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Carn Nant-y-Llys (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Cwm Ystwyth is pretty quiet these days... even during the height of a Ceredigion summer, with punters enjoying a brief respite from the all too necessary COVID-19 restrictions. Traffic making use of the single track road traversing the valley is 'sporadic', at worst, the scene primed for the shrill cry of a bird of prey - the magnificent red kite, perhaps? - to emphasise the silence by glorious exception. However, by all accounts, it was not always thus. Yeah, if a landscape can be said to be evoked by the universal language of music - and, to my mind, the gruff old 'punk' maestro made a pretty good case for this with the premiere of his 'Pastorale in F major' in 1808 - Cwm Ystwyth would surely require nothing less than a symphony to interpret its complex diversity. For me, the best place for a prospective composer to seek initial inspiration is upon the summit of Craig y Lluest at SN84997587, at the cwm's eastern extremity, a small Bronze Age cairn cemetery assisting no end with the all-important vibe. Here, the cwm stretches away to the west, arguably as sublime a representation of scenic splendour as Mid Wales has to offer.

The Afon Ystwyth - sourced from a series of contributory watercourses, including the Afon Diliw - begins its journey westward with alacrity... our composer considering an allegro con brio, perhaps?... the pace abating to, say, moderato as the cwm widens and dissipates some of the initial constrictive foreboding of the chasm formed by Esgair Elan and the aforementioned Craig y Lluest. Beyond this, however, the sight of the shattered flanks of Bryn Copa invokes apocalyptic notions of a bonkers Wagnerian prelude... or, at the very least, portentous Yamaha CS-80 synth chords (I'd go with the former unless Vangelis happens to be a mate). Not that it helps the ecology, granted - what's gone is gone and it ain't never coming back - but this industrial devastation has form. A lot of form, in fact, with silver, lead and zinc having been mined here stretching way back to Roman times, the apparent average life expectancy of miners (32) indicative of the savage disregard for human life by your progressive entrepreneur back in the day. True, time is a great healer, but nevertheless, the heart is sometimes torn asunder at the injustice of it all, isn't it? There is more, however: evidence of copper mining by Bronze Age locals upon Bryn Copa itself and, perhaps best of all, the discovery of the fantastic golden Banc Ty'nddôl sun-disc in 2002 (cue those Vox Humana Polymoog strings, methinks).

It, therefore, comes as blessed relief to travel through the eponymous hamlet to enter the lushly wooded - including beech, so I understand - Hafod Uchtryd, ragged senses soothed by... an allegretto? Here, the B4574 to Devil's Bridge nowadays bypasses a curious, somewhat ragged arch erected in 1810 to celebrate George III's Golden Jubilee. Since the Hanoverian is now generally considered not to have been 'mad' - but rather a victim of bi-polar syndrome - it could be said, bearing in mind the extremes of the landscape itself, that the siting, a couple of years after the chaotic birth of Beethoven's masterpiece, is actually rather apt. 'What, what?' Anyway, the arch stands in a 'picnic spot which is, coincidentally, the starting point of several forestry walks... one of which happens to lead to the sentinel peak of the locale: Pen-y-Garn. Needless to say, contrary as ever, I decide, having made my way here from a wild camp upon the wondrous Pumlumon, to forgo the obvious in order to reprise a visit to the same made way back in 1999.

About a mile(ish) south-east of 'The Arch', just before the B4574 loops back towards Pont-rhyd-y-groes, a mountain road heads steeply to the left, arcing to the east, above Cwmystwyth village, to a prominent 'plantation' of trees on the right (south). Here there is plenty of space to park the car before, plastered with 'Factor 60' to combat the unfeasibly 'seasonal' Mid Walian weather, I continue on foot to where, at approx SN793754, a heavily overgrown 'sunken track' heads north beside a copse. Passing a ruined dwelling, ducking and diving under the impeding branches of trees as I do so, the green track continues through lush pasture to, eventually, meet converging tracks sweeping in from the right and left. The route, 'stony' underfoot, now begins the ascent proper, fording the cascades of the nascent Nant Perfedd, prior to cutting through a further copse and zig-zagging up Banc Myheryn. Increasingly expansive retrospective views alleviate some of the - it has to be said - relative monotony of the climb, the track making its serpentine way (one assumes those bloody Romans never ventured up here, then?) in a generally north-easterly direction to, in due course and not before time, arrive at the 2,005ft summit of the mountain.

That Pen-y-Garn (incidentally, you might also find it referred to as 'Bryn Garw' upon some older maps - assuming there are any pre-dating mine still extant in this digital age) is, despite being one of only three peaks exceeding 2,000ft within Cwmdeuddwr, in my estimation not exactly one of Wales' premier mountains... one can assume to be a 'given'. Nevertheless, there is a very good reason why I would recommend a visit to the dedicated Citizen Cairn'd, not to mention the incurably curious: it possess another small piece of the Bronze Age jigsaw of this land in the form of the shattered, but considerable remains of a funerary cairn. Not to mention a fine upland vibe... with sweeping views to the south across Cwm Ystwyth to the wilderness of 'The Green Desert', the watery heart of Mid Wales; west to Aberystwyth and the coast; east across brutal upland moor studded with small lakes, water sparkling in the sunshine... and, last but certainly not least, northward, the great crags of Craig Dolwen, towering above the deep, afforested defile Cwm Rhuddnant, leading the eye to Pumlumon. Herself. Hang on, that's more than one good reason, isn't it? Suggest you do the maths to save further confusion. As for the technical detail, Coflein notes the following:

"A ruinous Bronze Age round cairn, 15m in diameter & 0.4m high, is set on the summit of Pen y Garn. Only the base of the cairn has survived, the rest of it used to create a shelter which now occupies most of its interior. Towards its north edge, between shelter and cairn edge, is set a triangulation pilar." [D. Leighton & T. Driver, RCAHMW, 17 June 2013]

Hmm. If I may be permitted to raise a point of order, I would dispute the assertion that the shelter occupies 'most' of the cairn's interior, such is the extensive circumference of the circular footprint (making the arguable assumption that subsequent slippage across millennia has not inflated dimensions somewhat). That being said, the vertical profile of the monument is certainly minimal, at best, the considerable size of the parasitical shelter clearly indicative of heinous redistribution of material. The alternative name quoted for the monument - Carn Nant-y-Llys - suggests an association with a former 'law court' somewhere in the locale (unless my Welsh is even worse than my maths), although where the remains may be sited I couldn't say at this point. One assumes - indeed, would hope - that, what with such evidence of wanton destruction to a scheduled ancient monument extant, it is not current? Perish the thought.

Silence - for the most part, anyway - reigns supreme upon Pen-y-Garn. A decent composer might be thinking 'andante'... or not. However, obviously, this was not always the case with, as noted earlier, mining taking place on and around Bryn Copa for more-or-less the monument's full tenure as stony sentinel of Cwm Ystwyth. To tell you the truth, it is a difficult concept to take in, such is the unfettered tranquillity. Yeah, only the eolian tones of the wind acting upon the radio antenna 'stuck' within the OS trig pillar (a notice states the benefit to the local community in these COVID-19 impacted times of said 'aerial' aerial) - combined with the rather more inhomogeneous 'notes' caused by my good self simply being in Nature's way - are audible prior to the sudden arrival of two very poorly attired 'student-types from the direction of 'The Arch'. What they make of me, sun-bathing in full kit upon the footprint, is not evident since they immediately disappear within the 'muppet shelter' like, well... muppets, to hastily consume whatever it is such people eat before buggering off to once again leave me in utter peace. I mean, who would've foreseen it being cold upon a mountain top when it's hot down below? I ask you?

As it happens the great cairn - or at least what's left of it - is not the only iconic construction for the visitor to contemplate up here since, some way to the north, stands an extensive wind farm stretching across Rhestr Cerrig and Cefn Groes, like something out of that dystopian sci-fi novel Windy Miller so wanted to write after being evicted from Camberwick Green in '66. The sheer scale of these structures is emphasised when I spy a figure arrive at the base of one unfortunately skewed out of alignment with the others. Hey, is that a retro-styled hat and cider flagon in hand.. no, surely not? Funny thing is I've actually grown rather used to these wind turbines now... as long as I'm not directly beneath them... or they are located upon 'classic peaks', why not? Perhaps it should be up to the locals to have the final say in such circumstances, methinks?

With the continuance of such excellent weather into the early evening, I'm even more loathe to depart than usual, but there you are... in the final reckoning there really is no choice. Back at the car, following a leisurely descent, I elect to camp up for the night below Craig y Lluest. It is a wondrous spot, the Afon Ystwyth fading from sight through the entrance 'jaws' of the cwm, Highland 'coos' adding the occasional distinctive 'vocal embellishment' to the proceedings, harsh bovine utterances rising above the persistent 'gurgle' of the fast-flowing water. Once again, it is hard to reconcile what used to occur a little to the west: all the trials, tribulations, triumphs, failures.... danger, exploitation and death. Nevertheless, it is a story well worth recounting for its intrinsic human interest. All the time overseen by that pile of stones upon Pen-y-Garn...
28th February 2021ce

Copa Hill (Ancient Mine / Quarry) — Links

Banc Ty'nddôl sun-disc

Found among the mining devastation of Bryn Copa, Cwm Ystwyth, 2002. Here, that industrial cloud had a golden lining.....
27th February 2021ce

Hafen stone pair (Stone Row / Alignment) — Fieldnotes

There is an extended section within Dexy's 'difficult' third album - perhaps one of the '80's lost classics? - during which frontman Kevin Rowland attempts to convey the 'essence' of his girlfriend to guitarist Billy Adams. Now, to be fair, it may appear a straightforward enough question by the latter: "What's she like?" Nevertheless, one is subsequently awestruck by the sheer stoicism exhibited by the erstwhile associate as Rowland resorts to a series of 'whoahs', trademark 'strangled yelps' and assorted guttural utterances to (finally) make himself understood by his wingman. Yeah, even with the almost infinite nuances of the English language at his disposal, clearly, where the emotional content is too intense, sometimes words are not enough. Despite being the catalyst - along with the dextrous opposable thumb - for the arrogant supposed primacy of us homo sapiens over the other non-microbial species inhabiting this crazy, spinning globe, there would appear to exist a threshold, an unseen, yet all too real barrier, beyond which the vernacular is of little, if no further use? Where we must delve into the deepest recesses of the human brain searching for reference points... for precedents from our primordial past.... in an attempt to articulate how we feel. The 'howl' of anguish, the 'whoop' of joy. To discover, beneath the thin veneer of civilisation applied by successive agricultural, industrial and information revolutions, that we differ so little from our so-called 'primitive' forebears at base level - indeed, from other coexistent life forms; the absurd Victorian notion of humankind 'created in god's image' starkly laid bare as the sham it is... when our crowning achievement - compositional language - cannot cope with the range of our experience.

Sure, it could be alleged that we know a lot about the world these days. Why, anyone with internet access can now espouse fact after fact at the click of a mouse, or swipe of a smart screen. But what IS knowledge without context? Indeed, what use are facts without the means to utilise them for the common good? Perhaps T S Eliot summed up our dilemma as well as any in 1934:

"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?.."

Eliot, of course, was writing convinced of the surety of his Anglo-catholic tenets, the implication being religion is the ultimate source of wisdom, offering pre-formed 'templates' for living. For what it's worth, I agree with the entreaty but disagree with the conjecture, rather suggesting personal knowledge lies in experience... collective knowledge - or 'wisdom' - in corroborated experience. Not in uncritical acceptance of the spew of 'information' Kraftwerk warned us was a'coming in 1981 - let alone ancient so-called 'holy' texts - but in the personal journey. That, in other words, Darwin was right: there is no higher authority to defer to for clarity, life simply making it up as we go along. We are all 'winging it', so to speak. To learn, we must therefore boldly go. Yeah, any 'meaning' inherent in existence is down to us alone. And if the words do not come, improvise.

To perhaps illustrate my (no doubt rather vague) point, consider the pair of small standing stones located a little to the south-west of the highest point of Cwmdeuddwr's Hafen, an archetypally truncated hill rising to the south of the bustling Mid Walian market town of Rhayader. Not referenced upon either the current 1:50k nor 1:25k OS maps, Coflein notes the following:

"Remains of a stone alignment on the SW-facing flanks of Drum Ddu.... aligned from NE to SW along the ridge of the summit. Both stones measure c. 0.9m in height, 0.7m in width and 0.3m in thickness; they are situated 17.5m apart.." [FF/RCAHMW 09.05.2007].

So, we have the technical detail, granted. But, crucially, there is no image. Nothing to 'speak to', to communicate with the human psyche on an emotional, or what we might refer to as 'artistic' level. The prospective visitor, therefore, finds himself reprising Kev's conundrum: 'What are they like?' I mean REALLY like? Why expend serious effort to visit a couple of stones stuck on, or rather in, a hilltop? More to the point, why did people put them up there, in that inhospitable location, in the first place? Yeah, I guess it is the subsequent response to such questions which drives the Modern Antiquarian (or not, as the case may be) to attempt to define that which, perhaps, can not be defined.

I confess that I do not start quite from scratch, a dimly recalled memory of an image posted by TMA user Cerrig (noted for a predilection for fieldwork over and above the 'armchair' PC-based theorising advocated by others) surfacing from the depths of my subconscious, like a compromised submarine, as I attempt to match the prevailing weather conditions to the 'bad-but-not-that-bad' potential itinerary over the breakfast granola. Yeah, that'll do. The starting point is not exactly terra incognita, the terminus of the minor road heading approx south-west from the village of Llanwrthwl the springboard for a number of expeditions over the years. Nevertheless, I turn too early approaching from the A470 and follow the course of the River Wye for a while before realisation dawns: should've continued past the church (to its right) before swinging to the left. D'oh! The tarmac ends at the access track to Erwllyn, the route continuing as green trackway toward Cwm Chwefri, beneath the seriously be-cairned escarpment of Y Gamriw (the latter an essential visit for the dedicated Citizen Cairn'd in its own right). I manage to park - with consummate care since space is very limited for the considerate - before setting off along the aforementioned track.

In my opinion the walk is worth undertaking for no other reason than to experience the 'ambience' of the looming hills, regardless of any deviation to the extensive archaeology that surmounts them. For me, it is this unspoken, yet nevertheless subtly communicated aura of unforced existence, of things being the way they are simply by default, that represents the quintessence of the Cwmdeuddwr Hills. That's not to say it's a cosy, sugar-coated impression. Far from it. Copious evidence of recent rainfall combines with the heavy, leaden sky to portend a soaking for the unprepared; the uniform topography of the surrounding heights, devoid of what one might term traditional 'mountain' features, is somewhat bleakly disconcerting - threatening even, in a 'Dartmoor-esque' manner - alluding to navigational issues within hill fog which frequently blankets the locale. Yet, despite this - or perhaps because of this? - this visitor feels at home.

A half-mile (or so) along the track a path branches right to ascend the as-near-as-dammit 2,000ft Y Gamriw and so access its formidable array of cairns... and to the left for the somewhat lower Drum Ddu, crowned by the Bronze Age 'Carn-y-Geifr' ('Cairn of the Goats') at its north-eastern apex. I follow the latter, initially passing through the great cairn cemetery 'Carnau Cefn-y-Fordd', a primary visit if ever there was one owing to the very considerable footprint of several of the monuments, not to mention ethereal vibe. However, I've been here before.... and Cerrig's image is driving me onward. And, hopefully, upward. Yeah, just what lies upon that ridge? I mean, what is it really like? Having decided to stop off on the way back, I put my head down and make for the 'summit' of Hafen, this distinguished by a very marshy lake (or lakes, subject to the water table?). My navigational prowess, for once, proves adequate for the task in hand and I eventually spy two small orthostats beyond the crest.... ostensibly just as Coflein describes, complete with a small, associated cairn a little way to approx north-east. Needless to say, however, Coflein actually can not begin to convey what it is like to be here. What with the sun having seen fit to slip through a crack in the sullen cloud mantle and illuminate the hillside, the best I can manage is an involuntary series of exclamations more reminiscent of the anarchic pages of Viz than anything else... and certainly not appropriate for a community web-site. We'll leave Dexys Midnight Runners out of this, methinks. Such is the sublime perfection of the stone pair's placement within the landscape - sweeping vistas drawing the eye towards Gorwllyn, Drygarn Fawr and the Cwmdeuddwr heartland to the west, Builth Wells to south-west and Y Gamriw to north-west (etc) - that the visitor can be forgiven, I think, for failing in the poetry stakes.

And there's more: according to Cerrig, there is method in this aesthetically pleasing madness, the stones apparently being erected upon a summer solstice sunrise/winter solstice sunset alignment. So there you are, quite literally the implications are cosmic. 'Whoah!' Yeah, one can be told such things... but it means little, if anything, without personal context. To stand and gawp at Nature's doodling and subsequent attempt by local humankind to effect some emotional 'connection' with the planet... with existence... with notions extending beyond the mundane to consider what it means to be human. To gain some insight beyond the capacity of mere words regarding just 'who we are'. As Dave Gahan once observed, ultimately 'words are very, unnecessary'. OK, a clumsy Martin Gore-ism, granted. But true nonetheless. Once the inability to verbally articulate is noted - even to oneself, as humans are apt to do on occasion - other media must be employed, whatever they may be. Yeah, at such times one can only sit back and enjoy the silence. So I do, the waterproofs serving their purpose when the weather, inevitably, periodically changes the available palette of light. And time flies. Well, doesn't it just?

The map depicts a cairn - Pantmaenllwyd - some way to the south-west. However, I concede that the combined distance/height loss will be too much for me today. However, I'm aware there are (apparently, since again not shown upon the map) a couple of cairns gracing this wonderful landscape somewhat nearer to hand at SN95675937. Certainly worth a look.....

Returning a couple of hours later - I think, could be wrong... since time appears to blur up here, the visitor consumed by a paradoxical perception of stark reality (wind, rain, cold) co-existing with, well, I don't know what... a sense of transcending the here and now, as if peeking beyond a door ajar to somewhere where time has no meaning - it is clear that I am truly in thrall to this place. Yeah, a couple of small, intentionally(?) 'wonky' stones stand upon an obscure Mid Walian height. Why bother? Well, until we can learn to truly articulate what our ancestors, perhaps, were attuned to from our hunter-gatherer days... the subliminal forces which other species with more 'calibrated' senses relate to in everyday life - e.g the Earth's magnetic field - I cannot answer that. As with sexual attraction, it's a personal thing. To travel to spots such as this and experience is, perhaps, everything. To be able to say, in the words of the great South Walian comedian Max Boyce, 'I know. Cos I was there!'

Jolted out of 'the mist' - as I recall Cope once referred to this mind-set - by a glance at the watch, I realise I still have to make my way back to the car in order to camp up before dark. The ubiquitous upland ponies regard the lone figure forcing his way - occasionally stumbling, at other times sinking - through the tall summer fern and bog with an apparent fusion of fear/curiosity as I give up all pretence of remaining dry-shod. Great rock piles materialise around me as I pause to survey the scene: Carnau Cefn-y-Fordd. All is silent, save the wind acting upon my jacket and the familiar calls of (now similarly unseen) Equus caballus.. neigh, neigh and... well, not quite, Francis. As it happens I do not like to reprise previous visits to 'lowland' sites - not when there remains so much that is new to see - but the urge is inexorable. Standing in the 'bwlch' between Y Gamriw and Drum Ddu/Hafen, the landscape context of this great Bronze Age cemetery is now all too obvious, the vibe hanging in the air like overwhelming humidity before the storm. The thought occurs: why aren't places such as this and its surrounding hills venerated and cherished to even a fraction of the degree of, say, Stonehenge or Avebury? I would attempt an answer, but, as usual... I don't have the words.
25th February 2021ce

The Doon (Twynholm) (Hillfort) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>The Doon (Twynholm)</b>Posted by markj99<b>The Doon (Twynholm)</b>Posted by markj99<b>The Doon (Twynholm)</b>Posted by markj99<b>The Doon (Twynholm)</b>Posted by markj99<b>The Doon (Twynholm)</b>Posted by markj99 Posted by markj99
24th February 2021ce

The Doon (Twynholm) (Hillfort) — Links

Canmore ID 64068

The Doon (Twynholm) Hillfort
Posted by markj99
24th February 2021ce

The Doon (Twynholm) (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

The Doon (Twynholm) is a ruined hillfort c 0.25 miles W of Twynholm. It lies within a circle of mature trees at the summit of Doon Hill. Canmore ID 64068 (go to Links) considers there to be an inner enclosure 24m across surrounded by an oval outer enclosure measuring up to a maximum of 65m on a N-S axis. The outer enclosure consists of a grassy rampart up to 2m high surrounded by a 9m ditch. No central features were observed.

Directions: Take the W road into Twynholm off the A75. Within 50 yards the 30 mph limit starts. Park at the gateway on the R within 30 yards. Walk along the edge of the field for c.100 yards to a gate into the adjacent field. Head W up the hill c. 200 yards to the obvious circle of large trees at the summit of Doon Hill.
Posted by markj99
24th February 2021ce

Taxing Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Taxing Stone</b>Posted by markj99 Posted by markj99
24th February 2021ce

Glenquicken (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Visited Glenquicken on a fine winter's day yesterday to check out my favourite local circle. For any potential visitors, be aware that a brand new large segment of forestry has recently been planted towards the lee of Cambret Hill. Won't be an issue for quite a while but, IMHO, it will spoil the site ambience for the future. Posted by tomatoman
23rd February 2021ce

Mullaghey (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

A leaning 1.4 metre tall standing stone at the west end of a ridge above the hamlet of Mullaghey. The weathering on this stone reminded me of the stones at Callanish, though I've never been. A little gem and not far from the road. ryaner Posted by ryaner
22nd February 2021ce

Mullaghey (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Mullaghey</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Mullaghey</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Mullaghey</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Mullaghey</b>Posted by ryaner ryaner Posted by ryaner
22nd February 2021ce

Loughcrew Complex — Images

<b>Loughcrew Complex</b>Posted by ryaner ryaner Posted by ryaner
22nd February 2021ce

Patrickstown (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

11 and a half years since I last stopped by here. It's another of the slab-like stones peppered around the foothills of Loughcrew. About 1.5 metres tall and aligned NW-SE. ryaner Posted by ryaner
22nd February 2021ce

Patrickstown (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Patrickstown</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Patrickstown</b>Posted by ryaner ryaner Posted by ryaner
22nd February 2021ce

Ballinvally (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Another of the many Ballinvally standing stones, a slab aligned WNW-ESE. It's visible from the Kells to Oldcastle road and sits atop a small rise. There's another stone about 200 metres to the north-west in the neighbouring townland of Boolies. ryaner Posted by ryaner
22nd February 2021ce

Ballinvally (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Ballinvally</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Ballinvally</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Ballinvally</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Ballinvally</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Ballinvally</b>Posted by ryaner ryaner Posted by ryaner
22nd February 2021ce

Rudston Monolith (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Rudston Monolith</b>Posted by spencer<b>Rudston Monolith</b>Posted by spencer spencer Posted by spencer
22nd February 2021ce

Heveskesklooster (Cist) — Images

<b>Heveskesklooster</b>Posted by LesHamilton LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
21st February 2021ce

Stroanfreggan (Round Cairn) — Fieldnotes


Stroanfreggan Cairn is in the middle of nowhere so I have prepared a detailed account of how to get there from Dumfries & Newton Stewart.

Directions for Stroanfreggan Cairn: From S of Dumfries. Follow A75 through 3 roundabouts from edge of Dumfries. Turn R for Kilmarnock A76 on Glasgow Road Roundabout. (There is a McDonalds on the L at the first roundabout on the A76).
After about 16 miles reach Thornhill. Travel through Thornhill to N edge. Turn L for A702 Penpont/Moniaive. Stay on A702 for 8 miles to Moniaive. Stay straight through Moniaive. The A702 becomes the B729 a single track road with passing places. Stay on B729 for c. 10 miles until Stroanpatrick, a small hamlet. After passing a black tin hut on L park up at the first L about 400 yards further on. Walk down the Southern Upland Way for about 300 yards. Stroanfreggan Cairn lies c. 80 yards on your L in rough pasture.

Directions for Stroanfreggan Cairn: From Newton Stewart. Take A712 New Galloway on E edge of Newton Stewart. Drive around 18 miles on A712 to reach New Galloway via Clatteringshaws Reservoir. Turn L at the junction in New Galloway for A712 Crocketford. Cross over the Ken Bridge. Turn L for A713 Dalry/Ayr. About 4 miles later reach St John’s Town of Dalry. Take the R turn for A702 Moniaive up Main Street. After c. 500 yards take the second L turn at a crossroads in St John’s Town of Dalry. This is the B7000. Stay on this road past Kendoon Power Station for c. 6.2 miles to reach a junction with the A729. Turn R for A729 Moniaive, a single track road with passing places. After c. 2 miles you will see Stroanfreggan Mound on your R. Park at the junction with the Southern Upland Way. Walk down the Southern Upland Way for about 300 yards. Stroanfreggan Cairn lies c. 80 yards on your L in rough pasture.
Posted by markj99
20th February 2021ce

West Mainland — News

Mystery of prehistoric skeleton found by farmer close to Skara Brae on Orkney

A well-preserved skeleton which could be more than 4,000 years old has been found by a farmer close to Skara Brae on Orkney.

More info :
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
20th February 2021ce

Flintshire, Denbighshire and Wrexham (Region) — News

Hundreds of stone age tools found on Denbighshire housing site

An archaeological dig at a site earmarked for housing has uncovered more than 300 stone age tools and artefacts.

More info :
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
19th February 2021ce

Stroanfreggan (Round Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Visited 14.04.12

Stroanfreggan Cairn is a greatly reduced round cairn in a rural location c. 5 miles E of Carsphairn. According to Canmore ID 64370 (go to Links) it originally measured c 75 feet on a N-S axis. The extensive stone robbing has exposed a cist in the E half of the cairn. Canmore states that the cist measured 3 ft 5 ins x 2 ft x 2 ft 3 ins internally, beneath a cover stone, 5 x 4 ft. The massive capstone is especially impressive. The centre of the cairn has been entirely reduced to ground level except for a c. 4x3 feet boulder. The perimeter has also been extensively reduced to a maximum height of 5 feet on the S arc. Canmore states there was a peristaltith of c. 2 feet high boulders now reduced to 3 remaining stones.
Posted by markj99
14th February 2021ce

Stroanfreggan (Round Cairn) — Images

<b>Stroanfreggan</b>Posted by markj99 Posted by markj99
14th February 2021ce

Houstry Broch (South) — Images

<b>Houstry Broch (South)</b>Posted by LesHamilton LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
14th February 2021ce

Houstry Broch (South) — News


Images and fieldnotes for this broch, which is actually called 'Minera', can be viewed on TMA's dedicated Minera page.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
14th February 2021ce

Aberdeenshire (County) — News

North-east archaeological group wins national award after bringing the past to life in Deeside

There are no whips or sable fedora hats among the men, women and children who search for ancient artefacts across Aberdeenshire.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
14th February 2021ce

Wittenham Clumps and Castle Hill (Hillfort) — News

‘Astonishing’ dig reveals domestic life in the iron age

A large settlement, a Roman villa and many household objects are among the discoveries at an ancient site in Oxfordshire

More info :
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
14th February 2021ce

Stonehenge (Circle henge) — News

Stonehenge: Did the stone circle originally stand in Wales?

One of Britain's biggest and oldest stone circles has been found in Wales - and could be the original building blocks of Stonehenge.

Archaeologists uncovered the remains of the Waun Mawn site in Pembrokeshire's Preseli Hills.

They believe the stones could have been dismantled and rebuilt 150 miles (240 km) away on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire.

The discovery was made during filming for BBC Two's Stonehenge: The Lost Circle Revealed.

The Welsh circle, believed to be the third biggest in Britain, has a diameter of 360ft (110m), the same as the ditch that encloses Stonehenge, and both are aligned on the midsummer solstice sunrise.

And one of the bluestones at Stonehenge has an unusual cross-section which matches one of the holes left at Waun Mawn, suggesting the monolith began its life as part of the stone circle in the Preseli Hills before being moved.

And was Kammer the first to recognise this?
moss Posted by moss
12th February 2021ce

St. Kilda — News

Evidence St Kilda was inhabited 2,000 years ago

Scotland's remote St Kilda archipelago was inhabited as long as 2,000 years ago, according to archaeologists.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
11th February 2021ce

West Mainland — News

Archaeologists have discovered a Neolithic settlement 'on par' with the world famous Skara Brae

A 5,000-year-old settlement has been discovered in the Bay of Skaill, Orkney
It could rival the world famous Skara Brae and give new insights into ancient life
It was found after coastal erosion unearthed animal bones and a carved stone
The site is already under serious risk from climate change and rising sea levels

More info :
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
11th February 2021ce

Slievethoul I (Passage Grave) — Images

<b>Slievethoul I</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Slievethoul I</b>Posted by ryaner ryaner Posted by ryaner
9th February 2021ce

Newgrange (Passage Grave) — Images

<b>Newgrange</b>Posted by ryaner ryaner Posted by ryaner
9th February 2021ce

Lia Fail (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Lia Fail</b>Posted by ryaner ryaner Posted by ryaner
9th February 2021ce

The Mound of Hostages (Passage Grave) — Images

<b>The Mound of Hostages</b>Posted by ryaner ryaner Posted by ryaner
9th February 2021ce

Bonlee Hill (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

The remnants of a cairn remain on the north east flank of Bonlee Hill.

Perhaps a hut circle, but more likely to be a cairn going by it's footprint and lack of hut circle normalities. It sits at 6m wide and is 0.4m tall. Stones appear amongst the burnt heather.

I would think there is a great deal more to see on Bonlee Hill, but it might be difficult to find.

Superb views north towards Dalrossach and Culquoich.

Visited 23/12/2020.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
8th February 2021ce

Lump of Bonlee (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Fieldnotes

From Craig Glas head west through a low lying marsh until a small sream which has to be jumped, once up onto drier or firmer land you have reached the Lump of Bonlee. Heather burning has revealed several hut circles and a cairn in the area, perhaps more sites will be revealed with further burning.

NJ4004207911 could well be a small hut circle or a wee cairn that has been houked. It is 5m wide.

NJ4009507733 possibly another houked out cairn.

NJ4005007769 One of the better preserved hut circles, it sits at almost 9m wide.

NJ4000407775 Another quite well preserved hut circle, this one is just over 6m wide.

Visited 23/12/2020.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
8th February 2021ce

Craig Glas (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

To be honest there isn't much to see at the cairn at Craig Glas, however it is situated amongst some beautiful scenery.

I parked at Pronie Loch, walked south on the A97 until a gate with a track heading west. This track meets a smaller track which heads to the top of Craig Glas, stunning scenery as Morven towers to the west, to the north Dalrossach & Culquoich, the south has Deecastle and east has the prehistory laden Cromar area.

The site is on the west side of the hill and is difficult to spot as it is well hidden by the heather. However it's position is given away by the cairn's central point poking through the vegetation. Kerbs appear to be on the north side.

It's a beautiful day, better head over to Bonhill, via a marsh.

Visited 23/12/2020.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
8th February 2021ce
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