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

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Castlerigg (Stone Circle) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Castlerigg</b>Posted by Wotan<b>Castlerigg</b>Posted by Wotan

Castlerigg (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

After another busy break with the family in the Lakes, I managed to squeeze in a brief stop off at Castlerigg. Unusually for me, I was armed with a camera as I invariably have the bad luck to fnd myself in the ideal photo op with no means to grab the image! The weather had been typical April, overcast to rainy to drizzly and i wasnt holding out much hope. As Castlerigg is fairly accessible - ie having visited the lakes many times and seen many signs pointing in its direction from the town centres, i wasnt expecting much - TMA photos in the Gazeteer didnt impress me much and JC suggested that CR would present differing monuments depending on the viewpoint, so I went off with a quite blase attititude. As we approached, the weather began to deteriorate, and having taken the wrong turn out of Keswick (despite all the signs!) we came at it after a long drive. Several circuitous turns later, the sky had closed in and it had begun to rain heavily. The lane next to the monument was packed with cars, and my heart sank as I realised that it would probably be a busy venue. I climbed out of the back of the car, trying not to look like a rubberneck and sallied fort - sure enough, there were a few people taking pics and a couple of new agers ligging around taking in the vibe. Despite all this, I was hugely impressed, and scurried off through the mud to a vantage point where i could grab a shot in good ligh before the heavens opened. I had pinched the new digital camera from the office, and had been hammering away snapping right and left and by the time i reached CS the batteries were on their last legs! I grabbed a shot - apologies for blandness and duplication! - and they quit out, so i was grateful for the shot.

Overall, the site was absolutely stunning, framed by Blencartha and Skiddaw still topped with snow and dressed with a garland on brilliantly coloured lichens, the stones sat on that windy hillside as if they had always been there. The impression of monumental scale and the feeling of 'oneness' with the landscape was awesome. it was if the pancreator had paused here, while labouring to form the surrounding landscape and set down a mug of tea on the new tabletop of earth and left a ring behind, indelibly marking the ground for all time.

As with all the (few) sites ive visited, it left me with a lasting impression, not a visual bu an emotional one - of ancient time and huge scope and weight, the feeling that I was transplanted to a time before time and the ground had barely ceased its tremors as the last stone had been raised. Fantastic.

Castlerigg (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Castlerigg</b>Posted by Wotan

Duloe (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

25/10/02 - Before i went on a weeks holiday to Cornwall, i polled the Ma for site worth seeing in slightly more remote bits of the area, and Duloe came up a number of times. I looked in at the submissions and the photos didnt really look very inspiring, and i made a note to visit if i found time.

Had a week of terrible weather, which precluded visiting anywhere really remote, so I had realistically put aside any notions of seeing any worthwhile sites. After a last minute visit to Looe, we where jsut leaving for the base camp when I noticed that Duloe was within 3 miles and literally on the way home. PeteG had warned that the sign was small, and the farmer tended to obscure it, so it was eyes peeled! Just as well as I drove past and had to run back. It had been lashing down all day, and I was pretty cheesed off generally, but the skies had just started to brighten. I walked up the path past the farmhouse, expecting an irate cornishman to hurl abuse at me, but it was calm and still. at the top of the rise, a gate marked the entrance to the field, and as I approached, I saw her, beckoning!

It was peacfully quiet apart from a strong wind, and the clouds hurried about their business as I walked on. This was one of the few circles I had seen complete, and the hairs stood up on my neck and arms. At a distance, it looked like pale grey stone, but close up it is quite spectacular. The sun beat down and the stones shone, brilliantly as i touched each in succession, widdershins, marvelling at its wooly head of green lichen. I stepped into the centre of the circle, and the large fang shaped stone that faces the gates, was thrown into sharp relief by the setting sun,which appeared to sit on the point of the stone and cast a shadow that reached me at it s centre. a moving and exhilarating experience, both for its supernatural beauty and its tiny size, a definite genius loci about the site, even though one of the stones has tumbled some time in the past, it still gives a feeling of completeness - standing at the centre and watching the sun set, the farm, the wires and the fences disappeared, and for a brief moment the monument was new....

The Merry Maidens (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Bit of a flying visit here, missed the Pipers because of time. I was surprised as to how busy the site was, Drudes hanging out and tourists grinning inanely on the way past.

The ladies didnt shake me the way TC Lethbridge described, but due to the large size of the site and the completeness of the circle, you get a feeling of wild motion, almost as if you are standing on a Merrygoround and the other riders are still, but the world flashes by around you.

Photo-ops were limited due to the Piccadily Circus theme, but with a low sun and a morning mist rising, the effect could be glorious!

The Merry Maidens (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>The Merry Maidens</b>Posted by Wotan

Dyffryn Ardudwy (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Fieldnotes

One of the first 'real' monuments I met firsthand. Around 1985, Summer on the Lleyn. Found it by virtue of a tourist map, which also indicated that the local shop held leaflets about the monument - I just received frowns and dirty looks when i enquired!

I wasn't expecting such a vast site - again, this was a first for me and the sense of scale and feeling of 'place' was immense. Disregarding the 'sympathetic' restoration by Wimpey during a lunch-break, the monument bleeds antiquity.

I had loaded a high definition film with the intention of getting some shots before approaching the site, and the sun was well over her midpoint by the time i reached the place. The massive oak rustled in the rising breeze, throwing a shifting shadowplay over the backs of the crouched stones.
It was interesting to think that the tree, already several times thicker than my waist, had seen many summers than I could imagine, and yet compared to Ardudwy, its lifetime was a brief crowded hour of furious growth.

Taking the shots between the two dolmens, and looking 'in' to the cramped space, feeling the stones grind and complain beneath my clumsy feet, i had the distinct impression of the genius loci and almost felt myself observed in turn.

Dyffryn Ardudwy (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Dyffryn Ardudwy</b>Posted by Wotan<b>Dyffryn Ardudwy</b>Posted by Wotan<b>Dyffryn Ardudwy</b>Posted by Wotan<b>Dyffryn Ardudwy</b>Posted by Wotan<b>Dyffryn Ardudwy</b>Posted by Wotan

Penllech Coetan Arthur (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Fieldnotes

Visited this place around 1985, beautiful summer day and the first thing that struck me was the colours. The Foxgloves around the monument contrasted sharply with the blooms of lichen and moss on the uprights and the sun beamed down onto the roof of the dolmen warming the great stone.

Shame that it was coralled with barbed wire, it would have been cool and peaceful among the nettles and the long grass beneath.

Penllech Coetan Arthur (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Penllech Coetan Arthur</b>Posted by Wotan<b>Penllech Coetan Arthur</b>Posted by Wotan

Sarn Meyllteyrn (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Came across this lonely stone while tripping around the Lleyn. Had just visited Coetan Arthur and almost missed this stone. By chance I peered through a locked gate around the chapel graveyard and there it stood, arrogantly erect and defiantly posed next to the path from the gate as a poignant reminder to the christian flock. The holes near the top seem to stare in cyclopean ire as it towers in all its pagan beauty like a lynchpin arresting the flow of time . The chapel almost seems to sit apologetically in its shadow.

A wonderful and evocative 'lith, well worth searching out!

Sarn Meyllteyrn (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Sarn Meyllteyrn</b>Posted by Wotan
Wotan - I began reading into mythology some years ago and discovered the tale behind Odin and his trials hanging from the world-tree Yggdrassil in his search for occult knowledge. I was always fascinated by what apeared to be a wealth of secret history and belief which was hinted at and 'talked around' by organised religion. Where had those massive edifices come from and who left the beautiful chalk drawings on the hills? Why were the days of the week named after Norse gods and goddesses, when Christianity seemed to stem from the Middle East? Even as a child, seeing the tiny black and white image of the White Horse at Uffington in the I-Spy Guide to Archaeology, I felt inspired and curious as to what or who had come before and endeavoured to find out.

Over time i have looked into occultism, magic, mythology, history, palaeontology and etymology, springing off down new paths as new clues emerged in passages of poetry or tracts of text, or journeys or holidays revealed further obscure delights hidden in woods or among hills that nobody could (or would) explain to me fully. Eventually, I reached a dead end in my forages and without the time or resources to study fully, I foundered. Then, quite by accident, I discovered the MA and its website. Within days i was hooked and utterly absorbed into the tribal gathering of like minded souls through the electronic portal, and many gaps in my knowledge were bridged.

I look forward to the time when i can explore the field fully and completely and fill a study with notes, paintings and books.

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