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Battle Hill (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

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.

Clashmach Hill (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Having climbed Clashmasch Hill several times looking for the nearby ring cairn and the cairn much further on at Allrick I was always surprised that the cairn near the trig wasn't mentioned in Canmore.

That has now been corrected after the Christmas Day (2019) visit. Some of the stones have been used to erect a walkers cairn next to the trig. The ancient cairn still has at least 4 kerbs in place in a footprint at least 6m wide being 0.4m at its highest.

Tremendous views all round views to the Tap O Noth, Bennachie, Knock and the town of Huntly in the valley below. Unlike the 2017 visit when it was snowy, Christmas 2019 was mild.

Visited 2/1/2017

Re-visited 25/12/2019.

Dun Garbhlaich (Stone Fort / Dun) — Fieldnotes

As the crow the flies it is 1.5km from Breakachy Cairn to the stunning fort at Dun Garbhlaich, there is a certain amount of 'aye right' at the distance.

The trek from the cairn includes the climbing of several small hills, picking the way through bogs, jumping a fair amount of streams, avoiding falling into peat cutting holes and, today, an ever increasing wind. However the sun remained out till we reached the final climb.

The first view of the fort shows the well preserved walls of the south west, follow the ridge up which leads the southern entrance. As soon as we entered the fort the heavy snow from the west arrived. To the north and south east the wall has tumbled over the edge. However the entrance does remain in place with upright slabs still in place. The forts interior wall to the east is also in a ruinous state. After a good look round in conditions that were atrocious we headed back to the valley below.

After crossing the first marsh the weather relented but not on the fort, it was shrouded in snow. On the hill to the west a row of about 30 deer watched us as we picked our way through the bogs. Eventually we made it back to the track near the Breakachy Cairn, drenched but intact.

We retraced our steps back to Leanassie and the car. Behind was white with snow in the higher places, we'd probably got down just before a complete whiteout.

Another great day in the hills around Beauly, safe bet a few more coming up.

Visited 2/11/2019.

Breakachy Burn (Kerbed Cairn) — Fieldnotes

After returning to the car we headed west via a few twists and turns ending up at Upper Leanassie where we were allowed to park, even better there is a sign saying walkers welcome.

Follow the track west going through several gates, jumping a couple of streams until the trees finish. Look west and the tremendous Dun Mor can be seen. Unfortunately reaching the fort from this north east point is almost impossible thanks to the Breakachy Burn. However that is a target for another day, looking west we could see the weather had plans for us as well.

The cairn at Breakachy has an impressive kerb consisting of 11 stones to the south west. It is 9m wide and 0.5m high. Sadly the site has been affected by the scourge of depopulation and the remains of a depopulation steading.

Still, despite this, this is a superb site, the views are stunning, across the burn Dun Mor and further west, snow covered mountains. We were going to head North East.

Visited 2/11/2019.

Dun Fhamhair (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

It is very difficult to find places to park on the minor roads amongst the hills above Beauly. However we eventually parked between Ruisuarie and Drumindorsair. The track heading north, on this day, is a mud bath but leads to the much better forestry track, after jumping a small burn, which leads to the fort after taking the track heading north at the T junction.

As the track veers west head south west cross country to the fort, therefore enter the fort from the north east. The trees are well spaced so access to the fort is relatively, beware of fallen trees.

Stone defences which surround the fort are well covered in turf and heather but must have been impressive as they are well over 3m wide. Some built areas survive especially in the west. No entrance seems clear but facing stones to the south east suggest entry to me. Anybody attacking from from the south east would be sore pushed as it is very, emphasis on very, steep.

So we left the fort via this steep route back to the track. A and B managed perfectly well, whilst I perfected some forward rolls.

Visited 2/11/2019.

Strone Hill East (Cairn(s)) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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Strone Hill (Stone Circle) — Images

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Carn Challard (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

A magical cairn to finish the last day of October, Carn Challard. Canmore doesn't say to much about this site, only saying that it's possibly a ring cairn.

To me, it looked like a normal upland cairn for the area. It is approximately 16m wide and its 1.5m tall. As usual its been houked and trees are growing in the damaged area.

From Carrbridge I walked on the minor road heading west past the railway station, what looks like an industrial estate until I reached a track heading north west which eventually crosses the River Dulnain via the beautiful Sluggan Bridge. Just after the bridge follow the river east until the deer fence and follow it uphill until its junction with another fence. At this point, it is relatively easy to get over. On the other side follow the fence west, which leads straight to the cairn.

Despite being fairly difficult to reach, a tremendous site.

Visited 31/10/2019.

Torran Ban (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

Torran Ban is a beautifully located fort, resting in the neuk between the hills of Tom Mor (north) and Clais Gharbh (east) next to Ballinlagg Wood.

Plenty of parking just before the farm at Ballinlagg near a track that veers east giving wonderful views south to the Cairngorms.

As you arrive at the fort watch for the sign that puts occupation possibly starting at the late Bronze Age. Keep following the track until a gate is found, a track of sorts leads to the forts front door. No defences surround the top of the fort which is an empty 44m wide, natural defences north and east are steep. Defences that remain are to the south and west with fairly wide ramparts that taper away as they reach their outer edges.

I loved this place, completely unexpected and when you see it an obvious place for a fort. Superb!

Visited 31/10/2019.

Tom an Uird Wood (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Head west and uphill from Balnallan cairn and you'll come across another deer fence, you will also come across an unrecorded cairn. It was also had the first hint of winter with a small sprinkling of snow.

The cairn sits at 4m high and is 0.5m high, some kerbs remain and the centre has been houked. Possible evidence of a cist remain, sadly its stones have been removed probably to be used as small lintels.

A nice small cairn and a report sent to Canmore.

Visited 31/10/2019.

Balnallan (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Just to the west of the Mains of Dalvey, on Speyside (A95), there is a minor road heading south. Take it and pull in just as the west side of the road becomes treeless. At the south end of the field there is gate, cross the field and head up the short but steep climb to the west. Head slightly south, at the top, until a place is reached where the deer fence ends. Cross the field heading north west to another gate and simply follow the fence south for a few metres until you walk straight into the cairn.

Discovered in 1989, the cairn is apparently undisturbed being 10m wide and over 1m high. Some kerbs remain on the south side. After a wee look round I ventured uphill and west for a short distance to discover the remnants of an unrecorded cairn.

A beautiful place to start the day.

Visited 31/10/2019.

Foldend House (Cairn(s)) — Images

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Wester Coul (Cairn(s)) — Images

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Kirkton Hill (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Kirkton Hill</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Kirkton Hill</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Kirkton Hill</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Kirkton Hill</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Kirkton Hill</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Kirkton Hill</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Kirkton Hill</b>Posted by drewbhoy

Hill Of Cally (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

The last site of a day that consisted of long walks and beautiful scenery. Beautiful site cannot be applied to the Hill Of Cally, despite stunning views it is a tragedy of huge proportions, in short a disgrace. It would be better, in my opinion, to completely remove the site than leave it like this :-(

The cause of this clear, it is the meeting place of four fences and a gate. A track has been ploughed through the eastern half, the north west quarter has been flattened but kerbs still stand, this in turn is a bog and cows trample all over the remaining kerbs. Only in the south west does the cairn retain some of its original size, at least ten kerbs remain in place, almost a miracle. Sadly even here is a shambles with rusting gates thrown on top. Out of the 45 kerbs mentioned in Canmore I counted 22, the cist cover seems to be still there but the other kerbs have been flung over the fence to the east. The one thing the carnage couldn't destroy was the view, especially to the south east to the Lomonds in Fife.

It all started well, parking just to the north (about 1 mile) of the Bridge of Cally to have wee walk through some barns before meeting the Old Military Road. When I reached the second wood I headed west and uphill, few fences to jump but nothing too difficult.

Informed Canmore, but I don't think they can do much.

Sad end to a lovely day.

22/10/2019.

White Hillocks (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Just west of the Parkneuk Stone Circle I pulled into a very large passing place. Luckily just a few yards down the road there is a gate which I promptly climbed and headed west and uphill. As the track ends it becomes more of a fire break which leads straight to the White Hillocks or Heatheryhaugh cairn.

Almost hidden from view the small cairn nestles in the west side of a junction in the forest. It is now turf covered keeping the stones in the 7m wide site hidden from view, the site stands at 0.4m tall.

I like wooded sites, they tend to be peaceful and sometimes not having a view is a good thing, you can just appreciate the site itself.

Nice place.

22/10/2019.

Hill Of Alyth (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

At over 17m wide and almost 1m tall this must have been an impressive site going by the size of the kerbs, six of which still remain in place. The site is certainly impressively located with magnificent views south and west. Several displaced kerb boulders have been scarred by ploughing. The upright slab in the middle of the cairn was found by tripping over it.

Leave the Happy Hillock, head south east (downhill) and go the roads end, I parked at the junction. There are paths leading uphill which lead straight to the site. However, be careful, there are many paths. One leads up the side of a quarry, one is very steep, the correct one heads west swinging round the steep / quarry obstacles.

Lovely site!

Visited 22/10/2019.
Showing 1-50 of 9,634 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
Still doing the music, following that team 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!)

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