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

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Highland (Mainland) — News

Trust buys Torridon's Ben Shieldaig and its ancient wood


A conservation charity has bought a west Highlands hill and its area of ancient Caledonian pinewood and native birchwood.

More info :

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-47652813

Skara Brae (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — News

Skara Brae women archaeologists who were written out of history


An "excavation" on social media has provided names for four women shown in pictures of a dig in Orkney.

More Info :

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-47639736

Achnancarranan (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

The last site of this visit was also one of the best and also one of the saddest.

Of the four stones that once stood at Achnancurran, Canmore says three, once again one of the locals said four, local knowledge, I find, is always a good thing, only 2 stand, with 1 fallen and another lying just to the south dumped and smashed to pieces.

Stone rows seem to have been reasonably popular in this part of the world and this can easily be compared to Carragh A' Ghlinne on Jura.

The northern stone stands at 2.7m and the south stone would stand at 2.8m if it was upright. This stone needs help as it stands at a very jaunty angle, without help it will end up like the central stone. This stone would have stood at around 3m in height. A great site but in dire need of help.

Head back to Ballynaughton Chamber Cairn from An Dunan then head west, till a tractor track is found then head south. Go over a wee hill then head west again, the site will be straight in front of you situated at the end of a field.

From An Dunan we pondered about heading to Cnoc An Altair, another chamber cairn, common sense for a change won as the sun was beginning to set. A perfect setting for Achancarranan and perfect way to end, this visit, to Islay.

Visited 3/8/2018.

An Dunan (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

An Dunan is a superbly situated fort with superb all round views, equally good was the wind direction taking the wondrous smells of the Lagavulin Distillery to our noses :-)

From the Ballynaughton Chamber Cairn head north using the rough track cut into the hill. Keep going north and head downhill, jump the small burn onto the boggy land then go north east to the easily spotted site. Fortunately the mornings heavy rain had missed this area so underfoot conditions were reasonably good, dryish.

By pure chance we found the entrance in the south west so the climb to the top was easy. Traces of wall surround the fort, its builders making good use of the natural rock face as well. The wall can be best seen to east and west sides, I disagree with Canmore as I found tumble down wall on the north side swinging east protecting the site which is 50m by 20m.

A great site!

Visited 3/8/2019.

Ballynaughton (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

After fair time at Druim Mor we kept heading north to head of the dyke, then headed west following a fence till it met a dyke which headed north. Follow this until it ends and keep heading north over slightly rougher ground. Look for a gap in hill in front, the chamber cairn is just to the west.

One of several Clyde type chamber cairns, hardly any of the cairn material remains, presumably why there are dry stane dykes in the area. Better than me explaining I'll let Canmore explain :

This cairn is situated 300m w of the ruins of Ballynaughton More on a relatively narrow strip of almost level rough

grazing bounded by arable Fields to the SE and by a rocky ridge to the NW. Only a little cairn material remains, now

almost completely overgrown, but as shown on the plan it appears to extend intermittently over an area measuring

about 20m from NE to sw by a maximum of 10m transversely; whatever its precise size may originally have

been, it seems likely that the cairn was trapezoidal in shape, with a breadth of not more than 16m at the broader (NE) end and a length of at least 20 m.

Entered from the NE, the roofless chamber is about 6m long and up to l-5m wide internally, and is divided by

transverse septal slabs into four compartments. Immediately N of the entrance there is a pointed stone, I m high above

ground level, which may be one of a pair of portal stones; what appears to be its fallen partner would, if erect, occupy a corresponding position at the s side of the entrance. Most of the slabs forming the chamber are massive blocks, now-

exposed up to 0-9 m above ground: during excavations carried out in 1901 ' it was found that the surviving side-slabs

of the two outermost compartments were standing to a Ileight of as much as 1 -42 m above the floor. Although at least

two side-slabs are missing, it can be seen that the chamber decreases in width towards the rear. from a maximum of

about l-5m to 0-6 m at the back of the innermost compartment. Likewise the compartments contract both in

length and height, and the innermost is evidently a less substantial structure than the others, only the tops of its

stones being at present visible at turf level. The septal stones rise almost to the same height as the side-slabs they support and the disposition of the side-slabs shows the successive overlapping (or imbrication) characteristic of chambered cairns of Clyde type.

The chamber contains a layer of debris about 0.6m deep, but when emptied in 1901 it was filled with stones and soil from which were recovered a chert flake and one tiny fragment of burnt bone; the discovery of a hoard of coins, dating from the mid-15th to mid-16th centuries AD, which lay hidden in the E corner of the third compartment, suggested to the excavator that the chamber had already been disturbed and rifled by the time the hoard was deposited. All the finds are lost.


Now I liked this site, it has atmosphere with superb views to the south, east and west. Like a lot of these places it would worth a trip back in time to see what they really looked like.

At least the chamber remains, after a good look round it was time to press on.

Visited 3/8/2018.

Druim Mor (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

From the Lagavulin Stone keep heading east until you reach some farm huts, follow the track north over the wee hill and keep going. The huge stone set in what is now a dyke line is called Druim Mor, certainly by the locals who we spoke to. Canmore also call this stone Lagavulin.

This stone stands at a massive 3.5m in height and a dry stane dyke has been built to incorporate its ancient friend. I love these stones especially when covered lichen, this chap appeared to have had a shave at some point. Now we approached from the east side of the wall and did't notice it had a fallen friend of similar size.

However we didn't know so onwards we marched towards our next site. So far walking conditions were excellent!

Visited 3/8/2018.

Lagavulin (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Rumours that I park only near distilleries are true as we finally parked for the final walk of this trip at the magical Lagavulin Distillery.

From here it is an easy walk following the track east until the stone becomes visible sitting on top of what looks a small cairn. It looks more like stones have been cleared from the field and dumped beside the standing stone. Over the years the gaps have filled in and it now almost appears to a small kerb cairn. Canmore also appear to be confused.

The stone stands at 1m tall having no markings. Worth a visit as it is the gateway to more prehistoric sites.

Visited 3/8/2018.

Aden Country Park (Megalithic Cemetery) — News

Dig planned at rare 'Neolithic mortuary' in Aberdeenshire


Archaeologists hope to carry out a fresh dig at what they believe could be the site of a 5,500-year-old "mortuary" in Aberdeenshire.

More info :

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-47626652

Dun Dearg (Stone Fort / Dun) — Fieldnotes

Dun Dearg must have been some place when it was used as there is a huge amount of stones still partially built, some strewn, some made into a modern cairn and some have fallen over the southern cliff. It was from the south I made my ascend, a short but very steep climb up slippery rocks. However after about 15 minutes from the bottom I was looking south to the glorious view of Ardbeg Distillery.

The normal entry, nowadays, to the dun would have been from the north were the remains of walls can be still be seen. Some of the wall is made from massive blocks which lead to a small gap in the south east. In Iron Age times this would have been the most likely entry and it provided my path down, much safer than the path I took up. These walls protect the interior which would have been 21m by 14m.

This must have been a tremendous place, it still is. From the distillery at Ardbeg take the farm track to Callumkill. Pull in just before the farm, look north behind the houses and the modern cairn can be seen.

How you get up is up to you :-)

Visited 3/8/2019.

Kilbride (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Kilbride Standing Stone marked the start of the final of hike of this Islay/Jura trip. From Port Ellen head east and take the first minor road heading north, this takes you past the Port Ellen and Branhunisary Standing Stones, keep going until the road ends at Kilbride Farm.

Look south, through the gate, up a small slope and the site with its glorious views south. Kilbride stands at almost 3m tall proving to be a superb starting point for the final evening hike.

Visited 3/8/2018.

Cnoc Nan Nathrach (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery) — Fieldnotes

On the way back from Ardnave we rejoined the B8017 and headed east until the 2nd minor road which heads straight east, the b8017 takes a sharp turn south. Keep going until the minor road heads south, take the first track which heads west to the farm at Lagostan, plenty room to park.

From here its follow the track past some ruined 'ferm toun' houses, head south westish over the heather, boggy in parts but on this occasion no falling in.

There are two barrows here :

NR 2982 6462

The largest barrow at 9m wide being almost 1m tall. There does appear to be some kerbage. The stones at the top might be the remains of a cist.

NR 2583 6465

The smaller of the two barrows is almost 5m wide and 0.5m tall.

Not much to see except the glorious views all round, stunning place. Nearby forts can wait till next year as we had an appointment with an old friend at Bowmore.

Visited 3/8/2019.

Ardnave Loch (Crannog) — Fieldnotes

I love driving to the end of roads, especially on the islands. After having some lunch we headed north leaving the B8017 at Gruinart, near the nature reserve following the minor to its end at Ardnave Loch.

The 40m wide crannog can be reached by a causeway, almost 6m wide. A mound near the centre measures at 10m wide 0.6m tall. I couldn't see any of the cists or slabs mentioned by Canmore and I didn't see any of the stepping stones. Nobody here can see them either, as once again I proceeded to get to the site only to discover that I'd left the camera in the car.

The walk from the info boards at Ardnave is very easy and flat, the causeway clearly visible. Wear wellington boots. When heading south make sure to visit the Kilnave Chapel and it's eerie shaped cross.

On we go.

Visited 3/82018.

Barr An T-Seann Duine (Promontory Fort) — Fieldnotes

It started to cloud over as I arrived at Barr An T-Seann Duine but the clouds didn't hang around for long leaving the site dry. The rain from earlier at Cornabus fortunately had not reached here. It was bone dry.

From Port Ellen follow the A846, somehow pass Laphroaig, and take the second proper road heading south. This leads to what appears to be a small industrial estate so plenty room to park. The site cannot be missed, it is straight in front.

The fort is easily reached following a small track on the east side which leads to the middle of the site. This, to me, seemed the best place for an entrance as well. The fort covers an area of 90m by 60m and is roughly circular. Additional defences are helped by steep sided slopes to the west and east. There is a lot of fallen wall to the west, and parts of wall surround the whole site. The forts interior isn't very flat, the remnants of much more recent buildings maybe are the cause of this. The highest point is marked by the usual climber's cairn.

Another cracking wee fort with stunning views south, sacred views east and west, Lagavulin and Laphroaig.

Visited 3/8/2019.

The Ard (Promontory Fort) — Fieldnotes

After the trudge back to the car left at Cornabus, it was a quick change into dry clothes and boots, by the time I'd reached Port Ellen it had stopped raining. On reaching Port Ellen go straight through the town leaving the A846 to follow Frederick Crescent on the shoreline. About 500 yards along there is a small car park and by pure fluke this leads onto a path that leads to the fort.

This is quite a well used path passing two bird watcher huts. By the time the path runs out, the fort is in clear view.

A single wall of boulders surrounds the site, some of these huge, some have fallen over the edge. The entrance to the fort is on the south west and appears to be natural. A small cliff face offers more protection, at the top is the best preserved part of the wall.

Inside the fort is fairly flat and is about 36m long by 12m wide. Just as I was about to leave I was able to do the Lawrence of Arabia impersonation as the top half of ferry sailed passed, just like in the film of the same name.

Good site this, I'd dried up and saw the thunder clouds heading south to Ireland. Normal weather conditions were about to resume.

Visited 3/8/2018.

Cornabus (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Don't be fooled by the Canmore notes this site even on a sunny day would be difficult to find. However on this very early morning Islay, for a few hours, gave way to very heavy rain which came on when I was almost at the site. The rough grazing has given way to a Christmas tree wood, making this walk somewhat hellish.

I parked at Cornabus Farm and followed the track to wood. From here I headed south west, then north west following the edge of the wood. So good, so far.

I jumped the fence were it meets another fence to head south east, thinking it would be easier. A crack of thunder soon changed that, as did the uneven ground, pulled out tree roots and the knee deep ditches/puddles in the reasonably tree free part of the wood, all of which I fell into. I had to get into wood proper so I had to get on my hands and knees to crawl onto drier land, it didn't really matter as I was completely drenched.

Once on drier ground walking conditions improved, however another unexpected difficulty appeared, or would have if I could have seen it, inside the wood was almost pitch dark, hardly any light. However I battered on and reached the site via several whacks by branches.

The stone itself stands at 1.2m tall and would have had brilliant views before the wood was planted. There are no markings except for some quartz near the top and the markings of cattle through the centuries. Now despite everything I really liked this stone and I like prehistoric sites amongst the trees, so it was all worthwhile.

However a wee walk that I thought would take about 30 mins ended up taking 3 hours.

Visited 3/8/2018.

Caisteal Mhic Dhomhnuill (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

At one time Caisteal Mhic Dhomhuill must have been a huge, spectacular cairn with stunning views. Now it has been almost completely robbed and severely houked. However it still has a sense of importance and it still has the fantastic views south, east and west.

Remarkably it is 25m wide and at its tallest 1m, lots of small stones lay scattered all over the place. In amongst these stones several lonely kerbs remain, perhaps an outer and inner ring. Some larger boulders being most likely dumped there.

After a good look round it was time to call it a day. Now Nosebridge is nearby but that can wait till next year.

From Mulindry Bridge, park in the small track on the east side and follow this track up the hill. Luckily for us it was bone dry, even the slightest bit of rain would turn this into a mud bath. Now on the way back a strange thing happened, a man appeared from nowhere, we shouted hello, he walked past small building with, to us, no doors, and then he promptly vanished.

Back to the car and a later appointment with the pubs in Port Ellen.

Despite the damage, great site!!!

Visited 2/8/2018.

Glasgo Beag (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Fieldnotes

Glasgo Beag is about a mile south of Knocklearoch and made up for missing the standing stone at Mulloch Dudh, another day, roads leading there didn't exist, tall gates and bogs made it impossible to cut across from our parking place. There is a track heading south east, easily spotted, no gate that leads to the hut circle.

The site is about 9m wide with an entrance perhaps on the south east. Walls remain at about 2m wide and reach about 0.4m in height.

As usual the spectacular views of the Paps of Jura, however being higher there are wonderful views of most of Islay.

Visited 2/8/2018.

Knocklearoch (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

Head south from Suidh' An Eoin Mor until you are just south of Knocklearoch Farm. In a square fenced are are two jaunty angled standing stones.

The west stone, nearest the road, is 1.5m tall and east stone is nearly 2m tall. Further to the east is stunning views of the Paps Of Jura. No sign of any hanging clergy today and all markings are natural

Visited 2/8/2018.

Suidh' An Eoin Mor (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

The standing stone at Suidh An Eoin Mor, now not standing, must have still stood at a jaunty angle at least until 1968. Since then it has decided to take a rest.

On the surface DCK 1817 can be seen, markings on the other side obviously can't be seen. It would have stood at just over 0.5m high.

From Ballygrant Loch head a short distance south until the minor road is dead straight, I pulled in at the first gate. A fairly steepish climb, west, and a couple of jumps over fences lead to the site. Two more stones have been dumped nearby. I wonder if they once stood somewhere or were all connected in some way.

Beautiful all round views, well worth a visit for that alone.

Visited 2/8/2018.

Loch Ballygrant (Crannog) — Fieldnotes

Crannogs, I think are always very beautiful on a sunny day, it must be the colour of the sky and the surrounding hills. Whatever it is I like them. Ballygrant Loch, town of grain, on a beautiful day is a beautiful place.

It certainly is one of the biggest crannogs I've seen being almost 50m wide and has been used by many people for many uses through the centuries.

From the village of Ballygrant take the minor road heading east, at the first corner head straight on to the track. Plenty room to park, I asked permission to park at the saw mill.

Follow the track to western edge of the loch and head north until you come to a jetty. From here take the shoreline at the loch's edge.

Gorgeous place.

Visited 2/8/2018.

Finlaggan (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

After walking back, a wee bit annoyed but really quite happily, to the car park at the visitor centre I was reunited with wife, dog, and camera. The standing stone is in the field next to the road which approaches the visitor centre.

A beautiful stone with beautiful views over Loch Finlaggan standing at 2m tall. Sadly a second standing is probably long gone.

Visited 2/8/2019.

Eilean Mhuireill (Crannog) — Fieldnotes

The crannog at Eilean Mhuireill is a good 1/2 mile walk and has a varied history. At some point it was used as prison by the MacDonald Clan.

It is 22m wide and covered in all sorts of vegetation. After taking a couple of zoom pics from the visitor centre I decided to hike down the eastern side of the loch. Nothing to difficult, a couple of streams to jump, couple of half decent climbs and good underfoot conditions.

I didn't see any signs of a causeway and I couldn't take any photographs as I'd left the camera sitting in the car.

There will be another day tho, there is a track which reaches a nearby fort. Penciled in for the next time.

Visited 2/8/2018.

Eilean Na Comhairle (Stone Fort / Dun) — Fieldnotes

I've always been fascinated by Finlaggan and the Lord of the Isles, as a youngster my first memory of this place being a brass band piece with same name. What I didn't know was that the 'Council Isle' or Eilean Na Comhairle was indeed a dun.

Take your time walking through Eilean Mor, there is much to learn and discover, and head to the southern bank. The nearby island is the dun.

Separated from Eilean Mor by 50m of water the Council Isle is 30 m wide. The dun, or perhaps broch, as suggested on the info board has been built over by a medieval castle which used stonework from earlier times.

A stunning place, it will be good to see a detailed excavation note.

Visited 2/8/2018.

Cnoc Seannda (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

The base of the mound is well over 50m wide and at least 5m tall, it provides a home to a chamber cairn and a Bronze Age cairn discovered by the Time Team.

The chamber entrance is on the south of the mound, its entrance noticeable by a row of stones. The Bronze Age cairn can be identified by its kerb. Also found were Mesolithic remains, some of which can be seen in the nearby visitor centre.

Finlaggan is a beautiful place and can be found by leaving the A846 between Ballygrant and Keills on the minor road heading west. Follow the minor road as it swings north, then take the first road heading west showing the way to the visitor centre.

Fantastic place, prehistory an added bonus.

Visited 2/8/2019.

Scotland (Country) — News

Dig at one of Scotland's largest hunter-gatherer site


Archaeologists have carried out a dig at one of Scotland's biggest and most significant hunter-gatherer sites.


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-47386160

Cnoc Seannda (Cairn(s)) — Miscellaneous

Finlaggan and the Lordship
Recollections of a Golden Age in a Hallowed Place by Dan Casey


https://www.islayinfo.com/finlaggan_clan_donald.html

Loch Finlaggan, Islay
Archaeologists confirm John Michell's research
Bob Trubshaw


http://www.indigogroup.co.uk/edge/finlaggn.htm

Tayandock (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

The last stop of a busy day which started by getting battered at Frachdale led to a gentler afternoon ending at Tayandock.

Sadly the standing stone, which would have 1.5m tall, has fallen.

Leave the A847 taking the minor road Borichill Mor, pass Tayandock Farm and site is just before the corner which veers north. No sign of the chapel.

Visited 1/8/2018.

Uiskentuie (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Another tremendous site, more stunning views and another gigantic standing stone on Islay, this time at Uiskentuie.

It stands at 3m tall with no markings except for the lichen giving the stone a stately person type look.

Easy parking on the main road, up a wee hill, through a couple of gates, job done.

Visited 1/8/2018.

Port Charlotte (Chambered Tomb) — Fieldnotes

From Cultoon we headed south to the beautiful village of Portnahaven before heading north east towards Port Charlotte. Just the the south of the village pull in the campsite. Whoever constructed the football pitch, campsite and restaurant should congratulated on doing a cracking job. Good to see some children taking interest in the site when we arrived, as soon as I started looking and taking photographs they asked questions, Aberdeenshire kids from Insch, very intelligent :-)

The site does seem to be looked after slightly better than in the past and it was litter free.

Canmore Description

This chambered cairn is situated in a field at the edge of the raised beach 750m SW of Port Charlotte; the chamber and much of the cairn were excavated between 1976 and 1979, and the following account makes use of the interim report and further information supplied by the excavators (Peirpoint and Harrington 1978). The cairn, which is aligned NNE and SSW, measures 22m in breadth and is now about the same length, but the SSW end has been destroyed, and it would originally have been much longer. The chamber, at the NNE end, is entered from the centre of a concave facade of which only the stump of one stone and a fallen second stone now remain. Immediately in front of the entrance there was a pit, some 0.6m deep, from the bottom of which charcoal provided a radiocarbon date of ad 90+- (HAR-2405), but this may have been a result of contamination. The large slab in front of the entrance has been erected as if to form a portal stone. The sill-stone, only part of which is shown on plan (RCAHMS plan A), is 0.8m long, 0.23m thick and 1.16m high, and was held in position by two jamb-stones; the septal stone is 0.9m long, 0.96m high and 0.15m thick. The second compartment (1.5m long and 1.3m broad) comprises two massive side-slabs up to 0.9m high supported from behind by large slabs, which can be seen protruding through the cairn material. The third compartment has been destroyed, and the fourth is now represented only by the W side-slab. The missing slabs appear to have been removed for use as culvert-covers in the last century, but the slots from which they had been removed were discovered in the course of excavation.

Now I liked this site, tremendous views to Kintra and Bowmore as well as the nearby hills, which hopefully will see my feet reasonably soon.

Visited 1/8/2018.

Cultoon (Stone Circle) — Links

Canmore


Details of the excavations and a wee bit about the nearby mound.

Cultoon (Stone Circle) — Miscellaneous

Passionate about British Heritage

David Ross

https://www.britainexpress.com/scotland/Strathclyde/ancient/cultoon.htm

Cultoon (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

After some activities not involving prehistory or distilleries (I know unbelievable) we headed to Cultoon Stone Circle. From Port Charlotte on the A847 take the minor road heading west and keep on it as it veers south leading straight to the stone circle.

The mound beside the site I'd say was a cairn with some kerbs still in place, one or two rabbit holes seem to hint at artificialness.

No need to describe the site as that has been done before, however what a weird place this is. Why did the people of the time cart all of these stones to the top of a wee hill only to put two up. Some theories are discussed in the Misc. post.

Visited 1/8/2018.

James's Temple (Stone Fort / Dun) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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Ballinaby (North) (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Just to the north of the very tall stone at Ballinaby sits another standing stone, originally three stood but two remain. Attempts have been made to move this stone but it still stands. Sadly these attempts have done damage.

It has been broken and now stands at 2m in height, fair enough, but Canmore says the stone is 3m wide, I would say no more than 1.5m. Perhaps something has fallen and it has been removed. One thing for sure was that these stones indicated a safe harbour which there is - Traigh Fleisgein Bheag.

Once again a beautiful place.

Visited 1/8/2018.

Ballinaby (south) (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Just slightly to north of Carnduncan take the minor road heading west which skirts the north side of Loch Gorm. Pull in at Ballinaby Farm, plenty room.

The huge standing stone is just to the north east of the farm. Follow a well used path up a wee hill and follow some well built dry stane dykes. It is a stunning stone standing 4.9m tall with tremendous all round views west to Saligo Bay, east to Loch Gorm, north to An Carnan and south towards the hills at Turnaichaidh.

Most people turn round at this point, we didn't as in the distance to the north, well hidden, I spied another standing stone.

Visited 1/8/2018.

Carnduncan (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

After the mornings battering at Frachdale it was good to get back to base camp at Cragabus and get patched up. The afternoon would be spent heading towards Cultoon in the north west of the island with a few stops either side, some of which were nothing to do with prehistory.

The first stop of the afternoon was the excellent cairn at Carnduncan. Sitting next to the B8018 just beyond Carnduncan Farm this cairn is very easily spotted.

It still sits at 17m wide and at its highest is 1.7m tall. It has a fantastic if somewhat broken kerb of fine stones, some stones probably kerbs, also rest nearby. Good to see in Canmore's notes that children from local schools were used in several surveys.

Nearby sites at Loch Gorm, across the road, stand a fair chance of being visited next time I'm here.

Visited 1/8/2018.

Frachdale (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

The distance between Coille A'chnoic Mhoir and the chamber cairn at Frachdale might appear short, it is as the crow flies. From the standing stone it looks if you go west, in fact you go south.

The start of the walk is fine until very tall ferns are reached, there is no sign of a track so batter a way though until a fence is reached. Frachdale sits on top of wee hill, basically taunting the hard pressed visitor. I jumped the fence and landed straight into a stream up to my waist in boggy stinking water, pulled myself out and promptly tripped into other one. One good thing was that the heat meant that I dried reasonably quick, but the smell......dearie me!! I made way to the west end of the hill and climbed up to the top were I found the turf covered cairn.

Most of the cairn material has been taken away leaving just the largest of the stones that make up the Clyde Type cairn. Originally 15 metres wide some kerbs do remain but the real remnants are in the centre. Two badly damaged sections remain, in a chamber that was almost 4m long and 1m wide. One dividing stone creates the sections. Side slabs also remain in place. This must have been some place, it still is with the tremendous views east and north east.

Also from the top of this wee hill a track and the ruined Frachdale croft can be seen in the east. However to get there is a complete nightmare. Instead of going back the way I'd came I headed east quickly encountering very small trees, with no way over I crawled underneath until a small burn, crossed this, kept crawling and eventually stood up when I encountered ferns. Keep heading north east until a small burn is encountered, same one as before with the same result with the added bonus of smashing my leg against a hidden rock. Eventually I pulled myself up, climbed the fence and found the track which led past Frachdale Croft to Kintra.

Fortunately no cuts but by the time I'd got back to Kintra my legs had turned blue. Frachdale Cairn is not an easy place to get to unless something is done about the vegetation.

Well known sprays and liquidy freeze stuff were about to get used. However it had been a wonderful morning!!

Visited 1/8/2018.

Coille A'chnoic Mhoir (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Coille A'chnoic Mhoir has stunning views west, south and east (Laggan Bay and the Paps of Jura are simply stunning).

From the cairn at Cnoc Mor Ghrasdail simply walk south until a small mound, on its south side is the standing stone. No views north :-)

Quite an easy downhill walk on spongy bone dry heather leads to the 1.2m high stone. Sometimes the most simple of sites have the most stunning locations. This is one of them.

However the conditions were about to change with the walk to the fairly nearby chamber cairn.

Visited 1/8/2018.

Cnoc Mor Ghrasdail (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

The walk from Dun A Chail west to the cairn at Cnoc Mor Ghrasdail comes in three sections. The first is easy enough except for the steepish climb up to the level overlooking the fort, next comes a wee flat bit before a climb amongst trees/bramble bushes which eventually is ended by a fence. From here head to the top of the hill bouncing on the spongy heather. Hot work considering the temperature.

Once at the top views are stunning, north to Port Charlotte, the Paps of Jura are clearly visible to the east, south is the Oa and to the west the Atlantic.

The cairn stands at over 10m wide and is 1m tall at its highest. The probable cist cover remains in the centre of the site with its debatable cup marks still in place. Canmore suggest that this might have been an anvil at some point. Also on the site is a climber's or shepherd's cairn. I counted at least 10 stones of the kerb still in place.

Another truly stunning location.

Visited 1/8/2018.

Dun A Chail (Stone Fort / Dun) — Fieldnotes

From Kintra follow the track heading west and keep going until it veers south, keep going until the first corner then head west. On a gorgeous early morning the Kintra coastline is a wonderful place to be. Even better, the local green keepers i.e. the sheep had done their job perfectly keeping the grass very short. Even better still, it was warm!

After a fairly short walk a beach will be seen with an easy slope to leading down. Beautiful views north towards Port Charlotte can be seen with the hills beyond. To the east side of the bay is Dun a Chail, probably the most beautiful place I'd been to in 2018.

The dun is overshadowed by a small pointy hill which probably helped its eastern defence. A small grassy covered stairway leads to the entrance which was being used when I arrived by exiting sheep. Cleverly the Iron Age peoples made use of the natural walls incorporating them into the man made walls. Sadly some of the walls have collapsed on either side of the dun. It is approximately 12m in length being just over 6m wide. To the west there is the perfect natural harbour called Laggan Bay, to the east a somewhat rockier effort.

Not many people come here nowadays and maybe that is a good thing as it is a truly remarkable place. It was also is the first place I'd been to for a long time where I'd seen no rubbish.

Wonderful, wonderful site.

Visited 1/8/2018.
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Still doing the music, following that team, drinking far to much and getting lost in the hills! (Some Simple Minds, Glasvegas, Athlete, George Harrison, Empire Of The Sun, Nazareth on the headphones, good boots and sticks, away I go!)

(The Delerium Trees)

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