretching out to the south and a good view east to Loch Fleet is just lovely. Great area to spend a day, ambling about in the sun.

Learable Hill (Stone Circle)

04/08/2016 - Just west of the stone rows is this lovely little stone circle. Be good to know the timeline of all the sites on this hill and how they all relate to each other, if at all.

Learable Hill (Stone Row / Alignment)

04/08/2016 - Hard to go wrong in the Strath of Kildonan. Pick anywhere along its length and you are going to bump into the past. Today we chose Learable Hill. Stone rows, stone circle, chambered cairn, standing stone, cup marked boulders and lots of hut circles - that will do me. Normal way up, crossing the river and the train track south of Suisgill Lodge. It's just a short walk up hill after that. Nice cairn and standing stone but I'd come for the stone rows because let me tell you, I just love stone rows. They really are one of the great mysteries of this island's prehistory, at least they are for me. Multiple rows are rare and this hill has plenty. Brilliant stuff. I think I once read of them described as 'miniliths', great word. It rained petty much all the 5 hours we were on the hill but it didn't much matter. I could of spent all day just plodding round these stones looking for alignments (real or imaginary). Top site and there's even as a bonus a stone circle there as well!

Learable Hill (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

04/08/2016 - Interesting place this Learable Hill. Just about 600m north and a little downhill from all the stone rows are these two cup marked boulders. The lower one (NC 8948 2400) has about 16 cups on it. Lots of moss but the cups are quite deep and not too bad to make out. The second one, 40m uphill (NC 8945 2403) has 3 cups and a ring. I couldn't see a cup within the ring? This higher up boulder lies alongside two other similar boulders and there was a suggestion in the past that they could have formed part of a stone circle. They are certainly interesting. A nice hut circle is just a little farther up the hill.

Buoldhu (Chambered Cairn)

03/08/2016 - Not much to see but it's only just up the hill from Cuag. Time's not been good to this one as most of the stones have been reused to build a stone structure on top of the grassy mound. All a bit sad really.

Cuag (Chambered Cairn)

03/08/2016 - Just a short walk along the road north from Burn of Houstry brings you opposite Cuag chambered cairn on the other side of the burn. There's a bridge at ND 1542 3308. Nice cairn with chamber stones visible. It's in the middle of an area of newly planted trees so could lose its view in a few years time. Buoldhu chambered cairn is just a short walk up hill to the NW.

Burn of Houstry (Chambered Cairn)

03/08/2016 - We started from the Laidhay Croft Museum on the A9. You can park much closer but we fancied a bit more of a walk (nothing to do with the fine cakes in the tearoom there honest!) A few miles along quiet lanes and we were there. Easy access across a field. The cairn has had most of its stones removed to the side but the chamber stones remain and are worth a look. Great location for this one with plenty of other sites nearby.

Guidebest (Stone Circle)

03/08/2016 - If you are up in this part of the world for a day of stones, I think this circle should be included alongside the big hitters of the Grey Cairns, Hill O'Many Stanes etc. It's a nice change to the wildness of many of the sites in Caithness. Only about 6km away from Stemster but the feeling couldn't be more different. Located by the banks of the Burn of Latheronwheel (love that name), nestled between gentle hills the placement of the circle is just perfect. About 8 stones left of a large circle. At this time of year the feeling is one of peace and life. Strong summer colours of greens with fluffy white clouds in a blue, blue sky surround the circle. Timeless, perfect, wonderful...

The Great U of Stemster (Standing Stones)

03/08/2016 - After a visit to Broubster, a similar stone setting, a few days earlier we thought a pop in to say hello to the Great U was needed. I love this site. Lots of stones, interesting shape and just a brilliant middle of nowhere feel to the place. One that's always worth another look. Not sure I've been at this time of year before. Loved the wild flowers and grasses growing around and over the stones. Colours of yellow and green against the grey of the stones looked so nice in the sunshine. A must see site.

Ben Freiceadain (Chambered Cairn)

02/08/2016 - I've been wanting to visit here after seeing Gladman's photos a few years back. Hillfort and cairn in what looked like a great area. Finally made the trip and wasn't disappointed. The cairn is nice and the view is one of the best I have seen from any of the cairns I've been to, just wonderful. Parked at Dorrery, followed the track up to the trigpoint and then walked across to Ben Freiceadain. Great spot for wildlife at this time of year. We had five ospreys in the sky at once on the way. Sunny visit to a lovely place.

Shurrey, Sithean Dubh (Chambered Cairn)

01/08/2016 - Easy access from the road (ND 0511 5844, good parking). Only about a 200m walk. Nice views from this one.

Aultan Broubster (Stone Circle)

01/08/2016 - We came from the stones at Broubster to the north. Underfoot not too bad. We left the circle, heading SW to the road near the ruins of Broubster Village. A little warning that this way was very, very boggy. Still doable but wet. Maybe better from Achnacly, directly west of the circle?

A large circle and fine placement in the middle of an open landscape. A few stones still standing and it was good fun trying to find more hiding in the bog. Enough left to get a good feel of the size of the circle. Nice visit and good site to link up a walk with any of the other many sites nearby.

Bridge of Broubster (Standing Stones)

01/08/2016 - Only about 100m between these two stones but I was tired by then so it seemed like forever. Nice stones in a lovely grassy area.

Broubster (Standing Stones)

01/08/2016 - Not many stones left standing but it doesn't really matter. Broubster stone setting is good. An elongated horse shoe shaped setting of standing stones like the Great U of Stemster (I think these are the only two like this round here? Please correct me if I'm wrong). Like Stemster, the stones are turned to point towards the centre. I had been looking forward to this and I really liked it. Access is a bit of a pain. We came from the SE, through rides from the Tulach Buaile Assery. OKish this way. Access out of the forest is tricky from here though. Heading south down the fence line, we found no gate so a deer fence has to be climbed to head across to Aultan Broubster stone circle. Could be better from the north.

Tulach Buaile Assery (Chambered Cairn)

01/08/2016 - Described on Canmore as a 'turf-covered long horned cairn of the Orkney-Cromarty group, with a Camster-type chamber.' This cairn really is a good one. Over 200ft long with the east side looking to be intact. Small entrance to a passage on the cairn but looked too small and dangerous to go in. Setting is just great, looking over Loch Calder. A real favourite. This and the nearby Torr Ban Na Gruagaich chambered cairn are well worth a visit. Access wise we followed the shoreline of the loch from the south and then headed into the forest west to Broubster stone setting.
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