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Round and round in circles.


It's that time of year again, the most over-rated season of all, Autumn.
The last vestiges of my stone hugging obsession still demand that I be at some stones on the solstices and equinox's, though in recent years it has become less important to be there on the exact day, a couple of days out is now acceptable when before it wasn't.
I decide upon a Cumbrian excursion, the plan such as it was, was to be at Brat's Hill stone circle and neighbours for sunrise, then go to Sampson's Bratfull cairn but I overslept and got up fifty minutes late, given how much sleep I usually get, an easy thing to do when trying to get up at 3am.
Swearing at the world in general I make my way up the M6 motorway, realising that I have no chance of getting to Boot in time I tweak the plan slightly and head instead for Castlerigg, then onto Boot.
But the second disappointment of the day was about rear it's ugly and unwelcome head, just getting over the Thelwall viaduct when my car started to heavily overheat. I had to now dissuade myself from throwing in the towel, turning round and going home. Instead I stopped at Charnock Richard services filled up with water, bought a bottle of the stuff and carried on calmly up the M6. All was well, I made it to the big Cumbrian ring with time to spare and without the red dashboard light coming back on.
Many years ago when I decided that solsticing and equinoxing should be something that I should be doing (What do we call someone who goes out to stones on these quarterly points of the year) the first place I went to was Castlerigg, I was all alone at the stones, but it was pretty foggy and wet. So being back here for another equinox, on my own, just as my obsession wains, seems to be very fitting, a full circle kind of thing. But, for now, everything is as it always has been.

Castlerigg — Images

26.09.17ce
<b>Castlerigg</b>Posted by postman<b>Castlerigg</b>Posted by postman

There are three other people here, a couple with a camera on a tripod, and a single chap similarly tripoding, they've secured their seats for the sunrise and I slot myself in between the two, further back, lest anyone try to speak to me.
The sky is behaving itself for a change, there are clouds but they're shapely, impressive, enhancing clouds. After three equinox's here I have determined that you may never be able to see the moment of sunrise from Castlerigg, because it is blocked by the north end of Low Rigg, but then there has always been horizon hugging cloud obscuring the rising, it could be that the sun rises out of the joining point of ground and hill, I doubt the skies will ever be perfect enough to determine such an assertion. I wonder if the sun does a similar thing at the solstice with Blencathra, there's only one way to tell, look at Fitzcoraldo's picture of the solstice sunrise, it seems to bare me out.
The sun has risen, and I have said good day to it, taken 150 photos, and i'm ready to try and nurse my car through the mountains, the couple that was here have gone and a late comer is now talking to the other chap and looking at me, will he try and talk to me too? No, cause i'm going, now. Bye stones.

As a postman, I've been delivering to Thirlmere Rd for nearly nineteen years, so it was with some satisfaction that I drove down the A591 alongside that very Mere, then I realised I was thinking about work whilst out stoning, punishable by death in some places, I put my foot down and leave Thirlmere behind.

Reaching Ambleside (we've got one of them too) I think refilling the radiator before trying to nurse my car over Wrynose and Hardknot pass would be a good idea, it would have been to if the thing hadn't erupted boiling water straight into my face, propelling the water cap fifteeen yards away, the woman refueling her car asked If I was OK, I nodded, so, with still bubbling flesh hanging off me, I refill the radiator, buy another bottle, so I don't get caught short in Eskdale, wipe myself down, I thought boiling water was supposed to be, well, boiling, or at least quite hot, not at all, shrugged it off and kept going.
Have you ever heard of the Death road in Bolivia, where someone dies every week, sometimes by the bus load, well that's what Hardknot pass is like, not really, but it's as close as England gets.
Reaching Eskdale and the village of Boot, I see there's no where else but the railway carpark at Dalegarth to park, £3.50 for the day was I thought quite reasonable. The walk begins.
Boot is a nice little place, with, I think, three pubs, that's a lot of alcohol for such a little place. Crossing the river and passing the 16th century mill the walk goes seriously up hill, it is steep, wet and very uneven, I remember my ex wife came up here with me last time, pre digital camera, pre children, looking at it now I must congratulate her for getting as far as she did, which was the group of mining homes that cluster near another cairn like structure that I forgot to photograph on the way back down. That time, I was left to go on alone see the stones and then come back for her, but because of the waiting woman I didn't have enough time to find the Low Longrigg stone circles. No such restrictions this time, just me, the mountains, the weather and some stones.

The ground has levelled out and I'm heading for a slight mound, from on top of which I hope to be able to see the stones, brilliantly the circle is just the other side of the mound, and just a bit further on I can see the stones of White Moss, no sign of Low Longrigg though.

Brat's Hill — Images

28.09.17ce
<b>Brat's Hill</b>Posted by postman<b>Brat's Hill</b>Posted by postman

Brats Hill stone circle is the largest of the five circles up here, some stones are large and prominent, whilst others are lying down and barely seen over the grass. There is what seems to be a central standing stone, well, its definitely a stone and it's around the central area, but there are also five cairns within the circle, the stone is on the circumference of one of the round cairns, so perhaps its to do with that. The cairns are a nice addition too, perfect little round mounds with occasional kerbing visible. I stroll over to the alter, a rock outcrop that is thee place to look down upon the circle and get a good view of the area. There is one big dark mountain away to the back, a quick look at my map magically informs me that it is Scafell, our biggest mountain, been up there twice, been in whiteout twice, a most uncooperative mountain.

A pair of walkers have encroached upon my musings so I push on to the White Moss stone circles. They are about 30 yards from one and other, the south west circle occupies one end of a very low ridge the stones being about the sizes of a toaster to a large microwave, one for the kitcheny types there. There's two cairns here, one is just outside the circle and the other is well inside it and may even have a cist lid still in situ. The north east circle, for me the best one up here, if it were alone it would still draw me in. All the stones are stood nice and up straight in a restored kind of way, a cairn inhabits the inside of the circle. Together with a view of Scafell this is one of the best stone circles I've ever been to, if it's not on your list of places to visit, you should stop visiting places.

White Moss — Images

28.09.17ce
<b>White Moss</b>Posted by postman<b>White Moss</b>Posted by postman<b>White Moss</b>Posted by postman

More people are coming, taking the obligatory photo, look I'm in a stone circle and my arms are out wide, click, move on.
I get out of their way by marching off in what I hope is the direction of Low Longrigg, I have a map and a compass, but in the end, walking round and round in circles getting ever higher is what found me the stones. Something I've become accustomed to.

Nobodies going to be coming over here in a hurry, map only says there's cairns here, they're really off the path, hiding in long grass, I have the place to myself.

Low Longrigg — Images

28.09.17ce
<b>Low Longrigg</b>Posted by postman<b>Low Longrigg</b>Posted by postman

If anything the view from Low Longrigg is even better that that seen from White Moss, solely because Great Gable has now come into the picture, perhaps my favourite Cumbrian mountain.
Both of these stone circles are ruinous, the stones low, the south west circle has a central cairn in it, the north east circle has two.
I stay here at these two circle the longest, the view is spectacular, the way Great Gable forms a valley with Kirk Fell, is possibly reflected in one of the stones in the north east circle, if memory serves it is the closest stone to Great Gable.
I don't like walking, a walk has to have a destination, anything will do really, but five stone circles is a pretty good destination, and if the long walk keeps the people away then so much the better
In the end I'd been up there for four hours, and in the very end I managed to get the car back home without much palava.

Weblog

Getting high by staying low.


It's been quite a while since the last Sweetcheat/postman mountain excursion, so when asked what do I fancy I went straight to the top of the list and suggested the Nantlle ridge in Snowdonia. The suggestion was greedily accepted so long as the ice and snow line was higher than we were going, there's not much need to risk life and limb in either of us. As the universe works in mysterious ways everything was working in our favour for a change, the snow was higher than we were going and even more miraculous we could see the tops of the mountains, six or seven times out of ten the clouds will be low and we'll be walking in a white out, it's invigorating to say the least but it's not conducive to wonderment at the world.
With the car parked in the all but empty car park by the lovely Llyn Dywarchen, the same parking place as an ascent of Mynydd Mawr, we turned to face our adversary, that sounds a bit negative maybe, see it as not an enemy to be fought but rather as an assault course to get through, or even as a beautiful woman to be wooed, because climbing a mountain is a lot like, yes, you've guessed it, making love to a beautiful woman, it's really not, but I could give a pretty good argument that it is.

The first twenty minutes are easy enough, hands in pockets dodging wet spots, stop and turn for a slowly getting better view of Snowdon, but then the ground gets steeper and steeper and the legs try harder and harder to propel one forwards and upwards. The way is easy to keep to, but it is still very hard work, I find it all but impossible to grasp the fact that some people run up and down mountains, my job requires me to walk ten miles a day with a heavy bag over my back, but it in no way prepares you for staggering up a mountain.
Thankfully, our first stopping point is only 400 meters higher than the car park, a very good pair of cairns upon a summit called Y Garn.
Both cairns are taller than me and made up of large blocks of stone of which there are plenty of round here. About forty meters separate them, shallow scoops have been dug into them both by shelter hungry walkers, which is twice as stupid as it sounds seeing as there is a wall right by the cairns, this is where we sat and had butties.

Y Garn, Nantlle Ridge — Images

01.05.16ce
<b>Y Garn, Nantlle Ridge</b>Posted by postman

Y Garn, Nantlle Ridge — Images

01.05.16ce
<b>Y Garn, Nantlle Ridge</b>Posted by postman

As impressive as the cairns are the eyes are drawn far more to the rocky pyramid Mynydd Drws y coed, iv'e been here before but chickened out of a solo climb, instead I went as far as I dared and just sat there for a bit, but not this time.

We approached with extreme trepidation, ten feet to the right of us is a vertical cliff, a direct one way ticket straight down to the inevitable big crunch. As we climb the rocks higher and higher, fear of imminent death makes my legs shake, looking almost anywhere results in overpowering dizziness, we are maybe ten feet from what looks like the top of the rocky pinnacle, Alken somehow has the ability to stand upright, I am now on my belly staying low clinging on for dear life with all four limbs, unable to go any higher, with a note of disappointment I have to admit that I can go no farther this way. So we both come down a little and find an easier way round the rocks of absolute mayhem, legs still shaking, I lean away from the down bits, always having hands on to something, rock, grass, heather, anything to ensure a grip, I haven't been that scared since Crib Goch. But with something like determination and the help of a friend I eventually made it to the top.
Analogies with the final act of making love to a beautiful woman aside, this is one of the best feelings in the world, not only did we conquer the heights but also my almost crippling fear of falling, i'm fine with being high up, it's the fall i'm deathly afraid of.
The views are brilliant, Snowdon dominates, as only the biggest mountain in the country can, Mynydd Mawr and Moel Eilio to Snowdons left, to its right Yr Aran and further round is Moel Hebog and co. In the opposite direction to Snowdon is the rest of the Nantlle ridge and other mountains with cairns on them, they all have names of course but you need a mouthful of phlegm to pronounce them, I have a real problem with the Welsh language, I believe it was created solely to confuse foreigners, ie the English.

Moel Hebog — Images

01.05.16ce
<b>Moel Hebog</b>Posted by postman

Mynydd Mawr — Images

01.05.16ce
<b>Mynydd Mawr</b>Posted by postman


Anyhow, we continue our walk along the Nantlle ridge, the ridge is not as terrifying as where we've just come from but it does get quite thin in places. At one point the ridge has a hole in it, which has to be climbed down then back up, I employed a method now known as reverse spider walk, basically it's the crab position, getting down is easier than getting up, for me at least.
The last peak has now been breached, Mynydd Tal y mignedd, you wouldn't know by looking at that Welsh word but there are two th's in there. This last peak of the day has no cairn, but it does have a Queen Vic obelisk on it, a small point of interest it must be said, but as most mountain tops have nowt on them, you get your interest when you can. The next mountain top along the ridge does have a cairn on it,

Craig Cwm-Silyn — Images

01.05.16ce
<b>Craig Cwm-Silyn</b>Posted by postman
and the next one, but we've run out of time and these must be saved for another time. It only remains to decide upon a route back to the car which is now two miles away, instead of going back up and down over those scary heights we aim for the road north of the ridge then strike in a fairly straight line back to the car. It does afford a great view of Snowdon

Yr Wyddfa — Images

01.05.16ce
<b>Yr Wyddfa</b>Posted by postman
and a small hill fort across the road somewhere, whose position is only determined by close inspection of the photos at home later, and of course we can look up and wonder at the ridge unbelieving almost that we were up there just a short while ago.

Weblog

The Gorse awakens


This year the solstice turned out to be on the 22nd, not the 21st, and most definitely not on the 20th, but seeing as the first two dates are work days and ive not got the option of going off sick, Sunday the 20th will have to do.
At least there would be no part time enthusiasts clogging the place up, the place in question being the oh so divine Druids circle above Penmaenmawr, it is a wondrous place, big mountains to the south and west, and north down hill to the Irish sea. Plus it is not alone on these hills, the Druids circle is just one out of at least ten places that are well worth a visit. Also the almost complete lack of gorse is very heart warming.
So far, I have witnessed the sunrise here on the summer solstice, an equinox, and one more for the complete set, a winter solstice. The actual moment of sunrise was obscured by a mountain, but even when the sun came above the mountain, clouds got in the way, and it was windy, so windy that just standing up straight was exhausting, even stringing several swear words together didn't help, well not with the standing up anyway.
At the summer solstice the sun rises up out of the sea, a spectacle to behold I can tell you, the equinox sun rises above some low hills, more or less marked by Maen Penddu standing stone and Cefn Maen Amor stone circle, that was a good sun rise, but it's no summer solstice.
The winter solstice sunrise, some might say that the sight line is blocked by a mountain, but when that mountain is Tal y Fan, the most megalithically covered mountain in Britain, one has to consider the idea that it is intentional.

Y Meini Hirion — Images

21.12.15ce
<b>Y Meini Hirion</b>Posted by postman

Y Meini Hirion — Images

10.04.13ce
<b>Y Meini Hirion</b>Posted by postman

Y Meini Hirion — Images

14.07.10ce
<b>Y Meini Hirion</b>Posted by postman

At the stone circle itself there is a couple of platforms from which a view of the circle is best seen from, The highest platform is also the perfect viewing place from which to watch the sun rise in mid winter, the second platform is perfect for viewing the equinox sun rise over the middle of the circle, and the lowest platform, I say platform but it's not really is where the summer sun can be seen best rising over the circle.
I cannot say that the platforms are constructed, or meant to be used to observe the sun rises, but it's really too much to put down to coincidence, perhaps the least one can say for certain is that the circle was carefully placed. Possibly.

Anyway, I've been up here for five hours now and it's time to go and see some gorse, wonderful stuff gorse, well, it is when you've cut it down and thrown it far into the wind, unlike Han Solo.

Carnedd y Saeson is one of the best sites along the North Walean coast
but like lots of places it is being choked by and disappearing under gorse.
Fifteen months ago Thesweetcheat and I went there and trampled the stuff as best we could, but whats really needed is a flick saw and a few hours. I gave it both.

Carnedd y Saeson — Images

28.12.15ce
<b>Carnedd y Saeson</b>Posted by postman

The big gorse bush by the cist is gone as is most of the gorse covering the southern arc of stones, work is ongoing. I myself am in two minds about undergrowth removal, I am aware that the authorities could take a dim view, and I am not unsympathetic to the free growth of all living things, but in some places it just has to go.
What I really needed was a big light saber and Anakins lust for cutting down younglings.
My arms and chest muscles hurt for several days, and right after the exercise my hands stung like a snake bite, it crossed my mind that I should leave Wales to clear up it's own stone circle themselves, then the inner voice said yeah right and chuckled long into the night
Work is ongoing.

Weblog

A Holyhead bloodbath


I've just been to the big white stones of Henblas cromlech, and was very disappointed to find the footpath overgrown and never used, but it still didn't take long to beat a path through the undergrowth, I very much enjoyed my time here, until I received a phone call asking if the kids and me wanted to go out for tea at the Plough, I said OK even though it meant a visit to Trefignath was not going to happen, but I was adamant that the burial chamber that no ones ever heard of near Holyhead would not escape my attention. I found the path back to the car more easily on the way back, aint it always the way.
Back in the car I put my foot down and soon we were going the wrong way in the mental labyrinth that is Holyhead, god I hate this town, cant really say why, it just seems a hopelessly depressing place, the best thing about Holyhead is the road and ferry out of it. Sorry, perhaps its me, not you. Eventually after much cursing I found ourselves on the wrong side of the island and stuck behind the worlds most inconsiderate motor home driver, ever. I've only got a short time before we have to start back, I can feel my hackles getting up, but happily we parted company at the turning for Penrhos Feilw, which we passed by with no more than a glance. Once the two standing stones were out of view behind us I started looking for a suitable place to park.

Having not found one I squeezed in at the side of the road by an opening for a horse paddock, as I wasn't going to be gone long I left daughter in the car with her I phone and two big horses for company. I jumped the gate and started off, over another fence and I was in the open countryside. I could see the upright stones on top of the hill, not far away, 300 yards if that. But getting there was proving difficult, walls of thick gorse blocked my route, and I had to weave a path of my own around and sometimes through, it hurts does gorse, I don't like it, not one bit. The going was hard and time was short, I got to a likely looking rocky outcrop from which to look over the sea of gorse to the site i'd come to see. Crap ! I'm not wading through that lot, I sat for a minute, then decided that I would actually wade through that lot, it's nearly a hundred miles from my house, am I really going to give up when I'm so very close......nope.
I sent a text telling them I would be a touch late for tea.
I actually found a good path through the vicious barbed gorse, it took me all the way to the foot of the Gorsedd, only to be faced with a twelve foot vertical rock climb, I don't like rock climbing, like football it all seems a bit unnecessary.
I struggled through the shaky legs and came out on top, just, I threw my hands up in the air and said out loud nature nil, postman 1.

Gorsedd Gwlwm — Images

21.07.15ce
<b>Gorsedd Gwlwm</b>Posted by postman<b>Gorsedd Gwlwm</b>Posted by postman<b>Gorsedd Gwlwm</b>Posted by postman

This site is not on any map, thanks be to coflein for pointing it out to me.
Only three stones remain standing of the chamber or large cist, and maybe a couple of kerb stones hiding among the gorse, by now I've decided not to call it gorse anymore, but by the more colourful
name of M*t**r - F*c**r, that's a bad swear word there.
All the time I was here a Buzzard circled me overhead screeching, if this was a western film it would soon be curtains for me.
The view was terrific, north is the Holyhead hut circle group and the fort on the mountain, south is Angelsey giving way to distant Snowdonia, east and west is the Irish sea, and of course that little town.
But, all too soon I must go, I scrambled back down the cliff and followed the path back to where I got on it and then passed that place, only for the path to stop at a dead end, the grass was well trampled, sleeping horses, frolicking humans, or even a Bigfoot nest (they're everywhere you know ).
This is where my time in hell began, I could see no way out, there was nothing for it but to simply wade through the m****r - f***r. Growling, shouting and swearing at the top of my voice did nothing to stop the pain. I remember a wally from long ago saying he was impervious to m****r f****r pain, I didnt believe him then and now I know he was lying. It was like being attacked by a dozen Leprechauns with sharp swords. Every now and then brambles would grab my leg and threaten to pull me over, once when I did go down I lay there for a few seconds thinking "oh well, so this is where they find my body, if you're going to die in the countryside this isn't a bad place to buy it, my ghost wouldn't half laugh at the people who come to remove my body, but lieing down and dieing isn't the postal way, get up man, keep going.
I imagined myself as a soldier enduring some form of jungle warfare, only without the incredible pain in my legs.
Half way back now and i'm so very tired, I look at my hand and it's bleeding quite badly, the sweat pouring off my forehead tastes bloody, and I realise that I've been wiping my sweaty brow with my bloody hand, god I must look a right state. Sometimes it gets easier to move forward, sometimes I'm just stumped and don't know where to go. Continuous swearing seems to have done the trick, I'm nearing the end of my ordeal, my legs are really stinging, I'm dreading having a look at them. Only one barbed wire fence to go, it's covered in brambles, but by now the pain is becoming normal, I bash as much brambles out of the way as I could with my camera bag, lob it over and haul myself over.
I've done it, a plain and normal field to cross and I'm back at the road, what I really don't need now is some Welsh farmer telling me i'm on private property, and that's precisely what doesn't happen, a good job too, I think I might have done away with him.
Next was the priceless look on my daughters face, Dad ! your covered in blood whats happened, now is the time to have a look at my legs. Oh shit look at that, I took a picture of them because in time the scratches will be gone and all this will be a memory. What I really need now is medical attention of some sort, instead I think I'll drive a hundred miles to a posh pub for a well deserved pub meal. One of the good things about going out with my Ex wife and her mother is I can turn up stinking like a torture victim.

So, in summary.
This site is a good one, you will have the place to yourself, views are good, but for the love of god come from the north.
M****r f*****g gorse should be wiped out, extinctified, by flamethrower, bagsy first on that.

Weblog

Walking with Owls in the rain at Drannandow


About three miles north west of Newton Stewart is the tiny village of Penninghame easily reached by following the A714, but the megalithic complex of Drannandow is across the River Cree and there is no bridge here. Either keep going to Clachaneasy and use the bridge there or start from leaving Newton Stewart by going to Minnigaff. Look for an eastern turning to the less than a mile away Drannandow Farm. We parked just the other side of the farm.

It was still persisting down so Eric decided to let me have a wander round the wilderness on my own, suited and booted in waterproofs from heaven I set off up the track at my briskest pace.
Several gates need to be opened and closed and after less than a mile turn right onto another track. On the highest ground immediately right of the farm track is the stone circle and cairn of Drumfern.
I was looking for the cairn first as it would be I hope, the easiest to spot. It was, the rain and poor visibility didn't add much to the atmosphere, the atmosphere could best be described as drizzly. About one meter high and occupying a good lookout position the cairns extremities have grassed over leaving the cairns high parts open to the air. My dad once said "seen one stone circle seen them all" I disagree strongly but with cairns he might have got away with it.

Drumfern — Images

10.11.14ce
<b>Drumfern</b>Posted by postman

About fifty yards away going back to the track I eventually found the remnants of Drumfern stone circle. There are many stray small boulders that may or may not have once been part of the circle, this makes pinpointing the ring a touch less than easy. But it is there, Only three or four stones are still up standing, hiding amid the long reedy grassy bunches that like to hide circle stones. One rough stone is almost a meter high the other two or three are smaller smoother boulder like stones.
I quite liked it despite it's near destruction, finding the stones that describe the circle is a bit like putting an easy jigsaw together, or doing a child's crossword, maybe.

Drumfern — Images

10.11.14ce
<b>Drumfern</b>Posted by postman<b>Drumfern</b>Posted by postman

Seeing as I found the circle quick and easy enough I decided to try and see all that was here in this little complex. Heading further east along the farm track I enter the forestry part of the walk. Creepy places at the best of times, strange sounds followed me round, one time I thought I heard a car behind me but there was nothing there, creepy, at least the trees shaded me from the incessant rain. Coming out of the other side of the forestry block keeping to the track for another four hundred yards I came to Drannandow chambered cairn right next to a ruined cottage apparently called Nappers cottage.
This was the scene of my all time bestest nature moment, as I approached the cairn and the cottage a big white bird launched off the ruin and flew away, at first I thought it was a seagull, but then another one flew off, this time closer, I could clearly see that it was a Barn Owl, 45 years and ive only seen Barn Owls twice, now ive doubled my tally in a day. The spirit of Nutkins came over me and I walked over to the ruined cottage in a trance, looking through a window I decided it was too perilous to go in it so I walked round and looked through another window and there on a roof beam was another Barn Owl not ten feet away from me, it screeched at me as it flew away looking me in the eye as it went past, I have not been that close to a raptor outside of a falconry display. I reckoned it would not matter what stones I saw that day, that Owling moment would be the highlight. (Barn Owls are the quietest fliers, even their feathers have feathers).
One of the Owls perched on a nearby gatepost and watched me looking over the chambered cairn, oh yeah right, focus, stones.

Drannandow — Images

10.11.14ce
<b>Drannandow</b>Posted by postman<b>Drannandow</b>Posted by postman

Five, yes five chambers there are in this cairn, the eastern chamber is the biggest, but it looks like it's been tacked onto the side of a roundish cairn and made it into a longish cairn. The north west chamber is pretty good too, but the other three are full of rubble and covered in ferns, making them hard to distinguish. The whole thing is on the large side and really quite impressive, long views south across the moor.

From here there are two other cairns on a south south west alignment, the furthest can just be seen on the tree line of the forestry block I just walked through, and the other is nearer to the cottage, but because of the crappy weather and time constraints I decided to let them go, which was a stupid shame because the middle cairn has a cist, still with it's capstone in place, I now wish I'd gone over for a nosy.

But at least there's still a couple of large standing stones to be seen, I'd glimpsed them as I came out of the trees, so I knew where to head for. But it didn't make getting there any easier, bogs, streams and springs all wanted to soak me or even break a leg.
On approach to the stones they looked very dark, black almost against the moors light brown colour. Standing next to them they are both taller than me, 6ft 8' and 7ft 4', and covered in mosses and lichens. Big brown cattle eyed me suspiciously as I stumbled this way and that, I put on my best Scottish accent and told them not to worry I'm a Postman.
The Thieves they are called, it says so on the map very clearly, traditionally they're said to take their name from the fact that several free-booters were executed at them in the 14th century. Kill them all I say (what is free booting?)
Whilst I was there I could see a very clear rubble bank, like what you get on embanked stone circles, the two tall stones stand on this bank 14 feet apart, research later explained the bank away as modern, but, well, what could it be for? mysterious.

Blair Hill — Images

10.11.14ce
<b>Blair Hill</b>Posted by postman<b>Blair Hill</b>Posted by postman

The two stones are very good menhirs, one of them is a very unlikely shape, I like unlikely shaped standing stones, they are so......unlikely.

But that is all the time I can spend at Drannandow, Eric, food, and Glenquicken await.

Owls are brilliant, but seeing them is better.
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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
Callanish
Balnauran of Clava
Torhouskie
Swinside
Nine stones close
Bryn Celli Ddu
The Druids circle (penmaenmawr)
HafodyGors Wen
Gwal y Filiast
Grey Wethers
Boscawen Un
La Roche au Fees
Drombeg
Uragh
Talati De Dalt

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

My TMA Content: