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

December 22, 2016

The Migvie Cup-Marked Stone has disappeared!

After visiting the Tom Dubh Cairns 800 metres east of Migvie Church with Drew we stopped off at the site of the well-known Migvie Cup-Marked Stone—close by the west end of the neighbouring farmhouse at 'The Glack'.

But it wasn't there!

The verge where this stone formerly stood has clearly been scooped away, the stone with it.

Has the stone been lawfully removed for preservation, or has it simply been stolen?

The stone was last seen by me on October 21, 2013. In view of the fact that the scooped out section of verge has not yet been fully colonised by vegetation, it would seem that the stone's removal was fairly recent.

I have checked with Canmore, but they make no mention of this event.

So answers would be appreciated.

West Drachlaw (Stone Circle) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>West Drachlaw</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>West Drachlaw</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>West Drachlaw</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>West Drachlaw</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>West Drachlaw</b>Posted by LesHamilton

West Drachlaw (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Backhill of Drachlaw, West Circle

Fred Coles referred to Backhill of Drachlaw, West Circle in his Report on the Stone Circles of Northeast Scotland in 1903. Although this circle still appeared on the 1905 Ordnance Survey map as a Circle of six stones, it was dismantled during the 19th century. Coles stated that:

"... many years ago one of these six stones, then forming a Circle, close to which the farm-steadings came to be built, was removed by a neighbouring farmer who ‘required’ a block of good stone out of which to make lintels ... the remaining five stones were subsequently removed from their original positions and placed in the line of two dikes."

I was recently contacted by Bob Seddon, who currently occupies the steading at the Backhill of Drachlaw, who believes that he has located seven of the original stones, four of which have been incorporated into walls around the steading (as noted below by Drew) and another three which were buried in the ground. These three stones (identified as nos 5, 6 and 7) had been incorporated into a culvert which is thought to have been constructed in the late 19th century: they only came to light during the past year when a neighbour recovered them whilst he was undertaking some fieldwork and water course improvement works.
Bob states that it is his intention to return these three stones to the approximate position of the original Drachlaw West stone circle, but to retain the existing stones (which are embedded in the north perimeter wall of the steading) in their current positions, as it is believed they are at, or close to, their original location. Sadly, no detailed records or plans of the original site can be found.

As the name suggests, the Backhill of Drachlaw West site is approximately 200 metres to the west of the main Backhill of Drachlaw stone circle.

The Cochno Stone (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — News

New excavation

A prehistoric stone panel said to be the “most important in Europe” is being unearthed for the first time in 50 years - next to a housing estate in Clydebank. The Cochno Stone, which dates to 3000BC and is described as one of the best examples of Neolithic or Bronze Age cup and ring markings in Europe, is being fully excavated for the first time since being buried in 1965 to protect it from vandalism. The stone lies on land next to a housing estate near Faifley in West Dunbartonshire.

Read more information.

Dun Ardtreck (Broch) — Images

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

Dun Gerashader (Stone Fort / Dun) — Fieldnotes

Visited: August 22, 2016

To visit Dùn Gerashader take the A855 north out of Portree for just over a kilometre and park your vehicle immediately before the turn off to Torvaig. Do not scale the barbed wire fence. Walk up to the junction, turn right over the bridge and, 100 metres on, a gate to the right provides access to gentle grassy slopes that lead to the base of the rise bearing the fort. There is a small stream to cross (stepping stones) followed by a steepish rise to Gerashader.

I contoured left on the ascent and was amazed when I reached the southern defences of the fort: three rows of simply huge blocks, described by Canmore as 'the remains of 3 lines of obstructions', arranged like rows of dentures, each one about a metre wide and 1½ metres or more in height. The mind boggles to understand how, two millennia ago, men could locate such stones and move them uphill into place. Above these is the tumbled southern wall, some four metres broad.

Beyond this rocky rampart is the relatively level grassy interior, dotted with stones that have probably tumbled from the much higher wall on the north rim of the hill, and beyond that, on a rise, the wide northern wall of the fort. Though much tumbled, stretches of the original masonry courses are still evident.

Dun Gerashader (Stone Fort / Dun) — Images

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

Dun Grianan (Tote) (Stone Fort / Dun) — Fieldnotes

Visited: August 22, 2016

Not to be confused with the broch of the same name at Loch Mealt, Dun Grianan south of Inver Tote on the east coast of Trotternish is a dilapidated fort.

The starting point for a visit is the large car-park beside the Lealt Gorge at Inver Tote. Follow the road south, across the bridge, for 250 metres, where a gate on the left leads on to the old road serving the tiny community of Lower Tote. Head to the right and follow this road for 190 metres, when you will encounter sheep pens on your left. Immediately before these pens, a well defined path heads east (left) to a gate, beyond which a walkers' path heads on to the coast.

Once above the clifftops, head south (right) following a path parallel with the fence and after less than 1½ kilometres from the car-park, you reach Dun Grianan.

Dun Grianan stood on the flat top of a knoll close to the cliff edge and was protected by a wall, 31 metres long, on its western flank. Today only a scattering of facing stones remain, but the entrance, about mid way along the wall, is well defined, 1.6 metres wide and flanked on each side by set stones. The grassy summit is unexpectedly narrow, and Canmore suggests that the eastern side of the fort has fallen away

Dun Grianan (Tote) (Stone Fort / Dun) — Images

<b>Dun Grianan (Tote)</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Grianan (Tote)</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Grianan (Tote)</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Grianan (Tote)</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Grianan (Tote)</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Grianan (Tote)</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Dun Kraiknish (Stone Fort / Dun) — Fieldnotes

Visited: August 24, 2016

It's little surprise that no mention has previously been made of Dùn Kraiknish on this site as it is probably the most remote stone fort on the Isle of Skye. From the start of the Glen Brittle Forest Trail at Grulla, near the northeast shore of Loch Eynort (blue marker), the round trip to the dùn is 17.5 kilometres (11 miles). The walking is excellent, however, with a metalled forestry road for most of the distance (as far as the summit of Cnoc an Teine, just a kilometre short of your goal).

From here, Dùn Kraiknish lies a further kilometre to the northwest, but cannot be seen from this location. The final walk to the dùn is overland, across springy grass dotted with heather and bog myrtle. You can simply pick your own way since faint tracks - if any - are hard to find. There are no hidden tussocks to trip you nor bogs to ensnare you: this is one of the most gentle and enjoyable walks anywhere. Dùn Kraiknish is indicated by the red marker, but you will not see it until you are within a hundred metres or so as it is shielded by a steep rise to its east.

The metalled path, as far as the summit of Cnoc an Teine (about 90 metres elevation), is indicated on the map below by the yellow line.

Beware the OS Map, however: Sheet 32 (South Skye & Cuillin Hills) indicates a split in the track, with the western branch hugging the coast, effectively a short-cut to Kraiknish Farm. I can confirm that this track has long ago been totally consumed by the forest, and that no remnant of it exists today. The forest is well-nigh impenetrable making a short-cut impossible now. Consequently, you must follow a loop in the main track, first east, to gain the bridge over the Allt Dabhoch (stream) then west towards Kraiknish Farm (yellow marker).

At length, you reach the forest edge and arrive at a gate labelled 'Kraiknish Farm'. Although sheep still graze on the hillsides and you will pass sheep pens on your way, Kraiknish Farm is no more. All that remains, partly obscured in a clump of trees 150 metres to the west of the gate, are the low ruins of some stone-built farm buildings—under a metre in height—and a prominent chimney breast that defiantly braves the elements to this day.

Dùn Kraiknish itself stands on a level, grass-covered promontory on the western coast of the peninsula and is protected by undercut 16-metre high cliffs. It measures approximately 18 by 16 metres, and is defended by a stone wall at least three metres wide along its landward side. Considerable stretches of neat walling still remain, up to eight courses on the exterior wall south of the entrance and seven courses on the internal wall to the north. The entrance sits part-way along on the eastern flank of the dun and measures 1½ metres in width. The passage, can be followed through the wall, though partly obscured by tumble.

Inside the dun wall is a level grassy area from which the walling on the seaward side has almost totally disappeared over time.

Some 200 metres northeast of the dun are the remains of a township (Laimhrig Na Moine), ruined since becoming deserted during the Clearances of the mid 19th century. It is highly likely that Dùn Kraiknish was extensively robbed in order to construct the township.

You can read more about this fort on Canmore.

Dun Kraiknish (Stone Fort / Dun) — Images

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Tot Nan Druidhean (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Tot Nan Druidhean</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Tot Nan Druidhean (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited: August 22, 2016

Located just 300 metres south of the entrance to Upper Tote on the A855, Tot nan Druidhean is unmistakable as a prominent, very large cairn 40 metres east of the road. There is ample space to park a vehicle opposite Upper Tote.

The cairn is a prominent grass-covered cone situated on a mound and rising high above the moor. Access is through a gate, whence a metalled track heads south a short distance from the cairn. What appear to be two 2-metre tall ramparts circle round and abut the cairn like a giant pair of pincers.

Tot Nan Druidhean (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Tot Nan Druidhean</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Tot Nan Druidhean</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Upper Shampher (Kerbed Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Visited: August 10, 2016

What a difference a few months makes.

Visiting again in early August, I had a hard time locating the cairn. Rank growth of vegetation had all but obliterated it from view. If this had been my first visit to this site it is doubtful if I would have recognised it.

Upper Shampher (Kerbed Cairn) — Images

<b>Upper Shampher</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Westerheide 8 and 9 (Round Cairn) — Images

<b>Westerheide 8 and 9</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Westerheide 8 and 9</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Westerheide 13 (Round Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Visited: July 1, 2016

Grafheuvel No 13 in the Westerheide is one of the most attractive of all. It's also the one the casual visitor is most likely to miss as it stands in a sheltered tree-lined glade just off the main heathland. Although not actually hard to find (if you are looking for it), it cannot be seen from the main path that follows the tree-line. It lies almost equidistant between Grave Mounds 9 and 7.

This barrow is a symmetrical grassy dome, rising to about 2 metres, and with a spread of approximately 15 metres.

Westerheide 13 (Round Cairn) — Images

<b>Westerheide 13</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Westerheide 13</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Westerheide 12 (Round Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Visited: July 1, 2016

Grave Mound 12 on the Westerheide has, despite a probable height of two metres, an extremely low profile as it rises very gradually. This is the most extensive mound in the heathland, with a width that I estimated to be at least 30 metres.

Westerheide 12 (Round Cairn) — Images

<b>Westerheide 12</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Westerheide 11 (Round Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Visited: July 1, 2016

Grafheuvel No 11 in the Westerheide is small and inconspicuous. Completely heather covered, it could well be mistaken for a mere undulation in the heathland, rising to about 2 metres and around 10 metres wide.
Showing 1-50 of 1,119 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.

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 RCAHMS-Carnmore's 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).

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.

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