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Fieldnotes by BigSweetie

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Showing 1-20 of 95 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20

Dunsapie (Hillfort)

We climbed here yesterday, and while there's not much to be seen in terms of antiquities - save for well-disguised remnants of the fort's wall - the views are fantastic.

Although it sits within the shadow of it's much larger neighbour Arthur's Seat which blocks the view to the west and south-west, there are extensive and wide-ranging views north to West Lomond Hill and east to Traprain Law and Berwick Law.

Ses Paisses (Poblat)

Make sure you check the opening hours at the museum in the centre of the town before walking out here, especially on a blisteringly hot day.

Spanish austerity means the opening hours we'd seen published were no longer up to date, and it was shut when we arrived. Very disappointing!

Hully Hill Monument (Artificial Mound)

Despite the planes overhead and the motorways nearby, I didn't actually find this a depressing site like some of the previous visitors evidently have.

Maybe it's because it was a bright sunny day, the grass had just been cut, and there was a total absence of feral children.

The Chesters (Hillfort)

Visited here last weekend, and noticed an interesting alignment.

If you stand in the centre of the fort with Arthur's Seat behind you on the horizon, then you find yourself pointing at a small hill on the horizon to the east. I haven't figured out what it is yet though - it may of course just be a natural hill!

This alignment roughly passes through the entrance, beyond which is a large boulder.

Seaton Law (Hillfort)

Interestingly this fort is now listed as a quarry by the RCAHMS, having previously been designated a fort and marked on the OS map as such.

At the west end of the fort a small amount of quarrying has taken place, but it seems quite clear that this place is a fort.

Seaton Law is a rocky outcrop on a ridge that is a continuation of the Garleton Hills to the west. Although the fort is only slightly raised above the immediately surrounding land, it offers a 360 degree view over the area. Traprain Law and Berwick Law are both visible.

With the bigger fort of Kae Heughs further to the west it may be that Seaton Law was built as an outpost to offer an extra dimension of defence from an attack along the ridge.

The approach to the fort from the east slopes gradually and is steeper than it first appears. The top of the fort is wide and flat, covered in tussocks of grass which make it difficult to identify any features below.

At the west end of the fort there appears to be a section cut off from the main body of the fort by what may be a wide ditch. However since this is the end affected by quarrying, the depression may be associated with that rather than representing a true ditch.

Pencraig Hill Standing Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Further to fitz's post, this stone seems to stand directly in between Traprain Law and Berwick Law - tell me that was an accident!

Edinchip Chambered Cairn

Getting here is very easy indeed - National Cycle Route 7 passes by the bottom of the railway embankment (so there's a good footpath from Killin, Balquhidder, Strathyre, Lochearnhead - take your pick!)

The high gate doesn't appear to ever be locked. I've been up here twice now and both times there was no lock. It's a popular walking route too so access seems possible at all times.

Walk along the railway embankment until you reach Moth's "metal framey-sheltery-type structures" (actually cattle feeding units) and go through the gate here behind them. Once through turn right amongst the tress and there is a large mound in front of you, next to the burn. The cairn is on top of this mound.

Caisteal Cona Bhacain (Hillfort)

Although clearly not a hillfort (as it's not on a hill!) this site is typical of a type of monument found in Glen Lyon (and also nearby, see Queen's View). Variously described as forts, ring forts and homesteads, they are curious sites that certainly appear to be defensive. Massive walls, in this case between 3 and 4 metres thick, and their location below mountain passes into and out of Glen Lyon seem to suggest a defensive use for them originally.

Dunruchan (Standing Stones)

These stones are utterly fantastic. Six stones - plus numerous suspicious-looking lumps and bumps - snake their way up over the moor here. The smallest stone is 5 foot something, but Dunruchan A, the largest, is a whopping 11ft 4in, and totally dominates the skyline.

From each stone, at least one other can be seen.

Dunruchan D and E, the two highest up stones, would appear to be a typical Perthshire pair comprising one pointy slab-like stone and a chunkier, round-topped partner.

Dundurn (Hillfort)

It's easy to see why Dundurn was chosen as the site of a fort, as it rises steeply from the flat ground around it making it easy to defend. The slopes are littered with stones that are from the fort's walls, which have now tumbled from their original position on the flat summit.

The views from the top are stunning, and show further it's strategic importance, offering a sweeping vista of the wide flood plain of the River Earn below, and covering several major mountain passes.

Tom na Chessaig (Stone Circle)

I couldn't find the stone that's supposed to still lie here, but the site was very overgrown with bushes and trees. A large part of the mound is made up of bedrock just below the surface, so how likely it is a stone circle once stood here I'm not sure. However, it does have the right feel to it, whatever that means, and with it's proximity to the churches it certainly ticks a lot of boxes. I didn't have a chance to get a good look at the whole of the mound, so it's possible that there are sections of it with a thick enough layer of earth to support standing stones.

Clachan An Diridh (Stone Circle)

The way up here is very easy - just follow the Clunie walk from Pitlochry. From the car park in the centre, head under the railway bridge across the road and watch out for a footpath sign-posted to the left - over the super-fun suspension bridge. At the end of the bridge turn left, and at the junction head straight over and up the hill (sign-posted Clune walk) to the A9, crossing carefully. The track continues up beside Middleton of Fonab farm and then enters the forestry plantation (still sign-posted) where it becomes narrower. It then joins on to a wide forestry track which you follow for a couple of hundred metres before turning left at the junction of forestry tracks. The circle is another few hundred metres along here, off the track to your right.

Faskally - Pitlochry (Stone Circle)

The Townsends live in the far left house and are very happy to give permission to view the circle when asked. All the other cottages are rented out as holiday homes.

Haugh Cottages (Standing Stone / Menhir)

CANMORE lists this stone as a cross, and it's marked on the current OS map as a cross slab, but it was marked on the 1961 OS map as a standing stone, and visiting it seems to confirm that, it definitely looks like a christianised standing stone. So after a few second opinions I've added it here.

The stone is a large slab, 2.0m in height by 0.6m wide and 0.2m thick, giving it similar proportions to the nearby Clach Glas. On either side is carved a large simple cross.

Writing in 1925, JH Dixon described how it was supposed to have been connected with a chapel of St Maroc on the terrace above the Tay's flood plain, although no trace of such a building can now be found.

Clach Glas (Standing Stone / Menhir)

The Clach Glas is not too far from the embankment for the railway on the flood plain of the Tay. It is around 1.7m tall by 1.0m wide, and is approximately 30cm thick, making it slab-like in appearance. It stands on a small but pronounced mound in which packing material is visible, and there was said to have once been more stones lying on the ground to the south and east, although these are no longer there. In the centre of the south face of the stone are two cup marks.

Loaninghead (Hillfort)

The stepped terracing of this fort is clearly visible at the southern end, and standing on the top of the fort reveals the full extent of the fort's area, stretching to the north. The fort appears to be split into two sections by two massive ditches running E-W through the fort's interior, which may be evidence of an entrance.

Crois Chnoca Breaca (Standing Stone / Menhir)

This stone stands on a mound 1.8m high, and has packing stones visible around its base. The stone itself is (naturally) shaped like a cross with one arm broken off (Crois is Gaelic for cross, Chnoca Breaca is "speckled hill") and is around 2m tall by 40cm wide at the base, and 25cm thick. It is about 90m from the shore.

Faire Na Paitig (Stone Circle)

This tiny circle consists of 4 stones, only 2 of which still stand, the other two lying close to their original positions. None of the stones are more than 0.55m tall, and sit in very shallow sockets - one of the stones moves when touched. The circle is situated on a small mound close to the edge of a forestry plantation, and leading away from it are a perfectly-straight line of 5 hut circles, one of which crowns the summit of Elrig.

Visiting this circle it struck me how important the standing stones must have been to the people who erected them. From the looks of the landscape, this area would have been a temporary summer settlement, but the inhabitants still felt the need to build a stone circle - however small.

Calamanach (Standing Stone / Menhir)

There's what looks very like a standing stone here, complete with packing stones at the base. To begin with I thought (since it's not listed anywhere) that it was maybe a marker for the track, but it's on the wrong side of a ditch beside the track so would be useless for this purpose. I've e-mailed the county archaeologist to get his opnion.

Spittal of Glenshee (Stone Circle)

This is probably a site best visited in autumn, winter or spring. The stones are awfully wee, and were being dwarfed by the grass growing around them today. Access is via a farm track (no vehicles) and the stones are high up, so wet ground shouldn't be a problem.

Although the mound on which the stones sit is was excavated in 1894 and reported to be a natural morain deposit, it does look very suspicious, and there are stones on the east side of it which could be the remnants of a kerb.
Showing 1-20 of 95 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20
Hi!

I'm a freelance eyewear designer in Edinburgh, exiled from my beloved Perthshire. I also run a website about Scotland's many standing stones and stone circles:

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