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

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Tarradale (Chambered Cairn) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Tarradale</b>Posted by thelonious

Tarradale (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

13/04/2019 – Day trip to Beauly. On the way Drew, our excellent tour guide for the day, mentioned we would be visiting a chambered cairn at Tarradale. I’d never heard of this one, it’s not on the OS map and Canmore’s description is pretty much nothing. I guessed it was just going to be a couple of stones and use your imagination job. How wrong was I going to be!

After a nice stop just to the south to view Redcastle crannog in the Beauly Firth (Drew had thoughtfully arranged a low tide for us so the crannog was showing well) we made our way here. Good parking at the start of the track to Hughston. It’s a pleasant walk, first along the track then bearing west through a lovely open wood to the chambered cairn. It’s situated on a small hillock just inside the wood. No access problems.

I was really taken with this one. There is so much going on here. Lots of good size stones. What looked like multiple chambers. The main one is great, formed by some really nice stones. The view from it is a little tricky because of the trees but it does look a very good location.

It was a perfect day to visit. The sunshine filtering through the trees lit up the whole scene. It really gave a magical feel to the place. A must visit site if you are in the area.

The sort of place that reminds me why we love searching out the old stuff in our free time. Just a brilliant visit, thanks to Drew for finding it.

Sunkenkirk (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Sunkenkirk</b>Posted by thelonious

Great Burney (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Great Burney</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Great Burney</b>Posted by thelonious

Great Burney (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

22/03/2019 – We started our walk at Kirkby-in-Furness. Heading over Kirkby Moor, visiting the enclosure and cairn there. Over the high point at Lowick High Common, we dropped down to cross the A5092 to visit the two tops on Great Burney. Luckily these couple of cairns between them make for a nice bonus to the walk. After that we headed back passed Kirkby Slate quarries to our start point in Kirkby-in-Furness. A very nice day out and easy enough walking underfoot. Turbines don’t really detract (just in case you have an allergy to them). Quarry’s a bit brutal up close though.

The northerly of the two cairns marked on the OS map is in a great location. Good view all round. It’s in poor condition now. Shame as it looks to have been a good one back in the day. The cairn to the south is pretty much gone. You can just about trace the raised outline of it in the short grass.

Kirkby Moor (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Kirkby Moor</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Kirkby Moor</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Kirkby Moor</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Kirkby Moor</b>Posted by thelonious

Kirkby Moor (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

22/03/2019 – About 300m north of The Kirk, there is a pretty decent round cairn. It’s a bit trashed in the middle but there’s a cist showing. A good overall size. The location is nice with lovely views down to Duddon Sands.

The Kirk (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>The Kirk</b>Posted by thelonious<b>The Kirk</b>Posted by thelonious<b>The Kirk</b>Posted by thelonious<b>The Kirk</b>Posted by thelonious

The Kirk (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

22/03/2019 – The weather didn’t look too bad for the day so we decided to head off for a walk on Kirby Moor. Starting from Kirkby-in-Furness train station, it’s a nice walk through Beck Side and then up the footpath alongside Gill House Beck. ‘The Kirk’ is easy enough to find in the open moorland.

‘The Kirk’ had intrigued me beforehand. The OS 1:50000 has it as an enclosure, the OS 1:25000 marks it as a stone circle. Pastscape says Bronze Age embanked stone circle or ring cairn. Sounded like it could be anything.

I’ll put up a few photos of the site. Looking at them there doesn’t look a lot to see. Stone wise there isn’t really. What’s there is a well-defined large circular embankment. The bank is wide and seems to be made up of small loose stones in the sections you can see, through the grass/heather. The embankment is about 20m in diameter. There are a few larger stones showing that hint of an interior edge to the ring. Nothing that screams standing stone or stone circle. My money would be on ring cairn.

Just to the north of the embankment are what look like pairs of upright stones. 2 or 3 sets that hint of a stone row leading to or away from the site.

Well worth a visit to this mystery on the moor. Nice walk plus the cairn just north is very good.

Sunkenkirk (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

21/03/2019 – This was our third attempt to visit Swinside in as many years. The last two were thwarted by bad weather and then a train strike. Today I felt lucky so off we went.

I really wanted to combine a visit to the circle with a walk up and over Black Combe as it looked a good day out on the map and a fine approach to Swinside.

Early train from Barrow-in-Furness to Silecroft. The train journey along the coast here is lovely. There’s a good path from here that heads pretty much straight up Black Combe to the trigpoint at the summit. Cloud base wasn’t great in the morning so the last 200m gain was a bit rubbish for visibility. I do like walking in the mist though, it gives the hill a lonely feeling which I quite like. Very quiet and away from it all. After a brew at the trig we made our way across the top north-ish to Swinside about 2 miles away. The clouds soon lifted to give us some proper lovely views of the surrounding countryside. Black Combe is a really fine walk and pretty easy going once you have made the climb up to the top.

Skirting round Raven Crag we passed Swinside Farm to make our final approach to the circle. I like it when we walk a bit before getting to a place, builds the anticipation and helps get a feel of the area.

Entering the field, we walked alongside the wall to a small rise and there it was, suddenly in front of us, Swinside stone circle – megalithic perfection.

I’d seen the photos beforehand many times but it still took me by surprise. This stone circle is just a wow site. Everything about it is great. The size of the circle, the number of stones used, the height of each one and their relationship to each other – I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s just the most circley (is that a word?) of stone circles I’ve ever been to. So round, so very round. I was just happy standing on the rise and staring down onto the circle. Megalithic wise it doesn’t get much better that this. After a while I started to notice the surrounding landscape. What a great home the circle has. We made our way into the circle to have a closer look at the stones. I didn’t much feel the need to inspect each stone closely and I soon found myself back at the wall. There’s a nice flat stone we plonked ourselves down on for a sit and just took in the circle’s loveliness.

We were lucky as it was very quiet today, just one group of folk came and went. It was just us and the stones, both taking in the afternoon sunshine on what had turned out to be a pretty fine weather day.

When it was time to leave we decided to take the footpath west of Knott Hill that leads to Hallthwaites. Along the way, we made a diversion up Knott Hill, worth the effort for the view down to Swinside which is very good, though there’s a tricky wall to cross near the top, nothing too bad. The footpath between Hallthwaites and Swinside is a nice option if you have the time and it fits in with your plans. From here it was quiet country roads to Green Road station to catch the train back to Barrow-in-Furness

I love it when a famous site you visit for the first time turns out as good as you hoped. Is this my favourite circle? Maybe, I’m struggling to think of a visit to one that’s been much better. A wonderful day out.

Black Combe (Sacred Hill) — Images

<b>Black Combe</b>Posted by thelonious

Worlebury (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Worlebury</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Worlebury</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Worlebury</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Worlebury</b>Posted by thelonious

Worlebury (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

19/03/2019 – We had to catch a train up north from Bristol in the afternoon so the morning was free. We decided to take the early train to Weston-super-Mare to have a walk round Worlebury Hill. From the station we headed north along quiet streets and then made the short climb up the hill. After spending a bit of time pretending we knew were the actual top was (large flattish area covered in trees) we went west to look at the hillfort.

I didn’t know much about the fort before going and was really taken aback with the number and size of the ramparts. Looks like the whole fort has been cleared of vegetation recently. They have done a fantastic job. The fort and the many pits (I believe close to 100) are showing great now.

Sadly short of time, we looped back down to the prom all to soon to make our way back to the train.

Quality hillfort, well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Corn Du (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Corn Du</b>Posted by thelonious

Pen-y-Fan (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Pen-y-Fan</b>Posted by thelonious

Cribyn (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Cribyn</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Cribyn</b>Posted by thelonious

Pen-y-Fan (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

18/03/2019 – Only had a plan to visit here as a maybe for our trip, if the weather was good. The night before we checked the weather forecast and it predicted rain all day, low cloud and a bit windy. Not ideal but it looked like we would get wet anywhere so we decided to give it a go.

Early train from Bristol to Cardiff then the T4 bus up past Merthyr Tydfil to Storey Arms. As the weather was a bit rubbish and it was Monday I thought at least it would be quiet on the hills. Getting off the bus, I was surprised to see how many cars were parked up already!

We took the normal route up via the Beacons Way. Not too busy to be honest and most folk we met were in decidedly cheery moods considering the weather. The forecast was spot on, rain and more rain! All day, never stopped. We said goodbye to the views as we entered the clouds at around the 600m mark. It’s a decent walk up on a good path. The cairn on top of Pen y Fan is good. I liked the kerbing on it. It seems well looked after considering the amount of people that climb this hill each year. After a few misty photos we decided to head east to visit Cribyn.

On the way between the two tops the cloud broke a little and we were treated to some lovely views north and south. What a fine location and glad it cleared for a while, it would have been a shame to miss it.

Cribyn was a lot quieter, just us and the hill. I couldn’t find any remains of a cairn on top.

I would have liked to continue on east but thought it best to leave that for another time. After a brief sit on a rainy hillside for a quick brew and bite to eat, we headed back over Pen y Fan. This time I was paying more attention and noticed the fantastic ripple marks in the Old Red Sandstone left by the seas so long ago it hurts my head to think about it, wonderful.

After leaving the top again we headed over to the cairn on Corn Du. Very similar to Pen y Fan’s cairn, I think I liked it a little more though. From here we arched NW to follow the track back to Storey Arms.

As it was a good 30 minutes until the next bus, we passed the time by eating bacon butties from the van in the layby there which I thought was a very good idea.

A really good day out and the hills round here are a must visit.

A shame about the rain but it didn’t really effect the day too much. I had a bit of bad luck at the end though as water must have got into my camera. It’s now well and truly dead. I’ve had it for over 6 years and loved it, took a little shine off a great day but that’s how things go sometimes.

Brent Knoll (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Brent Knoll</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Brent Knoll</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Brent Knoll</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Brent Knoll</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Brent Knoll</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Brent Knoll</b>Posted by thelonious

Brent Knoll (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

17/03/2019 – Staying in Bristol for a few days we decided to take the Stagecoach Falcon bus south past Bristol airport to visit Brent Knoll. The bus stops on the A38 at White Cross just south of the hill. It’s a shortish walk to Brent Knoll from here. We took the marked footpath up from behind the church, there’s parking for cars here too.

The sun was shinning and the sky was blue (very windy though). Visibility was very good. Brent Knoll might be a small hill but wow what a position it has. Full 360 views for miles. We could easily make out Dunkery Hill in Exmoor and the wonderful Glastonbury Tor to the east. The large univallate fort itself is very good. Nice big ramparts and the interior is a good size. We tucked down just east of the topograph that occupies the position now of the long gone trigpoint to shelter from the wind to have our sandwiches. Just lovely to sit and gaze out across the landscape.

Really good hillfort and well worth a visit.

We made the slow walk back down to catch the bus north to Wavering Down (nice hill here too for walking, anyone know if the trig sits on an old cairn?)

Belas Knap (Long Barrow) — Images

<b>Belas Knap</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Belas Knap</b>Posted by thelonious

Belas Knap (Long Barrow) — Fieldnotes

16/03/2019 – We were staying a little way south in Bristol but it was just a quick train journey in the morning to Cheltenham Spa, followed by a stroll along the old railway line through town to get to the bus stop and the bus which would take us to Cleeve village and the start of our walk. Good bus most of the week, not quite as frequent on a Sunday. Normally it’s just me and Mrs T when we visit places but today we were in the fine company of thesweetcheat.

We headed up to the top of Cleeve Hill via the nice Cleeve Cloud hillfort with its fine views out across the countryside. The forecast had promised rain at some point in the day but so far it was holding off. The wind though was pretty strong. After a visit to the county top and back round to The Ring trigpoint, we strolled across the hillside to make our approach to Belas Knap. The approach from Cleeve Hill is good. You get a good feel to the barrow's place in the landscape as it can be seen from a fair distance away. I was taken with the stonework on the false entrance beforehand, it had looked great from the TMA photos, even better seeing it for real. We tucked ourselves inside the chambers for a break from the wind. Made it easier to hear each other speak as well. The southeast chamber was a bit of a crawl. The restored bits of the long barrow are well done. The roof of the chambers are a little odd, like an upside down driveway, I liked it though.

We walked from here down in to Winchcombe for a bit of cake and a coffee before taking the bus back to Cheltenham.

A lovely day out and luckily no rain! So pleased to have finally visited this one.

Great to meet up with tsc.

Morven (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Morven</b>Posted by thelonious

Cluny Hill (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Cluny Hill</b>Posted by thelonious

Cluny Hill (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

09/02/2019 - Train trip to Forres to visit Cluny Hill and the wonderful Sueno's Stone nearby. Nice stroll up the hill on tracks through open woodland. Good view from the top to Findhorn bay. Nothing much really to see of the fort. Nice walk though and bakeries/cafes in Forres were worth the trip alone, yum.

Tormain Hill (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Images

<b>Tormain Hill</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Tormain Hill</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Tormain Hill</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Tormain Hill</b>Posted by thelonious

Tormain Hill (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Fieldnotes

28/01/2019 – Early morning bus out to Wilkieston from Edinburgh (big thumbs up to the Edinburgh bus network, cheap and you can get a bus nearly anywhere). Good access, sign posted path to the top of Tormain Hill from the north. We reached the stones just before sunrise. Lovely open woodland setting. I think we counted seven stones with cup marks on them. The pick of the bunch is the one with the cup and ring markings, it’s very good indeed. Really enjoyed our visit here. It was pretty special watching the sun rise from behind the Pentland Hills to slowly light up the stones and surrounding area, magic.

Blackford Hill fort (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Blackford Hill fort</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Blackford Hill fort</b>Posted by thelonious

Blackford Hill (Carving) — Images

<b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by thelonious<b>Blackford Hill</b>Posted by thelonious
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