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

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Ggantija (Ancient Temple) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Ggantija</b>Posted by Dorset Druid

Ggantija (Ancient Temple) — Fieldnotes

Easter 2010. The Ggantija Temple on Gozo showed its age with much of it being supported by scaffolding but it was still an impressive site. It is believed to be the oldest free standing man made structure in the world, constructed around 3600 BC.
Although not much to explore as most of the site was fenced off the temple oozed character and strength. The stone structure contains 2 temples, each seemed to honour the Goddess with its curves.

Mnajdra (Ancient Temple) — Images

<b>Mnajdra</b>Posted by Dorset Druid

Mnajdra (Ancient Temple) — Fieldnotes

Easter 2010. 500 meters from Hagar Qim towards the sea sits the Mdajdra Temple and like the Haga Qim it is under the protection of a white dome. Of all the temples in Malta I found this one the most impressive. Its size and magnificence is awesome and had more to explore. The site consists of 3 temples set around a semi-circular forecourt. I was lucky enough to be here with only a few other visitors and enjoyed the atmosphere of the place.
Truely awesome.
After a while it was easy to forget about the protective cover and enjoy the temple for what it was.

Hagar Qim (Ancient Temple) — Images

<b>Hagar Qim</b>Posted by Dorset Druid

Hagar Qim (Ancient Temple) — Fieldnotes

Easter 2010. I caught the no. 68 bus from Valletta to Hagar Qim. After paying 9 euros that also included the Mnajdra Temple nearby. I was not impressed by the large white dome that covered the temple but understand that it needs to be protected from the elements. Most of the site was unaccessible to visitors but it was still awesome once you got used to the covering dome.

Tarxien (Ancient Temple) — Images

<b>Tarxien</b>Posted by Dorset Druid

Tarxien (Ancient Temple) — Fieldnotes

Easter 2010. I caught the no. 11 bus from Valletta to Tarxien. It cost 6 euros to get in. A large trilithion leads to 3 seperate chambers with altars, oracle holes and carved spirals and animals in the stone.
At first sight I felt a liitle disappointed at the condition of the temple but when taking into account the site is 1,500 years older than Stonehenge its survival is impressive.
Many off the finds from here are on display at the National Museum of Archeology in Valletta including statues of Goddesses and evidence of animal sacrifices.

King Arthur's Hall (Stone Setting) — Images

<b>King Arthur's Hall</b>Posted by Dorset Druid

King Arthur's Hall (Stone Setting) — Fieldnotes

We would not have found King Arthurs Hall without a GPS. From where me and Griff parked our motorbikes near a stone circle we had to climb over 2 barbed wire fences and cross over a bog to reach the earthworks. It was worth the effort.
A fire had burnt the surrounding field but the ancient site was left unharmed. Inside was peace and tranquility. We could only wonder at what the site was used for but felt it was a meeting place for the ancients. The weather was overcast but warm on this spring day.
After photographing and videoing the place we made our way back to our bikes, this time avoiding the barbed wire fences and bog.

The Harpstone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Leaving Rempstone Circle and Nine Barrow Down behind I rode back to Corfe Castle, crossing the main Wareham/Swanage road towards Lulworth Cove. The road passes to the north of the castle ruins and twists its way west until a turn off towards Kimmeridge and the coast until I reach a car park at the top of the hill overlooking Kimmeridge Bay.
A footpath nearby leads down a steep field and a very muddy path brings me to a style leading to another field. This field was full of inquisitive sheep, wary of me all the way to the far side to a hawthorn hedgerow that hides the Harpstone until I am almost upon it. The sound of cannon and gun fire in the distance is slightly surreal and off-putting as the army plays war games nearby. This 7 foot tall monolith is cut by vertical grooves and is honeycombed by thousands of years of weathering. A close knit hawthorn hedgerow surrounds the stone which is separated from the field of sheep by a barbed wire fence. Luckily the fence is easy to climb through as it is worth the exploration of the river valley the stone sits in front of.
After some time the distant war games come to an end leaving me and the monolith at peace in each other's company.

The Harpstone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>The Harpstone</b>Posted by Dorset Druid<b>The Harpstone</b>Posted by Dorset Druid

The Merry Maidens (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>The Merry Maidens</b>Posted by Dorset Druid

Nine Barrows Down — Fieldnotes

Nine Barrow Down

Moving on from Rempstone Circle I climbed the steep slope leading to the Dorset Coastal Path. The stony path winds its way up East Hill through some beautiful woodland to the windblown summit of Nine Barrow Down, a complete contrast to the calm sheltered mystical stone circle below. From this high point an almost complete view of the Purbecks can be admired. Magnificent views across Poole Harbour to Poole and the Sandbanks peninsular, around to Swanage in the south east and the English Channel to the south.
On the ridge of Nine Barrow Down lie a group of 10 early Bronze Age round barrows of different sizes, the two largest surrounded by ditches. An earlier Neolithic long barrow sits with other round barrows on slightly lower ground towards the sea positioned to be seen from the valley settlements to the south. The strong penetrating north wind meant my visit to the site was a short one. I made a hasty retreat back down the hill to the calm of the valley and back to my motorbike parked beside the B3351.

The Rollright Stones (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>The Rollright Stones</b>Posted by Dorset Druid

Nine Barrows Down — Images

<b>Nine Barrows Down</b>Posted by Dorset Druid

Rempstone Stone Circle — Fieldnotes

Rempstone Circle – Purbecks 995821
The air was crisp and still when I parked my motorbike in a lay-by on the B3351 between Corfe Castle and Studland. It had been raining during the night so the ground was wet and soft. I crossed the quiet road to a wooden gate and a path that led up the steep bank of East Hill to Nine Barrow Down on the Dorset Coastal Path. Just inside the gate on the right stands Rempstone Woods and the main purpose of my visit, Rempstone Stone Circle. With Samhain recently celebrated the trees were mostly leafless allowing light into the woods that reflected in the puddles that dominated the forest floor giving a surreal atmosphere! Heading into the woods I first come across scattered dark sandstone blocks, believed to be a part of an avenue that led to the stone circle. Corn dollies and flowers sat atop these recumbent monoliths. Further on I was soon standing among several 4 foot high stones that was Rempstone Circle. Most of the circle has disappeared over time and those that are left are half hidden behind undergrowth. Rempstone circle was only discovered as recently as a hundred years ago by Mrs Goddard, a vicar's wife out walking.
Bronze Age man moved the gritstone, a quartz rich deposit from a local Bagshot bed about 3,500 years ago to form a circle around 85 foot in diameter with an alignment on the autumn/spring equinox. These ancient people used ox shoulder blade shovels and deer antler pick axes to erect their temple. A ley line runs from this place westerly through Corfe Castle, Creechbarrow Hill, Chaldon Herring Cross, Combe Bottom and ends at Chalbury Hillfort near Weymouth. I discovered Rempstone Circle through a car guide called 'Exploring Ancient Dorset with George Osborn' and have visited the site several times. My favourite time to visit being late spring when a blanket of bluebells dominate the forest floor and the smell of summer is in the air.

Scott Irvine

Rempstone Stone Circle — Images

<b>Rempstone Stone Circle</b>Posted by Dorset Druid
Living in Dorset I am blessed with a multitude of ancient sites in the area. I love to travel the country and Europe to photograph and explore ancient places.

www.irvineimages.co.uk

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