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Buttern Hill Chambered Cairn.

We approached the burial chamber from Buttern hill stone circle, where by you just go straight up and over the hill. But no matter what direction you come from just look for the large walled enclosure on the east side of Buttern hill, walk round it til you find the chamber on the east side of the enclosure, at it's south east corner.
This site isn't going to set your megalithic world on fire, it is a fairly luke warm place. But there aren't many chambered cairns on Dartmoor, no wait, actually there's probably loads, but they're not what Dartmoor does most of, so we decided to go back to the car this way.

Right at the corner of the walled enclosure there are some big stones that look like they could well have been part of some now toppled monument, I thought they were what I was looking for but they didn't look anything like the pictures on here and on the Portal. So I kept on looking, one place immediately took my eye, bracken growing out of some stones, they must surely be it. They are.

It's pretty ruined, the chamber is recognisable, and because you can see the chamber all the other parts fall into place, passage stones, portal stones one up one down. The view east is quite extensive, but crosses only over farmland.
Hunger had made itself known to me some time ago, every footfall now wobbled pains around my stomach. We quit the hill, and made a bee line for the road, retrieving the car at quarter to nine, a little over four hours had passed. Cosdon stone row, stone circles White moor and Buttern hill and here, all seen.

Buttern Hill Stone Circle

Eric and I approached Buttern hill stone circle from White moor stone circle, two kilometers to the north west. There was no path, except those made by sheep, and who knows what governs their movements. So we were guessing really, I have a map and compass, but they only play a secondary role to guesswork. From White Moor standing stone strike out for the south edge of Kennon hill, stopping momentarily at the old settlement marked on the 1;25,000 map. Then keep going in a south east direction heading for Buttern hill, at the lowest point between hills Kennon and Buttern, turn south, the stones will appear, have faith, they are there.

Most of the stones here are having a lie down, Eric is easily lead, so he took their advice and lay down on the longest stone. I tried to photograph the stones as best as I could without letting the lazy boy into them, but in the end i followed suit and lay down on the second longest recumbent. The sun, by now, had dried out the grass and stones, we got pretty comfy, apart from the internal ever present scream of damaged ear drums, the only sound came from an over achieving Skylark, seemingly screaming his shrill melody right at us.
Opening my eyes, I was gratified to see that we hadn't gone mad and poetry still doesn't move me, so I suggested we could possibly get a move on to the last site on this particular walk. After he'd vacated the longest stone, I took some more photos, and off we went.

White Moor Stone Circle

It's a fair old walk of two and a half kilometers from Cosdon hill stone rows to White Moor stone circle, following the well obvious footpath we stayed clear of Raybarrow pool, indeed why would you even try to go through it, you'd have to be mad to stray from the path, I'm always straying, but when the path goes straight to where your going?
After much wet feet based japery, the stones finally come into view, my heart missed a beat, and I got that giddy Brodgar feeling, it's been so long coming, has this stone circle, and such a long walk, even my goosebumps had goosebumps. Eric, as ever took it in his coolest of strides, he asked which way were going next, sat, and waited for me to drink my fill of White moor, he knows the score.

I've been on lots of moors, hillsides and commons, fields and heaths, and, do you know, none of them have been white, not a one, and this place is also decidedly not white, it's most definitely green, bright, shiny, wet and very green, almost, you might say, as green as grass, why isn't this place called Green Moor? That's what I'd have called it, is there even a green moor anywhere? Bet not.

Even my feet are wet now, and I'm beginning to join Eric in his fantasies about Thanos clicking his fingers and getting rid of wet feet the universe over, but wet feet are still another small price to pay to be here, now.
I walk around the stones, there's no need to touch them, they're hard and wet, I know. There's two things I do at an ancient site, photography and sitting, it's still quite wet, so sitting is out. Walking round and round, clicking the little back box at it all, and yes a slight caress of the tallest stone, a pretty and thin slab, and telling Eric yes I'll be done shortly, he's over by the outlier now and I can tell how tall it is, it's maybe twice as tall as any of the circle stones, I walk over to it, little knowing that I was walking away from the circle of my dreams.

The outlier has been graffitised, by someone with the initials DC and TP and just T, later that morning I see that DC also went to the long stone on Shovel down, a repeat offender. The outlier is almost pointing us in the direction of Buttern hill stone circle. I tell Eric that we're now on our way back to the car, just one stone circle and chambered cairn on the way. He leads me away, with only time for a quick wistful look over my shoulder, I whisper bye stones to the stones of White moor, still a stupid name though.

Cosdon Hill (Stone Row / Alignment)

I had no clear idea where to catch this years summer solstice sunrise from, only that we were going for a big one on Dartmoor, it might be Down Tor, it might be White Moor, it might be Brisworthy, it all depends on timing, the longer it takes to get here, the less time we have to get across Dartmoor. I like leaving things til the last minute, I really don't, but I do, and today was no exception, running out of time we head for the nearest name on today's list, Cosdon hill.

I was trying to come from the nine stones area south of South Zeal, but missed it and went up a small lane that terminates at a ford by a bridleway entrance. Not an ideal parking place, but there was just enough room for a horse to get by, should there be one out and about in the lanes of Dartmoor at half four in the morning. Eric and me accessed the hillside further south than I knew, so it took us longer to find the stones, just as I was beginning to wonder where on earth they were, the sun came. We stopped and photographed the absolutely perfect sunrise (two in a row now) scrutinised the map and local topography, made a decision on where to find them and went that way. I was fair gobsmacked when I saw the stones and shouted stones ahoy, pointing them out to Eric, who let out a gasped hooray, he stayed awake with me all the way here, and was in trainers that aren't waterproof, tired and wet feet isn't the best way to start one of the longest megalithic walks on the list.

The most beautiful kind of sunlight ever created bathed the triple row of stones and indeed everything as far as the eye could see, which was far. The dew on the grass took in that sunlight turned it into a trillion little rainbows and reflected it all into my eyes. Sometimes it's clear to me why we do this, no sleep, a five hour drive and a long walk up an uncooperative hill, a very small price to pay to see something like this.
None of the stones are very tall, waist height at the most, but there's so many, and so much going on in such a small place. The cairn, has two cists, and maybe five circle stones on it's circumference, going down hill, the three terminal stones separate the cairn from the rows of stones, then the rows wander uncoordinated down hill, like a drunken army squad. Then there's a drainage ditch, but the stones carry on, but more sporadic, then they just kind of fade out into the hillside. I walk back up to the cairn where Eric is sitting out of the wind, and sit for a while next to him, he grudgingly admits that the stones are quite impressive and the sunrise a good one. You can't ask much more than that from a sixteen year old.

Garrig Hir (Standing Stone / Menhir)

I parked the car with daughter within at the little car park just south of Llyn Pendam, and walked into the woods along a track that at first looks like it could take a car, it can't, fallen trees and bottomless puddles etc.
Soon I was out of the trees and on an open hill side, just as the track plunges down hill, look right, the house is hidden by garden trees, the stone is hidden too, but I was sure of it's location, so I climbed over the gate and walked the walk. On approach, the standing stones worse nightmare had occurred, the stone was indeed hiding, it was lying down in a ring of dead Daffodils. The ring of Daffodils was a bit odd but shit man the stones fallen over, how very sad. Sadder still, i'm the first to have visited in 14 years apparently, so god knows when it fell.
Looking at the clump still clinging to the bottom of the stone, and the muddy tide mark showing how deep it was inserted, I'd say it let go of the vertical world no more than a year or two ago. It was leaning even when Kammer came, so a bad wind storm or two would have been all it took.
How sad.

Penrhyncoch Camp (Hillfort)

Negotiating the often steep maze of lanes from one stone to the next we passed by this iron age settlement, I had wanted to see Pen y Castell hill fort but was unsuccessful in my management of time, so this little one would do for a surrogate iron age fix. It isn't the best fort in the vicinity, half of it, to the west, including the entrance is too ploughed out to photograph. But a quick look at the aerial photos on Coflein will show it's hillfortyness.

Druid's Altar (Stone Circle)

It's been about a million years since I was last here, pre digital, pre children, pre lots of things. Because I've got no pictures on my computer and because I'm apparently into four posters that have a cairn, I decided that the new cars first outing would be to take me back there. Only this time with a digital camera and a child, don't worry it's one of mine.
Moths directions are fairly spot on, don't waste time parking miles away and walking in drive right up to the point you see the stones on the left side of the wall, park by cattle grid and right hand bend. See picture.
No field notes for fourteen years?
BrigantesNation recognised that it's a four poster, but not a stone circle, talk about contradictions.

Far away in North Wales I've championed a hugely unknown site called Hafodygors Wen, I think it is what it looks like but am unable to prove it, so I've taken to seeing as many actual accepted four posters as I can, for comparison like.
This one compares quite well.

Stupidly, we started the walk towards the stones on the wrong side of the wall, at the stones there is no gate only a wall and wire fence, we crept through at a place where the wall is tumbling slightly. In hind sight, we should have gone back down the road away from the stones, opened the gate, and walked unhindered straight to the stones. If I was here with a certain other TMA'er we probably would have gone up the hill first to inspect the settlement remains, hut circles and stuff. But my daughter is not very outdoorsy so I don't push my luck.

It's quite a large cairn, maybe a meter high, like untold thousands of others all over Britain, only this one has a stone circle in it. Ooh's and aah's indeed.
Four posters are sometimes in a cairn, whether the cairn and the stones were done at the same time has yet to be revealed to me, for some four posters don't seem to have any cairn at all, the Goat stones for instance.
One of the stones has gone, or migrated slightly, there is a very suspect stone right in the middle of the circle, and another just a few yards away towards the hill. Or, perhaps one of these stones is the stone that made up the trilithon, mentioned by Burl several times in his books, he's doubtful of this assertion and we should be too, because it's undoubtedly a load of old boules.
We sat around for a bit drinking in the sunshine, it's been a long time coming, having a butty, also a long time coming, then the sun went in and I pointed out to Phil that because the suns now gone in we are just sitting round in a field. She agreed.

The views aren't bad, for Yorkshire, some nice limestone paving, and caves, but it's all too barren for me. I do like a nice tree, they're alive you know.

Then we ran into the dreaded Tour de Yorkshire, what a bunch of gobshites.

Cefn Penagored (Kerbed Cairn)

Idwal couldn't find it, I know why, it is an utter B'stard to find.
This is my second attempt to locate this kerb cairn, it is not on any map, no one has been here before me, except coflein, and they're not always completely trustworthy. We walked this way and that, couldn't find it, we then split up, Alken went high, I went low, still couldn't find it. When looking at a picture or two of it on Coflein I took a photo of the screen with my phone, so with phone in hand we were desperately trying to match up the picture on my phone with the landscape around us, it was not easy, no, it was hard.
we sat on a rock and wondered if it was normal to keep looking. Then I finally saw something on the ground that was in the phone picture, so we carried on, normal or not. Alken went low, lower than I went, and I went high, but not as high as Alken went. Then at long last I found it.
Since Coflein sent it's envoys out to photograph the place a lot of growing has occurred, the gorse is closing in on itself and choking any paths through it, the moss, which had all but covered all the stones, we stripped off the moss and generally tidied up a bit and set about photographing the place, sufficiently enough that subsequent explorers will not have as hard a time of it as we did.

This is what Coflein says of the site....
There are two cairns set in close proximity on the slope of the Cefn Penagored ridge. Both cairns are about 6m in diameter but are of different forms. The upper cairn has a clearly defined structure marked by a prominent ring of large stones, some over a metre in length. The lower cairn is defined by an earth and stone bank which includes a large quantity of white quartz. There is a small stone lined cist at its centre.

Ring cairn? there is no ring cairn, and there is no cist at it's center.

Ps, We also tried and failed to find another ring cairn.
Ffridd Camen, ring cairn (Possible)
A bank of earth and stones, 2.0m wide, 0.4m high and 10.5m overall diameter, with orthostatic internal kerbing, and possible cist elements visible.
Could not find.

Cefn Penagored Ridge (Kerbed Cairn)

Seven years later and I'm back, and I've got a sweatcheat with me, a sweatcheat? there is only one, well, two, but the other is fictional.
Walking west north west from the Cwm Tywyll ritual complex (a group of cairns), towards the big hill that is Cefn Penagored, aim for the exposed rocks at its southern end. Now turn and walk straight to the very top and you'll pass this kerb cairn on the way, it'll be on your left. Coflein is very confusing about this wide ridge, there are two cairns upon it's sides, or maybe four, or even five, we only found two, about 250 meters apart, but separated by a sea of Gorse, call it a nasty name, go on, it doesn't care.

First time I saw this kerb cairn I couldn't work out which one of the two or four or five it was. This is the Cefn Penagored ridge cairns, it is supposed to have two other low cairns associated with it. Couldn't find them, or maybe we found one, with a big fallen stone in it??? See pictures.
Coflein also says the cist is intact but we could only see the two long side panels but not the end slabs, perhaps they are under the grass.
Alken rather fancied he could see a double line of kerb stones, I could too, or maybe they are just stones near a cairn, we both often see possible kerbing in most cairns, but then we wear our stoning goggles at all times.

Cwm Tywyll (Ring Cairn)

After spending time at Nant Esgeiriau cairn and then Pennant cairns we gave over some time to have a good look round the Cwm Tywyll ritual complex.
Avebury, Stonehenge, Ness of Bordgar, these are all ritual complexes too, but lack of fame isn't the only difference between those and here.
A few cairns, a ring cairn and a small standing stone are what it takes to be dubbed "ritual complex" here in the North Walean uplands. An ignorant walker would walk right on through it without noticing it, there are no temples or trilithons here. It's a subtle complex.
But still quite beautiful, the views in all directions stir the soul. We never saw no small standing stone, just a cairn and the ring cairn, coflein only says it's a possible ring cairn, but i'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that Thesweatcheat and myself have been to more ring cairns than the person who said possible, and we say definitely a ring cairn.
I'm not sure I discerned the three eccentrically concentric stony rings, it's a bit of a messy ring cairn, for sure, but still a ring cairn.
A small cairn is across the footpath, worthy of note only because of it's close proximity to the ring cairn.

Rhyd-y-Gethin (Cairns) (Cairn(s))

Just over one or two fences, and within site of the Yr Aran cairns are three cairns, lower down the slope are two partially grass covered low mound of stones, both have lumps of quartz on top. Map and Coflein says there should be just one lower down cairn but we could clearly see two. from these two cairns we can see the other cairn higher up the hill, about half way up. It seems to have big white somethings piled high on top of it. We walk up hill.
This is the best of all the cairns here in this big group.
It is the largest and has lots of big quartz chunks piled on top of it mixed with the more normal coloured rocks, they probably aren't original, and might cover the only intact cist up here. Who knows.
Views of the Berwyns, Sian Llwyd and very distant Snowdonia are very good.

Yr Aran cairns (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

I last came here 7 years ago on a misty summer solstice morning, lack of knowledge made me miss half of the cairns. Coflein later told me that one or two of them have cists, and elsewhere I missed a ring cairn and a kerb cairn so I promised myself one day I would return.
For a change, Thesweatcheat and myself find a coinciding day off work with no hindrances, apart from car over heating problems, it's on it's way out cant be helped. So here we are.
There is no footpath up to the cairns, early on in the walk we came across a farm, saw the farmer and asked if we can get up there pointing to the hill top we wanted to climb, worryingly he asked why we wanted to go up there, we said "cairns" you know the ancient ones, he pointed out there are no public footpaths up there, I gave him my best innocent smile, we'll be alright wont we? He pointed out the way up and off we went.
A steep farm track took us almost all the way to the cairns, it was hard work, did I say it was steep?
The cairns are all low and small, some have kerbing showing and some have been dug into revealing the cairns innards, didn't see any cists.
Then the farmer turned up in his buggy with his two dogs. We chatted about the cairns and stuff and discovered his family had been farming here for four generations, I took a chance and asked if he knew much about the Berwyn incident. He knew a lot, his granddad had been on tele talking about the tremor, the loud bang, the lights, the army.
Not interested in the Berwyn incident? never heard of it? Long drawn out sigh.

So, not all the cairns here, there are over a dozen, are grouped under the name of Yr Aran cairns, strangely the two or three furthest south over the fence are called Rhyd-y-Gethin, which is stranger still as Rhyd-y-Gethin is the other side of Yr Aran and down in the valley. Two Yr Aran cairns are over the north south fence but north of the west east fence, there are a few fences up here. It is farmland, not open access Berwyn nature reserve.
these two cairns are much the same as the cairns by the trees. Hope that all makes sense.

Willy Howe (Artificial Mound)

I've been to the Rudston monolith a couple of times but never made it to Willy Howe before. It's in the big orange book so it's on the list. I'm killing two birds with one car journey here, been to the Bridestones, now it's time for Willy, or William as his mother demands.
I've heard of unhelpful farming types round here, so it's with some trepidation that I leave the daughter in the car not far at all from the mound, right next to a sign saying private road keep out.
My first impression was, wow how big is that, quite big is the answer.
Clearly the best time of year to see it properly is now, ie February.
I correctly align the mound in between the farm and myself and assail the mound.
I'm getting a bit tired of calling it a mound, it sounds far too simple, the countryside is truly cluttered with what the map calls tumuluseses, but this isn't one? Has Willy never been properly investigated? I shall refer to the mound just as Willy.
Having climbed to the top of Willy, I can see the two scoops taken out of Willy, the scoops are very big, rendering the true height of Willy open to question, has material gone or just been piled up to the sides.
All over are small chips and lumps of white stone, is it chalk or limestone ?
One side of Willy has blankets of Snowdrops over it, surely spring can't be too much further away.

I quite liked it here.

Low Bridestones (Stone Row / Alignment)

Very close to the road.
Not far from the High Bridestones.
Loads of stones.
Stone rows that aren't in rows.
Not a bloody clue whats going on.

High Bridestones (Stone Circle)

This has been a long time coming, that's for sure. Right at the very beginning of my stone hunting odyssey I was aware of another Bridestones, far away in North Yorkshire. My Bridestones is the burial chamber near Congleton by the way.
North Yorkshire, five miles south west of Whitby, Aubrey Burl calls it a grim windblown region, I'd go a bit further and call it a hopelessly dead environment, mind numblingly devoid of any character, stupid grouse gurgling go back at me all the time. There are good places, I know for sure, it's just these featureless moors, I cant stand them.
But I do like stones, so here I am.
My car has been in the car menders three times to have the over heating problem sorted out, so far we're doing OK, the car is parked at the side of the road with daughter staying wrapped in her blankets whilst I go off into the cold to see the stones and wow it is cold, windy, bone freezing cold. Aubrey, after telling how it is, goes on to say that the stones here are possibly the ruins of two stone circles. One of which could be a four poster. The tall stone with rusting coins crammed into it's crevices is the sole standing survivor of said four poster. so I can agree with that. But the other stones, I can not fathom them at all. A stone row perhaps, who knows.
But the Low Bridestones a couple hundred yards slightly north of west steal the conundrum crown right off the head of the High Bridstones.
Both the High and low Bridestones are not very far from the road at all, much closer than I'd have thought going off the pictures alone.
In all, I prefer my Bridestones, but you've got to see them all to know that.

Bradbourne (Standing Stone / Menhir)

I first tried to find this stone over a decade ago, due to whiny family and failing daylight I gave up and left the site for another day. That day came on the winter solstice of 2017, not a sunrise to be had on this day, Nine stones close to Gibbet moor to Wigber low to here, Bradbourne.
My map is only 1:50,000 not much information at all, parking by the cenotaph in front of the church, which is weirdly set back away from the road behind a house, there are two gateways, but no way of knowing which way is in, I guess right, Phil and me had to walk past a car full of people who must surely live here, but we get past them unhindered and through the gate into the church yard.
I have photographed Emma's directions off the computer screen at home with my phone and now dig them out, but the battery has died and it is of no help at all, except maybe for a game of catch.
Fortunately, it is winter now instead of summer and I can see the stone through the branches of the trees that would otherwise be laden with leaves, fortune favours the bold, or in this case the tired and muddy.
Over a gate, down hill to another fence, over the fence across a slim brook, over another fence and your at the stone.

The stone leans, and then some, it's on the short list for England's leaniest stone. The top of the stone curves inwards making the top one big notch. But the most curious aspect of the stone for me is the weird J shaped groove on the edge of the stone, is it natural?
Is it carved? is there any way to tell?
On the other side of the stone are the fossils, they are small, get on your knees, get close and peel off the, the, lets call it mud.
Crinoids, they are called, an absolute mystery to bronze age man, these fossilised ones are very pretty but not a patch on a living specimen...

Gibbet Moor North (Stone Circle)

I first tried to find this little stone circle well over a decade ago, failed miserably too. But seeing as Alkens visit was so fruitful I decided to give it another go.

Gibbet Moor is right across the road from Gardom's Edge, it could be loosely argued that this stone circle forms part of a vague linear thingy, that's the correct terminology I believe. Looking at the map there's stone circles and bunches of cairns stretching away to the north and the south. There was a lot going on round here in the past.
Unlike today, the place is forlorn and ghostly, I have the moor and the mist entirely to myself.

Daughter locked in the car, dozing under heaps of blankets, I start the long walk up the track, it seems to take forever, there should be a warning on maps, something like "places on the map may seem nearer than they really are". After an age or maybe two I reach the building on the map along the track. The tentative cross on my map suggests I walk east and slightly south from the farm building. So I do.
It doesn't take long for the building to melt away into the mist, all landmarks have now gone and I begin to wonder how on earth I will find my way back never mind the precious stones I've come to see.
I've photographed a few pictures off the screen at home with my phone in the hope they will be of some use in finding my way round but to no avail. Then I see the pallet standing up in the photo, then looking around desperately for a stood up pallet, still not availing. Then, and this is the last then, then I see the pallet. I stride towards it confident of finding stones, but there are none. Not far away is another stood up pallet, I wade over to it, it must be there. Nope
From this pallet, I can see a fallen one, I imagine the line going further and find another fallen pallet, from here I can see one stood up, it must be there, nope. Vaguely through the mist another pallet, I wonder if it is here, or did I go the wrong way at the first pallet, over I go. The pallets have numbers on them, this is number 4, it must be here I seem to have reached the end of the pallet line.
Explosive joy, I can see them, not twenty yards away, I squelch over to them.

It should be renamed Pallet stone circle.

If it is a stone circle.
So here I am, no wonder I didn't find them last time, I think I was further along the track from here, and they are so low that I would never have seen them from where I was looking.
I wonder if any actual investigation has ever been done here, beyond the odd stoner turning up for a quick visit. The addition of another stone would indeed make it a perfect four poster stone circle, but with just the three, it is only strongly suggestive. Taking into account the number of other similarly aged monuments, especially Hob Hurts house, a curious square barrow barely two kilometers south, tips the scale in our favour. I reckon.
After a sit around and the obligatory tidy up I photograph the stones and take my leave. Rewinding my approach I notice the numbering on the pallets are nonsensical, they don't follow on.
Just a small point.
I liked it here, despite the mist and lack of view, despite the cold and wet, I got a good vibe from the place, that more than anything else sells it to me.

Esslie the Greater (Stone Circle)

Wow, It's taken me soooo long to get up to the Esslie's, I've wanted to come here for years, and now that i'm here i'm really quite giddy and giggly. But the two things I'm taking home with me most is the view to the west-ish, it is a very good view a long view of Aberdeenshires rolling hills, and the other thing is that there is so much going on within the circle, the circle stones, recumbent and flankers are all present and correct but I didn't really know that most RSC's have ring cairns in them. Sunhoney, Midmar Kirk, Easter Aquhorthies, none of them seem to have them, unless they're underground or just gone, so after over twenty years of stone hugging, I'm still learning.

Midmar Kirk (Stone Circle)

No field notes for seven and a half years, I reckon I can think of something to say.
I haven't been here for well over a decade, before even my getting a digital camera, I got the big orange book saw what things were like in Aberdeenshire and came more or less straight away, spurred on by absurdly perfect sites with wonderful names like Sunhoney, Balgorkar and Midmar Kirk, being a massive Star Trek fan I'm drawn to anything with Kirk in it's name. So here I am again, a place so splendid I could be on the bridge of the Enterprise, the kids have elected to stay in the car, my only company is my dog Mia, some birds, mine own thoughts and a host of dead people .
Even without Burls help I can tell that at least one of the stones is in the wrong place, but I don't really care much at all, because the recumbent and flankers are the best in the world, argue with me I dare you, they are just mind blowing, perhaps they're even responsible for my entire state of being, I was normal once you know.
Cope likened it to the top of Batman's cowl, I think, I wont liken it to anything except stone setting precision madness, I like it a lot.
What can I say about the churchyard in which it now finds itself, it's better than a barbed wire encased field that's for sure, it's quiet, peaceful, thought provoking, and lovely, are the grave stones too close? perhaps, but that is possibly inescapable in a place like this.
I keep reminding myself to go and look for the tall slender standing stone, about thirty yards north of the church in the trees, one of the few places better to find a prehistoric site than a churchyard is in some woods, these are nice woods, small, but nice.
Upon my return to home, I look on here and find that someone has described Midmar kirk thus.....How can a stone circle feel, well, 'creepy'? Just superimpose one nihilistic death cult and all its paraphernalia, that's how. Sorry, can't feel 'respect' for something that shows no respect itself. And I must make a comment of my own, Respect? at least the stone circle is still here, that's fairly respectful, isn't it? and calling Christianity nihilistic is a bit like saying that Tim Vine doesn't know any jokes, perhaps he's unsure what nihilistic means, sure, some religions have made mistakes in the past, who hasn't? no one and nothing is perfect. But those recumbent and flankers show an inkling of what perfection may look like.

Nine Stanes (Stone Circle)

My real target was the pair of Esslie circles, but seeing as it was so close I just had to have a look at this one too, best decision I made all day.
The Nine stanes of Garrol wood are really close to the road, so the kids decided to let me go on up alone, Mia the dog had other ideas so she joined me.
I don't half like stone circles that are hiding out in the trees, it lends a tremendous dose of atmosphere to any site. OK, they are conifer trees, planted by us to some unagreeable end, but they're still better than gorse. Lots of trees have recently been felled opening out the view somewhat, but what is left behind isn't pretty, not at all.
That ugliness is well off set by one of the best stone circles I've ever been to. There are quite a few stone circles that have somehow accrued the name Nine stones, but this is one of those rare occasions when someone who could count named the site. But the name is still so general that I'm surprised there isn't a stone circle somewhere that's called stone circle.
The stones are a lovely reddish granite, the recumbent still has both it's flankers, but one is having a lie down, six remaining circle stones makes nine, well done that man.
From the circle I can see Eric sat on the roof of my car, not ideal but I can stay in touch whist being in this other world, and that's how this place feels to me, another world, this has been a bit of a crap year for me, packed with such nasties as heart attacks, tax credit disputes, overworked underpaid and my old nemesis Sciatica, but whilst I potter about this ideal location it's all a billion miles away from it all.
After sitting on the recumbent with dog sitting quietly in lap for what I can only assume was too long Eric shouted me back to reality, it seemed my Garrol wood experience was over, but the reality that awaited me was a good one, Esslie's the Greater and lesser await my company, two more names that keep rattling round my noggin, beckoning me on, the show aint over til the last names done.
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After visiting over a thousand ancient places and driving between fifteen to twenty thousand miles every year I can only conclude that I'm obsessed with these places, and finding this website ten years ago only compounded that obsession, at least I'm not alone anymore.

My favourite places are:

Ring of Brodgar
Balnauran of Clava
Nine stones close
Bryn Celli Ddu
The Druids circle (penmaenmawr)
HafodyGors Wen
Gwal y Filiast
Grey Wethers
Boscawen Un
La Roche au Fees
Talati De Dalt

and these are only the ones that immediatly spring to mind, so many stones and not enough lifetimes.

My TMA Content: