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Miscellaneous Posts by GLADMAN

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Shepherd's Tump (Round Barrow(s))

According to Coflein (J.Wiles 27.08.02) this is:

"A prominently situated barrow, 18m in diameter and 1.5m high."

I had intended to visit on 8/9/19 following an ascent of Great Rhos from Cwm Farm; however, I found that outing required everything I had in the energy tank.... no reserves. One for the future, perhaps.

Gaer Fawr, Trawsgoed (Hillfort)

In my opinion, this superbly located, powerful enclosure rates alongside the finest of Mid Walian hill forts. I passed by a few years ago but was - much to my subsequent chagrin - put off a visit by parking issues and the apparent unwelcoming local vibe. Well, not this time, my antiquarian friends.

According to Coflein the hill fort:

"...measures approximately 265m north-south by 120m east-west overall. It comprises a main inner enclosure formed of a strong rampart, ostensibly built of shale rubble and clay but with traces of stone revetment exposed in erosion features, together with traces of a stone capping on the summit of the rampart in the south-east part of the fort....Along the west side of the fort the rampart is far smaller in scale, being more of a scarp bank at the top of precipitous slopes....The hillfort is bivallate on the north, east and south sides where an outer rampart curves around to defend the more gentle slopes on this side....The hillfort has two entrances. The main gate on the south side is in-turned, and the right-hand (eastern) bastion is larger and more swollen than the western, suggesting it was perhaps a slinging platform or other defensive feature flanking the gate. On the north side is a smaller, less elaborate gateway which gives access down a steep slope to the outer terrace, suggesting it was never a main gate. A major break through the defences on the east side is modern."

[T Driver. 7th Feb 2012]

It is possible to safely leave a car in a 'layby' upon the minor Dofor road just east of the farmhouse of Rhiw-gwraidd. A little further east a new gate upon the left allows access to a public footpath (unsignposted) climbing the very steep flank of the hillside to the north. The enclosure will be seen above and to the right and is accessed via the high fence line. Now, sure enough, as I took in the sweeping panoramas towards Pumlumon et al I was approached by the farmer in his 4x4. It transpired that he was baffled - if not annoyed - by my presence (hell, why would anyone be interested in a mere 'sheep pen'?) but acquiesced as I determined he is not the landowner, but tenant. Hey, there's room for all right-thinking people to co-exist peacefully, methinks. Saves so much time and energy, don't you think?

Dun Toiseach (Hillfort)

The shoreline of Loch Awe, one of The Highlands' largest, most wondrous inland lochs, is blessed with some fabulously sited monuments: the chocolate box Kilchurn Castle at the extreme north-east, the peerlessly located Port Sonachan chambered cairn, Innis Chonnell, Archdonnell chambered cairn etc... In my opinion, the small fortified enclosure of Dun Toiseach, overlooking the extreme southwestern extremity of the loch, is very much in the same class. Yeah, the map suggested this would be a good way to end the day and Dun Toiseach did not disappoint. Neither did the notoriously fickle Scottish weather, for that matter.

Visitors approaching from the wonders - ha, now there's an understatement - of Kilmartin Glen should take the minor road north from Ford and begin to skirt the 'far' bank of Loch Awe. In short order, Dun Toiseach will be seen crowning a rocky knoll rising above the small hamlet of Torran. It is by no means an extensive fortress, Canmore describing the site as:

'a severely ruined dun measuring about 16m by 13m within a wall which has been some 4m thick. (Campbell and Sandeman 1964)'.

By all accounts the entrance was to the north-east of the D-plan enclosure. To be honest I reckon the 'severely ruined' status is, relatively speaking, a little unfair. I've seen a lot worse and enough remains to leave the visitor in no doubt that this would have been a tough little nut to crack for any raiding party. Worth the effort for the archaeology alone, perhaps? If not, just come for the views and that sense of being 'somewhere else', if you know what I mean?

Carreg Cennen (Sacred Well)

[Notes from 19th Sept 2014... deleted at the time after causing a farcical furore but resurrected following a visit to the cairn surmounting nearby Trichrug at Easter]:

Carreg Cennen. An evocative name to the (somewhat protruding) ears of an Englishman first brought here by his father during 1983 (Cestyll '83, as I recall), a boy with a head filled with incoherent images of 'something' that perhaps existed before what was quickly becoming, to him, the childish fallacy of organised religion... the hymns we were forced to sing at school.... but took subconscious delight in defying. Even then. Something burning within, something subsumed deep in the folk memory. Ancient Britains. Not desert people. Christianity irrelevant.

I arrive today, in the pouring rain, with more than an eye on re-visiting the not so distant (incredibly undervalued) hill fort of Garn Goch. Do so if you can. Parking in the rather busy car park, I wonder if it is actually a good idea to revisit times past? Would the somewhat cynical mind of the 45 year old render the magical experience of the initiate superfluous? In short, er, no. I purchase my ticket and ascend the track to the fortress perched upon its eyrie. The medieval fortifications are easily retrieved from my psyche... their imprint seared upon my impressionable mind years ago. Not so the very attractive lady - with an idiosyncratic canine companion and perfect figure - engaged with capturing the vibe for posterity upon her DSLR. Pure class. Superlatives come as standard at Carreg Cennen, the mind thrown into overdrive, with carnal base thoughts vying for attention with those upon an altogether higher plane. Unfortunately, the words do not flow from my brain to the tongue in any coherent manner.... as usual.

So... a rather steep flight of steps descend to a dark passage - lit by loopholes - to access the entrance to (one of) the caves which permeate this carboniferous limestone crag. This is something special, however. Really special indeed. The rough-hewn steps vanish into a more-or-less unfathomable gloom below.... so careful now. The eyes adjust a little, revealing a medieval outer wall, fashioned into 'pigeon holes' to accommodate, well, pigeons - funnily enough - to supplement the castle food supply. Within, a naked gash within the cliff face represents the threshold beyond which a torch will be required. To be fair I've been here before, feeling my way to the cave's terminus in utter darkness during the early 90's. Forgot a torch. And humans so need to appreciate where they are going, do they not? Ok, appreciate, if not necessarily understand.

I've borrowed the Mam C's torch today..... and advance down the narrow, undulating passage toward the very underworld itself. The thought that pre-Ice Age people were laid to rest within here, a proto-chambered tomb if ever there was one, blows my mind, the floor of the cave suddenly descending to afflict a stumble, walls as luminescent as marble, as apparently hydrated as a cascade, yet ironically dry to the touch. I reach the endpoint of the cave, my heart pounding as if in homage to New Order's iconic Oberheim DMX drum machine, my breath clouding my vision as upon a sub-zero December morning, my camera lens overwhelmed with vapour. Here, upon the right-hand flank, has been fashioned a small pool of water, inexorably replenished from water dripping from the roof. I extinguish the torch and eat my lunch in utter darkness, struggling to comprehend how such sensual deprivation can have such an opposite effect?

The flanks of the cave are engraved with graffiti, some inspiringly celebrating love, some utter moronic bollocks. The human experience, then? The instinctive baseline and the sublime. I refrain from recording my passage, of course, leaving behind merely a trace of my exhaled carbon dioxide and spilt coffee. Well, distant ancestors were laid to rest here, it has to be said. I ponder for a while and suppose I can see the reason why. Yeah, this place is not really that different from the Pavilland Cave visited earlier this year. If I'm anything to go by, the perceptive visitor's brain appears able to retrieve a fragment of what went before.... sorry, but I can't articulate any more than that. So come and experience for yourself.

Lodge Wood Camp (Hillfort)

Thanks for the head's up here to Carl. The overwhelming scale of the defences of this massive hill fort is not at first apparent owing to the overgrown nature of the site. OK, distant views are very limited; however when the flora includes the seasonal magnificence of bluebell carpets to complement sunlight filtering through the tree canopy... well, I can live with that.

Unlike Carl, I headed east along the northern flank with the towering multi-vallate banks to my left, prior to heading through the interior of the enclosure to the western entrance. This is pretty impressive, it has to be said, although not suggestive of any complex defensive features. I found the southern flank more difficult to interpret owing to brambles etc, but there you are.

Note that, upon crossing the mighty River Usk, via an impressive bridge, and locating Lodge Road.... I then struggled to identify Lodge Hill. For reference, this is the road opposite the hospital. Lodge Hill terminates at 'The Paddocks' where it is possible to park roadside. A private road accesses the church, the gate to the latter's car park locked at the time of my visit. An old man tending the adjacent church garden appeared aghast that I had dared to stray from the path to view the ramparts. Always good to see how your loving Christian establishment welcomes all, isn't it? Rather than confront I choose to simply ignore. Saves time.

Carn-y-Gigfran (Round Cairn)

Having been away from the hills since last October, a visit to this superbly sited cairn - following on from several hours at the magnificent Carnau'r Garreg Las to the south - is something to savour. A chance to breathe new life into a psyche run ragged in the interim by Brexit, right-wing nationalists, evil far left anti-semitism and the lunacy of Corbyn... not to mention the serious damage inflicted upon the cause of those who care for this planet by the self-righteously hypocritical, simplistic adolescents of ER. I really do despair. Hence the need for some solace. And this unfrequented corner of western Y Mynydd Du is as good a location to achieve this upon an Easter Monday as any I know of.

Positioned right upon the lip of the western escarpment edge below and to the north of the OS trig point surmounting Carreg Yr Ogof, the old red sandstone stone pile, contrasting sharply with the fragmented limestone landscape of the higher cairns, possesses a wondrously sweeping view toward a distant, iconic Carreg Cennen... not to mention numerous other upland cairns prominent upon their respective summits/ridges.

The calming influence is palpable, things seemingly put back into perspective. At least for a couple of hours. Hey, surely we can work things out, gain consensus through dialogue. Like adults. Can't we? Following a sojourn at Carn y Gigfran the battery is recharged for another attempt.

As indicated, Carn y Gigfran can be incorporated within a visit to the superb Carnau'r Garreg Las if the traveller sees fit to approach from Cwm Sawdde to the north-west. It is possible to (carefully) leave a car by the crossroads at approx SN756228, south of Penmaen.

Crugiau Giar (Cairn(s))

A pair of substantial, grassy round cairns gracing the southern apex of Mynydd Llanllwni. Coflein (J.Wiles 01.10.03) has their dimensions as:

Northern cairn:
"A much robbed & mutilated round cairn, 30m in diameter & 1.9m high, showing possible kerb stones on the N side..."

Southern cairn:
"A centrally mutilated round cairn, 21m in diameter & 1.6m high"

I approached from the minor road to approx southwest near the farm of Clyniau. Note that the cairns can not be seen from the road so I'd suggest a compass bearing would be a good idea in misty weather. Better safe than sorry.

Crug y Biswal (Round Cairn)

Coflein has the dimensions of this substantial round cairn as:

"22m [c72ft] diameter and 1.6m [c5ft] high" (J.Wiles 01.09.04). It was excavated during 1907 (RCAHM 1917 (Carmarthenshire), 173 [519]), "when a second mound, was said to have been removed". (source Os495card; SN53NW1)

At the time of posting note that the official roadside parking indicated upon the map is conspicuous by its absence... although technically possible upon the rough verge. Fortunately, I had opted to walk across Mynydd Llanllwni from the excellent Crugiau Giar cairns (c3.5 mile 'round trip). There is the massive, albeit very denuded, circular footprint of another cairn to the north across the road.

Bryn Cau (Cairn(s))

This arguably rather incongruous monument stands just above the minor, gated road traversing the Lliw valley... yet is, as far as I could tell, not visible from it. Not mentioned on the current OS maps, it is, nonetheless, subject to CADW scheduling. According to Coflein:

"Remains of a small cairn situated on a saddle between two local promontories on a NW-SE aligned ridge. The cairn is circular in shape and measures c. 4.2m in diameter. It is shallow in profile and measures c. 0.65m tall". (F.Foster/RCAHMW 02.10.2006)

Worth checking out in conjunction with the larger monument about a half mile to the NW below Foel Ystrodur Fawr.

Pen yr Orsedd (Cairn(s))

Situated upon the lower south-western slopes of Pen yr Orsedd, the remains of this pretty substantial cairn offers a pretty good vibe for travellers willing to search it out, the only disturbance likely to be the occasional 4x4 muppet upon the nearby track. According to CPAT it represents a:

"Sub-circular cairn, 10.0m N/S x 11.0m E/W x 0.6m high. Appears to show signs of robbing. Situated on terrace above moderate N facing slope. (Hankinson 1994)"

Again according to CPAT, there is what might be a 'possible cist' at SH89155519. Not too sure, myself. Having said that, I located another 'cisty' looking stone arrangement... so who knows? Why not go and have a look?

I approached from the approx south-east where parking is available upon the verge of the A543 at Bwlch Gwyn. A little soggy, but there you are.

Craig ty-glas (Cairn(s))

This enigmatically placed cairn first came to my attention only two years ago, perusing the map whilst gazing across the valley from the excellent Craig Rhiwarth hill fort. As it transpired a slog to the curious (ancient?) summit cairn of Glan-hafon last year accorded a further opportunity to ponder a visit. Simple things....

So... upon traversing the wild heather moor from Y Bala, the B4391 descends, in an appropriately dramatic fashion, to the village of Llangynog. Crossing the Afon Eirth a right turn accesses a dead-end minor road heading toward Cwm Rhiweirth. Easy parking is to be had just before the house at Glan-yr-Afon whereupon a short walk northward brings the traveller to the Nant Buarth Glas, a field gate on the left between houses accessing a public footpath (the gate secured with string in such a farcical manner as to require me to climb the thing). It is then a case of utilising said path, following the arrows, so to speak, to the point where it meets the main bridleway heading south. Now since the somewhat overbearing crags of Craig Ty-glas are those towering above to the west, it is necessary to ignore the bridleway and look for a copse of (larch?) trees, within which you'll locate a track - well, sort of - heading steeply uphill to the left of the tumbling stream.

The cairn, bearing obvious elements of a former cist, not to mention kerbing, enjoys panoramic views across to the mighty Craig Rhiwarth. Worth the effort.

Lluest Aber Caethon, Cwmdeuddwr (Round Barrow(s))

Set above and to the approx west of the now derelict farmstead of Lluest Abercaethon, this round barrow, not mentioned upon the 1:50K OS map, is depicted as a 'Mound' upon the latest 1:25K.

Coflein has no such reservations regarding classification. A round barrow it is... and I concur. Dimensions are:

"Average 15m in diameter x approx 2m high . Slight hollow in area of centre, in part made by OS datum post, still present (RSJ 2000)."

Note that the 'OS datum post' was conspicuous by its absence.

Duchary Rock (Hillfort)

The ancient fortifications delimiting the c984ft by c361ft 'lost world' plateau of Duchary Rock present the visitor with fabulous vistas across Loch Brora and the surrounding landscape... in addition to some pretty substantial archaeological remains at the north-western and south-eastern extremities. Steep natural defences - particularly to the east - more-or-less negate the need for artificial defences elsewhere.

Although inevitably damaged by shepherds in search of shelter for their flocks across the ages, these collapsed dry stone walls were once apparently nearly some 13ft wide (according to "Exploring Scotland's Heritage - The Highlands' [1995]) the more impressive northern possessing an entrance lined with upright stone slabs. Incidentally there is a similar arrangement at the great Brigantes stronghold surmounting Ingleborough, way down south in The Yorkshire Dales. There would appear to be some debate regarding the ancestry of the narrow entrance currently to be seen to the south.... perhaps a proto-postern gate for light foot traffic only?

My assumption is that Duchary Rock is most easily attained by way of a rough track ascending the hillside from the south-east. However I arrived from the fabulous Carrol broch to the north; it would be a pity not to take a look at both sites whilst in the area, methinks?

Esgair Irfon (Cist)

This exquisite little cist, set within the remains of a grassy cairn, is not mentioned upon the current 1:50k OS map. Consequently it came as a surprise to discover that Esgair Irfon, the rocky, eastern flank of the wondrous Irfon valley, possessed an ancient monument when perusing the 1:25k version obtained from a library sell off. A pleasant surprise, it has to be said. According to the RCAHMW:

"..Bronze Age Cist Cairn. Central cist exposed in centre of a slight mound. Four hewn slabs (0.18m thick) line the sides of the cist, the base is overgrown with grass. Mound Diameter 4m, Cist Length 1m, Width 0.5m, Depth 0.5m." [J.BONSALL, NT, 20/07/2002].

To my mind this excellent site is one of the obscure prehistoric gems of Mid Wales. The surrounding scenery is first class, the monument set back from the escarpment edge (in true Bronze Age style) so it can not be seen from below, the sentinel peak of Cwmdeuddwr, Drygarn Fawr, crowning the horizon to the approx north-east. Prospective visitors should, however, note that such visual splendour comes at the price of a very steep ascent from the road traversing the Irfon valley below. But there you are. Well worth the effort. For what it's worth I approached from the direction of Abergwesyn, parking in the layby near the National Trust sign and heading uphill to the left (north) of the treeline.

Esgair Garn, Llanddewi Abergwesyn (Round Cairn)

This enigmatically located cairn sits upon Esgair Garn overlooking the extreme eastern limit of Llyn Brianne. The monument is liberally 'sprinkled' with quartz....

According to Coflein (OS 1977) it is:

"..15.9 m in diameter and 0.9 m high at the centre, where a modern cairn adds 0.6 m of height. It is noteworthy that the majority of the stones forming the cairn appear to have originally been particularly selected for their varying quartz content. An obvious outcrop of this material was not observed in the immediate area around the cairn".

It is possible to park upon the verge of the minor road forced to make a major loop around the reservoir, where upon a short scramble to the east will allow the traveller to contemplate the significance of quartz at close quarters. Intriguing.

Mynydd-y-glog (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

Guess it's somewhat of a cliché to state that those with the loudest voices very often have the least to say. Nevertheless - in my opinion - it's true. Suffice to note I'm therefore not a fan of Noel Gallagher's little brother. Or, as it happens, rappers spouting platitudes which merely highlight perceived moral and intellectual shortcomings. Yeah, class will speak for itself. A bit like, from an archaeological perspective at least, the silence which pervades the sprawling mass of Mynydd-y-glog.

Situated in the transitional 'no man's land' between the seriously compromised industrial valleys and the beautiful, wild uplands of Fforest Fawr and, furthermore, rising to a perfunctory 1,277ft, Mynydd-y-glog must've sacked its tourist liaison officer years ago. Nothing to do. In fact one may well be tempted to ask why anyone would want to come here? It is a question well worth asking, however, particularly should one have an interest in the human story of what is now South Wales. For here, upon these unassuming slopes, sits a quite magnificent collection of Bronze Age upland cairns. According to RCAHMW [David Leighton, 2/9/2011]:

"...Eight round cairns lie in positions locally elevated to a greater or lesser degree. All have been disturbed... Around these lie a further eight round cairns, likewise disturbed.. A ‘simple’ ring cairn lies on a terrace on the north-west, and on the south... is a low circular mound, only faintly visible, with a gently dished interior suggesting perhaps a more elaborate ring is concealed here. Both are undisturbed... On the north side of the mountain are cairnfields and traces of settlements and field systems which extend across Pant Sychbant and Cwm Cadlan, areas which also contain sepulchral monuments. Cairnfields can also be found on the west side of the mountain..."

So, 18 monuments... with more potentially subsumed within the peat? Whatever, far too many to list individual characteristics here. Instead I'd recommend the curious Citizen Cairn'd contemplates a field visit. Take the Cwm Cadlan road exiting the A4059 at Penderyn and, shortly after a sharp right, follow a public footpath heading beyond the farm of Wernlas to ascend toward the summit of the hill, the latter crowned by an OS trig pillar. And quite a bit else.

Black Hill (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

Black Hill was never high on my list of 'must visit soon' sites upon Dartmoor. In retrospect.. and with the unforgiving clarity of hindsight... that statement is rather odd, to say the least. But there you are. Seeing is believing, as they say. In fact it was the only the mention of 'stone row' - that genre of monument archetypal of these bleak, windswept uplands - upon the map that, eventually, brought me within striking distance. That old devil called Curiosity did the rest, bless it to bits. Never been much of a fan of the felis catus anyway.

Arguably the easiest approach to the summit plateau is from the minor road traversing Trendlebere Down to the north-east.. hey, from the stone row itself, perhaps? If so, a pair of cairns will be encountered upon the initial spur [detail from Field Investigators Comments F1 NVQ 19-APR-60]:

SX 76277895 - a 'tumulus' which "is a cairn 0.4 m. high, mutilated in the top."

SX 76297898 - "another cairn with a maximum height at the rim of 0.5m with a probable retaining stone in the west. The centre of the cairn has been dug out "

The summit of Black Hill lies some way to the approx south and is crowned by a further trio (count 'em) of substantial cairns:

SX 76157872 - "This is a cairn 0.6 m. high, mutilated by a hollow, 12.0 m. wide and 0.5 m. deep, in the top"

SX 76167862 - "A cairn, badly mutilated, particularly in the north west quadrant. It has an average height of 0.7 m."

SX 76217859 - "with a few retaining stones visible in the circumference"

Eylesbarrow South West (Cist)

Hey, I liked it here.... a nice, if somewhat dishevelled monument located some way off the main track for a little privacy to chill out... and with expansive, sweeping views toward Yellowmead and north to Down Tor. According to Pastscape:

"...the stony mound is 5.9m in diameter and about 0.4m high with some kerb slabs and boulders in situ. The apparently off-centre cist measures 1.8m by 0.9m internally and 0.4m deep; one large, leaning slab, probably the displaced coverstone measures 1.1m by 0.8m." [Fletcher M 03-JUL-1999 English Heritage Field Investigation]

And apparently:

"An attempt was made to restore the cist shortly before 1929 ... Stone cutters were responsible (sic) for at least part of the damage as one of the loose slabs bears the marks of the masons' tools.... The structure may be one of those rare burial cairns covering two cists. Around the base of the mound a few stones remain of an outer ring." [Butler, J. 1994. Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities: Vol. 3, p. 70 3 Page(s)70]

Ditsworthy Warren (Cist)

This is an excellent cist - although unfortunately without the cap stone - located to the north of, but as far as I can recall without a view of, the great Drizzlecombe Complex.

Now, given that travellers to the latter may well be tempted to push on to Langcombe Brook - and perhaps even the wondrous Grim's Grave? - I'd suggest, for what it's worth, leaving this beauty for a much more leisurely little horseshoe walk also taking in the Eylesbarrow South West cist at SX58696784?

According to Pastscape:

"A well preserved cist with two sidestones and two end stones.... Internally it measures 0.9m by 0.6m and a maximum 0.65m deep. It is oriented north-west/south-east and its top is 0.25m above g.s.l.;there is no trace of a coverstone. A vague stoney spread around the structure, some 4.0m in diameter, may represent vestiges of a cairn." [Fletcher M 13-AUG-1999 English Heritage Field Investigation]

Corndon Tor (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

Corndon Tor is an elongated north-south ridge rising to a summit at either end, that to the south - the higher at c1,453ft (443m) - crowned by a small granite tor girdled by the probable remains of a large cairn... a 'tor cairn' if you will. According to Pastscape [Newman, P 14-MAR-2008 EH Archaeological Field Investigation]:

"SX 6859 7415 - Stones Piled around the base of the outcrop may be remains of cairn which has been much disturbed...very spread and fragmentary The cairn overlies a reave which runs up to the tor.....Maximum diameter 27.2m."

A little to the north sits a massive round cairn:

"SX 6858 7422 - ...constructed from moorstone with a truncated cone profile and no turf cover. The top of the cairn has suffered some interference and is uneven and hollows have been dug into the south-east side fairly recently. Max height 2m and the cairn has a maximum diameter of 27.5m."

Some distance beyond two further massive round cairns surmount the northern summit. Hey, I defy any Citizen Cairn'd to resist the temptation to wander over to have a closer look. Again, according to Newman:

The eastern of the pair [SX 6867 7476] is "... over 2m high with a flattish top surface which has been badly disturbed by recent building of shelters... A reave, part of the Dartmeet system, touches the cairn tangentially on the west side but is not covered by it."

The western [SX 6857 7472] represents "A mound of loose stone over 2m high in places. Upper surface extensively disturbed and undulating cuased (sic) by interference, including recent shelter building."

So... unfortunately these great cairns appear to have suffered greatly at the hands of idiot criminals creating 'muppet shelters' out of the fabric for no defensible reason - let's face it, we are not exactly miles from the nearest road here - so vandalism it is, plain and simple. However my understanding is that conservation work has been undertaken (following Newman's observations) by the combined talents of the Dartmoor National Park Authority, the Dartmoor Preservation Association and English Heritage. So keep an eye out for the criminal element and send them packing. Well, if you really need to shelter from the elements upon Corndon Tor I'd suggest it's high time you stopped letting mummy dress you.
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Hi, I'm Robert ... aka Citizen Cairn'd. I've a passion for attempting to understand the lives of the pioneering prehistoric inhabitants of these British Isles, seeking out the remains they left behind in order to ask myself "why here ... why did it matter so... why such commitment?". Needless to say I'm still pondering such intangibles. Just as an empty house appears to retain echoes of past humanity... so does the stone circle, the chambered cairn, the long barrow and the mountain top funerary cairn. Visiting them, I think, helps engender a certain 'connection' with this land of ours, with ourselves - our past, our present and our future; a reference point for those of us perhaps struggling to make sense of this so-called 'computer world' Kraftwerk warned us was a'coming in 1981.... danke, mein herren.

George Orwell - '...during times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act'....

Martin Gore - 'Like a pawn
On the eternal board
Who’s never quite sure
What he’s moved towards
I walk blindly on'...

Truman Capote - 'Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavour.'

Oscar Wilde - 'The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.'

John Lydon - 'It is a reward to be chastised by the ignorant.'

Winston Churchill - 'The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.'

Ultravox - 'Taking shelter by the standing stones
Miles from all that moves....'

My TMA Content: