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

<b>Templewood</b>Posted by tjj<b>Templewood</b>Posted by tjj

Templewood (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Visited Sunday 21st April 2017.

This was a surprising site, not at all what I was expecting - we walked from the Nether Largie Standing Stones in the rain. Access very easy as everywhere is signposted. The bluebells were still out under the trees which, together with the relatively small size of the stones, gave the site an enchanted atmosphere. I don't think I have done this site justice as at first sight it is unspectacular compared to other stone circles. Strictly speaking this was definitely an ancient burial site which is something we are not able to say about other larger stone circles.

As with all the other sites around Kilmartin there was an excellent interpretation/information board which really helped in the understanding of the site. I have reproduced the information below:

Templewood started as a timber circle about 5,000 years ago. The wooden uprights were soon replaced with stones while a second larger stone circle was built to the south. Between 4,300 and 4,100 years ago, two cairn covered stone graves or ‘cists’ were built outside the southern circle.
Then about 4,000 years ago the northern circle’s stones were pulled from the earth and possibly re-used in nearby burials. A cist was built in the middle of the southern circle, slabs were placed between its standing stones and it was surrounded by a low cairn of cobbles. Cremated remains were buried inside the southern circle about 3,300 years ago.

Into the heavens: The two cairns built inside the southern circle about 3,300 years ago have small stone ‘false portals’ at right angles to their kerbs. Both these fake entrances face south-east towards the midwinter moonrise.

The ‘Archer’s Ghost’: Traces of those buried at Templewood emerged during excavations led by Jack Scott in the 1970s. In one grave he found three flint arrowheads, a scraper and a decorated Beaker pot but no human remains. Analysis of phosphate levels in the grave revealed the position of a person whose body had decayed away. In another grave the tooth of a child aged between four and six was found.

Nether Largie South (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Nether Largie South</b>Posted by tjj<b>Nether Largie South</b>Posted by tjj<b>Nether Largie South</b>Posted by tjj<b>Nether Largie South</b>Posted by tjj<b>Nether Largie South</b>Posted by tjj<b>Nether Largie South</b>Posted by tjj

Nether Largie South (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited on 21/5/17 and again on 24/5/17

This is one of the first and oldest monuments in Kilmartin Glen and reminded me a bit of West Kennet Long Barrow back home in Wiltshire. It had been re-used and rebuilt at least twice.

Information taken from the Interpretation Board.
The tomb was used for burial about 4,300 years ago when Beaker pots and flint arrowheads were placed with the dead inside the chamber. A few generations later, in the Early Bronze Age, the monument was remodelled and converted into a circular cairn like the others along the valley bottom. Two stone graves or 'cists' containing the remains of important people were added.

See plan of the tomb - this is what was found:

1. Flint, unburnt human bones, ox bones.
2. Pottery, unburnt human bones, ox bones.
3. Three beaker pots, cremated human bones.
4. Slab covering cremated human bones.
5. Empty stone grave with unburnt bones and pottery nearby.
6. Neolithic bowl.
7. Burnt human bones, broken quartz pebbles, flint knives and arrowheads, a cow tooth.

The Great X of Kilmartin (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images

<b>The Great X of Kilmartin</b>Posted by tjj<b>The Great X of Kilmartin</b>Posted by tjj<b>The Great X of Kilmartin</b>Posted by tjj

The Great X of Kilmartin (Stone Row / Alignment) — Fieldnotes

Visited Sunday 21/5/17

It is difficult to talk about these stones without mentioning the Nether Largie South Cairn and Templewood Stone Circle as they are very close together and seem intrinsically connected to each other.

Drawing on the information on one of the excellent interpretation boards, this X-shaped monument consists of five tall standing stones and the stump of another (no longer visible) 300 metres to the west. A central standing stone with two others at some distance either side.
Three of the stones have rock art symbols on one side and had probably been prised from outcrops decorated about 1,500 years earlier. These decorated stones may have been erected approximately 3,200 years ago about the same time as those at Ballymeanoch.

Alexander Thom (controversial archaeo-astronomer) claimed this was one of the most important lunar observatories in Britain. Recent analysis supports the idea that the stones mark where the moon rises and sets at key points in its 18.6 year cycle. The standing stones also line up with the midwinter sunrise and autumn and spring equinoxes.

Baluachraig (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Fieldnotes

Visited Thursday 25/5/17

Stopped off here again as had missed it when visiting Ballymeanoch and Dunchraigaig earlier in the week. Parked in the small car park designated for Dunchraigaig - the path to Balauchraig rock art panel is on the right of the cairn not though immediately obvious. By chance, we came a cross two American men, father and son, who were also looking for the path to Baluachraig. The father was a talker and pretty much told us his life story on the walk down. Not an uninteresting encounter but something of a distraction.
I've posted a photo of the excellent information board which gives a better image of the cup and ring marks than I could capture in the weather conditions the morning we were there.
We later went on to Ormaig from Carnasserie Castle car park. The grey clouds disappeared, the sun came out ... Ormaig blew me away and, blissfully, we didn't see another soul.

Baluachraig (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Images

<b>Baluachraig</b>Posted by tjj

Dunchraigaig Cairn (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Dunchraigaig Cairn</b>Posted by tjj<b>Dunchraigaig Cairn</b>Posted by tjj

Dunchraigaig Cairn (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited Sunday 21/5/17
This was the first site we visited after Achnabreck and did so by chance really as would have passed it on our way to the 'big' sites in Kilmartin. As it turned out it seemed to form part of an astonishing archaeological complex comprising Ballymeanoch standing stones, kerb cairn and henge. And the Baluachraig rock art panel (same small car park on the opposite side of the road and same gate for all three sites).

Dunchraigaig, as with all the Kilmartin sites has a superb interpretation/information board. This one tells us that the cairn was excavated in the 19th century firstly by Rev. Reginald Mapleton and then again in 1864 by Canon William Greenwell. Inside the graves they found two decorated pots, flint chips and human remains. Among the cairn stones were a whetstone for sharpening metal, a stone axehead, a flint knife and pottery. All now lost.

Ballymeanoch — Images

<b>Ballymeanoch</b>Posted by tjj<b>Ballymeanoch</b>Posted by tjj<b>Ballymeanoch</b>Posted by tjj

Ballymeanoch — Fieldnotes

Visited Sunday 21/5/17
This was the first site we visited after Achnabreck in the rain. Or rather I should say after the Dunchraigaig cist/cairn - as you have to walk past cairn to get to the field where the Ballymeanoch stones stand. To the right of Dunchraigaig is a path to the Balauchraig rock art panel - which we visited later in the week. I mention it here as it seems to be part of the whole picture. The small car park is on the opposite side of the road and is signposted for Dunchraigaig.

Ballymeanoch is an amazing, atmospheric place. One field contains:
- A four stone row of exceptionally tall stones, one of which has cup marks on it.
- A two stone row which apparently included a third holed stone. This stone has been moved from its original position and now lies in a different part of the field near the kerb cairn.
- A kerb cairn
- And a henge. Not clearly visible until you walk up to it. The henge is the only surviving one of its kind in Scotland.

Spent quite a bit of time here soaking up the atmosphere before heading to the Kilmartin Museum and cafe.

Achnabreck (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Fieldnotes

Visited 21/5/17: We passed the sign for Achnabreck on our way to the accommodation we were going to be staying in at Cairnbaan so it was with no difficulty we drove back there the next day. We could have walked but that morning it was raining ... heavily. We were undeterred and, after a bumpy drive up the forest track, found the designated parking area.
The information/interpretation boards are abundant and full of useful information. We followed the clearly marked trails up to Acknabreck 1. In no way did the rain spoil the enjoyment of seeing my first Kilmartin rock art panels although my photos didn't do them justice. On then to Achnabreck 2. A smaller though as equally impressive panel. We understood there was third panel further on and did walk on a bit to find it, unsuccessfully. Very much wanted to walk back up there from Cairnbaan - as there is a narrow short-cut road just past Cairnbaan Hotel which comes out opposite the sign for Achnabreck - in better weather but one week just wasn't long enough.

Achnabreck - also known as Achnabreac in Gaelic which might contain elements that mean 'speckled'.

Achnabreck (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Images

<b>Achnabreck</b>Posted by tjj<b>Achnabreck</b>Posted by tjj<b>Achnabreck</b>Posted by tjj<b>Achnabreck</b>Posted by tjj<b>Achnabreck</b>Posted by tjj<b>Achnabreck</b>Posted by tjj

Carnasserie (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images

<b>Carnasserie</b>Posted by tjj<b>Carnasserie</b>Posted by tjj

Carnasserie (Stone Row / Alignment) — Fieldnotes

Visited 25/5/17. This is a lovely spot - or was the warm sunny day we visited on the way back from the Ormaig rock carving panels. These two standing stones were not really visible on our outward walk to Ormaig - perhaps they were but as we weren't looking for them we didn't see them until our return walk. Walking back from Ormaig they are clearly visible from a distance and stand just below a cairn on the crest of the hill. They also appear to be visually aligned with the cairn on the opposite hilltop (I think called Cairn Baan though not near the village of Cairn Baan).

Great views towards Carnasserie Castle and Kilmartin village - and whatever the reason for these hillside standing stones they would of acted as an marker for any ancient travellers making their way from the coast to Kilmartin.

Ormaig (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Images

<b>Ormaig</b>Posted by tjj<b>Ormaig</b>Posted by tjj<b>Ormaig</b>Posted by tjj

Ormaig (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Fieldnotes

Visited Thursday 25/5/17 - the sun finally broke through the mist/drizzle of earlier in the week and it was actually hot. Started walk from the car park for Carnassarie Castle following the directions from 'Walk 3' in "In The Footsteps Of Kings" book (purchased earlier in the week from Kilmartin Museum shop) which also contains a clear map and grid references. Distance 7km/4.4 miles.

Quite a strenuous walk through pine woodland but mostly in the open so not much respite from the strange phenomena of strong sunshine. Much of what was forest has now been felled. Still a lovely walk though, with a cuckoo clearly calling throughout. The panels can be seen on the hillside as you approach downhill and the walk back up to them was particularly lovely with a fast flowing stream below, butterflies and moths scattering before us onto the late bluebells and other wild flowers.
The views from the panels towards Loch Craignish were stunning in the sunlight. The interpretation board at the bottom of the slope suggested that perhaps the carvings were made to indicate the way from the sea to Kilmartin Glen burial centre.
There are seven discrete panels exposed, one with the quite rare rosette design, rings, parallel lines and grooves. On one of the smaller stones just cup marks. Now protected as an Ancient Scheduled Monument, one of the lower panels has names carved by John Campbell in 1874 and Archie Campbell in 1877.

The walk back was very interesting as we took time to walk up to the two standing stones and cairn just above Carnasserie Castle, which was a wonderful spot. Perhaps it was the lovely weather or the slightly challenging walk - this visit remains very vivid in my memory.

Wiltshire — News

British Art: Ancient Landscapes


http://www.salisburymuseum.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/british-art-ancient-landscapes

On currently until Sunday, September 3, 2017

Booking: No booking required.
Cost: Normal admission charges apply.

"The British landscape has been a continual inspiration to artists across the centuries and particularly the landscapes shaped and marked by our distant ancestors. The megaliths, stone circles and chalk-cut hill figures that survive from Neolithic and Bronze Age times have stimulated many artists to make a response. In this major new exhibition curated by Professor Sam Smiles, these unique artistic responses have been brought together to create a new discussion. Featuring the work of some of the greatest names in British art from the last 250 years, see John Constable, JMW Turner, Eric Ravilious, John Piper, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Paul Nash, Richard Long, Derek Jarman and more, as their work records and reflects on some of our most treasured ancient landscapes."

I had a look at the catalogue yesterday which is available at the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes. The word catalogue does not do it justice - a very beautiful book to own, though at £25 not cheap. Several of the artworks owned by Wiltshire Museum are in the exhibition, including David Inshaw.

Coll (Island) — News

Coll Hoard Conservation campaign exceeds target


Not my patch by a great distance but am following Kilmartin Museum on FB and was pleased to read their following statement:
"We are delighted to announced we have reached and EXCEEDED our £10,000 goal for our Coll Hoard Conservation campaign! A huge huge thank you to everyone who donated, shared and in any way helped us to achieve this. Rewards and official thank yous will be issued soon. This is extremely exciting as now these fantastic artefacts can be sent to the Scottish Conservation Studio in Edinburgh to be conserved properly. We've already raised £905 over the amount needed, and our campaign does run until tomorrow morning so we have decided any extra money we make will go towards preserving an early Christian cross slab fragment which comes from a ruined Chapel in Kilmartin Glen. If this is something you are interested in supporting you can still donate at:"
http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/coll-hoard-conservation

Cold Kitchen Hill (Long Barrow) — Fieldnotes

Visited this substantial long barrow in deep Wiltshire near Warminster today. Almost at the top of Cold Kitchen Hill but not quite. Situated just below the brow of the hill - can be seen clearly on the walk up but not from the highest point of the hill. I think there have been discussions in the past on why it seems Neolithic people chose this position rather than the summit of the hill. Visuals perhaps.
A great walk from Longbridge Deverill (traveled by train to Westbury where met by walk friend) then along the ridge to Bidcombe Wood which was full of bluebells and wild garlic. All pretty wonderful.
Not posting a photo of long barrow as can't add anything to Gladman's marvelous sky/cloud photos.

Wiltshire — News

Weird Wiltshire Exhibition - featuring Julian Cope at Avebury


An art exhibition at the Richard Jefferies Museum, Marlborough Road, Swindon SN3 6AA features a portrait of Julian Cope by the Avebury Stones - artist as yet unknown.

Exhibition is called 'Weird Wiltshire' - celebrating the "myth, magic and mystery of Wiltshire" in art form.
http://swindonopenstudios.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/weird-wiltshire-exhibition.html?spref=fb

From 1st - 29th April. Entry Free.
Opening times vary so, if planning a visit please call 01793-466571 or see web-site:
http://richardjefferiessociety.co.uk/RJmuseum.html

Sarsen Trail and Neolithic Marathon 2017 - cancelled


Wiltshire Wildlife Trust have made the following announcement:

"It is with much regret that we must cancel the 2017 Sarsen Trail and Neolithic Marathon.

Unfortunately there is now going to be a major military exercise on Salisbury Plain with live firing. As a result we will be unable to access the Plain or Old Carter Barracks at Bulford (the finish) on 30th April, the planned date of our Sarsen Trail and Neolithic Marathon.
We have overcome many challenges in the 29 years of running this event but after looking at alternatives including changing the date and route, none of these options are viable.

To find out more information, how to claim a refund or how to donate your entry fee please call 01380 829084."

Avebury (Stone Circle) — News

Changes to Sunday bus service to Avebury


As helpfully pointed out by thesweetcheat on TMA Forum, there have been some seemingly sudden changes to the 49 bus service from Swindon Bus Station to Avebury.

Anyone planning a bus trip to Avebury from Sunday 2nd April 2017, they now only run every two hours. Here are the times:
From Swindon Bus Station: 08.15, 10.15, 12.15, 14.15, 16.15, 18.15
Return from Avebury: 09.34, 11.34, 13.34, 15.34, 17.34, 19.34 (leaving Devizes at 11 minutes past the hour - every two hours).

Staffordshire — News

Detectorists strike gold in Staffordshire field


https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/feb/28/detectorists-strike-iron-age-gold-staffordshire-field

"Two metal detecting friends have found a hoard of superb Iron Age gold jewellery after returning to a Staffordshire field where they previously found nothing and became so bored that they gave up the hobby and turned to fishing for 20 years.
The four Iron Age gold torcs – three collars and a bracelet-sized piece, including two made of twisted gold wire, two with trumpet shaped finials and one with beautiful Celtic ornament – are of international importance.
The pieces were made in present-day Germany or France, possibly in the third or fourth century BC and, according to Julia Farley of the British Museum, are some of the oldest examples of Iron Age gold, and of Celtic ornament, ever found in Britain. They could have arrived through trade or on the neck and arms of an extremely wealthy immigrant ...."

Marlborough Mound (Artificial Mound) — Links

New film about Marlborough Mound


This new 35-minute documentary explores the past, present and future of the Marlborough Mound. This film uncovers the history of the Mound, explaining its legacy to those unaware of its profound importance, and to those curious about the unknown.

Berkshire — Links

IA gold coins and staters in West Berkshire Museum


A hoard of Iron Age coins from Sulhamstead dating back more than 2,000 years has been acquired by West Berkshire Museum.
The Sulhamstead hoard comprises eight gold coins – seven gold staters and one quarter stater – from the late Iron Age.
Staters were used by the Celtic tribes throughout the Iron Age, such as the Atrebates who inhabited Berkshire, Hampshire and West Sussex.
Indeed, the quarter stater is a rare coin particular to East Wiltshire and Berkshire.
The hoard was unearthed by a metal detectorist from Great Shefford between 2013 and 2015 and a coroner later ruled that the coins were treasure.

West Berkshire Museum


Holds the Crow Down Hoard found in Lambourn near the Ridgeway consisting of five gold objects - possibly arm adornments. And the Yattendon Hoard consisting of 58 bronze objects - not all on display.

Yattendon Hoard


The Yattendon Hoard consists of 58 bronze objects - some of which are available to see in West Berkshire Museum, Newbury.

The Ridgeway (Ancient Trackway) — Links

The Crow Down Hoard


Can be seen in the West Berkshire Museum, Newbury

The Ridgeway (Ancient Trackway) — Miscellaneous

The Crow Down hoard consists of five gold items designed for personal adornment. Three of these are plain undecorated bracelets and two are more elaborately designed armlets. They date to the Bronze Age, around 1200 BC and they are the only prehistoric gold items found in Berkshire.

The more elaborate items demonstrate the skill of craftsmen at this time.
Found in Lambourn during a metal-detecting rally, the hoard was declared Treasure in 2005 and acquired by West Berkshire Museum with grant aid.

Objects of high status, including gold items of this type, would have been highly sought after. Their distribution shows trade links across northern Europe. Whilst it is not clear where these objects were made, the gold was probably sourced from Ireland.
Not far from the find spot is the Ridgeway, now recognised as a strategic route from prehistoric times onwards.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/PbAFHidgQVG6pLI8bcU95w
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Passionate about:
Nature; stone circles and all ancient sites that involve walking through unspoilt countryside/being near the sea; islands around the the British Isles, especially those with ancient monuments.

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