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

Get the TMA Images feed
LesHamilton's Latest Posts

Latest Posts
Showing 1-50 of 1,392 posts. Most recent first | Next 50

Sgoir Beag (Promontory Fort) — Fieldnotes

Visited: May 2, 2018

Some 250 metres due north from the car-park opposite Trumpan Churchyard lie the remains of a small promontory fort called Sgoir Beag. From the car-park head northeast up the road for about 130 metres till you cross a stream then immediately enter the field on the left via the gate. Follow the stream which dives down to the sea immediately adjacent to the fort.

The grassy rise ahead quickly leads to a deep natural ditch which cuts off the dun from the east. Descent into the ditch is easy but the face of the dun rises much more steeply beyond. A well worn path to the left eases the climb to the top of the dun, overlooking the precipitous drop into the stream valley.

The surface of the dun is a grassy oval, with only a small fragment of walling, two courses high, showing at its nothern edge.

Sgoir Beag (Promontory Fort) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Sgoir Beag</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Sgoir Beag</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Sgoir Beag</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Sgoir Beag</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Sgoir Beag</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Sgoir Beag</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Geary (Promontory Fort) — Fieldnotes

Visited: May 2, 2018

Skye's Waternish peninsula is best known for its three brochs: Dun Hallin, Dun Gearymore and Dun Borrafiach. But near the community of Geary on its eastern coast, unmarked on the OS map, lie the scant remains of Geary Promontory Fort.

Canmore's notes from 1990 state:
This fort is situated on a small promontory on the precipitous cliffs towards the N end of the Geary crofts; it is defined by an arc of walling 4m thick and 0.75m in height that cuts across the promontory and line of the cliffs to the E, N and S providing protection on these flanks. At the S end the wall does not run up to the cliff edge, and although the N end is now wasted it can be traced up to the edge of the cliff.

At the time of my visit it was hard to believe that any defensive wall existed. But the location of the site was absolutely confirmed by GPS: I was definitely on the correct promontory.

The promontory is totally overgrown, in part by semi-mature thickets of shrubbery and elsewhere by rank grass and vegetation. I could find no coherent evidence of any protective wall: just a couple of large boulders, an earthfast moss-covered stone, and what appeared to be a thickly vegetated rampart which stretched across around a third of the neck of the promontory.

The only redeeming feature of this site is the views it gives across Loch Snizort to the Ascrib Islands, and northwards along the rugged Waternish coastline.

If visiting by car, parking places are non existent. However a helpful local told me to 'just park in a lay-by'. As there is no through traffic in Geary, the temporary loss of one lay-by for parking is of no great consequence as everyone living there has parking on their properties.

Geary (Promontory Fort) — Images

<b>Geary</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Geary</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Geary</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Geary</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Geary</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Geary</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Lochan nan Dunan (Stone Fort / Dun) — Fieldnotes

Visited: April 29, 2018

About half a kilometre south of Flodigarry, on the A855, you pass Lochan nan Dunan, a small roadside lochan with a parking area beside it. Immediately on the right hand side of the road (if travelling north) is a heathery hillside rising steeply for about 15 metres. A stout barbed wire fence precludes immediate access opposite the parking area, but walking back down the road for 50 metres or so revals twin boulders arranged to form a stile.The fort of Lochan nan Dunan is revealed after making this short climb.

The fort comprises two enclosures, separated by a mighty rock stack twelve metres in height. There is little of real note to see although the grassy stumps of the enclosing wall of the eastern enclosure, little more than half a metre in height, can still be picked out. The western enclosure, located on a gentle slope, boasts an even less significant grass-grown wall.

The best part of the visit is the view it provides towards the mountainous backbone of the Trotternish peninsula. Particularly prominent is Sron Vourlinn, the gaunt flat topped hill to the northwest, and the Quiraing to the southwest.

Lochan nan Dunan (Stone Fort / Dun) — Images

<b>Lochan nan Dunan</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Lochan nan Dunan</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Lochan nan Dunan</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Lochan nan Dunan</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Dun Aird (Stone Fort / Dun) — Fieldnotes

Visited: April 29, 2018

Near the farthest northeast point of Skye's Trotternish peninsula lies Kilmaluig Bay with its mighty Stac Lachlainn, a sea stac of truly immense proportions that towers above the clifftops. And immediately adjacent to the stac, to its northwest, is a small promontory on which stand the ruins of Skye's northernmost fort, Dun Aird.

Like many if its ilk, little of the structure of Dun Aird has survived to the present day other than an obvious grassed bank to the west that is all that remains of its walls and a hint of facing stones on the appwoach to the crag from the gate in the fence. The interior is generally level and grassed over, sloping noticeably down towards the sea.

As with such eyries, the main pay-off comes with the views the dun affords, specially on a sunny day, when the shallow coastal waters of Kilmaluig Bay glisten with myriad hues. To the north the sea stretches off towards the North Pole, but the finest views are southward, towards Stac Lachlainn and the mountainous spine of the peninsula.

Access to the dun seems fraught by fences from all directions. There is certainly a coastal path skirting the bay, and though it is clearly well worn, it still requires the negotiation of at least three stout, gateless barbed wire fences. The other option is to take the metalled road up from the bay for a few hundred metres and then branch to the right past Aird House. This road ends at a gate that leads on to the moor. From here the dun and stac are due east, but again there are fences to negotiate (but no definite path to take - unless I missed it). Finally you arrive at the fence cordoning off the clifftops, which does, thankfully, offer an access gate immediately above the dun.

For the motorist, there is a car-park at Kilmaluig Bay.

Dun Aird (Stone Fort / Dun) — Images

<b>Dun Aird</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Aird</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Aird</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Aird</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Aird</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Aird</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Aird</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Aird</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Aird</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Aird</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Aird</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Meall An Duna (Stone Fort / Dun) — Fieldnotes

Visited: May 2, 2018

The rarely visited fort of Meall An Duna stands of a low, crag girt ridge west of Greshornish Hotel and some hundred metres from the shore of an attractive unnamed lochan. Little of the structure remains but the broad vegetated northern arc of its surrounding wall still stands around a metre in height with facing stones peeking out intermittently. At the east of the dun a level rising path leading to the summit might be the entrance passage. On reaching the fort, the reward for the intrepid adventurer is a wonderful view to the east, encompassing Loch Greshornish and the Trotternish mountains beyond.



From the end of the metalled road, just west of the Greshornish House Hotel, a dirt road heads west and curves northward for 250 metres towards a small stand of mature trees. Here, another path branches west through a gate, for about 180 metres, and through a second gate, till it meets a fence line heading due south. Just follow the west side of the fence for 250 metres and you arrive at the foot of the crag bearing the fort of Meall an Duna (marker 'F').

Meall An Duna (Stone Fort / Dun) — Images

<b>Meall An Duna</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Meall An Duna</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Meall An Duna</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Meall An Duna</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Meall An Duna</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Meall An Duna</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Loch Leum Na Luirginn (Stone Fort / Dun) — Fieldnotes

Visited: April 29, 2018

Surely few megalithic monuments in Britain can be found in such stunning surroundings as this diminuative dun, just 200 metres north of Loch Leum Na Luirginn in Skye's Trotternish peninsula. Nestling just east of the spectacular Trotternish mountains there are views to the pyramidal Cleat in the south while northward rise the precipitous, cliffs and pinnacles of the Cuiraing.

The dun itself lies 150 metres south of the Brogaig to Uig road, behind the modern cemetery, itself about two kilometres from Brogaig (not the old cemetery adjacent to the community). From the cemetery gate, follow the fence line south outside the cemetery as far as the unnamed stream that flows east into the River Brogaig. Step across the stream where the slope rises steeply (too steep to consider an ascent) for 20 metres, but a path follows the stream to the right (west) towards easier heather clad slopes where an ascent can be made.

All of a sudden you emerge on a plateau with the loch and Cleat prominent, and the site of the dun is obvious as a low, grassy platform amongst the heather. The dun stands at an altitude of 149 metres and has clearly been severely robbed. Nonetheless, though heavily vegetated, its outline is clear, with a pronounced saucer-shaped depression within. Inside the dun sufficient stonework can be seen to surmise that two or three courses of foundation blocks probably lurk beneath the tussocks of grass.

Loch Leum Na Luirginn (Stone Fort / Dun) — Images

<b>Loch Leum Na Luirginn</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Loch Leum Na Luirginn</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Loch Leum Na Luirginn</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Loch Leum Na Luirginn</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Loch Leum Na Luirginn</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Trumpan (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited: May 2, 2018

The location of this cairn, according to Canmore, lies at the junction of two dykes on a gentle rise directly southeast of the graveyard of Trumpan Church and just 60 metres distant from the back wall of the cemetery.

There is absolutely no mistaking the location, but the site is so completely trashed that there is little evidence of a cairn now. There are a few moss covered stones that could be the remnants of a kerb, but no clear rise in the topography into the 'V' between the two dykes.

Trumpan (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Trumpan</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Dun Connavern (Stone Fort / Dun) — Fieldnotes

Visited: April 29, 2018

Dun Connavern sits just 2½ kilometres south—as the crow flies—of the well-known Loch Mealt Kilt Rock viewpoint.

The starting point for the one kilometre walk to Dun Connavern is from the prominent roadside sign on the A855 advertising the Ben Edra Hotel at NG 5144 6341. Here, a small section of old road near the entranceway affords a parking space (marker 'S').

Next, walk 50 metres north along the main road to the sign for the Taigh nam Brathrean self-catering cottage and follow the path that leads between it and the hotel to a gate (marker 'G').



The path beyond this gate, though overgrown, still provides excellent walking, and continues for some 250 metres before curving left (south) for a similar distance before finally making a sharp turn to the right. From here, a prominent fence-line leads directly to Dun Connavern (marker 'D'), first ascending a very steep but short grassy slope, 100 metres beyond which, at an altitude of 140 metres, lies the dun, on the summit of an oval rocky knoll.

Little structure remains of the encircling walls of Dun Connavern, save for a section of walling blocks, two courses high, on its northeast facing slope. But visiting the dun is greatly rewarding, its modest elevation providing unsurpassed views towards the Trotternish mountains from the Storr in the south to the Cuiraing in the north.

Dun Connavern (Stone Fort / Dun) — Images

<b>Dun Connavern</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Connavern</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Connavern</b>Posted by LesHamilton
Showing 1-50 of 1,392 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
A keen hillwalker most of my life, my interest was restricted when the need arose to care for an ageing parent.

With limited opportunities to travel far from home, I 'discovered' the world of stone circles, mainly in my native Aberdeenshire.

This provided the ideal opportunity for short walks of just a few hours duration, and resulted in me visiting many places of interest that I had never considered previously.

Website:
Stone Circles of NE Scotland
Here you will find both Google and Bing maps displaying more than 100 sites of stone circles, the majority in my native Aberdeenshire. The markers on the maps are clickable, to reveal a photo of the stone circle and a link to their Canmore Site Record.

A menu at the side of the maps allows you to zoom in to any individual circle, viewing its environs as a zoomable aerial photograph (Google) or an OS Map (Bing).

Hunebedden
I've since extended my interest to the megalithic remains in The Netherlands, where there are some magnificent passage graves known as hunebedden (giant's beds). Despite the fact that The Netherlands is essentially flat and sandy, these 5000 year old monuments from the Funnel Beaker Culture are often found in exquisite woodland settings, nearly all of them in the province of Drenthe. There are almost limitless opportunities for delightful walks between small villages, taking in a diversion to a hunebed here and there.

My TMA Content: