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White Cairn, High Aires (Cairn(s))

Visited 01.12.19

White Cairn, High Aires is situated 7.5 miles NNE of Glenluce, amid forestry and wind turbines. It is a grass covered round cairn, around 20 yards in diameter & 5 yards in height. The summit of the cairn is unexcavated and the stone structure appears to be intact.
Take the Dirnow road off the A75 near Kircowan. After three miles you reach a crossroads. Head straight onto a forest track to wind turbines. After 1.75 miles park beside a turbine at NX 26547 68071. There is an access road to the L. Walk around 300 yards S to a track entering a field. Turn R along the perimeter of the field following the curve until you reach a fence. The cairn is visible 10 yards into the adjacent field.
Further information is available in Canmore ID 62297.
Posted by markj99
29th March 2020ce

White Cairn, Markdhu (Cairn(s))

Visited 08.12.19
White Cairn, Markdhu was a small cairn on a natural knoll which had been removed by 1911 according to Canmore ID 61791. A sheepfold has been constructed on the knoll but it is now in ruins.
The site is shown on OS 1:50k maps and can be visited in conjunction with Cairn Kenny, a more impressive cairn, which lies around 400 yards NW.
Given their proximity and their relative isolation in rough moorland it makes sense to visit both sites together. See Cairn Kenny page for directions.
While little of the original cairn remains, the location of the knoll in flat moorland may explain the creation of the cairn.
Posted by markj99
29th March 2020ce

Kingston Russell (Stone Circle)

From the Grey Mare and her colts go back to the bridleway over the stile then turn left and keep going on a north westerly heading, when the track takes you to two hedges either side of the track and there is two gates on your right look for the Kingston Russell information board. The stone circle is through the gate away from the information board. Pretty easy, what went wrong Carl?
Hopping over the gate I stroll as nonchalantly as I possibly can, i'm even typing this carefully because that is one big herd of cows over there, and I'd appreciate it if they stayed there. During my nonchalance I extended the tripod for another bout of hoicking. So a hoicking I go, walking round the outside of the circle clockwise, noticing as I go, my only companion, Hardy's monument.

It looks like none of the stones are still standing, the largest stone has erosion marks on it like none of the others, like it was pulled out of a river. The immediate area is very flat, which is why I'd chosen this site as an equinox sunrise for this morning, but I'd have gotten here too late. Which is a maddening shame because it is a perfect site for a sunrise, or sunset, someone closer should get onto that.

It's not a great stone circle, but it is a good one and having been there gives me a warm feeling inside, it's now half past midday and I'm behind schedule, and very hungry, it's time to seek out another sort of warm feeling inside, en route to site number seven, strangely in the middle of the town of Dorchester.
postman Posted by postman
25th March 2020ce

The Grey Mare & Her Colts (Long Barrow)

From the Valley of stones, a very aptly named place, I head south west on Bishop's Road until the road forks and I go right, and park at the gate with cattle grid. Take the right hand path to the Grey Mare and her Colts, a very inaptly named place.
Follow the path with the hedge to your left,in the corner of the field go through the gate for another twenty yards then left over a stile follow the hedge that's right in front of you until you get to a gate, go through it and there she is, looks nothing like a horse.

I immediately take shelter behind the stones away from the biting cold, I am no longer using the dog blanket as a cloak but instead have wrapped it round me then put my hoodie over that, it's more practical and less stupid looking, still cold though, wish I'd brought my coat.
Sat behind the tallest stone i'm right next to what is left of the chamber, one stone is still in situ as it were, the rest is a bit of a jumble, I was unable to tell if the larger stones were chamber side stones or capstones or a dollop of both. Also right next to me in my hunched up position is a low stone with a hole in it, the significance of which utterly evades me.
Out of the cold I extend my tripod to its fullest, then emerge from the comfort of the nook I'd found and circle the tomb a couple of times taking photos from 11 to 12 feet in the air, it's not easy and may take a few tries and if anyone sees you you might look a berk, but it is I think worth it. The pursuit of a new angle and all that, speaking of new there's a stone circle a little over half a mile from here that I've never been to, Kingston Russell, lets go.
postman Posted by postman
25th March 2020ce

The Valley of Stones (Natural Rock Feature)

After having been to the Hellstone and Hampton down stone circle I drove north and parked at the space by the junction of Bishop's Road and National cycle route 2 Road. Not as eloquently named that one.
Passing through the gate, or was it a stile? I can't remember, just get into the field with an information board then head down hill following the most worn path you can find. The Valley of stones is on your left just another stile and your there, you are entering the valley from it's north east.

I mostly pass by the drift of stones passing the curious circular structure higher up the east slope until I cant take it anymore and dive straight down into them,
Among the most notable stones in the meander are large flat boulders with cup like erosions on the surface, boulders with coffee or rose coloured flint extrusions, a stone with a hole in it, and a stone circle, of sorts.

I've not been here before, clearly my one and only trip to Dorset twenty years ago was a bit of a rush job, a cursory glance at best. I passed the Valley of stones by in favour of the Grey Mare and her colts.
This is much better, time to wander and time to ponder, and the wind cant get me down here, but the dog blanket is still being my cloak 'cause it's still cold. After having sat and stared at the "stone circle" I get up and walk the stone arc back and forth, in the end all's I can say is one stone in the circle is a boulder practically bristling with rosy caramel flint, it's just about the prettiest stone I've ever seen, and I didn't get the stone circle feel from it, more of an enclosure of some sort, it has an entrance, and no where for the western arc of stones to go. I guess it could be Iron age.
Also, this is the place people came to to take stones away to build stone circles, it would be like going to B&Q and building your patio right there in the shop. Or perhaps not.
postman Posted by postman
25th March 2020ce

Hampton Down (Stone Circle)

After having retraced my steps from the Hellstone back to the car, it is straight across the road following the footpath sign saying Abbotsbury hill fort. Unfortunately the fort isn't on my itinerary but this is also the way to Hampton Down stone circle. Improvised cloak wrapped fully round me and with the hedge to my right acting as wind break this is as pleasant as walking has been this morning. Following the hedge on my right, leads to a gate with a sign on it, the sign is for the stones which are now at my feet. That was easier than I anticipated.

Most of the stones are pretty low but hefty boulders, made of the same flinty stone as places I've yet to see, the two at the south are largest. In past years summer growth drowns the site completely, so I'm pretty lucky to see it in such good apparel. The view south reveals Chesil beach again, and north once more to Hardy's monument.
With less wind because of the close by hedges, I remove my cloak and get the tripod out. I've not yet been to a stone circle that didn't benefit from an elevated photo of the site, so I hoick it up and try to keep it still in the wind, not easy, but always yields good results. This was site three out of the hoped for twelve, and my first site of the day that I haven't been to yet. I liked it.
postman Posted by postman
25th March 2020ce

The Hellstone (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

The path to the Hellstone has indeed changed, I parked in the aforementioned layby, left the road opposite the farm going through a gate, there were cows in the field so I kept to the left side of the field. This leads to a stile, which in turn leads to a path between two fields, when one whole field has passed on your right, turn right, over the fence at a makeshift sort of stile. then it's up the gentle hill to the stones.

Even though it looks like it's been restored by someone who clearly didn't have a clue what it was supposed to look like, the Hellstone is still a pretty awesome thing to see. From on the mound by the stones you can see Chesil beach, Chesil means shingle, pebbles, it is the longest shingle beach in Britain. In the other direction a heath covered hill has a tower on it, Hardy's monument, Nelson's mate, not the poet, the monument is a handy orienteering wotsit, you can see it from almost all the sites i'm getting to this morning.

My coat hasn't magically appeared before me and it is terribly exposed on these hillsides so I have wrapped the dogs blanket off the back seat round me in an effort to fend off the icy winds. But it really is too much so I retreat into the dolmen and take a seat huddling for warmth. Boy do I not like the cold.

After having a long look round the tombs interior, there is nothing else for it but to brave the weather outside, I didn't spend more than ten to fifteen minutes here, I really am a plonker. The wind is making a mockery of my improvised cloak, whipping it up and over my head, rediculous.
But the Hellstone is awesome.
postman Posted by postman
25th March 2020ce

The Nine Stones of Winterbourne Abbas (Stone Circle)

It's surprising how quickly three months can pass, it's already equinox time again and I thought I'd make a proper long old day of it. Twelve sites in twelve hours, a touch ambitious possibly, but I've neglected to bring either of the kids, which will help, and the car though small and slow has been faithful so far.
The plan, such as it was, was to witness an equinox sunrise from Kingston Russell stone circle. There's just two small problems with that, the actual equinox was yesterday, and I'm apparently a slow driver, because i'm not going to get there in time, I blame the poor state of British motorways, roadworks for mile after mile. Poop!

So I pull over early at the Nine stones, I haven't been here since before the big tree came down, it is not the only difference.
I parked at the farm building fifty yards down the road, walked back to the stones down the not dangerous at all road, and found no way to get to the stones. The stream was too wide to jump easily, the bridge is gone and the gate, there's no way in this way.
Back to the car and I drive a bit further down the road away from the stones, there is some new work going on, a housing estate possibly, I parked by the road. Passed through the fence with the red sign that says something like footpath closed and made my merry way off through the field.
It's about now I should make note that I have once again forgotten my coat, it is windy and cold, I really don't like being cold.
Having crossed the two fields, I arrive at the stones, here among the trees it is at least less windy. The circle is as lovely as I remembered it, with not much deviation from the original I reckon.
The two big stones, being entrance stones perhaps, meaning the stone between them is not in it's proper place, are two simply stunning stones, with huge amounts of chocolate rose flint showing, and a small colony of Harlequin ladybirds. Nice.

It's not easy to get the moment of sunrise and all the stones into the picture, first of all you have to be on the other side of the enclosing fence and there is a hill side in the way as well. So, not good for equinox sunrises, or winter ones, the hill would be even more in the way, but summer solstice would be fine, if you can cut down a few trees. I did say I was going somewhere else for the sunrise.

After failing to see a sunrise, staring closely and intently at the tall flinty stones, and walking round in at least a dozen circles, and this and that, it was time to go get my next stoney fix. So off I go to Hell, there is a stone there.
postman Posted by postman
25th March 2020ce

Rath Maeve (Henge)

We'd been up at the crowded Hill of Tara sites, open to the public and increasingly popular, and felt the need to escape to somewhere quieter. Rath Maeve (misnamed, like the monuments up at Tara) henge is on private land, usually full of livestock with the banks overgrown and generally as unsatisfying as Tara itself. However, not today. We spent well over an hour here and got quite a sense of the place, but as usual left with as many questions as answers.

It's described as a henge on the SMR and is really rather massive, so you can see why some think it a hillfort. The interior is low dome-shaped and as a result, from ground level, it's hard to see the opposite bank in places. The bank on the northern perimeter is the best preserved and, in mid-March, not too overgrown to appreciate. The southern arc has quite a bit of bank remaining but doesn't rise to the same height as at the north, but, like at the north, falls away to a depth of about 4 metres.

The eastern edge of the bank has been flattened, with the modern road just skirting its edge. A modern field boundary cuts off the western sector from the rest of the monument and that portion was too overgrown to explore.

As mentioned above, the best preserved and most interesting part of the henge is at the north. There's a gap just west of north with a clear view up to the Hill of Tara. The back of the bank here resembles a defensive rampart more than a ceremonial enclosure and the construction is impressive. That said, I still had the sense that this was a place of ceremony.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
25th March 2020ce

Ballach-a-Heathry (Cairn(s))

Visited 08.03.20

Ballach-a-Heathry cairn is a robbed out grassy cairn of uncertain age. It lies 2 miles NE of Glenluce on the Three Lochs road. It is approximately 25 yards across its N-S axis and 30 yards across the E-W axis. The cairn is grassed over with a deposit of large field clearance stones on the N of the cairn. There is no evidence of a cist.
Given its position in flat pastureland the cairn is quite prominent despite the recent addition of wind turbines. A gate provides easy access to the cairn.
Last visited in 1976, Canmore ID 62413 gives further details of the cairn.
Posted by markj99
25th March 2020ce

Knowlton Henges

It's been a long time since I was last here, I find myself saying that quite often these days, it was before my digital camera era, my daughter was in nappies and my son wasn't even real yet. So, with daylight waning I headed to Knowlton Henge for an equinox sunset, which was yesterday, some things never change.
I managed to find my way to it without the comfort of an O.S map, it's marked on my road map and that was just about enough. Only two cars were parked at the entrance so I easily squeezed the mobile isolation unit in and I hastened to enter the site.

Twenty years ago this summer was my last time here, with my wife and small daughter, it was a warm late afternoon, swallows swooped, bees buzzed, small daughter toddled around half naked chasing the dog, we sat in the grass, partaking, wondering at the perfectness of it all.
A million years later.....
I'm here on my own after one of the longest stoning days ever, i'm very tired, and core blimey it's cold. The occupants of the two cars have taken up residence on the henge bank with tripoded cameras, waiting for the sunset. I was shouted at once by a fat crusty woman for walking on a henge, I wonder how many henges she's been to.
The memories of an old man are the deeds of a man in his prime, some one once said, I often wonder if my obsession with seeing stones is born out of those few perfect summers with small children and love in the air, with all these new places to visit with fewer worries. Maybe.

Having wandered slowly about the church I was naturally drawn to the pair of Yew trees by the eastern entrance to the henge, I'm guessing they're about the same age as the church, Yew trees are awesome, they're practically immortal, the church can collapse and the henge wear down, but the Yew trees would still be there. The trees are close enough together to form a kind of plant cave who's walls are covered in cloots, if that's what we're calling them, coloured ribbons, often with messages written upon them, I have no strong feelings about them one way or the other. But I do like Yew trees.

I stand upon the henge bank with the other photographers, keeping further apart than two meters I can tell you, I've been practicing social distancing for decades, I'm very good at it.
Watching the sun slither down in the sky shining brightly through the dappling cloud, it was quite nice. Still cold though. As the sun got lower all manner of folk turned up to share the spectacle, most notable was a bloke with five, yes five Red Setters which he then let off the lead to charge around uncontrollably.
One of the photographers, with prolonged use of the F word, was audibly upset.

But it was all water off a ducks back for me, i'm not expecting bucolic yesteryear flawlessness, i'm not expecting anyone to take my wants or needs into consideration. I'll just be glad to have a better sunset than this mornings sunrise and a safe and uneventful and uninfected drive home wouldn't go amiss either.
postman Posted by postman
23rd March 2020ce

Pressendye (Cairn(s))

21/03/2020 - Should have been in Dublin this weekend but that's on hold until later in the year (fingers crossed). Just needed a bit of height this morning so off to Pressendye we went. Decided to start on the east side. Track just north of Holmhead. It's probably one of the shorter ways to the top. Maybe 2-2.5 hours round time. It's a nice walk and very quiet. Bit cold this morning and with a chilly breeze. The cairn is pretty trashed but it's still worth a look and the view is very good. Good place to spend a few hours away from it all. thelonious Posted by thelonious
21st March 2020ce

Maen Ceti (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

16/03/2020 – It had been a really good day out so far. The walk over from Rhossili is nice and soon it was time to catch the bus back at Penmaen. Just Cefn Bryn to go. Reaching Reynoldston trigpoint I was tired. We were in two minds as to whether to bother with Arthur’s Stone, it’s a little way off. I could see the cairn in the distance though. After a stop at the trig we decided to make one last detour and head for the stones. I didn’t know much about them so wasn’t expecting much. First Cefn Bryn Great Cairn which is lovely with a fine placement and very good vantage point. Next we walked over to Maen Ceti. Wow with a cherry on top, to think I nearly passed this one by! It’s just fantastic. The big stone is a bit of a monster, great space underneath. The cairn looked lower than the surrounding ground. Wonder if they dug down to get under the big stone instead of trying to lift it up? This site is really a must visit, guessing the area gets pretty busy in the summer months with a car park nearby. The site turned out to be the last of our trip south. On the bus back we heard that it was time for non-essential travel to stop. Time to cut short our trip and the next day we headed back home to Aberdeenshire. Long way to come for a couple of days but this big stone made up for it – top site. thelonious Posted by thelonious
19th March 2020ce

Llanmadoc Hill (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

16/03/2020 – It’s a fine walk over Llanmadoc Hill from Llangennith to Llanmadoc. Not a big hill but you really feel away from it all. Lots of cairns on this one. Cairn XII just before you get to the Bulwark is very good. I was really taken with it and a great place to sit and admire the scenery. Worth mentioning the lovely Llanmadoc community shop at the foot of the hill as well. Good place for a coffee and slice of cake. thelonious Posted by thelonious
18th March 2020ce

Sweyne Howes (north) (Chambered Tomb)

16/03/2020 – A day of blue skies, big stones and good walking in a fine landscape. I've always wanted to visit the Gower. Bus from Swansea to Rhossili in the morning for a walk over 3 hills, Rhossili Down, Llanmadoc Hill and finally Cefn Bryn to drop down to catch the bus back from Penmaen. I knew the area was full of old stones but with a longish walk ahead we decided to not deviate from our route too much to look at stuff. Just go with the flow and if we happen to come across things great, if not there was always next time. The walk and views were more than enough.

Heading up to the Beacon with its wonderful views, we carried on along Rhossili Down. My decision to not leave the track went straight out the window as soon as I saw Sweyne Howes down below. They looked too good to pass by so off we went. First Sweyen Howes south then on to the north one. Both in the very good category, North is probably more a wow than a very good.

Wished we had more time here, Rhossili Down is not a hill to be rushed. Always hard when you live a long way away and you only have a day at a place. Tricky to try and not do too much. If you haven’t been here (I see plenty of TMAers have) please go, pick a sunny day, the area has a bit of everything.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
18th March 2020ce

Ballymaice (Passage Grave)

I can drive to within a 5 minute walk of this little tomb. It's now more open and accessible than I've ever seen. So what better to do in these days of plague and isolation than to take the 10 minute drive in the social isolation direction, up into the low Tallaght hills? Well, like most on here, I'd do that anyway, and like most everyone else, hours and days of bewilderment are beginning to grind.

Someone has taken it upon themselves to clear the monument of gorse. There's a hammock strung between the two trees to the north-east, and there's the remains of a substantial fireplace in the quarried gouge in the same direction. The remains are opened up, the central cist, or what remains of it, are visible, and all the kerbstones are uncovered. It's more than I that reveres this place.

The views across Tallaght, further across Dublin City and Dublin Bay and thence over to Howth are fantastic. Though what is still extant is relatively scant, you can see why the ancestors picked this site and put in the effort to give their dead a fitting tribute. The forestry to the south and west crowds the stones a bit, but the power of the place persists. LilyMae and I left a little less despondent.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
17th March 2020ce

Cairn Kenny (Cairn(s))

Visited 08.12.19

Cairn Kenny lies around 500m NE of High Murdonochee summit in extensive moorland S of Arecleoch Forest. Access is possible from the railway crossing at Miltonise Farm however I chose to approach from the Lagafater Lodge road N of Penwhirn Reservoir.
In hindsight this was a mistake since the road was private before Barnvannoch Farm requiring an extra 2km walk to reach the Lagafater Dam, before walking 4 km over rough wet moorland via High Murdonochee. I would suggest that walking from Miltonese would be shorter, around 3km each way. A GPS or good map reading is essential to find Cairn Kenny.
Cairn Kenny is a chambered cairn around 17m across by 2m high with a robbed out central chamber. Many scattered stones are left in situ on a green turfed cairn which is visible from a distance. Further details are available in Canmore ID 61771.
Posted by markj99
15th March 2020ce

Twyn Disgwylfa (Round Barrow(s))

15/03/2020 – Wet morning walk up Mynydd Dinas from Port Talbot train station. Good access up the Wales Coast path. We did get a little lost finding the best route under the motorway near the start though. It’s a shortish walk up, a little steep in places. The cairn is a little off the path, there’s a faint track there. It’s not too tricky to find. Cairn is grassed over with a trig on top. Nice to see a few daffodils out already. Location is good with decent views all round. Might be a bit overgrown in the summer months. A fine way to spend a couple of hours. thelonious Posted by thelonious
15th March 2020ce

Miltonise North Cairn (Cairn(s))

Visited 08.03.20

Miltonise North cairn lies 30m E of the Stranraer to Girvan railway line 650m NNE of Miltonise farm (as noted in Canmore ID 61803).
It is a robbed out cairn, approximately 10m across with an off-centre kist exposed. The kist is a 0.5m square, approximately 0.5m deep with two stone slabs remaining in situ. A third potential stone slab lies within 1m of the kist.
A small scattering of buried stones remain on the grass covered cairn, which stands out as a green spot surrounded by brown moorland.
In this rough moorland the cairn is almost invisible until one is standing over it.
Canmore ID 61803 also notes that a second cairn 5m in diameter, covered in peat lies 10m S of this cairn however I was unable to locate this feature.
Canmore ID 61853 describes Miltonise South cairn, which is positioned approximately 400m S. Again, it is a turfed over cairn, around 6m in diameter. I was unable to investigate this due to the proximity of beef cattle in the area.
Posted by markj99
15th March 2020ce

Battle Hill (Hillfort)

Battle Hill is the scene for quite a few prehistoric monuments, the hut circle and ring cairn are there but have been covered in turf until more digs later this year. What can be seen is the remains of a fort on top of the small hill.

Take the first road heading north east, on the A97 heading into Huntly near the petrol station, which leads to a small car park. Head up to the woodland walks taking a good look at the info board as the grid refs in Canmore are miles out. Follow the track that also heads north East, look for the the second gate in the deer fence. This path leads to a hut which leads to the top hill. Signs of the archaeological dig can be seen. Hopefully more info to come later in the year.

Visited 4/1/2020.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
14th March 2020ce

Ervey (Portal Tomb)

Twelve and a half years since I was last here, it was different than I remembered. A massive capstone, a portal stone, what looks like a flaked part of the capstone split off from the bottom and some various possible chamber stones are what remains.

It's one of those sad reminders of what once may have been, neglected, but in the end not wholly ignored – there were signs that we weren't the only ones to check out the tomb.

Access is not as straightforward as I thought, though the monument is in a roadside field. Now is the time to visit – this will be overgrown in the summer months.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
1st March 2020ce

Eden (Bullaun Stone)

At the back of the church in Kilmainhamwood, this was a happy and easy find as well as being a bit disappointing. The stone has been roughly shaped into a cylinder, damaging the bowl in the process. I'd say this happened when it was dug up, having possibly been earthfast when the bowl was originally cut. The bowl is deep, full of leaf detritus, with some clear water at the surface. I rinsed my hands in the clear water, avoiding stirring up the goopy mess lower down in the bowl. ryaner Posted by ryaner
1st March 2020ce
Edited 8th March 2020ce

Mullagha (Standing Stone / Menhir)

We'd been down at Staholmog earlier, where the stones have been removed, seemingly in the way of the crop growing in the massive field. Looking over the roadside hedge into the northern of two fields we thought that this stone had fallen to the same fate. I drove further to the next field at the south and looked up and down – the stone is marked on the map as being close to the road. I glanced over at the dividing hedge and there it was, probably as visible as it gets throughout the year. A fine, pointed menhir, 2.6 metres tall, surviving thanks to being incorporated into the hedge. ryaner Posted by ryaner
1st March 2020ce

Knockdolian (Cairn(s))

Re-Visited 27.02.20

I summited Knockdolian many years ago but lost the photos so I had a good excuse for a second visit.
The short steep walk more than compensates the effort required with fantastic 360 degree views including Ailsa Craig to the NW.
Approaching Ballantrae from S, I crossed the Stinchar Bridge and turned right beside the old castle. After 3 miles on the B7044 there is a sign for the Knockdolian Hill path. It is possible to park beside a wood a quarter of a mile beyond this point. Retrace your steps and start the steep obvious ascent up a grass field leading onto a ridge towards the summit.
I was expecting a stonier cairn however the grass cairn at the summit looks like a natural knoll. There are no kerb stones, as noted in Canmore ID 62028, just a few rock outcrops.
Posted by markj99
1st March 2020ce


Loughanleagh is a ridge of large hills almost halfway between Bailieborough and Kingscourt in south County Cavan. According to the noticeboard "the mountain ridge forms a watershed between the drumlin lake district of Cavan to the west and the richer, flatter farmlands of County Meath to the east." Along the nearly north-south aligned ridge are three cairns, set on the highest, most prominent peaks of the massif. They are all in different townlands and given a sub-site of their own here. There is also an ancient, now dried up sacred lake, the Lake of the Cures, Lough an Leighis in Irish, from which the whole area gets its name. ryaner Posted by ryaner
29th February 2020ce
Edited 8th March 2020ce
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