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

Get the TMA Images feed
keltyk's Latest Posts

Latest Posts

Dunino Den (Sacred Well) — Fieldnotes

My first visit to Dunino Den... 7th Jan. 04. Impressive. The basin and footprint... yes that is like Dunadd. Perhaps it really was an inaugral device for local tribal kings or such.

The carved Celtic knotwork?

I had a strong and immediate feeling that they (circle and the triad) were fairly recent fakery. Nicely greened over with a few years ageing but just a bit too crisp and convenient I felt. I suspect late 20th century tampering here, wishful thinking and vandalism. a little to the right of the circular knot device I could vaguely see a rough and very old bit of incising... shaped a little like a crude representation of a pine tree. It reminded me of Ogham script... and is more stylistically in line with the incising on the churchyard stone with the coins on top.

The large cross?

I failed to spot it as I was unprepared as to what to expect at Dunino... (vague word of mouth descriptions only)

Since my visit I have read of the large rock with the basin being called the 'pulpit'. I think that's incorrect. Unaware at time of visit that any rock here was called such... I did notice that the largest rock (the one with the tiny cave underneath) was remarkably like a pulpit and that is exactly how I'd describe this stone (not the basin one). It even has dual ascending passages... almost symetrical, narrowly leading up behind it to it's flat top.
How very like the stairways on an actual church pulpit.

On the flat top surface I noticed (next to a pretty basket of withered flowers there placed) a little circular post hole. I don't know it's depth but i cleared out old leaves down to about ten inches before stopping.
I call it a post hole as this seems it's obvious purpose, though it would require secondary opinion here.
I ask myself what would sit in such a post hole? The first thing that comes to mind is a cross.
I can imagine the church would've (at some point) used this almost certainly previously pagan site for worship. Another more fanciful idea as to what occupied this 'post hole' would be some kind of lectern so that a priest could use this rock as the natural pulpit it appears to be.

Whatever it's purpose... it is plainly there and begs question.

I agree this is a beautiful, serene and mysterious place to visit. On doing a websearch, I discovered this page and found out that Dunino Den's not such a big secret after all.
i'd known of this site and of Julian Cope's interest in megaliths etc. I happened to register to post an article about Dunino Den after a websearch about that place, following a visit there. I first heard of Head Heritage after buying Cope's book on 'Krautrock' another very longterm interest of mine.
I've had an interest in archaeology since childhood... but trained as an artist. At best I've found my interests in art and archaeology tie in nicely together.
I think Richard Demarco and Joseph Beuys (vicariously through Demarco) first awakened a deeper excitement in me regarding ancient earthworks etc.

My TMA Content: