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

Fieldnotes by moey

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Hurl Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Haven't been able to find out any history of this one yet. It stands, set in a rough stone base, so may well be of modern origin, although it may be re(z)erected.

A tall thin stone, over 10ft tall, it leans or points quite heavily. Views over towards The Cheviots to the West and Hepburn Woods to the East.

Of notable mention is a bit of modern architecture just oevr the hill - The Hurlstone Tower was built in 2000 by the local landowner and is a round 3 storey castle looking folly.

Giants' Graves (Chambered Cairn)

Do not underestimate the trip to the Giants Graves. walk along a track for about 1/2 a mile and then the ascent begins, and goes on, and on, and on. Through the woods, the hillside has steps all the way to the summit, but it is a real steep climb.

Expect to take some rest stops (and on the way back down travellers plaintively asking "is it much further?") Once you reach the top of the steps, you might think you are there. Oh, no, continue along the hilltop, climbing still slightly, through the woods - watch out, we expected Orcs to come running at us at any moment.

When you reach the clearing, you will not be disappointed. What a great place! As others have said, the views must have been breathtaking - a burial for kings!

Only one thing spoilt our restful period at the top.... a phone call from work! don't take your mobile.

Moss Farm Road (Cairn(s))

On the approach to Machrie Moor from the A841 you will walk past this burial cairn, the historic Scotland plaque seems unsure of what it is....

"Is it a stone circle with a later burial cairn built inside it or is it simply a cairn with a permanent stone kerb?"

I think the latter, but you can correct me on that.

Whatever it is, it augments the approach to the amphitheatre of Machrie Moor - watch carefully as you approach, other standing stones will become evident on the way to the main sites.

Cocklawburn Beach Rings (Natural Rock Feature)


From Berwick Upon Tweed Head towards the A1 (Southwards) Before you reach the A1, turn left towards the village of Scremerston. Immediately turn left again and follow the road round. At Borewell Farm (offering farm shop etc) take another left. cross the railway and continue along the road until it falls away into disrepair. park up below the "pill box" and walk through the nature reserve part of the dunes. you will come to a fence, climb it and follow the path down to the beach. It is pretty rough and steep going, but soon you will be on a sandy beach. Keep close to the dunes and look out for rocks that are submerged at high tide. These are the ones you need to examine.

Apologies if the grid reference is not 100% correct.

If you have any problems finding it - give me a shout!



This area was something that caught me by surprise. On the beach at Cocklawburn near Berwick-Upon-Tweed Lie some excellent rock formations that look similar to cup and ring marks.

I used to walk my dogs here a lot and had never noticed them beforee, but one day I was walking with my head down and say one of the ring formations. I couldn't believe it - didn't know if they were natural or man made.

I looked around and there were loads of them. Some qute large, but many were huddled together on rocky outcrops like so many limpets hanging on for dear life. Many are flat to the surface of the sand, but others are vertical on the rocks.

I formulated a theory about sandstone and volcanic rock fusing, but this doesn't seem to be quite right.

Through the wonders of the community that is Head Heritage, I got talking to Fitzcoraldo about rock art, I sent him the pics and he showed them to the resident geologists on his oil rig. I hope Fitz doesn't mind me reprinting his reply, but this is the current thinking on the formations.

"I have a name for your bizarre rock formation and can tell you that your half baked theory was only a quarter baked.
I've consulted the afternoon shift geologists and the consensus seems to be that they are a phenomena called MUD VOLCANOES, in fossil form of course.
Apparently you get mud volcanoes in areas like large river deltas, where you get a large amount of sediment deposited quickly, this mud is then overlain by slower deposited sands which compress the mud causing it to flow upwards inna volcano stylee. So there you go."

King Arthur's Round Table (Henge)

Amazing that this is still here, sliced on two sides by roads.

OK, so it's not intact, but still fairly impressive. Good to watch the cars going by staring at the idiot on the fence with the camera

March 2002

Glenquicken Cist

The Cist lies above Glenquickan Stone Circle roughly to the South West. It is close, but not visible from the circle. Watch out for the bog - you'll get sucked in & never seen again.

I didn't spot it the first time I visited Glenquickan, but it is easy to find as I found out this March. You get a great view of Glenquickan Circle from up there too.

This area has a wealth of Sites just waiting to be explored - I have to go back this summer.


Kingston Russell (Stone Circle)

September 2001:

After visiting the Hellstone, an un-named circle (got lost!), and The Grey Mare we found ourselves here.

Stones laid flat in the field, so that's exactly what we did. Staring up at the clouds for ages.

Lots of flint in the soil turned up by the farmer.

Not the most visually impressive circle, but restful.

Oh yeah, careful when you go down there, lots of maize fields - I kept thinking we were gonna be part of a bad horror film with people jumping out - not paranoid at all :o)


Cairnpapple (Henge)

On a clear day you can see forever!!!!!!

Unrivalled Views and nosey cows - See Julio Geordio's pic for proof.

gotta go back.

Cairnholy (Chambered Cairn)

Summer 2000

Carrying on my weird weekend, I came to Cairnholy 1&2. Up the narrow track, meeting some hoorahs in their 4WD on the way I eventually got out of the car in Brilliant Sunshine.

What nobody seems to mention is that Cairnholy 1 is in a fantastic position high above Wigtown Bay. The Sea was Sparkling Blue, a cool breeze lapped at me as I lay on the grass chilling.

Cairnholy II is further up the track in an equally cool location, but the nearby farm somehow spoils it for me.

A Cool place. Going Back soon!

Torhousekie (Stone Circle)

Dusk Falling, a warm summers evening in 2000.

The first circle at the start of a strange weekend in 2000. I decided to take myself off after work on the Saturday, not knowing where I was going. I phoned my parents to let them know where in the world I was. I told my mother I had set up camp at Newton Stewart just up the road from the Stone Circle. There was a silence atthe other end of the line.... I asked what was wrong and my mother said it was weird, they had spent their honeymoon at Newton Stewart...... 33 years ago to the very day.

I had no knowledge of that, I didn't even know it was their wedding anniversary.

I spent a couple of hours here reflecting, and left calmed - and ready for a chinese :o)


Gefrin (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

Gefrin was the Royal Township of the Seventh Century Anglo Saxon Kings of Northumbria.

The plaque tells how the missionary Paulinus preached Chritianity to the paople for 36 days and then baptised them in the nerby River Glen (or were they trying to end it all after 36 days of Jesus stuff being rammed down their throats.)

pretty low lying for a settlement from then. I guess the rich arable land and the full river were the draws.

Beautiful scenery near Kirknewton, pass this way to access the College Valley.

Threestone Burn (Stone Circle)

There are two tracks to threestone burn, the one we chose had us park at South Middleton and walk the three miles to the circle over bridleways and pathways.

To the left and right on the route there is a cairn and a remains of a fort. Looking backward on the way, you can see across to Old Bewick.

To reach the Circle you must walk through the garden of Threestone Burn House, so tread politely (no dogs seen or heard) cross the stream and follow the path towards the woods, the circle is on the left as you reach the woodland.

Overgrown in its surroundings, Burle states one of the stones is 5ft 6, but I dispute that. The northern end of the circle is closest to being intact, other stones are fallen or removed.

The modern landscape is blocked by plantations, but its proximity to Cheviot & Harthope suggest worship of the mother landscape.

Access is denied until June 2002 due to woodland operations

Weetwood Moor (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

Up on the moor, turning off the Wooler to Chatton road at a 90ยบ corner head up the single track road until you cross the first cattle grid. Park here and the rocks are on your right about 100yards away.

Stone markers have been left to show which rcoks are inscribed.

Our Neolithic friends had plenty of canvas to work on, but some of the largest & flattest rocks are untouched.

Looking at the views, maybe this is because of the carvings alignment with the surroundings. There are new trees nearby, but if you look to the South-West you can see the twin hills of Harthope and Cheviot.

A Sacred Landscape.

Maelmin Henge Reconstruction

Maelmin is situated in the middle of the Milfield plain, part of the Till Valley. Today, it is a reconstruction of the Milfield North Henge. In the past it has been many things, Including a Royal Town.

Interesting to see beside the modern plantation, but step back and imagine how it must have looked, with the backdrop of the Cheviots - an awesome site.

The henge is 33 metres in Diameter with 21 outer posts and a ring of 30 inner postswith ditches and banks.

A reconstruction, with a short "timeline walk" but worth seeing. No dogs though which is disappointing for me. You can get info in the village of Milfield at the cafe

Five Stanes (Stone Circle)

Jan2000CE Eastern Scottish Borders

On a day of intermittent Snow, hail and Sun, I decided to head off to find this small site.
Narrow roads lead to where you will have to leave your car.

Bizarrely, you have to follow a rutted track of the old roman road called Dere Street for about a mile and a half to reach it. Being in the Cheviot hills, the roman soldiers didn't have it easy, yeah, the road was straight, but up and down, upand down.

The site is windswept with fantastic views. The air was crisp and I left invigorated, back to the car before early nightfall and heavier snowfall.
Hi There,
Moey Here. Northumberland Based, Lazy assed Modern Antiquarian.

Stone Circling Partner (and that's as far as it goes - the rumours are unfounded) of Joolio Geordio. We aim to carry out at least two big trips a year - 2002 was Aberdeenshire and The Western Isles (again)

Love Peace and F-F-F-Fluff

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