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Whitebridge (Stone Fort / Dun) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Whitebridge</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Whitebridge</b>Posted by thelonious

Loch Ruthven (Crannog) — Images

<b>Loch Ruthven</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Loch Ruthven</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Loch Ruthven</b>Posted by thelonious

Tordarroch (Clava Cairn) — Images

<b>Tordarroch</b>Posted by thelonious

Stonehenge and its Environs — News

150-year-old Stonehenge photos unearthed on the Summer Solstice

"They are some of the oldest photographs ever taken of the ancient Stonehenge landmark and the book in which they are bound dates back to 1867. It’s a chronicle which until now has been lost in the archives of the national mapping agency Ordnance Survey....."

Rossie Law (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Rossie Law</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Rossie Law</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Rossie Law</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Rossie Law</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Rossie Law</b>Posted by thelonious

Rossie Law (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

08/06/2018 - On route from the Isle of Bute to Aberdeen we decided to stop by and visit Rossie Law hillfort near Perth. I'd looked at the this one on the map many times and had been wanting to visit.

Parking at the start of the track to Tarnavie on the B8062, we started the walk uphill on a decent track. We both felt like zombies. This was on the way back from a fortnight of walking and we were so tired.

After a mile or so the track turns south. We left it here and crossed the Banekist burn to walk up the Slack, which is on the south side of Rossie Law. Gets a little tricky here as the south of the hill is scree. We approached this through the trees and then headed west round it to make the steep final climb to the top. Not too bad and quite fun.

The summit area is large and pretty flat. The surrounding wall quite far down off the top.

It's a good fort this one and the views are great. After resting a while we headed back to the car.

It had been a long 14 days away and I knew I was done.

Carnbaan (Chambered Tomb) — Images

<b>Carnbaan</b>Posted by thelonious

Carnbaan (Chambered Tomb) — Fieldnotes

07/06/2018 - Last full day on Bute and we had a tricky decision to make. Where to go? It was a choice between heading north to visit 4 chambered cairns on the coast or heading to Scalpsie Bay and have a walk over a few tops with 1 chambered cairn. Both looked good but we went for Scalpsie Bay, just for the walk really.

Early afternoon found us back at the car and in need of a coffee shop. The one at Ettrick Bay was so fine we decided to go again. Parking at the south end of the bay we walked along the lovely beach to get there. It's a great area for a stroll or paddle in the sea.

Refreshed I looked at the time, it was just past 3. Still thinking about the cairns to the north we started walking the coast road towards them. To visit all four cairns would have been about 8 miles and than another 1 to get back to the car. I was tired already from the morning visit to Bicker's Houses cairn so I thought the walk to see any was too far. An hour later we were closing in on the first cairn. Bit stupid really as my feet were killing. I did like Glecknabae cairn though.

The next cairn wasn't far so on we went again. Up hill now, it's well signposted. The approach to the Carnbaan cairn is lovely through a wood. The sunlight through the leaves and branches was so nice.

When first getting to the site the size of it didn't immediately become apparent. Probably like most visitors my attention went straight to the central chamber, it's great. It's only after you start walking about does the size and length of this long cairn reveal itself. It's massive with chambers at both ends as well. The setting in the trees is lovely but the undergrowth hid things a little. Tricky place to photograph too.

The cairn is positioned close to a stream where just on the banks is a massive stone. I wondered if this was once part of the cairn just a short distance away.

It was getting late now and the car was a long way back. The last two cairns would have to wait for another trip. Always good to have a reason to come back. My feet moaned most of the way back. A long day out and I was sore by the end but well worth it. Tops cairns round here.

Glecknabae (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Glecknabae</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Glecknabae</b>Posted by thelonious

Loch Quien (Crannog) — Images

<b>Loch Quien</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Loch Quien</b>Posted by thelonious

Bicker's Houses (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Bicker's Houses</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Bicker's Houses</b>Posted by thelonious

Bicker's Houses (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

07/06/2018 - Starting from the viewpiont for Scalpsie Bay, we followed in the footsteps of Greywether (hard not to in the highlands and islands) and headed north to find Bicker's Houses chambered cairn.

The path(!) to Bicker's Houses is waymarked from the car park. I lay the challenge down right now. If you ever come here and can actually find and follow the waymarked path all the way to Bicker's Houses, you win the pathfinder of the year award. Don't know whether it was just because we were sleepy, it had been a long couple of weeks away (excuses, I know) but there just wasn't one. We decided we were using up more energy looking for it than just bashing in a straightish line to the cairn through the bracken and grass. Luckily for us the ground was very dry from the good run of weather we'd been having.

It's not a bad walk really and we did eventually get to the site of the cairn. Maybe not the best time of year as the bracken was starting to get high. Only the big stones were showing above it.

Got to admit, I liked this one. Maybe more for the setting and the walk but the stones that we could see were good as well.

We looped back via Barmore Hill and Quien Hill. A nice area for a potter, a little off the beaten (nonexistent) path.

East Colmac (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>East Colmac</b>Posted by thelonious<b>East Colmac</b>Posted by thelonious

Ettrick Bay (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Ettrick Bay</b>Posted by thelonious

Dun Hill Of Glenmore (Cup Marked Stone) — Images

<b>Dun Hill Of Glenmore</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Dun Hill Of Glenmore</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Dun Hill Of Glenmore</b>Posted by thelonious

Dun Hill Of Glenmore (Cup Marked Stone) — Fieldnotes

06/06/2018 – I don’t really know how but here we were, by pure chance, on a hot sunny afternoon, plonked down next to a cup marked rock with a couple of cups ourselves, of the tea variety.

The holiday had been a little different so far then I’d expected. The plan was two weeks of walking. First time in years I’d not really picked places with stones in mind as well. So off we went each day for a walk but even when you’re not looking for it, old stuff is everywhere, it’s hard to miss it sometimes. No more so than on the Isle of Bute. If someone, who hadn’t seen much prehistory before, asked where to go to seek out the past, I’d probably say you could do worse than Bute. It has a little bit of nearly everything, in quite easy to reach places but still with a sense of adventure. I think this is important. Good to have a little Indiana Jones moment or two on holiday even if it’s just dodging cows or bashing through bracken to find a hidden cairn or stone that you’ve spied on an OS map. It’s what makes going to sites fun for me and so different to my 9 to 5 at work, staring at a computer all day, with my soul being slowly crushed (still it pays the bills and for trips like this I suppose). Chambered cairns, long cairns, cists, hillforts, cliff forts, crannogs, stone circles, standing stones, rock art etc, the list is long for an island this size. It’s easy to get about on too and the buses are good so you don’t really need a car.

On a hot and sunny day (the weather is amazing at the moment) we started at Kames Bay, heading past Hilton to visit the chambered cairn there and then higher up to Windy Hill (top of Bute, toughish walk across underfoot). After that we headed round the Lyeing Hill to drop down into Glen More to pick up the West Island Way. A few fences to cross but nothing too bad.

Feeling tired I wanted a sit down. That bit of grass over there by them rocks will do. As we approached, the cup marks on the rock stood out clear as day. What’s the chance of that! History is everywhere, you just need a bit of luck.

Canmore states 11 plus cup marks, I agree and there could have been more. Lovely location for this one and so peaceful in the afternoon sun. We sat for ages drinking our brews and just chatting rubbish to each other and the stone. Finally it was time to head off. The way south had the promise of a stone circle and a tea room with ice cream (turned out they had rum & raisin flavour, could this day get any better!!).

It was a magic moment, a chance encounter with the past. It might not be a wow site but it was my favourite of the trip. One to daydream about now I’m back to the daily grind.

Hilton (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Hilton</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Hilton</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Hilton</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Hilton</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Hilton</b>Posted by thelonious

Hilton (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

06/06/2018 – Easy parking on the north side of Kames Bay (layby marked parking and picnic area on OS map)

Take the track towards Hilton farm. It’s waymarked as it’s part of the West Island Way. As the track turns left to Hilton, continue straight on up the hill on a small path. Cairn is in the field to your right but you have to pass a lot of gorse. Best to head up higher than the cairn and then once past the gorse head right and then back down a little to the cairn. No problems really.

The location for this one is great. Impressive views across Kames Bay and beyond. The cairn hasn’t fared well over the years though. Lots of stones left but hard to figure out what’s going on. Chamber can be made out and there is a Bronze Age cist in it as well. Bedrock (for want of a better word) has been incorporated into the cairn.

Maybe not the best chambered cairn on Bute but the location is worth the walk. I liked it.

Canmore mention a possible cup marked rock 25m W of the cairn. Very faint marking so I wasn’t so sure.

Glencallum Bay (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Glencallum Bay</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Glencallum Bay</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Glencallum Bay</b>Posted by thelonious

Glencallum Bay (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

05/06/2018 – The south of Bute really is excellent for a walk or two. We started today at the car park for Blackpark Plantation stone circle. After looking at the stones we headed south to climb Suidhe Chatain and then down to join the way-marked walk round the south end of Bute. Next we passed the remains of St Blane’s church with its mysteriously named ‘The Cauldron’ behind, lovely area here. Then on to the two forts at Dunagoil for lunch. Back to St Blane’s after to pick up the track again heading SE to the coast and Glencallum Bay.

Finding the cairn in an area full of bracken proved our challenge for the day! I was pretty happy once it was discovered. It’s a nice little cairn with the remains of the cist showing.

Our walk continued on north along the coast (great for geology) to Kilchattan Bay and then back to Blackpark Plantation and our car.

We took all day and I think it's probably my favourite walk on Bute. It was a great day out all and all and a nice cairn to visit in the hot sunshine.

Dunagoil (Cliff Fort) — Images

<b>Dunagoil</b>Posted by thelonious

Little Dunagoil Burial Chamber — Images

<b>Little Dunagoil Burial Chamber</b>Posted by thelonious

Little Dunagoil (Cliff Fort) — Images

<b>Little Dunagoil</b>Posted by thelonious

Dunagoil (Cliff Fort) — Images

<b>Dunagoil</b>Posted by thelonious

Dunagoil (Cliff Fort) — Fieldnotes

05/06/2018 – What to say about Dunagoil to do it justice? I just loved it. Two forts to look at, a burial chamber and just wonderful scenery. This really is a must visit site if you're on Bute.

Good parking and access from NS 0888 5354. Short stroll to Dunagoil Bay and the first fort (Little Dunagoil). There is a small cave at the front of this one where a shell midden has been found. Walking between the forts, don’t forget to keep a look out for the small burial chamber (it’s good). After that, a little climb brings you to the top of Dunagoil.

The main fort is just great. I love a fort with a bit of vitrification and the walls on this one have loads. It’s one of the best I’ve been too. Such a mystery as to why and how.

The geology of this place is pretty special too and the views!!

Lots to see here. If you are thinking of going, I thought I’d mention two little books I bought at the tourism information centre in Rothesay which I found most useful whist on Bute. They are pretty cheap too.

Reading the Landscape of Bute - Hill & Buist (great for short walks looking at geology)
Archaeological Landscape of Bute - Geddes & Hale (great for prehistory)

We were only supposed to make a flying visit here as part of a longer walk but Dunagoil was too good and we ended up staying far too long. Very hot and sunny day.

Blackpark Plantation (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Blackpark Plantation</b>Posted by thelonious

Blackpark Plantation (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

05/06/2018 - Of all the sites on Bute this was the one I most wanted to see. Each stone looked so distinctive from looking at the photos on here. Only 3 left but each had it's own character.

The first one is like no other stone I've come across. So thin at the bottom and then ballooning out higher up. A megalithic lollipop.

The middle one is my favourite. Split now and a good size. And the faces!! Once you've seen them you can't un-see them, just great.

The third is smaller and has it's own little booster mound so it can hang with the bigger guys.

Great vibe to the site, surrounded by trees. Easy access and parking, A must see place.

Barone Hill (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Barone Hill</b>Posted by thelonious

Barone Hill (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

04/06/2018 – First morning on the lovely Isle of Bute. Straight off the morning ferry (I love ferry trips, always a sense of adventure about them). First port of call was Barone Hill. Ticks both ‘need to climb a hill’ & ‘look at old stuff’ boxes.

We drove out of Rothesay on the B878 a short way then took the small yellow road south to the end where there is good parking before Loch Fad (NS 07926276).

A track heads up the hill towards works and a dam. As the track turns left near the reservoirs, a path leads up to the summit of Barone Hill (one stile to cross). No access problems.

The fort is quite overgrown but you can follow the wall in places. Still a little overcast this morning so the distant views weren’t great.

Nice fort and hill. Worth a visit as the climb isn’t too bad and the effort is rewarded with a good view of Bute and beyond. I guess you would be unlikely to bump into folk here as well (though probably cows as they’re everywhere on Bute).

After a bite to eat and a sit on the top we took Gladman’s tip and headed back to Rothesay to check out the castle which is really excellent.

The Gouklan Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>The Gouklan Stone</b>Posted by thelonious<b>The Gouklan Stone</b>Posted by thelonious
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