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

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Drumtroddan Standing Stones — Fieldnotes

Yes, I know I've wrongly uploaded a Cairnholy pic ..can't remove. (Eds?) Nor, he neatly sidestepped, the memories of visits to Drumtroddan. One of my 'evening' sites that suit that time of day. Night comes in, sun fades in the west. The stillness, the manicured grass island wherein they stand and lie, the horizon, the lichen. The two that lie.... perchance they sleepeth. One is on guard, slender but imutable, in profile in mourning for the fallen. Barsalloch mid October for the late afternoon bask, then here. Turn back and look when you get to the gate at the road. That head will still be visible against the fading light, still bowing, this time to you. Reciprocate. Try to return.

Cairnholy (Chambered Cairn) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Cairnholy</b>Posted by spencer

Drumtroddan Standing Stones — Images

<b>Drumtroddan Standing Stones</b>Posted by spencer

Cairnholy (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Cairnholy</b>Posted by spencer

Dunman (Cliff Fort) — Images

<b>Dunman</b>Posted by spencer

Stair Haven (Broch) — Images

<b>Stair Haven</b>Posted by spencer<b>Stair Haven</b>Posted by spencer<b>Stair Haven</b>Posted by spencer<b>Stair Haven</b>Posted by spencer<b>Stair Haven</b>Posted by spencer<b>Stair Haven</b>Posted by spencer<b>Stair Haven</b>Posted by spencer<b>Stair Haven</b>Posted by spencer<b>Stair Haven</b>Posted by spencer<b>Stair Haven</b>Posted by spencer<b>Stair Haven</b>Posted by spencer

Dumfries and Galloway — Links

Crannogs: A Diminishing Resource?

Full title: Report on a survey of crannogs in the south west of Scotland (and excavations at Buiston) ..contains a complete list of known crannogs in D&G, submerged and above water. As of October 2016 many therein to be added to the TMA database...some shewn on OS Explorers not Pathfinders. An example is Whitefield Loch near Glenluce, where one is shown on OS Pathfinder 82 (NB correct name is Dorman's Island, Whitefield Loch) whilst Explorer 310 reveals more (two, albeit one submerged unless extreme drought)

Whitefield Loch (Crannog) — Images

<b>Whitefield Loch</b>Posted by spencer<b>Whitefield Loch</b>Posted by spencer

Bladnoch (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Bladnoch</b>Posted by spencer<b>Bladnoch</b>Posted by spencer<b>Bladnoch</b>Posted by spencer<b>Bladnoch</b>Posted by spencer

Jamieson's Point (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Jamieson's Point</b>Posted by spencer

Loch Head (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Loch Head</b>Posted by spencer

Cairnholy (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Cairnholy</b>Posted by spencer

Cairnholy Cairn (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Cairnholy Cairn</b>Posted by spencer

Mull of Sinniness (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Mull of Sinniness</b>Posted by spencer

Cairnholy (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Cairnholy</b>Posted by spencer

White Loch of Myrton (Crannog) — Images

<b>White Loch of Myrton</b>Posted by spencer

Cairnholy (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Cairnholy</b>Posted by spencer

Droughduil (Artificial Mound) — Images

<b>Droughduil</b>Posted by spencer

Drumtroddan Standing Stones — Images

<b>Drumtroddan Standing Stones</b>Posted by spencer

Cnoc Ceann a'Gharraidh (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Cnoc Ceann a'Gharraidh</b>Posted by spencer

An Sgurr (Hillfort) — Images

<b>An Sgurr</b>Posted by spencer<b>An Sgurr</b>Posted by spencer<b>An Sgurr</b>Posted by spencer

Minninglow (Burial Chamber) — Images

<b>Minninglow</b>Posted by spencer<b>Minninglow</b>Posted by spencer<b>Minninglow</b>Posted by spencer<b>Minninglow</b>Posted by spencer<b>Minninglow</b>Posted by spencer<b>Minninglow</b>Posted by spencer<b>Minninglow</b>Posted by spencer<b>Minninglow</b>Posted by spencer

Minninglow (Burial Chamber) — Fieldnotes

There are some places that I hold dear due to memories of antiquarian stomps with my late dad in days of yore, places that I have not returned to since his passing twenty years ago. Minninglow is one such. We first visited not long after the rails of the Cromford and High Peak line had been lifted at the turn of the '70's, our feet crunching along the limestone ballast as we trekked in from Newhaven crossing. The atmosphere of the place on that blue sky day captivated me the way that the arid calculation of azimuths never will. I had last been there about ten years later. After marriagr,lthough moving much nearer than when on holiday jaunts, life had precluded a return. I had, though, seen Minninglow from afar countless times, as it hove into view on the A621 south of Owler Bar near Barbrook. Some people always greet magpies... I always silently greeted the sight of that beech tree topknot that never failed to raised the spirits. "Hello Minninglow!" The tree profile changed with seasons and time, but always had the same effect. So near but so far.

The hankering for return had been increasing steadily, a must. I had read after the passing of TMA's Stubob that his ashes had been scattered there at his wish, and this had made me smile. I understood. It also acted as a nudge. I had wanted to go earlier in the season at budbreak, but the demands of fieldwalking in the soon to awaken bracken had precluded this..a race to at least cursorily survey a list of sites I'd been given where the Peak Park did not hold much archaeological data took precedent, and at weekends my nose had been to the gritstone. This had been brought to an abrupt halt the previous weekend, when seven hours of tooing and froing in the sprouting green menace wearing new boots, although productive, had resulted in a huge heel blister and a bad viral 'do'. Time to have an enforced break. My allotment this Sunday had been my intended limit. I'd then remembered that a steam engine would be visiting my former preserved railway haunt at Matlock, and I couldn't resist a look and a picture of its departure back to London. Just in case I put the OS Explorer in the car. I needed some limestone. News of further damage to Stanton's Nine Ladies, another haunt with dad, had upset me too. A further defilement of memory. I needed the antidote of a place where such acts would be unlikely, away from the maddening, gormless crowd. Only one place would do, if I felt up to it. Soil was turned for a while on allotment, then, yup, I reckoned the drive south was doable.

I drove to Matlock, thence Cromford, limped to a vantage point, got my shot, rued not paying in an almost deserted out of the way car park at six on a Sunday evening, then dammit, I had to do what I hadn't for nigh on thirty years. Up the Via Gellia, past Grangemill, then the Parwich turn off the A5012 to the car park at SK195582. As I neared there were swallows wheeling in the sunshine round nest sites in the huge limestone railway embankment that shielded my goal from view. Only two cars in the car park. I wondered if they'd gone to where I was heading...and also wondered if my goal was accessible. There had been no TMA fieldnotes since 2012, and Stu had posted that concessionary access was to end. One way to find out. I struck out, wincing from my blister, from the car park. Once out of a cutting and atop the finely engineered embankment there, to my right, was Minninglow, drawing me on. There too was the farm. Were eyes watching me? Had Stu's nearest and dearest had to ask for access? Would I be confronted with an unsurmountable field wall near my goal?

I pressed on, Minninglow ever larger, as larks sang above and lambs bleated around in the early evening sun. A runner passed, then a cyclist. That was it. Such a contrast to Matlock Bath's bustle. Through a cutting which opened out into a lineside quarry, then, yes!!! There was a metal gate to my left, and, adjoining, a small wooden one...and a recent sign confirming a concessionary path uphill to my destination. The limping w a s worth it. There were no bootmarks in the mud. Perhaps people are offput by there being no path marked on the OS, perhaps this place just seems too far out the way. Perhaps this is a blessing. No voice would shout 'get off my land!!' from the farm..just the sound of happy children playing drifted uphill. Lift the catch, through that gate, past the woolly mums and kids, past the limestone scarp, and there was that encircling wall with the open gate. It had been too long. I confess emotion. I had known here when the encircling tree belt was but the tiniest saplings, and prefer it with just the central beech sentinels.. surely the builders had meant here to be seen. If others prefer the present day seclusion so be it. One day the trees may be gone but those capstones and mounds will remain. I kicked and scraped a few molehills, 'just in case', and then, taking a breath, through the gateway. Back. The bronze age cairn, with young nettles starting to conceal Bateman's stone exposures for the summer, was to my right. I stopped, thought of my dad and then, mindful that Stu's ashes might be underfoot, walked slowly and lightly as I could to the main mound and those great capstones again. So good to return after all this time. No carved names, no paint..just everything as it had been and should be. After another pause and contemplation of my own mortality I took stock. There were one or two small stones protruding through the grass. Had Bateman excavated everything here, I wondered. I photo'd, then went through the gate on the low's furthest side.

The footpath veers to the right. I walked a little way straight ahead to get a view of another nearby cairn marked on the Explorer. A small green mound, no discernible stonework at that distance. I decided my blister should take precedent over curiosity and instead opened out the map to try and ID the other see for miles highpoints...if sheep have a sense of humour they would have enjoyed the battle. Paper won, but was mishapen. Back to the capstones, a quiet pause, taking in the lowering sun streaming through the beech trunks and branches..then time to go. I wiped my boots. Stu remains where he wished. Downhill, out into the evening blue. Turning right on the uphill side of a wall that cuts along below the scarp I wanted a look at another cairn marked on the OS. Close inspection was not possible due to a wire topped wall barrier, but I found a stone that seemed of interest embedded in that wall below the scarp. It was of wall height, and seemed to serve no demarcational or structural function. If anything, it was a structural weakness, as the wall was toppling either side. With some possible packing visible, was this contemporary with the hilltop sites? Had it been noted? One to read up on in due course.

I retraced my steps to the Midshires Way..somehow my steps felt lighter. No kids voices from the farm now. As I walked back along the black ash I scanned left and right, looking for signs in the close nibbled fields around of those who had built Minninglow for their loved and revered. On the north side of the farm and uphill? Who knows. So much remains hidden still. We do not know it all, never will. What I do know though is that, yes, Minninglow still is a special place, four square to time, part of the fabric of the landscape and my life, and I felt recharged and fulfilled by my visit. I hope others will too. Don't believe the map. Go. Once will not be enough. I walked slowly back to my Landy, past the cowslips and curlews, lambs and larks. An hour later I was back at my allotment, picking rhubarb in the gloaming. Better. Date of visit 22nd May 2016.

Green Low (Ring Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Before meeting the first group of trees to your left you will see Mag of those 'easy to reach with vibe' sites. The shafts of sunlight picked it out, bright green. On, till you cross the brook. I climbed a stock track that passed under an old hawthorn, then, cresting the rise, the 'whateveritis'. There looked to be three pretty evenly spaced degraded remains of small cists tucked into the inner face of the ring. The light wasn't right, so thought I'd wander before returning to photo. Uphill, through the open gate, the grass undulated and there looked to be traces of trackway and other earthwork. These, and the presence of sorrel, also an almost ubiquitous bellweather of settlements on the west coast of Scotland, made me feel 'as sure as' that those who built Green Low lived here. I climbed the rise behind, looking for more earthworks. Yup, but I reckon not t h a t old. A potter in the top of the wood prior to the intended extended pic session looking down on the site..I was looking the wrong way. The wind had got up, then, suddenly, snow. With surreal speed it fell and was blasted into the branches and grass. I couldn't see more than 100' for a time. Curtains crossed the valley, muffling the sound of trains climbing to Cowburn Tunnel below. It was bloody cold too. Back down to the site. Not a cist to be seen. Bother. The sun was back though. A few pix, decision made that this place was well worth a return, then back along the track. A happy woman with her even more happy offspring passed, heading to where I'd been. A fine, easy site to blood the young archaeo with. Good luck to 'em.

Ox Stones (Natural Rock Feature) — Images

<b>Ox Stones</b>Posted by spencer<b>Ox Stones</b>Posted by spencer<b>Ox Stones</b>Posted by spencer
Previous 50 | Showing 51-100 of 366 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
I have always been interested in history, fictional or historical, and loved reading as a child the works of Rosemary Sutcliff. Yes, I did read Stig Of The Dump too. When ten I found a mussel midden when digging holes in the back garden - it turned out my folks house was built adjacent to the town hanging place, and the mussels were part of the additional social attractions. I used to visit sites when I could with my similarily interested father, particularily on holiday. Glenelg Brochs, Caer Caradoc, Maiden Castle, Warham Camp... History was my strong point at school, but life took me elsewhere for a career. I continued to read the likes of Graves, Belloc and Childe, though, as well as watching any history programme on television.. Cunliffe, Wheeler, Chronicle.. this continues to the present. I watch the repeats of the repeats of the repeats of Time Team, you name it. While my interest latterly has been for the most part armchair based, I have always loved looking at maps, and by using the distance between the Roman milecastles of Hadrian's Wall as a datum I have done a lot of work identifying Roman settlements along pre-Roman routes, cross referencing with linguistic clues in placenames and archaeological records. I also believe I have found three settlements of some size where little or no habitation exists today. Oh, to dig. I have no favourites as to type of archaeological site, and feel that phenomena such as holloways and holy wells or sacred springs are unjustly neglected compared to the likes of stone circle glamourpussies. A site is a site is a site. I visited many in the White and Dark Peak in the '80's before raising a family and steam engine restoration and firing took precedence. After tentative explorations on holiday over the last five years I have recently started to visit sites intensively again, but my circumstances frustratingly rarely permit this. My prime interest currently is visiting Western Scottish coastal sites, and, as a horticulturist, studying the botany in their environs that may be present day survivors of cultivation contemporary with site's occupancy, such a sorrel and, yes, gorse, sacred to the Celts and much used by them, now cursed by those interested in archaeology today. Sorry! (Not : p) Favourite sites: Lagvag Cairn, Dunman, Slochmill, Barsalloch, Powerstock Common, Eggardon Hill, Arbor Low, Warham Camp and Stevington Holy Well. Avatar: Torhouskie Stone Row. I took this image after being charged by cattle there five minutes earlier. A reminder to myself to make the most of what life may yet have to offer, including enjoying this, my hobby, as it can end in a trice.

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