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

Miscellaneous Posts by phil

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St Breock Beacon Kistvaen (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

circle of stones at the Kistvaen?

Borlase reported that the site had a small cairn around the site. John Barnatt reported in his book "Prehistoric Cornwall" that the nearby MenGurta also had a small cairn of quartz stones in a 2 metre radius around it. The Magi stone also close by, is reported by Borlase to have had "a small circle of stones on edge"

Only recently re-discovered near the Men gurta this "kistvaen" or entrance grave. It consists of two huge slabs of stone of a similar type to the nearby menhirs and the quoit at Pawton. I had seen it marked on some old maps but two separate books on local sites said it no longer existed!

First record by William Borlase in 1872 in his work Naenia Cornubiae.

He writes.....

"About 150 yards of the taller stone (Men Gurta) and upon equally high ground lies a flat stone of spar 9 feet 6 inches long by sis feet broad at its greatest breath resting on the ground at its northern edge and at its southern, diagonally upon a second stone 7 feet 6 inches long by 2 feet 6 inchesin breadth, and about the same in hieght above the ground. It has the appearance of an imperfectly form Kist-Vaen and therefore should pehaps have been inserted at a previous page.
A barrow of small stones from 30 to 40 feet in diameter lies around it, and a farmer mentioned the fact that an old man digging among them had once discovered something curious, but of what nature he could not remember. A small cairn also surrounded the adjacent monumentwhile barrows are scattered in abundance over the neighbouring downs."

A footnote on the page
This species of monument is sometimes called an "earth-fast Cromlech" sometimes a "demi-dolmen" - Examples are not uncommon in Brittany and at Kerland bears a strong resemblance to the above.

The site is almost unchanged compare with the sketch in Borlase's book although the area is slighty grown over. There is a trig point nearby, the site can be found slighty off the track that leads from the trig point if you walk to Men Gurta.

An exciting find and no Cornish guide book mentions it!

Stall Moor Stone Circle

Also known as "The Dancers" or "Kiss-In-The-Ring".
The circle is 16.5m across, with 26 stones

White Moor Stone Circle

According to Paul Pettit in "Prehistoric Dartmoor" IBSN 0-9515274-6-0

Seventeen stones stand today, the two tallest about 4 and a half feet above the ground, one pillar and one slab. the stones are predominantly broad, but there are three distinct pillars and facing each of them on the opposite side of the circle is a broad slab. This appears to be comparable to the pairing of stones in many double rows. A cairn lies close to the circle , and about 170 yd to the south-east is the standing stone known as White Moor stone. No site on Dartmoor is moor mysterious and evocative.

Langstone Moor Stone Circle

According to Paul Pettit in "Prehistoric Dartmoor" IBSN 0-9515274-6-0

During World War II this monument was wrecked by troops traing on the moor. Today ONLY six stones stand to their full height . Four are fallen and broken; six are sad looking stumps, their tops deliberately knocked off and lying on the ground nearby. One substantial stone outside the circle remains a mystery. The magnificent site 1,450ft up can still be appreciated.

Sourton Tors Circle (Stone Circle)

This is a large one (110ft diameter), but many stones are fallen.

Coney's Castle (Hillfort)

Coney’s Castle lies south-east of Lamberth’s Castle on the western edge of Dorset and has never been excavated.

Both hillforts lie on the boundary between the ancient tribes of the Durotriges, in Dorset, and the Dumnonii in Somerset.

Dungeon Hill (Hillfort)

This isolated and not widely known, well-preserved hillfort is situated on the summit of Dungeon Hill, north of Buckland Newton. It is surrounded by a single rampart and a ditch now overgrown with trees.

Spetisbury Rings (Hillfort)

The defences of this hillfort consists of a single rampart and ditch on the northern end of a spur overlooking the river Stour.

The construction of the railway in 1857 uncovered a mass-grave of about 120 skeletons, probably the victims of the Roman invasion; part of a Roman shield was also found.

Chalbury (Hillfort)
This pear-shaped fort is positioned atop a very steep hill dominating Weymouth Bay. Defenses consist of a single, 6m thick bank of rubble encased in drystone, and a flat-bottomed ditch with a simple entrance gap on the south-east. The hillfort defences were started sometime during the 5th century BC. Over 70 hut circles and numerous storage pits have been traced in the interior, and excavations at the site revealed a scatter of disarticulated human remains, which indicates exposure of the dead. The fort was very-likely the scene of - ultimately futile - resistance to the Roman advance through the area; this was presumably when occupation of the fort ended. There are many barrows and tumuli in the neighbourhood, including 2 Bronze Age round barrows at the centre of the fort itself, one of which contained a cremation burial.

Bindon Hill (Hillfort)

Bindon Hill is on the coast near West Lulworth, Dorset, England. It is in the section marked "Danger Area" in the bottom left hand corner of the map.

Lulworth Cove is just to the left of the "DangerArea" This danger area is part of the Army - Tank Fireing Range on Bindon Range.

You can take the Bindon Road - which is a private road but also a public path to Bindon Hill and beyond. The earthworks that can be seen are the ditch and formerly palisaded rampart of the Bindon Hill. Bindon Hill is about 380 feet high and has a beach-head which had one of the first waves of Iron Age immigrants from the continent, in about 500 BC.

Weatherby Castle (Hillfort)

Weatherby Castle as it is called locally, has an obelisk at its summit ( 101m above sea level ), It is very well hidden, on top of a hill near Milbourne St Andrew. The area was originally a hill fort as can be seen by the ditches that still surround the summit.

Slightly more info and a picture of the obelisk can be seen at....

Mount Pleasant (Henge)

Mount Pleasant henge is one of the large Wessex henges and lies about a mile east of Dorchester. The bank was originally about four metres high surrounding an egg-shaped enclosure about 370 metres along its longer axis and about 320 metres along the shorter one. Originally the 4.8 hectare area could be accessed by four entrances. The bank is outside the ditch which had a diameter of about 43 metres with a single entrance.

more info at....

Creeg Tol (Natural Rock Feature)

Not far from the Boskawen-Un circle

Considered by some to be a natural outcrop but 'Creeg' in Cornish means 'Barrow' and 'Tol' means 'hole'.........

hence barrow with a hole

Stonehenge (Circle henge)

Stonehenge lyrics by Spinal Tap

(Were they the inspiration for Julian's interest in the stones? )

In ancient times, hundreds of years before the dawn of history, lived a strange race of people - the druids. No one knows who they were, or what they were doing, but their legacy remains, hewn into the living rock - of Stonehenge.

Stonehenge, where the demons dwell,
Where the banshees live and they do live well.
When a man is a man and the children dance
To the pipes of pan.

'Tis a magic place where the moon doth rise
With a dragon's face,
Where the virgin's lie
And the prayers of devils fill the midnight sky.

And you my love, won't you take my hand.
We'll go back in time to that mystic land
Where the dew-drops cry and the cats meow,
I will take you there,
I will show you how.

And oh how they danced, the little children of Stonehenge, beneath the haunted moon, for fear that the daybreak might come too soon...

...And where are they now, the little people of Stonehenge? And what would they say to us, if we were here... tonight.

Carbis Bay Longstone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

I visited this site especially for the "I'm only 5000 years old exhibition:

I'd seen a sketch of the site in a book. A couple of things have changed since the sketch was made, the bus stop is now a little further away and a litter bin has been added in the last couple years!

The area arond this site is known as Longstone.
There is an estate map dated 1820 which is believed to be the earlieat recorded mention of this site.
Charles Henderson the Cornish Historian noted the site in the early Twentieth century and saw that the stone had been cut down in size.

Looks rather sad and forgotten.

The Rumps (Cliff Fort)

A massive triple rampart and ditch system protected an area of 2.5ha at the tip of the headland. Several hut circles lie within the defended enclosure.

Essa Standing Stones

A group of rare examples of slate menhirs.

They are sited in a field, just above the village of Polruan.

Essa Stone 1, is the most impressive at 1 .6 metres high.

Bogee Barrow B (Round Barrow(s))

Also 80 feet in diameter

Bogee Barrow A (Round Barrow(s))

80 feet in diameter!
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Born in Cornwall 1966.

Main interests include Hillforts and barrows. I try to cover mainly Cornish sites but about five times a year get to visit Dorset where my wifes family live. Fairly keen on folklore and earth mysteries etc.

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