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

Miscellaneous Posts by Jane

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France (Country)

Sites in France are listed in their départements which are roughly equivalent to English counties.

The only exception to this is the région of Brittany, which is subdivided into its départements of Côtes-d'Armor, Ille-et-Vilaine, Morbihan and Finistère.

Tumulus de St Michel (Tumulus (France and Brittany))

Why not stay at the Hôtel du Tumulus (31 rue du Tumulus, Carnac, phone 02 97 52 08 21) as Moth and I did!

What a fab view we had!

Churchill Village Stones (Standing Stones)

Very little is known about the origins of the name of the village of Sarsden but down the centuries Churchill has had several names, such as, Cercelle, Churchell. Cherchell and finally, by 1537, Churchill. It is thought that it may be derived from the Old English 'cyrc', which means a hill, burying ground or barrow.

Maeshowe (Chambered Tomb)

Visitor information
To visit Maeshowe you now have to buy a ticket and book your time. Tours leave Tormiston Mill at: 0945, 1030, 1115, 1200, 1245, 1330, 1415, 1500, 1545, 1630, 1715.
In winter last tour leaves at 1545.

(Maximum of 20 persons on one tour, but you REALLY want to avoid this many!)

Phone to book: 01856 761606
Cost: £3.


Getting to Rousay
Orkney Ferries
Shore Street, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1LG
Telephone: 01856 872044
Fax: 01856 872921

Casterton (Stone Circle)

How to find it From the A65 at Kirkby Lonsdale, drive north on the A683 for about half a mile. Turn left onto a single track road signposted High Casterton. Go straight over the next two crossroads onto equally narrow singletrack roads until you start to climb the escarpment. After two very sharp turns, you'll see a track clearly marked 'footpath' at SD640793. Park here. Walk up the hill for 3/4 mile. Enter the fifth field up on your left, climb over the gate and look down diagonally towards the copse at the bottom. You'll see the stone circle raised up on its own little platform. Et voila!

Boleigh (Fogou)


The fogou in the garden of a property of a very nice gentleman called Rob Donaldson, to whom Jo May sold it last year. Contact details are: 'Rosemerryn', Lamorna, Penzance, Cornwall, TR19 6BN, phone 01736 810530.

He takes his guardianship of the fogou seriously and welcomes guests, but PLEASE phone for an appointment and don't trespass in his garden!

Addington Long Barrow

You must book to see The Chestnuts. It's on private property owned by Joan Bygrave. Joan also owns the Addington long barrow but you can see this from the lane without booking.

Call Joan - she asks that you call her in advance please, and not when you arrive at the gate! - on 01732 840220.

She gives a nice little guided tour and takes her responsibilities as custodian of the sites very seriously.

Hangman's Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Although strictly in Berkshire, not Oxfordshire, this marker stone in on a track above Lambourn (also listed on this website as Oxon) near the Sevenbarrows complex.

Lanyon Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Much reconstructed and abused by treasure hunters and mineral prospectors, the capstone was recorded as becoming dislodged during a violent thunderstorm in the early 19th century, when one of the supporting stones was broken. (Must've been one HELLUVA lightening strike!) The whole structure had already been weakened by soil removal during successive 'explorations'.

The capstone was replaced in 1824, but a piece broke apparently broke off during reconstruction. The capstone was replaced upon repositioned uprights, buried to a deeper level for more stability.

Prior to the reconstruction, it is said that a man on horseback could pass with ease beneath the capstone.

Taken from Ian Cooke's 'Antiquities of West Cornwall', 1990

Devil's Quoits (Circle henge)

Access: when you get to the end of the lane, turn left and park facing the lake. Get permission to visit the henge by signing in at the weighbridge/reception building behind you and walk off round the right hand side of the lake for 400 ms. You can't miss it.

Dix Pit Waste Disposal Centre, Stanton Harcourt is open Mon-Sun 8.30-5.00 (winter) and 8.30-8.00 (summer).

Oh, and wear wellies!

Here is a quote from the book "Stanton Harcourt, a moment in time", which gives a bit more detail.

"...The Devil's Quoits were a major ceremonial site in the Thames Valley 4500 years ago. The village of Stanton Harcourt derives its name from them"

("Stanton" means settlement near the stones, the "Harcourt" bit comes from the local family who still live in the manor) ...

"Thirty five stones were set in a 75 metre circle, with a two metre ditch surrounding them. The gravel extracted from the ditch formed a bank outside it. Most of the monument was destroyed by medieval farmers. The remaining three stones were buried in 1940 to make a wartime aerodrome. Excavations took place by the Upper Thames Archeological Committee in the early 1970s when the site was used for gravel extraction. Part of the ditch was excavated amd more recently the remainder of the the holes for the stones have been located by the Oxford Archeological Unit..."

Five Shilling Corner Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Directions: Well hidden just off the east side of the busy A361 in a small copse. It's about 5 feet tall and stands on the inside edge of the wall on the right towards the back leaning at a sharp angle.

New Street Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Directions: It's just inside the feeder road to Chipping Norton's New Street car park, on the right under a large bay tree. Parking's free, too!

Churchill Three Stones (Standing Stones)

Directions: You'll find them just as you leave Churchill, heading out towards Sarsden, on the corner of the last trackway on the left, which heads up to the vicarage.

Mynydd Carningli (Sacred Hill)

Carn Ingli is actually an extinct volcano and utterly dominates the landscape around Newport and beyond. Traces of its violent, landscape-sculpting past are evident on the beaches at Parrog and Newport Sands, in the form of dark sand… surely a combination of both the fine weathering of the local slate and from lava floes?

On it there are hut circles, enclosures and relics left by our ancestors, now only inhabited by sheep.

Carn Ingli looms over the Nevern river estuary from perhaps where the bluestones of Stonehenge were once floated down towards the sea on their journey to Wiltshire?

Segsbury Camp (Hillfort)

Close to the village of Letcombe Regis, Segsbury is also known as Letcombe Castle.

Devil's Quoits (Circle henge)

John Aubrey, in his book 'Monumenta Britannica' says:

"In Stanton Harcourt field in Oxford southward from the Towne stand two great stones, called the Devill's Coytes: sixty-five paces distant from one another. The east stone is nine foot high, and as much broad: halfe a yard thick. The west stone is eight foot high and about six foot broad, halfe a yard thick."

"One of these stones was taken down by a farmer about the year 1680 to make a bridge of."

"Two or three Bowshotts from hence is a great Barrow."

It's not clear what this 'great Barrow' is - maybe Gravelly Guy? The distance feels about right.

Uffington White Horse (Hill Figure)

Under bright breezy blues and with galloping force
On an Oxfordshire hillside flies a great bright white horse

Embossed by the ancients, their chalky design
Marks their piece of England with tribal emblem equine

Follow the Ridgeway to see the white scar
Looming on the horizon, partly seen from afar

But to view it completely you must be airborne
In a plane or in spirit, above fields of corn

But why did they carve it on Oxfordshire's roof
As easy to track as the print of a hoof?

It seems odd that to see it you must be aerial
Until you consider that once was sky burial

So for those who have died and whos spirits still fly
Perhaps its a reminder of life from the sky?

Or if you believed in the stars, moon and sun
Maybe its a prayer to the heavens to run?

Cut deep in the hillside gashed into the chalk
what if its a place to powwow and talk... thank lost-gods for the bounty of earth
for the mystery of death and the beauty of birth?

And even today the horse draws the crowds
To wonder and marvel under low flying clouds

Whatever the season, autumnal or vernal
The white horse is on course for a gallop eternal

Ascott Under Wychwood Barrow (Long Barrow)

To find it:

Its on the B4473 just south of Ascott-u-Wychwood, on the south side of the road opposite the entrance to Fernhill Farm. Yes it *IS* that pile...
Showing 1-20 of 22 miscellaneous posts. Most recent first | Next 20
Habitat: Commonly sighted in fields round Oxfordshire and Wiltshire.
Distribution: Widespread; occasional migrations to overwinter in Africa or other hot climes.
Characteristics: A tall, blonde, opinionated bird with feisty temper when provoked. Prone to spells of gloom during winter months. Usually sporting dark plumage, except for golden head, can often spotted with sketchbook and brushes near megalithic sites.
Feeding habits: Easily tempted with cheese (any variety) or a nice cup of tea. Unfeasibly fond of curry.
Behaviour: Unpredictable, approach cautiously. Responds very favourably to flattery.
Abhors: slugs, invisible sky gods, Tories, the Daily Mail, bigots, eggs, the cold, walking and timewasting.
Adores: a man called Moth, painting, live music, furry creatures, tea administered frequently, hot places, cheese, writing crap poetry, David Attenborough, Ernest Shackleton, Vincent van Gogh and the English language.
Want more?: see her website.
Big old rocks I find appealling
Their secrets they are not revealing
Some are chambers, some are tombs
Hidden in valleys and in combes
Some are said to act like clocks
With shadows cast out from their rocks
I like the way they just survive
When I visit, I feel alive
So I chase my rocks around the maps
Round England, Ireland and France, perhaps
But there ain't nothin' that I liked so much
As to see the Hunebedden, dem is Dutch.

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