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

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Trethevy Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Fieldnotes

Visited: 10 Oct 2017

Visited after our trip to the Hurlers. As expected down a narrow single (almost) track road to a small 'island'. From here Trethevy Quoit is well signposted to a field gate. What initially surprises about this ancient monument is its proximity to some nearby houses and to the field entrance. I had read quite a bit about damage being done to the base of the monument by cattle and farm vehicles though could see no evidence of animals or any recent damage on this occasion.

It is an enormous monument which can't help but impress. Oddly though, I was strangely unmoved by it - perhaps I missed viewing it from a distance on the skyline first as with other monuments of this nature I have visited. Didn't have to walk through a bog, or jump a stream, or circumnavigate farm animals. Perhaps it was just too easy.

Very glad to have seen it though.

Trethevy Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Trethevy Quoit</b>Posted by tjj<b>Trethevy Quoit</b>Posted by tjj<b>Trethevy Quoit</b>Posted by tjj

The Hurlers (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Visited: 10 Oct 2017.
Part of an 'archaeology day' while visiting east Cornwall for a few days last week (also on same day walked by Golitha Falls, took in an early Christian stone cross, Trethevy Quoit and an ancient well).

We were turned away from the first car park as you drive into Minions as it had been taken over by a film crew for filming "The Kid Who Would Be King" (to be released 2018). So we parked at the second car park which had a horse transporter lorry carrying stunt horses parked up in it. We walked across the moorland towards the Hurlers and spotted a large fake trilithon, about the same height at Stonehenge. it did seem surreal especially when a friendly man in a high viz jacket told me not to take photos. I'm not very good at doing as I'm told these days.

It was a bit of a grey day with mist hanging low threatening to turn into rain and the whole experience seemed to be coloured by the bizarre nature of the background activity though I wouldn't go as far as to say it distracted from my first impression of the Hurlers. We wandered over to the Pipers - two comparatively large lichen covered stones, then had to choose between walking over to the Cheesewring or going to have a cream tea in a friendly looking cafe at Minions. The cream tea won.

A bit later we watched some of the filming taking place on the other side of Minions and perhaps more dramatically one wild pony chase another off into the distance then gallop back again across the road. Heart in mouth while watching.

The Hurlers (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>The Hurlers</b>Posted by tjj<b>The Hurlers</b>Posted by tjj<b>The Hurlers</b>Posted by tjj<b>The Hurlers</b>Posted by tjj

The Pipers (Standing Stones) — Images

<b>The Pipers</b>Posted by tjj

Duloe (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Visited: 9 October 2017.
Last week spent a lovely few Cornish days based in Fowey. Took a slight detour on route to visit Duloe stone circle. Not that easy to find using a road atlas and we were almost in Looe before we realised we had gone too far. Find it we did though as I have wanted visit Duloe since first reading Julian Cope's impressions in the TMA book.

Dated 2000BC, it is unique for being Cornwall's smallest stone circle with the largest stones. There is a (now much faded by the elements) information board which gives quite a lot of information if you able to read it. The circle is less than 12 metres in diameter and consists of eight quartz rich stones which contain ankerite. This suggests they were obtained from Herodsfoot mine, although similar stones are found at Tregartland Tor, Morval.

A nearby farm is recorded as being named Stonedown as far back as 1329 but the circle was not officially discovered until 1801, probably because it was bisected by a hedge and stood half in an orchard and half in a field. The bisecting hedge was removed in 1858 by Rev T.A. Bewes of Plymouth and 1861 the fallen stones were set up although the one broken in the process now lies prostrate. At the same time an urn said to be full of bones was discovered at the base of the largest stone but broken accidentally by the workmen and now lost. In light of this it is thought be a bronze age burial mound.

Duloe (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Duloe</b>Posted by tjj<b>Duloe</b>Posted by tjj

County Kerry — News

Illuminating discovery at megalithic tomb in Kerry


https://www.rte.ie/news/munster/2017/0925/907390-megalithic/

A hillwalker in west Kerry has made a stunning discovery which connects a 4,000-year-old tomb with the equinox. The megalithic tomb, known as the Giant’s Grave, is situated in the valley of Loch an Dúin on the eastern side of the Conor Pass.
Ancient rock art can be found within the tomb, including a cup and circle near the head of the tomb.
For the past 14 years Daithí Ó Conaill, a retired school principal, has visited the site during the winter and summer solstice hoping to make a connection between the tomb and the sun.
He has now discovered that the wedge tomb is actually aligned to the setting sun of the equinox, which last occurred on Friday 22 September.

As the sun sets directly into a 'V' shaped valley in the distant Brandon mountain range, a shaft of light enters the wedge tomb, illuminating the chamber and the rock art at the head of the tomb. The event can be witnessed at sunset for a number of days either side of the equinox.
Archaeologist Míchéal Ó Coiléain who has carried out extensive surveys in Loch an Dúin said it was a stunning discovery, providing a fine example of the engineering brilliance demonstrated by the people who constructed it.

"Daithí's discovery is wonderful and it goes to show that people living 4000 years ago are aware of movements of the sun. They are agricultural communities, so to know when the longest days of the year, the shortest, and when the equinoxes fall is so important. To construct such a perfectly positioned monument required remarkable expertise and knowledge."

The Equinox occurs twice a year when the plane of the Earth’s equator passes directly through the centre of the Sun’s disc. During an equinox, night and day are approximately the same duration.

Kendrick's Cave (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Images

<b>Kendrick's Cave</b>Posted by tjj

Llety'r Filiast (Burial Chamber) — Images

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Llety'r Filiast (Burial Chamber) — Fieldnotes

Visited 13th Sept 2017: my second visit to the Great Orme. The first two and half years ago was specifically to visit the Copper Mines. This time we went went up to the top of the Great Orme by the tramway from Llandudno - which is a recommended and enjoyable experience. As before, however, there was a fierce wind blowing along with daunting rain showers sweeping in over the Great Orme headland. Wonderfully dramatic but not really walking weather. Had a look around the Visitor's Centre and learnt about Cromlech ar y Gogarth or Cromlech on the Great Orme (Llet y'r Filiast). The helpful volunteer told me it could be found about 150 metres below the Great Orme Mines so we used our tramway return tickets to take us back down to the Halfway Station. From here we found our way down to some houses on the higher edges of Llandudno - and asked a local resident. The cromlech was actually in a field at the end of Cromlech Road with a good stile into the field. In the great scheme of magnificent restored portal tombs this one was quite small but none the less very satisfying to find on that wind swept chilly North Wales day. The cherry on the cake of a memorable day.

Scotland (Country) — News

"Return" of 2,500 yr old Ballachulish Goddess


http://www.scotsman.com/news/the-return-of-the-2-500-year-old-ballachulish-goddess-1-4542330

The 2,500-year-old Ballachulish Goddess has “returned” to the Highland lochside where she was found after the Iron Age figure was recreated by a team of archaeologists. The life-size carving, which dates to around 600BC, was discovered face down in Highland peat by workmen in 1880 .....

Uffington White Horse (Hill Figure) — Links

White Horse of the Sun


"Carved into the chalk of a hillside in southern England, the Uffington White Horse is utterly unique. Stretching 360 feet from head to tail, it is the only prehistoric geoglyph—a large-scale design created using elements of the natural landscape—known in Europe. “There’s just nothing like it,” says University of Southampton archaeologist Joshua Pollard, who points to the Nazca lines in Peru as the closest parallel. Pollard says that because the site is so anomalous, researchers have resisted grappling with its distinct nature. As a consequence, few new interpretations of the site have been advanced since the early twentieth century. “Archaeologists are tripped up by things that are unique,” says Pollard, “and the White Horse has thrown us.” But now, after making a close study of the site and its relationship to the landscape around it, Pollard has developed a theory that connects the Uffington Horse with an ancient mythological tradition ..."

Spain (Country) — News

Elba, the 9,300-year old Spanish cowherd who was lactose intolerant


https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/05/12/inenglish/1494584904_820305.html

"Death caught up with Elba on a Spanish hillside 9,300 years ago. She is thought to have been following her herd of aurochs, an extinct breed of large cattle, along an ancestral trail that is now a paved road. In fact, it is the same road that Google suggests as the best route between the localities of O Courel and Pedrafita do Cebreiro, in Galicia’s Lugo province, in northwestern Spain.

Her herd was made up of three aurochs: an enormous male with massive horns and two younger specimens. It might have been early spring or early winter, and the ground was covered by a blanket of snow thin enough to make for easy walking, yet thick enough to conceal some of the geographical features lying beneath.

As a result, she did not see the hole that had opened up in the earth. All four of them fell into the gap created by the collapse of the roof of a cave known today as Cova do Uro, or Aurochs’ Cave in the regional Galician language .... "

Newgrange (Passage Grave) — Links

Mythical Ireland - Newgrange folklore


"The earliest antiquarians who visited, documented, sketched and spoke about Newgrange sometimes get a hard time from the modern academic establishment. The writings of Lhwyd and Molyneux and Pownall and Vallancey are all criticised for one reason or another (poor Charles Vallancey is largely ridiculed, perhaps because he referred to Newgrange as a Mithraic temple). All of the early antiquarian accounts of the monument are valuable for one reason or another. Some of them have captured aspects of the monument that have disappeared since they wrote. Without the tools and techniques of modern archaeology, all of them were poking around in the dark, so to speak. They couldn't have known the true age of Newgrange, nor could they have appreciated the skills of the artists and builders who created it, those whom they all too often referred to as barbarous. .... "

Buckland Rings (Hillfort) — News

Archaeologists unearth ancient origins of New Forest Town


http://www.heritagedaily.com/2017/07/archaeologists-unearth-ancient-origins-new-forest-town/115980

A high-tech survey at Buckland Rings Iron Age hillfort in Lymington has revealed evidence of 2,000 year old roundhouses within the fort’s ramparts.
The geophysical survey was led by the New Forest National Park Authority with local volunteers and students from Bournemouth University.
Up to seven prehistoric dwellings were identified, which would have once housed a community of hunters and farmers that would grow into the modern Lymington. Trading throughout Britain and across the sea, these ancient ancestors would have lived in round wooden buildings caked in a soil-based mixture.

Continued ....

The Longstone Cove (Standing Stones) — Images

<b>The Longstone Cove</b>Posted by tjj<b>The Longstone Cove</b>Posted by tjj<b>The Longstone Cove</b>Posted by tjj<b>The Longstone Cove</b>Posted by tjj<b>The Longstone Cove</b>Posted by tjj

Cumbria — News

Lake District gets World Heritage status


As expected UNESCO award World Heritage status to the Lake District.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-40547691

Avebury (Stone Circle) — News

NT have bought the URC Chapel


Predictably perhaps, the National Trust has purchased the historic URC Chapel which stands within the Avebury Stone Circle. They are inviting people to come along in the afternoon and early evening (up to 7.00pm) on 5th July to share their views about its future use.

Kintraw (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited Friday 26/5/17:
The most perfect day and, unfortunately, our last full day in Argyll. Kintraw standing stone and cairn can be seen clearly at a sharp bend as you drive towards the village of Ardfern and Loch Craignish and there is a small pull-in parking area opposite the site. This particular day the sun shone, the sky blue and it was warm - the best of sort of summer day. Kintraw is probably the tallest standing stone I've ever stood next to. It is also in the most fabulous location overlooking Loch Craignish and the loch-side village of Ardfern. I did wonder what its purpose was as it was unlike any of the other standing stones we had seen in the Kilmartin area - being almost cylindrical in shape. Although Loch Craignish was visible from the site I don't think the standing stone or cairn could been seen from the loch.
Made a bit of a mistake here though as my companion-in-charge-of-map-reading told me that Kintraw and the Clach an t-Sagairt Cairn were in the same place so we made the assumption it was the cairn next to the standing stone. Have since found out it wasn't and we've missed it.
Anyway after a leisurely lunch in the Crafty Cafe Tea Room in Ardfern we spent a peaceful afternoon visiting the ruined chapel of Kilmarie (Kilvaree) -
which is dedicated to the 7th century Irish monk St Maelrubha of Applecross - and then exploring the remote coastal area nearby.

Kintraw (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Kintraw</b>Posted by tjj<b>Kintraw</b>Posted by tjj<b>Kintraw</b>Posted by tjj

Torbhlaren (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Images

<b>Torbhlaren</b>Posted by tjj

Torbhlaren (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Fieldnotes

Visited 25/5/17 as part of our visit to Kilmichael Glen

Following the road from Kilmichael Glassary northeast out of the village to the bridge over the River Add (where Dunadd gets its name) we continued walking along the quiet single track road which runs along the valley bottom. A little bit further along on in a field on your left there is a single standing stone which has cup marks similar to those at Ballymeanoch and Nether Largie. One more stone is known to have stood in the field (and there may have been others). In the same field there two earthfast rock outcrops which are covered with cup and ring marks. On the day we walked by there was a tractor cutting the grass in the field and the gate was firmly secured - we decided not to climb over on this occasion.

Kilmichael Glassary (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Images

<b>Kilmichael Glassary</b>Posted by tjj<b>Kilmichael Glassary</b>Posted by tjj

Kilmichael Glassary (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Fieldnotes

Visited Wednesday 24/5/17

More wonderful rock carvings on easily accessible panels just behind the local primary school. It is ok to park in the small car park by the school though visitors are asked to avoid school pick-up times.

To quote "In The Footsteps Of Kings" by Sharon Webb (Walk 11):
“Within the fenced enclosure you will see two groups of cup and ring markings carved into earthfast rock slabs. There are many single cups as well as cups with rings and gutters. Look out for the cups with rings shaped like a keyhole which occur on both slabs. Some of the outcrops around the fenced enclosure also have markings, but please don’t be tempted to pull back the vegetation as the carvings are liable to be damaged by stock.”

After examining the panels walked back down to the village - with some free range chickens and an anxious cockerel keeping us in their sights. Next over the Glassary Churchyard to look at some medieval grave stones – apparently the ‘Kil’ element in the place name Kilmichael Glassary indicates an early Christian settlement in the Glen.

Cairnbaan (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Images

<b>Cairnbaan</b>Posted by tjj<b>Cairnbaan</b>Posted by tjj<b>Cairnbaan</b>Posted by tjj<b>Cairnbaan</b>Posted by tjj<b>Cairnbaan</b>Posted by tjj<b>Cairnbaan</b>Posted by tjj

Cairnbaan (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Fieldnotes

Visited the evening of 21/5/17:

Found this walk by chance on our first evening. Having been out for most of the day on the way back to our accommodation we noticed a simple sign pointing to ‘cup & ring marks’ just on the corner by the between the Cairnbaan Hotel and adjacent houses. So at around 8.30pm on our first evening (the rain had stopped, the light was lovely) after a pleasant towpath walk to the hotel we found the narrow path up to the Cairnbaan rock art panels. A steep uphill walk through pinewood and bluebells. Small signposts point the way to a clearing where the rock are panels are protected by railings. There were metal steps provided, however, to let visitors have a closer look. There are actually two sites with other outcrops a bit further uphill (look for the sign post). This second site is described as being one of the best examples of cup & rings around.

The lower panels contain mostly pits or cup marks, some of which are surrounded by rings and a few have lines leading out from them to natural fissures in the rock. According to the information board the Neolithic people who created the rock art may have chosen these outcrops for their views over an important route into Kilmartin Glen. The designs would have been pecked out using quartz hammerstones like those found during excavations at Torbhlaren in Kilmichael Glen. Experimental work showed that each pit took 30 to 90 minutes of repeated pecking and much concentration to create.

The upper panels contain a complex arrangement of pits, concentric rings and lines, 29 symbols in all. Again, referring to the second information board we learnt that schoolmaster Archibald Currie was the first person to write about rock art after visiting Cairnbaan in 1830. He suggested the concentric rings could represent planetary orbits around the sun. Sir James Young Simpson (pioneer of chloroform as an anaesthetic) also became a shrewd scholar of Scottish rock art observing in 1867 “They evidently indicate wherever found, a common thought of some common origin, belonging to a common people”

This walk appears as Walk 14 in "In The Footsteps Of Kings" by Sharon Webb.
Fabulous views over the Crinan Canal towards Lochgilphead to the south and hills to the north.

Templewood (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Templewood</b>Posted by tjj<b>Templewood</b>Posted by tjj
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Passionate about:
Nature; stone circles and all ancient sites that involve walking through unspoilt countryside/being near the sea; islands around the the British Isles, especially those with ancient monuments.

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