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

Fontburn Dod Wood

Stone Circle


An often encountered problem with the winter solstice is lack of daylight, not helped by the sun stubbornly hiding all day behind thick grey clouds, it was daylight enough when we started, we being daughter and me, but it was going to be cutting it close, it all depended on the route to the stones.
I've never been here before, I don't know the best route, I don't know exactly where it is. Looking at the map, three options suggest themselves, driving all the way to Newbiggin farm, ask to leave your car there, smile sweetly. That would get you closest. Or you can park at the northern most of two car parks, follow the north side of the reservoir til you happen across the stones, or you can park at the southern most of the two car parks, follow the southern shore of the reservoir until you feel the stones are close and trust your moment to leave the path, should there be one.

For no other reason than the southern car park looks easier to get to, I choose to follow the southern shore.
There was indeed a path, a good one too, a wooden walkway wends it's way through the trees and bracken, crossing streams, looking nice, it would look nicer in summer.
But it only lasts two thirds of the way, it abruptly turns south and tries to usher you away from the prize, it's definitely getting towards dark now, but with eyes firmly on the prize I try to get a bit more speed out of my daughter, not far to go now. Following the edge of the trees with the reservoir appearing and disappearing through threes, we follow a path that only exists in my mind.
But the ground is very uneven, strewn with large branches streams and slippy stretches of mud.
I decide to forgo my Dad of the year trophy and instruct daughter to sit on that rock, and wait there while I run on ahead. She's been through this before, she knows the score, if we keep going at this pace it will all be flash photography, that's OK if your called Ken and talk funny, but i'm not a good photographer in bad light, and this was the baddest.
Do you often run to stones?
Running, slipping, hobbling, climbing over a fence, finding a path, following it until I think i'm there, I think I'm there, the path must now be abandoned, with no more than a feeling to go on. I think a fence was climbed, and maybe a small stream was jumped, then a small bank was climbed and hey presto the stones were right before me twenty yards distant. Working at the edge of human endurance can really focus the mind, daughter on her own in woods as it gets dark, am I mad? no sleep, little food, totally spent I was. I still uncannily went straight to the stones, unswerving, no is it this way or that. I like stones, me.

Our old mate Bladup suggested this four poster to me, i'm really into four poster stone circles mainly because I found what I reckon is an actual four poster but miles away from where it should be, in North Wales. But also because I think it's interesting how stone circles evolved over the centuries, so many stony stories of what a stone circle should be.
Anyway, Bladup said that this four poster was just like my Hafodygors wen, so here I am.

Well there are four stones set into what looks like a cairn, but that is where the similarity ends four me (sorry).
I have no doubt that Fontburn Dod is a four poster, but I think one of the stones has shifted, leaving what looks like room for another, so some may have thought it contained more stones. Probably
Two of the stones have cup marks on top of them, but one also has natural weathering that looks like cupping, just to confound the postie i'm sure.
Like most four posters the stones aren't tall, no more than a meter high, short squat rounded boulders, lord knows what was going on at Lundin Links, bloody over achievers.
I don't have the time or the light to explore the place properly, only enough time for a quick five minute sit, only enough light for 18 pictures, then it is unfortunately time to go, I must go and rescue my babe in the woods. The more four posters I see the more convinced I am that my North Walean wonder site is what it looks like, a four poster.
But i'm not ready to cross Fontburn Dod off my list just yet. Now I know the way, a fair weather visit is already overdue.
postman Posted by postman
7th April 2019ce
Edited 7th April 2019ce

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