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 1,254 posts. Most recent first | Next 50

Dun Beag, Balmeanach (Hillfort) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Dun Beag, Balmeanach</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Beag, Balmeanach</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Beag, Balmeanach</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Beag, Balmeanach</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Beag, Balmeanach</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Beag, Balmeanach</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Dun Beag, Balmeanach</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Dun Beag, Balmeanach (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

Visited: May 21, 2017

The fort of Dun Beag lies just over a kilometre due south of Dun Vallerain, and likewise on a steep conical hill. Park beside the cemetery 800 metres west of Brodaig from the A855 (blue marker), walk back up to the Brodaig-Uig road, then turn left and continue for around 400 metres till a gate comes into view on your right. Dun Beag now rears steeply above you and looks impregnable, but a path from the gate heads northwards and contours all of the way round to the west of the hill then leads up easy grassy slopes to the summit (red marker). The ascent is about 100 metres.



The upper slopes of the hill are covered in tunbled stones that were once the dun's defensive western wall. The summit is basically a level grassy plain (measuring 37 × 15 metres ) with few redeeming features other than the superb views it provides towards both th sea and the precipices of the Cuiraing. There is a well defined entrance passage bordered by large squared blocks in its upper reaches. To the east and north, the hill falls almost precipitously to the moorlands below and there is little evidence of walling. On the easier western slopes, traces of walling two courses deep can still be identified amongst the tumble. Judging from the quantity of tumbled stones on the western slopes, there must once have been a substantial defensive wall here. In a few places, on the southern and western slopes, intermittent stetches of the foundation course can still be found in situ.

United Kingdom — News

Hill fort hotspots in UK and Ireland mapped for first time in online atlas


For the first time, a detailed online atlas has drawn together the locations and particulars of the UK and Ireland’s hill forts and come to the conclusion that there are more than 4,000 of them, mostly dating from the iron age.

Dun Dornadilla (Broch) — Images

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

Leadoch (Broch) — Images

<b>Leadoch</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Leadoch</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Leadoch</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Leadoch</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Leadoch</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Leadoch</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Leadoch (Broch) — Fieldnotes

Visited: June 8, 2017

Leadoch broch stands on a low, bracken infested knoll about 150 metres west of the estate road near the south of Loch Brora. The site is very dilapilated showing no internal structure at all, and with the outer wall little more than a mass of tumble. This site is hardly worth the effort of a visit unless you are already intending to make you way to the splendid Carrol broch about a kilometre farther up the valley.



Directions are the same as for visiting Carrol broch, except that you only have to follow the path for one kilometre before tramping through bracken on your left to Leadoch (about 160 metres).

Grummore (Broch) — Images

<b>Grummore</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Grummore</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Grummore</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Grummore</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Grummore</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Grummore</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Grummore</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Grummore</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Grummore (Broch) — Fieldnotes

Visited: June 7, 2017

Three miles along the B873 from Altnahara, on the north bank of Loch Naver, you will come to a small parking place beside the Altnahara Caravan Club Site. This is not, perhaps, where you would expect to find a broch, but Grummore stands at the water's edge at the north end of this site.

From outside, Grummore appears as a moss and lichen encrusted pile of stones with no structure remaining and some mature trees rising from its interior.

But the interior of the broch retains many typical elements despite being full of tumbled debris, and in places the walls rise to almost 2.5 metres tall. The entrance lies on the west of the broch, indicated from outside by a slight dip on the structure: but on the inside there is a well formed entranceway with lintels still in pace. Walking around the circumference, there are several places where there is evidence of a ground-level gallery.

There's lots more information about Grummmore on the Canmore website.

Carrol (Broch) — Fieldnotes

Visited: June 8, 2017

Carrol is a relatively remote, seldom visited broch, located in a large forest clearing at an altitude of about 100 metres, about half a kilometre west of Loch Brora in Sutherland.

At first sight, the broch appears as just a huge stoneheap but there's a real treat in store once you climb up and view the interior. The broch was excavated by the Duke of Sutherland during the 1870s, and its external walling was completely buried by the material removed from the interior, which now stands almost 4 metres tall around the entire structure. To say this is impressive is an understatement: the interior of Carrol broch is little short of overwhelming!

There is an entrance passsage on the east-southeast but this is sufficiently blocked at its inner end to deny the visitor access. Nevertheless, walking round the ramparts—effectively the broch's second level—is quite an experience (just a pity the centre of the broch is inhabited by dense bushes these days).

Three features in particular stand out. On the west, a long staircase of at least a dozen steps, thickly encrusted by moss and lichen, but still recognisable, leads down into the wall gallery to the lower level. At the foot of the stair, is a door-frame faced with massive stone slabs which would have originally led from the gallery into the interior. Then, immediately after comes a long stretch of gallery leading all the way round to the entrance. At the time of excavation half this gallery was still roofed over but now most of it has lost its lintels and is open to the air.

How to get there
The broch stands just 50 metres north of a prominent stream (Allt Coire Aghaisgeig) which flows down into Loch Brora, and this provides the easiest way to locate it as it is not visible from below. Be advised that this visit is not quite a 'stroll in the park'. Stout walking shoes or boots are essential, specially if you lose your way in the forest!




After following the road signposted Doll (to the south of the River Brora from the A9) for 2½ kilometres, there are a few parking spaces at the road's end, beside the footbridge over the river (orange marker at foot of map). Backtrack about 50 metres then follow the estate road through the forest for a pleasant walk before emerging from the trees after about one kilometre. From here, continue along the road for another two kilometres to the point where it crosses the Allt Coire Aghaisgeig.

Now is the most important bit because the broch lies in woodland behind a tall deer fence. Do not cross the stream, but make directly for the fence just before the stream (150 metres over heather) where you will find a tall stile (blue marker). Once over the stile, cross the stream and head exactly south-west to Carrol broch, through woodland now consisting of fairly scattered birch trees. Another 450 metres and you're there (red marker). Alternatively, follow the stream uphill, as it passes just 50 metres from the broch.


There is a lot of information about Carrol broch on the Canmore website.

Carrol (Broch) — Images

<b>Carrol</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Carrol</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Carrol</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Carrol</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Carrol</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Carrol</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Carrol</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Carrol</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Carrol</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Carrol</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Carrol</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Carrol</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Carrol</b>Posted by LesHamilton

Baile Mhargaite (Broch) — Fieldnotes

Visited: June 5, 2017

Across the estuary of the River Naver from Bettyhill stands a steep 80 metre tall hill bearing the broch Baile Mhargaite on its summit.

It's a walk of around 1.5 kilometres from the bridge over the River Naver at Invernaver, a, cross grass then sand to the broch, following a rough path to the south of Baile Mhargaite up a steep stream. It is best to continue a little past the broch as the easiest ascent is from the west.

From the outside, this broch is little more than a tumbled mass of stones, but the interior wall is well preserved all the way round the structure, to a visible height approaching two metres. In reality, the true height of these walls is probably as great as five metres as the interior of the broch is deeply infilled by blown sand (hence this sometimes being dubbed the 'Sandy Broch'.

You can read more about this site at Canmore, who also provide an aerial colour photograph of the area.

Baile Mhargaite (Broch) — Images

<b>Baile Mhargaite</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Baile Mhargaite</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Baile Mhargaite</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Baile Mhargaite</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Baile Mhargaite</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Baile Mhargaite</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Baile Mhargaite</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Baile Mhargaite</b>Posted by LesHamilton
Showing 1-50 of 1,254 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 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).

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: