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

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Ceann Hulavig (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Tuesday 28th May 2002
I could have stayed here for hours! and I did! I couldn't help thinking that as you began to catch sight of these stones as you approached, that they resembled a group of wise elderly men.. It was pretty boggy in the middle but as the sun was shining , dry enough to sit on the bank looking down on them.. the lichens on these stones are amazing, like long green hair! Never seen anything like them! It felt like a very important site where people would have gathered on the journey into Callanish.. In fact ,from here you really did get a strong sense of how the whole lansdcape was perceived by our ancestors, and how travellers must have journeyed through each site in turn.. a very powerful, and empowering place to be.

Bernera Bridge Circle (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

monday 27th may 02
this place just about defies description... was fascinated by the two largest stones and how different they are from each other, like the mother and father of them all.
after lengthy chats with margaret, i set out to test out the central birthing stone! i sat there for ages , in the perfect birthing postion looking out across the loch and to the mountains.. unbelievable, all the stones perfectly positioned for hands , back , feet and what a view to greet a new life ! a place like no other, serene, the sound of the water below and the huge guardian stones behind you.. i hope i can take my kids there one day!

Castlerigg (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

thursday 23rd may
castlerigg today was very wet and windy! despite the atrocious weather, there were stacks of people coming to and fro, nobody staying very long.. i stood for a long while at the outlying stone by the wall and marvelled at such a grand setting.. i found it to have a wonderfully communal vibe, but yet quite formal at the same time.. very much hope i get the chance to go back again so i can sit awhile on a clear sunny day! the circle seemed to be about the same size as the rollrights, but such incredibly different places.. much much bigger wider stones and a much more open feel framed all around by the mountains.. the rain got a bit much so i stayed and had my birthday lunch in the van, the cake was delicious and for a brief moment before i left, there was a gap in the cloud and the stones lit up like candles! till next time... x

Arbor Low (Circle henge) — Fieldnotes

wed.22nd may 02
got unnecessarily lost on the way here from stanton moor! stupidly left my camera in the van too! never mind, a majestically wild and windy early evening spent here was well worth it.. i was overwhelmed by this place; in stark contrast to the nine ladies , arbor low is awesomely free; beautiful big sleepy grey stones set in a surprisingly large henge .. the skies were sweeping so quickly across as i sat there, i forgot all sense of time..the way the bank rises up so steeply almost makes you feel as though you've gone down into the hill whilst still being aware that you are on top of it! i wondered whether the stones might have stood upright at some point, but somehow it seemed wholly appropriate that they were recumbent, almost echoing the land spread out before them. as i stood on the hill behind looking down at the henge and stones, it struck me that it looked utterly perfect just as it was! gooorrrgeous.... x

Nine Ladies of Stanton Moor (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

wednesday 22nd may 2002
my first stop on the long trip to callanish..
passed the remains of the protestors' camp on the way up; seemed very deserted.. when i reached the stones, i didn't feel very welcome, the place was a sad mess, rubbish all over the place, ashes and debris from several big fires, and a generally unhappy atmosphere.. no wonder!! some bloke apparently from the camp totally off his nut collapsed on top of one of the stones.. in fact the whole place seemed to be screaming out to be left well alone, even by those with supposedly good intentions.. abused and misrepresented i felt.. the stones themselves too damaged and the genii loci of the place too angry to show what the nine ladies once stood for.. how very sad to have ruined such a lovely place.. didn't stay long.

Moel ty Uchaf (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Stayed with friends in Denbigh this weekend and managed to sneak off for a few hours on Sunday morning to find Moel ty Uchaf.. a little haven on the hill! a clear blue day with big white fluffs scudding across the sky.. this place is like sitting in your cosy parlour up in the middle of the mountains.. I was lucky enough to have the place to myself for a couple of hours.. a neat, tidy circle which although low seems to get bigger when you're sat down in it! The light and colours are incredible up here, the lichens on the stones shining irridescent silver, green and grey, brown green forests, purple heathery quilts, creamy lambs,turquoise skies.. the circle is central to all this and so much more.. peaceful, still and warm.. I walked barefoot on the springy grass with the sun on my face.. what more could you ask for?! You won't want to leave this place!

Beltany (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

beltany tops, near raphoe, co. donegal... on a wild windy day,made my way through the hills of inishowen to this fabulously dramatic circle. it is in the centre of a circle of mountains itself on a small hilltop easily found ( signposted from main road ) and then easy to lose yourself in!! the whole cairn is raised up and the stones lean out and up into the sky, some shot with white quartz and sparkling with energy.. as with so many beautiful sites, this is wonderfully unspoilt, a small heritage sign, scattered incense stick, tut tut.. but otherwise an incredible 360 degree view of the land all around you.. even the rain stopped for a short while, enough to light your face and warm the cockles.. this truly is a place with a playful joyful vibe and the stones an extremely comfortable place to sit awhile.. go to and enjoy! love lissy X

West Kennet (Long Barrow) — Fieldnotes

On Saturday 2nd Feb, on an awayday from the family, I set off in search of West Kennett. The drive from Thame in Oxfordshire took in the Blowing Stone, a cute little number stranded at the bottom of someone's front garden, and then a lightning stop at the Uffington White Horse - not enough time for Wayland's Smithy this time.. The journey to Avebury was enough in itself. The visual build up along the Ridgeway is amazing.. every step of the way the landscape reveals itself, pulling you along and then suddenly you approach the edge of the henge, and hello ladies, here we are! I think this was my third visit to Avebury but through taking this particular route, I was for the first time able to get a profound sense of the sheer scale of the journey people must have undertaken to get here, not to mention the awesome ceremonial significance of this ancient landscape. Unfortunately, the rain was beating down badly, so nothing to do but welly up and stride forth! I hadn't had time to see West Kennett before, so was determined to get there sheeting rain or no! I walked through the circle and made my way along the Avenue. I've always loved these avenue stones in particular, their individual characters so distinct. Getting more soaked every minute, I hurried on towards W.K. not realising quite how far from the circle it actually is ( well not that far really!) As I turned the corner and saw the mother of mounds that is Silbury, I knew there wasn't far to go. By the time I reached W.K. I was hugely wet but very happy. What a phenomenal spot to put this place! A giant footstep away from Silbury and the beautiful stone at the entrance shielding you from all the wind and rain.. As I ventured inside, I was not alone, a group of people had gathered inside to celebrate Imbolc, trust me to chose today! No disrespect though, they were a nice bunch, but although I stayed and chatted for a while, I kind of felt like I was intruding and so didn't really have the chance to tune in to the West Kennett experience, maybe next time! So after "drying out" HAHA! for a short while, I headed back up across the hill, stood alone on a level with Silbury, WONDERFUL! and had my moment.. I must say a valuable lesson in the need for serious waterproofs was learned as I do not recommend trying to change out of sodden clothes in your car, thank goodness it was dark!! Roll on those summer nights! LISSY x
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