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Loch Glen Na Feannag (Chambered Cairn)

The walk from Oban Nam Faidh to the chamber cairn at Loch Glen Na Feannag may appear short but as well as the marsh we took a detour to NF 8382 6275 (https://canmore.org.uk/site/10285/north-uist-craonaval) and found nothing except the mound, sadly no sign of the stone.

Crossing the marsh first time proved lucky despite a couple of deep adventures, this time my luck ran out. Trying to stride a wee ditch I slipped down, the waterproofs rolled up and the wellingtons filled. As usual the smell from a disturbed bog was pretty hellish. Luckily A along with B didn't fall anywhere. Eventually we made it to Glen Na Feannag via the detour.

Like Oban Nam Fiadh this must have been an impressive site, it still is. Luckily there were hardly any ferns on this occasion. Several large slabs make up the chamber and several more lying at the cairns edge must be displaced capstones or lintels. As usual the sheiling hut builders have had a busy time.

After a good look round we spied a bridge in the distance to the north which we assumed correctly would be the road. We thought we'd have to trudge over the hill, by this time conditions were probably best described as nightmarish as the rain became heavier and the wind stronger. However, head northish skirting the two small lochs, follow the peat cutting until the road becomes visible. In what proved to be a complete fluke we headed west, turned the corner and found the car.

Chancy but good fun, but not at the time.

Visited 22/7/2019.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
3rd September 2019ce

Oban Nam Fiadh (Chambered Cairn)

From the shore of Loch Carabhat near Dun Scor we headed the short journey north to the chamber cairn at Oban Nam Faidh in wind and driving rain. Fortunately the ground here is all heather so no marshy stuff to walk on.

Vegetation in the form of ferns might cover this site but there was more than enough left for this site to remain impressive. It is almost 20m wide / 2m tall and like most of its neighbours has been robbed to make various huts and wind breaks. Six stones still stand of the chamber but the capstones have fallen to the side. Some stones remain of what might be a inner and outer kerb.

The big problem here was taking photographs, it was lashing down, hopefully what I've put up gives some idea of the site.

Visited 22/7/2019.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
3rd September 2019ce

Ballochmyle Walls (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

I have been visiting this site for over 15 years. 5 years ago I could see that they had noticeably worn since my first visit. Sadly last month (Aug 2019) they were barely visible any more - see photos. The sun symbol and the cross (plus shape) symbol have pretty much vanished. The walls still look reasonable when photographed in landscape panorama but close up the individual cups and rings are extremely faint. So get here quick before they vanish completely.

To assist your visit do not follow the path from the gate diagonally across the field and over the wee bridge then right up through the tricky brush, fallen trees and steep muddy slopes as per the old directions. Just park as described and go through the field gate then head straight across the field to the piece of fence/stile on the other side sprayed yellow. There is a photo of this stile/fence among the photos - dated 2007. Climb over it and cross the small muddy burn and the walls are straight across from you up a slight rise. Much, much easier than the other way but wear boots or wellies anyway.
new abbey Posted by new abbey
2nd September 2019ce
Edited 3rd September 2019ce

Dun Scor (Stone Fort / Dun)

Just as we left the Craonaval the weather changed from drizzle to downpour but we decided to trudge on. Underfoot conditions despite the recent weather were pretty good as we proceeded in a hopeful straight line to Dun Scor. That plan came to an end as we stumbled down the east side of the hill to meet the marsh that seperated us from Loch Carabhat and the Oban Nam Fiadh Chamber Cairn.

The marsh is comes complete with ditches and hidden burns as well, a couple of times I was waist deep but the water proofs held, this isn't a place for a solo venture. After what seemed a long time we eventually made it to higher/drier ground which led to the edge of the loch and a reasonably good view of the dun.

Walls can clearly be seen round the island, going by aerial photography there is a causeway but the weather conditions meant I wasn't going to go for a closer look. The causeway is S shaped which would have given the unsuspecting visitor a bit of a soaking.

Now for the nearby chamber cairn.

Visited 22/7/2019.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
31st August 2019ce

Craonaval (Chambered Cairn)

We headed east across the spongy heather in heavy drizzle to the Clyde styled chamber cairn. Vegetation has overgrown most of the cairn but the chambers are just about visible.

The most clear part of the site is the cist which is 11m from the chamber, sadly quite near a fence.

This must have been another fantastic site back in the day, but like a lot of places has seen a lot of damage.

Visited 22/7/2019.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
31st August 2019ce

Craonaval North (Chambered Cairn)

NF 83333 62913 Craonaval South

We parked at the quarry on the B894 just beyond, east, the track that leads to first of the cairns, Craonaval South. Conditions had lessened to a heavy drizzle so we decided to have an attempt at finding as much sites in a large oval shape taking in the Oban chamber cairn.

The first cairn is at the top of the hill next to track, ho ho ho, and is 20m wide and 2.5m tall. It has taking a bit of a battering with stones being removed to make wind breaks and shieling huts. Some kerbs do remain.

Look towards the Atlantic and you will see Craonaval North.

NF 83229 62993 Craonaval North

An oval shaped chamber cairn 20m by 14m being 2m high. There are some fairly decent kerbs with hints of a passage leading to a chamber. Sadly, like its near neighbour, it has taking some amount of damage. A fair number of shieling huts have been built close by most likely using stones from the cairn.

Let the fun begin!

Visited 22/7/2019.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
28th August 2019ce

Loch Nan Struban (Stone Fort / Dun)

0.75 miles west and a walk on surprisingly non boggy ground is the dun, Loch Nan Struban. In the mist and rain it's easy to think every stone is a circle, I wasn't far wrong as there are lots of medieval enclosures in the area.

I approached from Cringraval, east, with the rain lashing down. The new water proofs getting a good testing.

The dun, or hut circle on an island, is surrounded by a fallen wall with a causeway heading south from site. I found the start of the causeway, but no crossing over today to the 11 meter wide island.

Very beautiful site, even on a stormy day.

Visited 22/7/2019.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
28th August 2019ce

Cringraval (Stone Circle)

Park at the war memorial just east of Clachan on the A867, Lochmaddy road. After drying out from the morning's adventures it was time to get drenched again. From the war memorial head north, there is a gate, up the hill and you'll walk straight to the site. Its chamber cairn namesake is to the east.

Peat cutting has exposed a lot of sites in the Uists and that is the case here as several stones have appeared due to this. It probably also means that several stones are still to be found as the peat cutting went through the middle of the circle. One thing I have noticed about some the circles in North Uist is that the stones do seem to be different lengths, and they are made up of slabs and long stones. Cringraval is no different, some of the slabs remain upright whilst the longer stones are fallen.

The views west and south are spectacular with the sound of the Atlantic clearly heard. Also coming in from the Atlantic was rain, loads of it!

Visited 22/7/2019.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
28th August 2019ce

Slieve Dargan (Passage Grave)

25/08/2019 – First full day in Sligo. What to do, what to do? We are on public transport all week so a bit restricted. Buses don’t get going until late morning on Sunday but there’s an early-ish train so we decided to go for that. Looking for a combination of hills and prehistory we picked for our first day a trip to Slieve Daeane.

Short train ride (09:05 from Sligo) to Collooney. We headed along the Sligo Way north east through Union Wood (nice area) to Ballydawley then using the forest tracks past the stone row we climbed to the high point of the Sligo Way just south of the top. Leaving the track we made the short but steepish climb to the top of Slieve Daeane. There’s a decent sized cairn at the summit with a trigpoint on top. I bet the views from here are great on a good day. It wasn’t that day today. The cloud base was low. We sat next to the cairn, eating our butties, looking into not much of nothing. Good vibe to the place though.

Next we made our way west to the cairn on top of Slieve Dargan about 800 metres away. The straight line distance is short but the cloud made things a bit tricky plus there’s a good down and up between the two tops, very steep, grassy slopes. The cairn on Slieve Dargan has a good sized footprint but it’s pretty trashed. It’s listed as a passage tomb but I couldn’t see any internal structure.

Downhill and another 300 metres to the west is Cailleach a Vera’s House, a passage tomb on the last of the rises. The cloud had lifted by now so the view past the cairn to the landscape beyond was impressive as we made the approach. This is the pick of the three cairns we visited today. Visible passage and chamber which you can look down into. Really taken with this one and the location is excellent. Well worth a walk up.

From here it’s only about 350 metres back to the Sligo Way path. The terrain is rough and a bit wet but nothing really to put you off.

Meeting up again with the path, it was back west to Collooney to catch the train back to Sligo. A really nice day out.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
28th August 2019ce

Westerwanna 05 (Passage Grave)

The impressive remnants of this passage grave are located in a small grove about 2 km west of Westerwanna, directly on the road Postweg. Parking is easy at the edge of the road.

All three capstones, four pairs of support stones both endstones are present, though not all in situ. From the entrance on the southeast side are still four fallen stones to see. The northern capstone carries over 20 cup marks. The chamber is still surrounded by the considerable remains of the former mound, the enclosure stones are missing.

In the immediate vicinity of the tomb there are numerous burial mounds. They are the remainder of a larger burial ground.

Visited June 2019
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
25th August 2019ce

Gravenberg - Wanna (Round Barrow(s))

The Gravenberg is located northwest of Westerwanna, on a small hill north of the road Feuerstättenweg. A small sign points from the road in a small dirt road.

In 1738 the first urns were found during an excavation. In 1869, the Gravenberg was opened again in the hope of finding more antiques.

According to legend, the Süderleda Count is to be buried here with princely jewelery. In addition to the Gravenberg, the all around old Saxon Urn Cemetery has gained supra-regional fame.

Visited June 2019
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
25th August 2019ce

Westerwanna 11 (Chambered Tomb)

Due to the threat of sinking into the marshy soil the remains of the tomb were excavated in 1963 and moved four kilometers from the original location in front of the Wanna school, a few meters north of the road Landstraße (L118). Here the chamber was reconstructed, consisting of 5 capstones, 10 supporting stones at the long sides and 2 further uprights at the narrow sides. A passage is not recognizable, so if this was once was a passage grave (and the passage was not reconstructed) or a grand dolmen is difficult to determine.

To get to the tomb, drive from Westerwanna towards Osterwanna. Just after you enter the village, turn north (left) into the road Am Mühlteich, the tomb lies then about 50 m to the right under a group of trees on a school campus.

Overall a nice tomb, except the atmosphere suffers a bit from the new location.

Visited June 2019
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
25th August 2019ce

Glac A' Charraigh (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Visited 24.08.19

Thanks to persistence and drewbhoy's pictures, I managed to find this shy and retiring recumbent stone after 15 minutes of tramping in moorland. The stone lies in a hollow guarded by reeds. As ever, I thought it should be easier than that so I have formulated an improved method to find Glac A' Charraigh.
Park in the large passing place 150 yards before the sharp corner at NR 29643 43061. Walk 200 yards NE from the gate at the corner of the field. If the stone is not visible look for a small clump of reeds concealing it. You need to be almost standing over it. The choke stone is easier to spot than the recumbent stone.
My grid reference for this site was NR 29754 43158.
Posted by markj99
24th August 2019ce
Edited 25th August 2019ce

Dun Fhearchair (Stone Fort / Dun)

Further along the B891 is another dun, this one in the loch bearing the same name.

I walked along the B891 until the first track heading south, still the rain wouldn't relent.

Walk past the house into some kind of scrapyard, go through this on to the shores of Lochan Dun Fhearchair. The dun is only 10m wide and all that remains is a small pile of stones.

Another once upon a time site, by now the rain was getting very heavy so a look at Balivanich and the purchase of yet more so called water proofs.

Visited 22/7/2019.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
24th August 2019ce

Gunisary Bay (Stone Fort / Dun)

The next day arrives and a good look round some of Benbecula planned, sadly more hammering down rain. However two duns reasonably near land captured my eye on the map.

Towards the south of Benbecula take the B891 heading east and pull in at the first houes, on the south side of the road. The dun is in the bay directly behind the house.

Sadly not much remains of the dun except for a few stones round the edge. The causeway does remain being mainly submerged.

Visited 22/7/2019.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
24th August 2019ce

Caolas Fhlodaigh (Promontory Fort)

Just a short distance from the thatched cottage is the promontory fort situated in the bay just slightly to the north.

Follow the shore line to what looks like a turf covered causeway. On top of the old fort farm buildings have been built but look closely and the remnants of the forts outer wall can be seen surrounding the edge of the site.

Not much to see and a case of what once was.

Visited 21/7/2019.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
24th August 2019ce

Suidheachadh Sealg (Stone Circle)

We parked near the thatched homestead heading towards Flodda after visiting the circle at Gramisdale.

From here I jumped the gate walked south through and up the boggy field, luckily finding a smaller gate which led to an under used track leading the remaining standing stone. By this time the rain lashing down being pushed on by an Atlantic wind.

Sadly most of the stones are down except for a couple of slabs on their side. Despite the conditions I liked this site, on a sunny day there would be tremendous views.

Time to get back to the bottom of the hill.

Visited 21/7/2019.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
24th August 2019ce

Frachdale (Chambered Cairn)

Visited 22.08.19

I parked at the Kintra campsite. I had to turn back at the ford to get my wellies and stick for the burn crossing. They came in handy later. Frachdale ruin was easily reached and a rough road ran up the hill to Frachdale Chambered Cairn and Coille A'chnoic Mhoir standing stone, easily spotted a quarter of a mile up on the right. As drewbhoy observed Frachdale Chambered Cairn was less accessible. I went through the gate at the top of the hill and followed my GPS South down a steep ferny slope crossing a boggy valley to the summit of the mound. The cairn itself is vegetation free, unlike its surroundings. I retraced my steps to return, avoiding further adventures.
Posted by markj99
22nd August 2019ce

Clachan Ceann Ile (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Following in the stumbling footsteps of drewbhoy, I spent 20 minutes searching for Princess Yula's Stone only to bump into it as I was leaving, unsuccessful in my quest. It was at this happy point that I realised there were less than 20 yards between the two stones! To prevent future Antiquarian's frustration I have devised a GPS free solution:
Take the A846 out of Port Ellen, reaching Ardbeg after Laphroaig and Lagavulin. The road narrows to a single track for a further 2 miles until you reach the scenic Loch a Chnuic bay. There is an uphill hairpin at the end of the bay. 20 yards before the apex of the hill there is space to park snugly beside a black wrought iron gate on the right.
Walk down the hill 10 yards, look right to the smaller stone nestled in the edge of the wood. The low fence is easily negotiated. To find the second stone stress free, stand on the left of the smaller stone facing the trees, walk 10 yards forward at which point you should notice a faint path to your left. Follow this path for 10 yards and you will find the Fairy Dell that hides Princess Yula's final resting place.
Posted by markj99
21st August 2019ce

Skail (Broch)

Visited: June 19, 2019

Situated in a field to the west of the Strathnaver road, and exactly a half kilometre north of the more famous Skail chambered cairn, stands a tall, elongated knoll which supports the remains of Skail broch.

Canmore refers to 'several stones in sufficient numbers to suggest an encircling wall which has been almost completely obliterated' round the periphery, although, perhaps because of the lush vegetation, these were not in evidence.

There is no tumble of masonry downhill, and it seems entirely likely that any stonework from the broch would have been robbed for the construction of the nearby farm and its outbuildings.

A small car-park is conveniently situated just 70 metres south of Skail Farm.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
19th August 2019ce
Edited 20th August 2019ce

Wingst (Chambered Tomb)

The tomb has a roughly west-easterly oriented burial chamber with a width of 1.3 m; the length can not be determined exactly. In situ are still the western end stone, as seen from the west, the first and second support stone of the northern and the first and third support stone of the southern long wall. The western capstone still rests in its original position. The following capstone lies at one end on the northern support stone, the southern end rests on the chamber floor. The eastern end of the burial chamber is not preserved.

The tomb is located west-northwest of Dobrock and northwest of Weissenmoor in the forest of Wingst. In several other places of this forest there used to be other megalithic tombs of unknown numbers. In Dobrock drive on the Krönckeweg to the west. After about 1.3 km you will reach a forest parking lot, park here. Take the main forest path to the north (right) and walk for about 550 m. At the Neue Königstanne (New King's Fir) there is a path leading to the west, take this path and after another 80 m a small trail branches at a sign to the left, which leads directly to the tomb.

Visited June 2019
Nucleus Posted by Nucleus
17th August 2019ce

Siccar Point (Natural Rock Feature)

A hugely important place, where the father of modern geology James Hutton realised that the geological features there meant that the earth was way way older than had been thought and that prevalent religious doctrine was incorrect. The feature is known as Hutton's Unconformity, and through its correct analysis the concept of Deep Time came into being. A place to ponder. The Edinburgh Geological Society's website will explain far better than I. The geology near Pettico Wick fort a bit down the coast is similar and equally impressive. Just watch out for the cows and their consort on the way there and back... spencer Posted by spencer
16th August 2019ce
Edited 17th August 2019ce

Boreland (Chambered Cairn)

We visited Knockman Wood yesterday in fine weather, doing a complete tour including the Boreland Cairn. The cairn remains undisturbed and clearly work has been done to keep the bracken growth under control, making the cairn easily approached.
The excellent archaeology conducted at the other end of the reserve a few years ago to properly interpret the 18C settlements is now largely obscured by natural regrowth leaving us with interpretation boards to summarise their story. Work all administered by the excellent Creetown Community Trust.
Posted by tomatoman
14th August 2019ce

Cnoc Na Cairidh (Stone Fort / Dun)

Visited: June 25, 2019

Rising steeply on the east bank of the Bay River, at the point where it debouches into Loch Bay, stand the remains of a small dun. Little in the way of structure remains: boulders just peeping from the turf on the seaward side hint at a possible defensive wall, as does a line of largely buried boulders curving round the eastern flank. Otherwise, this is just a grassy mound, falling steeply to the north and west, but down easy slopes elsewhere.

To access this site, head north from Fairy Bridge on the B886 for almost exactly 3 kilometres where, at NG272544, an unsugnposted, unclassified road leads off to the left towards the tiny community of Bay. Follow this road for about 600 metres to its end, where there is space to park. A gate leads to a path down to the coast. You can either follow the coastline, or head directly over easy grassy terrain towards Cnoc Na Cairidh.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
12th August 2019ce
Edited 13th August 2019ce

Rubha Bhidein (Stone Circle)

Coming from the north take the first minor road heading east from the A865 as you arrive in Gramisdale, Benbecula. I went to the end of the road and was given permission to park.

On a sunny this is a beautiful place, on a dreich Scottish day it felt eerie almost ghost like. What is left of the circle is set in a boggy field, the most visible remnant being the solitary standing stone, several stones are fallen, some are broken and a couple look like they have dumped there. I counted 6 which I thought might be part of the original circle, the rest seemed iffy to me.

Still well worth a visit, the sole standing stone likes company :-)

Visited 21/7/2019.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
12th August 2019ce
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