The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Promontory Fort


This is a site that my visit did not do justice of those victims of my 'it's not dark yet - time to squeeze one more site in' syndrome. I know that I am not alone in this though. It was the end of the first day of my Galloway, and, having first been in birdwatching mode and spent a while on the Scaur on Loch Ryan's Wig Bay watching the oystercatchers and wheeling golden plovers I realised it was high time to start going to sites, the prime reason for my visit. Dunskirloch - Corsewall to the OS - and Dounan Nose were revisited after first being there in 2014, then, as the sun was setting I thought I'd give Portobello a'd been on my hitlist last year but the round tuit intervened. It's not far down the coast from Dounan. Off I went. Down the dead end road, west towards the sea. The road became unmetalled past the last inhabited house, but was 'doable' in my little old Fiesta..only a couple of big watery ruts to carefully negotiate, until the driveable bit ended by a derelict croft on the right hand side. There was ample room to turn round. That'd do. Onward westward on what was now a grassy farm track, until a leaning rusty gate in an extreme state of decrepitude was reached, wire either side, wire supporting. I knew it was permissible to venture further thanks to a list of beaches and directions at my campsite, the excellent North Rhinns Camping near Leswalt (I WILL be back. Second visit in '15). The farmer's cool about visits, and the council are due to put in a new gate. So: don't be deterred. I scrambled round the gate and over its accompanying wire. Straight ahead my goal was visible. No cows. The fort is on a promontory, the southern side of which drops to Portobello beach. I did not find a finer sheltered landing spot on my entire trip. To our forebears this place must have been a 'des res' for that reason. If there was no fort here I'd still say go regardless. Like Dounan, Broadsea Bay (Kemp's Wark), Killantringan (dun) and Ardwell Bay (Doon Castle) it is an excellent site to visit if with family perhaps less enamoured by archaeological sites. Low tide paradises. Back to the purpose in hand. Oh to have read Canmore beforehand. Yes, I 'think' I found it, but the light was fast receeding. I had seen enough to put the place on my 'must return to' list. A good vibe. I attempted a few shots and retraced my steps, meaning to return in the following few days. As I got to the rickety gate a short eared owl flew from an adjacent roofless croft's gable. It was the night of the full Supermoon, which hung over the further croft where my car was parked. More low light blurry clicking. Bye Portobello, I like you. Back tomorrow perhaps, or day after, promise. Sigh. Promise not kept. 2016. Off to Morrisons in Stranraer to stock up on stuff, raid the reduced for quick sales. Then, dammit, footloose, on holiday.. carpark mapread...dammit, I'm off to Knock and Maize for a quick bit of flashing. I blame that full moon. As an update, I've now found that it is permissible to walk south along the coast from Portobello to two further nearby forts at Strool Bay and Juniper Rock, both apparently worth a visit. Can't wait. spencer Posted by spencer
19th November 2015ce
Edited 25th December 2015ce

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