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Fieldnotes by thelonious

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Ben Griam Beg (Hillfort)

01/07/2022 – It had been a long 12 years since we were last here. I haven’t planned a revisit, yet here we were, plodding up the hill again. We were staying in the nearby Garvault Hotel for a few days (sign above the door stating it was mainland Britain’s most remote hotel). It’s quite a unique place and well worth a stay. Nice folk who live/work there. Main reason we were here was for the walking. If you like lonely quiet landscapes, this is the place to be.

Starting the day from the hotel we took the track north towards Loch Coire nam Mang. Our destination was Meall a' Bhuirich, the hill behind the Bens Beg and Mor. As it was the last day of the trip and we didn’t have to save the legs any more, we decided to detour and head for Ben Griam Beg first. Seeing it, with it’s misty morning hat on, as we rounded the loch, the pull proved too strong.

The walk round the south side of the two lochs to the base of Ben Griam Beg is a bit of a bash. I was tired before we even started the climb. Even Mrs T was finding it hard going today and she’s stronger than me. It had been a long week. Still up we went, plod, plod. It’s only about 200m gain until you reach the first of the stone structures. We were glad to get there. I don’t remember having a good look round on our last visit. We were in no rush today so decided to have a proper look this time.

I’ll put up a link to a plan of the enclosure complex below. If you go, it’s worth taking with you. The hillfort is big. - Ben Griam Beg - plan of enclosure complex

Just before you get to the first big wall at around 450m, there are a series of round stone structures and low walls. I found these the most interesting part of the complex. What were they for? Hut circles? The ground is so steep here, hard to believe they were homes. Aerial photos on OSmaps or Canmore show these off nicely. Next we crossed the first big stone wall. It’s about 500m long, protecting the south side of the hill. Big stones used for this one. Another 100m gain, passing more stone structures, and we reached the second wall. This is fainter but leads to a third much bigger inner wall that surrounds what could be described as the principle enclosure at the summit. There is a broken trigpoint at the top, 580m – making it the highest hillfort in Scotland.

It was a misty day and the cloud was down over the last 150m gain. I liked the peace it gave the top and enclosure. We weren’t here alone. Two lovely ptarmigan were walking the walls. Not sure I’ve seen them this low down before. A nice surprise.

We had our lunch by the trig. Apart from the mist, the weather wasn’t too bad. Little wind and just the odd shower passing through.

We headed down the east side and then south to visit Meall a' Bhuirich (nice hill) and then back to the hotel via Ben Griam Mor (the last climb was tough, my legs were done by this point).

It was a fantastic day out. Just us and the hills. The hillfort is a WOW and I was so happy to have got a second chance to visit. I hate saying an out of the way site is a must visit but this hillfort really is. It just happens to be a little bit in the middle of nowhere. There are train stations not to far away and the drive is easy. The walk up isn’t too bad, I was just tired that day. Probably not one for bad weather though.

The whole complex is massive. It must have taken many people to build. More like a hill-city than a hillfort. If you get a chance, it’s well worth the trip. My favourite hillfort, I think so.

Cnoc Molach, Badanloch Forest (Stone Row / Alignment)

29/06/2022 - I was a little grumpy at this one. I hate rushing sites but we'd sent longer than expected down the road at Kinbrace stone rows (quite right too as they're great). So it was a quick bash from the road to have a look. The way across is a bit hard work but we got there. Stones are tricky to see until you are almost upon them. The more you look, the more you find. Most are pretty buried. Very good location with hut circles and cairn nearby. Just wish I'd had more time. Nice site, well worth a visit. Our last stone row on a fine day out along the River Helmsdale.

Kinbrace (Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue)

29/06/2022 - Cnoc Ach'na h-Uai' is just a little hill with not much gain but it’s got a hillside packed with prehistory goodies.

Good parking at NC 82244 32015 (old quarry) on the B871. It’s a single track road to get here but fine to drive as lots of passing places. After having our sandwiches in the car whilst waiting for the rain to pass, we headed up the hill in sunshine. We visited the trigpoint at the top first. Worth it for the view and lots of Great Sundews about which I don’t think I’ve seen before. Next we walked back down to try and find the stone rows. Proved easy enough. Huts circles and a cairn nearby. Also the stone rows are next to the old road. Got me thinking about just how old the road could be.

The stone rows are good. Plenty of stones still here. Fan-shaped multiple stone rows, maybe 80 stones in 10-11 rows. There’s a small cairn in the NNW corner. Really lovely location for this one. Great open views. Looking from the cairn through the middle terminal stone, my gaze seemed to lead straight to Ben Uarie (this hill seems to keep putting in an appearance). We spent quite a bit of time here just walking about and looking, it's an area that gets you wondering. I really like stone rows and this site is great.

After looking at the nearby cairn we were going to head back to the car but I could see Cairn Richard on the horizon and I’d seen Gladman’s photos on TMA so knew it was a good one, too good not to visit so off we went.

Strath of Kildonan (Stone Row / Alignment)

29/06/2022 - Nothing to see of this one now sadly. The stone rows are gone as road improvements have destroyed the site. Canmore does mention six stones remaining in 1981. There are a few near the bottom of the road widening that are a maybe.

Torrish Burn (Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue)

29/06/2022 - There are five known stone row sites near the River Helmsdale. Six if you include the one at Loch Rimsdale. We were heading up the Strath to Garvault so decided to spend the day looking at stone rows on the way.

This first one is just a little higher up the hill than the cairn at Torrish Burn. Easy parking and access.

It's a bit different to the rest round here. A double stone row leading to a cairn/enclosure. It's an odd one. Quite a narrow space between the two rows. Not really functional. Worth a visit if you are passing.

Weather was a bit rubbish. Raining whilst we were there.

Caen Burn, Strath of Kildonan (Long Cairn)

26/06/2022 - It was sunny and we had walked a bit the day before so decided to take it slow today and give the legs a rest. We strolled up the Strath from where we were staying in Helmsdale to have a look at the long cairns round Caen Burn.

First to Caen Burn North, the only one I remembered visiting back in 2010. It’s a good one with a fine view across the Caen Burn. Track cuts across its east end but I liked its position above a curved embankment in the burn. Next Caen Burn South, it’s the one to see if you only have a short time there. A fantastic long cairn still in good condition. It’s worth a little climb up the hill behind to look down on this. Just to get a feel for its place in the landscape. We then made the short walk to Caen Burn West. This one is pretty ruined but I still liked it. We sat down on the slope above and had our sandwiches. It was a lovely sunny day and a good place to while away a few hours. It was hard to leave and make the hour walk back to Helmsdale.

Great long cairns, this site and the whole of the Strath of Kildonan are a must visit.

Glen Loth (Standing Stones)

25/06/2022 - Started and finished the day by these nice stones. I really liked the location of these two at the meeting of the glens, Sletdale and Loth. Good parking nearby.

Ben Uarie (Cairn(s))

25/06/2022 – Ben Uarie, I’d been here back in 2010. I remembered it as a good walk but just one of a few that trip. I hadn’t forgotten about it though as on a clear day you can see it from Bennachie in Aberdeenshire some 118km away. I love seeing the big hills to the north from lovely Bennachie. Always makes me want to go on a trip.

Some years after our trip, Gladman posted about a cairn here and reading his notes and seeing the photos made me see the top anew. I made up my mind to revisit the hill if the chance arose and look again.

Last time it was a bob up and down from the high point on the road through Glen Loth. This time we decided to make a loop of the tops round Glen Sletdale. Good parking where Glen Sletdale meets Glen Loth. Starting here had the added bonus that we didn’t have to drive too far up the Glen Loth road thankfully, the memories from last time still haunt me! As single track roads go it’s beautiful but one you drive praying nothing’s coming the other way. Still grass growing up the middle but a few sections have been resurfaced. Starting here also meant we could visit the two standing stones overlooking the river. I really liked these two and what a lovely spot. From here it’s a good plod up the hill to Beinn Dhorain and then over to Ben Uarie. Weather was sunny though a little windy. I was tired by the time we reached the trigpoint. Unlike last time, we had a good look at the top. As Gladman mentions, the OS 1:25k map has cairn marked in antiquarian typeface. There did look to be a footprint beneath the trig and wind shelter. I liked the look of it as a probable cairn. The view from the top is very good, we found a spot a bit out of the wind for a sit and bite to eat. I was really happy to have made the trip back to this one. The top is an interesting mystery worth visiting.

This top is not the only one marked with a cairn in antiquarian typeface on the map. Some 2.5km to the west was our next destination on our walk round the glen, the top called The Craggan. Easy enough walk across. The Craggan is a great looking lump. The last bit is a bit steep but the top is soon reached. I’ll post a few photos of the top. There is a modern cairn but also something larger underneath. Not really like the one on Ben Uarie. I just couldn’t make my mind up about this one.

We continued on for the rest of the day on a lovely walk. It’s worth a visit here, very quiet, great views and two tops with something going on, maybe, just maybe.

Rotten Bottom

17/05/2022 & 02/06/2022 – The Quest for the Rotten Bottom Bow

We were tired by the time we reached Rotten Bottom. We made our way over to Games Castle, a large outcrop there with a fine view, a perfect place to sit and have our sandwiches. Starting from Grey Mare’s Tail, a slow plod up to Loch Skeen then Lochcraig Head, across to White Coomb to look at the two small cairns and then a nice walk to here, Rotten Bottom on the way to Saddle Yoke. It’s a good day and this in-between place was quiet.

After a much needed rest it was time to carry on across Rotten Bottom. It’s such a good name for this place, a large flat area above the steep drop down to Carrrifran Burn. After a short distance we gave up trying to keep the boots dry, the ground was so soft and very wet. Not a good place to walk but it was here in 1990, at the base of a peat hag (about 660m) that the Rotten Bottom Bow was found.

The flat bow was found broken but still 1.36m in length (original length 1.74m). Radiocarbon dated to 4040–3640 BC, placing it in the Early Neolithic and at 6000 years the oldest bow found in Britain and Ireland. Made from yew, not local as yew didn’t grow round this area at the time. How such a fine bow ended up here in this out of the way place is anyone’s guess. Someone out hunting and discarded it when it broke maybe.

We talked about the bow and who it might have belonged to as we walked. It was not long until we had made up our minds to seek out this bow, the Quest for the Rotten Bottom Bow had begun.

We were staying in Moffat that week so a few days later popped by the small Moffat Museum. The re-opening of the Museum in 2013 took place by shooting a replica of the Rotten Bottom Bow. It’s nice inside with interesting history about the Moffat area. There is a fine replica of the bow too. We learnt that the original was now in the National Museum of Scotland.

The week after we were back home from Moffat and with a long weekend coming up, we decided to continue our quest and head for Edinburgh. Last minute hotels were a bit pricey in the capital so we went for Stirling as a base instead (never been to the castle there before so that was a bonus). Thursday morning, 16 days after our walk to Rotten Bottom, we were on the early train to Edinburgh. The National Museum of Scotland really is a wonderful place, busy but worth putting up with all the people just to see all the amazing stuff. I like the Pre-history section. It’s kind of tucked away at the side, down a flight of stairs. Also one of the quieter areas in the Museum. I’d been here before but didn’t remember the bow. Making our way past objects I normally would have stopped by and looked at, we continued on, it’s a bit of a maze down there, but the end of our quest felt close. Soon I spotted arrow heads in a display case, rounding a corner, there it was. Tucked away at the back with little fanfare was the oldest found bow in Britain and Ireland. It deserved more but I liked it’s low key style, find me but only if you want to. At first the bow seems nothing much to look at but I was really taken with it. It was quite narrow and elegant. There is a seat nearby so we sat and gazed across, catching our breath. It was a warm day outside, it felt good to rest in the dark and cooler place. Maybe we had walked a bit quicker than normal to get here. The excitement getting to us. Such a good adventure and just great to see the bow after our trip to Rotten Bottom a few weeks back.

Our quest to find the Rotten Bottom Bow had come to a successful end, it was time to go find a coffee and bit of cake to celebrate.

White Coomb (Cairn(s))

17/05/2022 - Two cairns approx 100m apart sit on the summit of White Coomb. They are on Canmore and written in italics on the OS map. Both have a good sized footprint, 9.0m or so in diameter. Low in height and grassed over. There is a small modern cairn on one to mark the top of the hill. They are nothing flash but I liked them. The view and feeling of space is very good here.

We started from the car park at Grey Mare's Tail. Up to Loch Skeen then Lochcraig Head, White Coomb, Rotten Bottom and Saddle Yoke. Down to the road to walk back to the car. Good day out. It's nice round here.

Tap o' Noth (Hillfort)

12/02/2022 – I need the quiet places more with each passing year. Early starts or late to avoid folk. Everywhere seems so busy at the moment. Heading out round sunset has been a bit of a life saver over winter. We were thinking of heading more inland today but the wind wasn’t great so decided to go to Tap o’ Noth. Got there about 30 mins before sunset. Empty car park so we had the hill to ourselves. Starting our walk in lovely late sunshine, it’s less than an hour to the top. We looped round east on the way up instead of the normal climb from the west. The Sun had gone to bed by the time we reached the hillfort. Twilight, I love these next two hours. The wind was cold as we walked to the trigpoint and the top just beyond, a really good lump of vitrified wall. We ducked out of the wind and plonked ourselves down inside the fort to have our tea. The walls of the hillfort shut out all the lights from down below, leaving just us and the emerging stars as the sky started to darken. Just a few days to full moon so no need for headtorches. The fort was now gently lit by moonlight. I’ve been trying to remember better the names of constellations recently instead of pointing and saying to Mrs T, ‘What’s that one called again?’ all the time. I’m pretty hopeless at it. Why can’t they all be easy like Orion. I stood up after a bit as I had been sitting cross legged for a while, which is always comfy until it isn’t. Sticking my head up over the walls, the wind reminded me quickly why we were sitting where we were. It felt colder in the dark. I didn’t stand long on the walls and soon hurried back to the sanctuary inside the fort and another warm brew. Last time we were here in the dark, I didn’t have a great feeling but this evening the fort felt safe and from inside the walls, the sky looked a perfect planetarium. We stayed as long as we could but the cold was getting into my hands so it was time to go. The walk down was by moonlight and we only needed our torches when we reached the trees. Tap o’ Noth is a fantastic place and wonderful hillfort. Just a lovely trip there today, away from the busy world.

Auchterhouse Hill (Hillfort)

04/01/2022 – Early morning start. Good parking at Balkello Community Woodland. It can get busy here so if you like a quiet walk go early. Lots of tracks through the wood but really just head north. The track for the hill is soon reached. It’s a short climb up Auchterhouse Hill. Nice tree covered top. Partial multivallate hillfort with 5 ramparts on the SE side. The path goes through these. Very good views from the top. We were there for sunrise. Really worth a visit to this one.

We continued on east over the tops via Craigowl Hill (trigpoint sits on a big lump, would love to know if this is an old cairn?) to Ironside Hill and then back to the car via Coldstream. Nice day out, cold wind and it snowed a bit but lovely sunshine too. Auchterhouse Hill hillfort was a nice way to start the day.

East Kinpurney Hill (Cairn(s))

03/01/2022 – From Kinpurney Hill we headed east to visit Henderston Hill. Not one of my better ideas as the windblow on the top was terrible. We made it back to East Kinpurney Hill in one piece thankfully. We stopped here as it looked a good place for a sit and our sandwiches. The view is very good and it’s peacefully away from the fort on Kinpurney Hill which can get a little busy. Quick check on the internet I noticed we were sitting about 90m from a cairn so we took the short stroll over to have a look.

The cairn is a scheduled monument. 6m in diameter, 0.4m in height and there is a faint ditch of about 2m wide surrounding it. It’s in a small copse of trees though sadly a lot of them have not survived the storm at the end of last November. The cairn is pretty non-existent. Very hard to make anything out. The ditch round it was there. There are two trees on it which are proper leaning now. Looking at the ground that’s been exposed it didn’t look much like cairn material.

The area is nice for a walk.

Kinpurney Hill (Hillfort)

03/01/2022 – Start of a new year, hopefully this one turns out a bit more ‘normal’. A few days of walking in the Sidlaw Hills sounded as good a way to kick off the year as any. Kinpurney Hill is a fine hill. Good parking in Newtyle. Walked down road to Denend and then took the sign posted path up the Den. This is a lovely, wooded walk by a stream, bit muddy but very pretty. Coming out of the trees, the path heads up the hill. Bit steep and a little slippy in places but nothing too bad.

The fort is enclosed by a single rampart and ditch. It’s a fair-sized interior, area of 6.6ha making this the largest hillfort in Angus. Kinpurney Hill is probably better known for the tower on top. It’s an observatory, built 1774. There is a low grass bank surrounding the tower, probably unrelated to the hillfort.

Some have this hillfort as 'unfinished'. Also maybe vitrified, but probably not as the rocks are volcanic (best seen at base of tower).

Really worth the walk up. The views are fantastic from the top. The big snowy hills to the west and north looked great.

Brahan Wood (Chambered Cairn)

26/09/2021 – A fine walk today. Starting from Strathpeffer, first up to the trig on Cnoc Mor, then a nice visit to Bealachnancorr chambered cairn (liked this one very much). Next we headed over the top of Cnoc a' Mhuilinn-Thairbh to see if we could find this chambered cairn in Brahan Wood. The wood is really lovely and on a sunny day like today the stroll between the two cairns was very nice indeed. There are lots of tracks in this area so take a map, easy to get a bit lost. The cairn is in a quiet area of the wood. Not too hard to find. There is not much left of the cairn, like Bealachnancorr, just the remaining stones of the chamber. Not really that tall, hiding away a little in the grass and moss. What I first thought was the passage looked too wide and more like a second chamber. This could have been a big old cairn back in the day. There’s a big stone between the two chambers and another large stone lying just outside. The cairn sits on a small terrace and would have had a wonderful view out across the land I think. It’s within a wood now and on a sunny day just looked fantastic. We plonked ourselves down beside the cairn to have our sandwiches and a brew. Bit tired as the day was warm and humid. Such a peaceful vibe to the place. Soon felt a bit sleepy. The tall grasses picking up the light from the sun, the tree tops gently moving with the light breeze, just wonderful. The ground was full of life. We daydreamed a bit and watched spiders and bugs go about their daily business. Up and over our socks and on past our discarded boots to some important destination only known to them. Even the odd wasp that went by seemed pretty chilled out today. We really had such a lovely time here. There are better cairns around but today this one and its setting felt pretty perfect to us. Finally we left to walk the quiet road round Loch Ussie to visit the wonderful vitrified fort on Knock Farril. Then back to Strathpeffer via the very nice Touchstone Maze (built in the 90's using rocks from all over Scotland. It's really well done with lots of alignments for summer, winter etc). Top day out.

Bealachnancorr (Chambered Cairn)

26/09/2021 – Scotland has a great access code but sometimes it can be tricky finding the best path to take out of a village or town. The start of a walk can be the hardest part I think. Core paths are a great help for this. Link below to map in case it’s of use to anyone.

Map of core paths in Scotland

Straight up signposted core path from Strathpeffer to first head for Cnoc Mor then paths heading down to the chambered cairn. Route was pretty overgrown and finding the site was fun. Lots of twisty paths through the trees.

The cairn is really nice. Just the stones of the passage and chamber left. The location is good and very peaceful. We stayed for a good bit, waiting on the sun to shine. It was playing hide and seek behind the clouds this morning.

Really glad we went looking for this one. Good stones with a nice vibe. I do like an Orkney-Cromarty cairn. Missed it last time we visited the trig on Cnoc Mor. The area is fine for walking, short stroll or a full day out. Like most places, best on a sunny day, take your time if you go.

Jarlshof (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

12/09/2021 – Jarlshof – just saying the word out loud makes me happy. I love it round here. The whole area, Old Scatness, Ness of Burgi, Jarlshof and up to Sumburgh Head which has my favourite trigpoint. The beaches, cliffs, even the airport, hotel and coffee shop. The bottom bit of Shetland is just great. As fine a place for a long weekend as you could wish for. Summer's best for birds. Even in mid September there’s stuff still about. We were lucky and saw minke whale the day before in the bay.

This was our first big adventure since March 2020 when half way through a trip to Wales, lockdown loomed and we had to head home. 18 months of not really mixing with folk, we were nervous setting off on our trip. Picked Orkney and Shetland as we love these places and thought they should be quiet. We had been lucky to visit Sumburgh a couple of times before. Ending our big trip at Jarlshof seemed perfect.

We stayed at the Sumburgh Hotel. It’s a really nice place. Proper friendly and right next to Jarlshof. Room 32 has a great view of the site and the bay.

We visited Jarlshof the day before in the rain. As today was our last day, we thought we’d go again. Visitor centre is closed at the moment but you can still walk round. We got up early. Jarlshof before breakfast sounded good to me.

Jarlshof has to be one of my favourite sites. The history here is amazing. It’s a 4000 year timeline that you get to walk around. But most of all, I love the stones. The colours and shapes are just so good. Revisiting places, you always see things you missed the first time. The broch has a ‘well’ like the one we had seen in Broch of Gurness just a few days back. I didn’t remember this from last time. I like all the twisting paths, doorways and curved walls. Very exciting to walk around. Soon it was time to head back and pack for our trip home. We stood for a while, looking out to sea, Sumburgh Head and far away Fair Isle. It felt good to be adventuring again.

Weisdale Hill (Cairn(s))

10/09/2021 – Overnight ferry from Orkney to Shetland. Early morning, off the boat and on to the number 9 bus that goes to Walls. It’s a lovely bus route and if you don’t have a car, you could use it to visit the big sites like Scord of Brouster and with a bit of a walk, Stanydale Temple. Worth doing just for the scenery.

Today we were heading for Weisdale Hill. We had a bit of history with this one. Back in 2014 we were on the way here and had to turn back due to car problems. I’ve been wanting to get back and give it another go. Bus driver was proper friendly, asked where we were going. Dropped us off at Scord of Sound, the high part of the road just next to the track going up the hill. The feet were very grateful as it saved us 100m gain and we had full loads today with the rucksacks. Day 8 of the trip, we were tired. I’m starting to feel old for this backpacking game.

Slow plod up the track to the aerials on Hill of Sound then a pathless walk of about 1.2km to the top of Weisdale Hill. Nothing too bad underfoot. Pretty easy going. Weather wasn’t great today. Low cloud base so visibility wasn’t great but at least the rain was holding off.

Canmore has this cairn as a ‘a rubble pile covered in peat, which could be a prehistoric summit cairn’. Doesn’t make it sound that exciting. It’s a good size maybe 8-10m in diameter and over 2m high. There’s a small modern cairn on top. To my eyes it looked prehistory. It’s definitely built, not natural. The south side is covered in peat to a height over 2m. I’ve read the rate of peat accumulation is roughly 1mm per year, though could be slower this far north in Shetland. A depth of 2m would have taken 2,000 years or more. It’s an old cairn.

Bit of a shame it was cloudy today as the view from here would be very nice.

We didn’t stay too long, as it wasn’t a day for sitting. We headed back and into Tresta to wait for the bus back.

A nice day out.

Broch of Gurness

09/09/2021 – Rainy start to the day so we had a look round Kirkwall. St Magnus cathedral is very impressive and the museum across the way is worth a visit. Lots of prehistory items from sites round Orkney. The museum in Stromness is smaller but also nice and has the The Skara Brae Buddo. Both good places for a wet day. The rain had eased by the afternoon so we took the bus out to Evie to visit Broch of Gurness.

We got off the bus at Evie School and took the road signposted to the Broch. As an added bonus there’s chambered cairns either side of the road. We had a look at the one on the right. Pretty grassed over with a big stone showing. Looks a decent size extending into the next field I think. It’s a quiet road to walk down and before long we were at the carpark for the Broch.

I’d wanted to visit here last time we were in Orkney but just ran out of time, too many great places to visit round here! Excited to finally make it. The broch and surrounding settlement are very good. There were a few other visitors today but quiet really and lots of space. The ditches round the settlement surprised me. They are big. I think I liked walking round the different buildings of the settlement more than the actual broch. All very interesting. It must have been a busy place to live. It’s easy to imagine the hustle and bustle of daily life as you walk about. The broch still has good sized walls and the well is a bit mysterious. The views from the broch are good. There’s a nice bench near the carpark to sit and look out to sea. Misty Rousay looked inviting across the water. The appearance of layers in the landscape on Rousay reminded me of the layers on the outside of chambered cairns like Wideford etc.

I have to mention that we got to meet BC the broch cat too. It’s the friendliest cat. It hangs out at the broch, showing people round. Keep an eye out for BC if you go.

Dwarfie Hamars (Cave / Rock Shelter)

08/09/2021 – The Dwarfie Hamars are a wonderful backdrop for the Dwarfie Stane.

In an article about the Dwarfie Stane on Orkneyjar they mention a cave high up in the Hamars.

“Could it be that the cave itself, although not necessarily the dwelling place of the workers, was somehow involved in the rituals surrounding the stone?”

Canmore also have this entry –

“A visual assessment and exploration of part of the Hamars led to the discovery of a rock shelter (c9 x 5m and 2.5m high) at the NE end (HY 25013 00479) that may have been used in prehistory. No evidence of occupation was visible on the floor of the shelter but this could be buried below loose rock that has fallen from the roof.”

The Rock Shelter listed on Canmore isn’t the easiest to get to. A little bit of scrambling needed at times. Is it the same place as the cave mentioned on Orkneyjar? Does it have any connection to the people who carved out the Dwarfie Stane? Is it just a coincidence that if you stand in front of the entrance to the Dwarfie Stance and look up you are staring straight towards this Rock Shelter? So many questions about the landscape round the Stane, sure makes you wonder whilst there. It’s one of my favourite areas I think. Just a great place to spend the day looking at stuff.
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