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

Miscellaneous Posts by Rhiannon

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Musbury Castle (Hillfort)

Haven't found a story. But this is quite cool:
Remains of what were undoubtedly British trackways connecting Musbury with Hochsdon and Membury and also with more distant camps, no fewer than twelve of which are visible in ordinary weather, and, of course, could be communicated with at night by means of the beacon-fire, can be distinctly traced.

The camps include those at Woodbury, Sidbury, Blackbury, Dumpton, Hembury, Belbury, and Stockland, in Devonshire; Neroche, in Somersetshire, to the north; and Eggardun, in Dorsetshire, to the east. The panoramic view of the Valley of the Axe is one of the best throughout its extent, and the eye ranges far beyond that lovely tract - over hill and dale, with water, timber, and all the other accessories of a perfect English landscape.
p. 750 in "The Book of the Axe" by George Pulman (1875).

Ardmore (Standing Stone / Menhir)

There is a standing stone about four miles away from here. It stands in a field on the right hand side of the road as you go to Derry. The ground on which it stands belongs to William McDaid, who purchased the land a year ago from a man named Johnson. It is situated in the townland of Ardmore, Muff, in the parish of Iskaheen, Co. Donegal. It consists of a rectangular block of regular shape and is about seven feet high, four feet wide, and about two feet deep. It stands exactly on its end. The side facing the South is indented with little cup-like insertions, with a sort of rings or halo around them and about two inches out from them.

The late Mr Hart who lived at Kilderry Castle (once the residence of Sir Cahir O'Doherty) employed a number of men and got them to dig around the stone to see if they could unearth a grave or other, which might account for its being there. The earth that they dug out was carefully examined, but nothing was found, only two large iron balls resembling cannon balls but much larger.
Collected by Hugh C. Byrne, for the Schools Collection of folklore in the 1930s.

The Long Man of Wilmington (Hill Figure)

... The figure is not always visible; he is most often to be seen in bright summer mornings and evenings, or during the winter, when there is a hard frost, or a slight fall of snow. Sometimes you may see the giant distinctly half a mile off, but on approaching the spot the turf appears as smooth as on the adjacent hills.

[...] We may add that this remarkable figure is about to be restored, and that the vicar of Glynde, near Lewes, Sussex, is treasurer to the Restoration Fund, which has been headed by the Duke of Devonshire. Small subscriptions of half-a-crown are solicited in preference to larger sums, so as to excite a widely-extended interest. The first sod for the restoration has already been turned by Mr Phene, but the work has been suspended for a time to allow persons interested to see it in its original condition.
The Graphic, 7th February 1874. The campaign seem to have progressed at some pace, as the newspapers in April report that the outline had been completely restored (with white bricks).

Uffington White Horse (Hill Figure)

White Horse Hill, Berks, 1780.

The Scowering and Cleaning the White Horse is fixed for WHIT MONDAY, the 15th Day of May, on which Day, a SILVER CUP will be run for, near the White Horse Hill, by PONIES that never started for any Thing; and to be the actual Property of Persons belonging to the County of Berks; the best of three Two-Mile Heats. To start at Ten o' Clock.

The same Time, A THILL HARNESS will be run for by Cart Horses, &c. in their Harness and Bells, the Carters to ride in Smock Frocks without Saddles. Crossing and jostling, but no Whipping allowed.

A FLITCH of BACON to be run for by ASSES.

A good HAT to be run for by MEN in SACKS; every Man to bring his own Sack.

A WAISTCOAT, 10s. 6d. Value, to be given to the Person who shall take a Bullet out of a Tub of Flour with his Mouth in the shortest Time.

Several CHEESES to be run for down the White Horse Manger.

SMOCKS to be run for by Ladies; the second-best of each Prize to be entitled to a Silk Hat.


A JINGLING MATCH by eleven blindfolded Men, and One unmasked with Bells, for a Pair of BUCKSKIN BREECHES.

A GRINNING MATCH through a Horse's Collar for Five Shillings.

An APPLE to be taken out of a Tub of Water for Five Shillings.

Riding down the Hill upon Horses Jaw Bones, for 2s 6d.

And sundry other Rural Amusements.

(The Horses to be on the Hill, and entered by Nine o'Clock. - No less than four Horses, &c. or Asses to start for any of the above Prizes.)
Oxford Journal, 13th May 1780.

Conon Souterrain

Cairnconan's Famous Pictish Dwelling. A summer evening ramble. (From a Correspondent).

[...] Cairnconan Hill is by far the highest point in the district. Looking backward from the top of the hill the sea, the steeple, the water tower, and the chimney stacks of Arbroath stand out against the horizon. The Law Hill, Parkhill, and Lunan Bay can easily be traced, and still further eastward we can trace Bolshan Hill and the braes of Rossie. From the top of the hill on a clear day portions of no fewer than five counties can be seen, the range extending as far as the Firth of Forth with the faint outline of the Lammermoor Hills in the far distance. From the same point the Grampian range of mountains seem but a short distance away, but the light is deceptive and in reality they are a long way off. Dark Lochnagar is far away dimly outlined against the northern skyline. [...]

The farmer of West Grange related an amusing story to us about the ancient dwelling place. Almost every year it is visited by many more or less interested visitors. The interior of the weem or house is concave, the stones overlapping each other. The entrance at the top is very narrow only allowing the entrance of a sparely built man, and the depth of the floor of the dwelling is about 8 feet from the door or opening.

One day a number of years ago a visitor of rather small stature rather imprudently ventured to descend into the cavity. When it came to the getting out he found to his consternation that it was quite impossible for him to reach the top. He howled himself hoarse, and might have stayed there for a long time as the "house" is seldom visited and is at a considerable distance from the roadway. However by means of piling up a quantity of loose stones that had fallen down into the interior of the dwelling place he managed to scramble out.

The moral of all this is - don't visit the "Pict's house" at Cairnconan unless accompanied by friends and don't venture into places that you do not see some way of getting out of.

Mr Garland also informed us that the "house" is now very much diminished in size from its original state. It was at one time connected with another chamber by a long narrow passage covered with flagstones, but this interior chamber is now filled up and is not open to visitors.
Arbroath Herald, 23rd July 1920.

Wolstonbury (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

A group of students, working through the night on the Sussex Downs, north of Brighton, have cut a 200ft reclining figure of a woman in the chalk face of Wolstonbury Hill, which overlooks the main London to Brighton road. The students used shovels, picks and garden tools to cut the figure in the turf.
One of them said today :"The famous Long Man of Wilmington, near Eastbourne, was getting lonely so we thought it time to provide him with a mate."
The students hold their annual rag day at Brighton on Saturday.
Devon Echo, 14th October 1959.

Long Meg & Her Daughters (Stone Circle)

Long Meg is now 12 feet high. Camden said "15" but Mr Robin Collingwood reminds me that this was Camden's conventional figure; when he was in doubt as to an exact statement he put down 15. Various authors, not measuring for themselves, have simply followed him. Hutchinson's 18 feet I take to be a misprint for 15.

Todd, who first reduced the height to 12 feet, mentioned that the stone was hollow at the top, "like a dish or a Roman altar"; and Gough repeated this. What it really is like was found by Mr George Watson, who got a ladder and climbed up to see. He found a V-shaped groove running across the stone in a northerly direction, very broken and jagged, as if it had been struck by lightning. Possibly the stone was thus injured between Camden's time and Todd's - the greater part of a century. Probably, however, Camden overstated the height.

At any rate the stone was not hollowed at the top to serve as an altar, or to make the Danish King's seat less insecure.
A reminder to do one's own research, even if it means remembering a ladder. From a report of a meeting of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian Society, in the 'Penrith Observer', 26th July 1921.

Ivinghoe Beacon (Hillfort)

Mystery mine of Ivinghoe where ancient Britons worked flints. Amazing finds.

For 3,000 years travellers on the ancient Icknield Way threw anything they did not want into an old flint mine by the roadside. Long centuries of rubbish gradually filled it up, the top caved in, and eventually all trace of the mine was lost. Recent work in laying a waterpipe has revealed this storehouse of the centuries, and the discoveries made there bid fair to cause acute controversy amongst archaeologists.

Sheltered beneath the bluff face of Ivinghoe Beacon - the gaunt spur of the Chilterns overlooking the vale of Aylesbury - runs the ancient Icknield Way, and into its stones is knit the history of Southern England. Today a reporter followed again the road which once resounded to the martial tramp of Roman legions. Since the dawn of Britain's history travellers have stopped at this point. Today they still do so, and but a stone's throw away is the old mine.

To Mr W. Cobell, the one-armed garage man, these remarkable discoveries are due. Badly wounded in the War, an open-air job was necessary to keep him fit, and he now contrives to combine making a living with his hobby of archaeology. Mr Cobell led the way to the old shaft, half-hidden between a hawthorn hedge. Forty feet down into the solid chalk this old mine sinks into what was once a rich seam of fine flints. Four feet across, it is just wide enough for a man to straddle his legs. That revealed how the ancient miners ascended and descended probably 3,000 years ago. A series of footholds had been cut on either side of the shaft, and today young Sam, the enthusiastic excavator and purveyor, clambered down in the same old way, disdaining the modern rope and tackle. With an electric torch he illuminated its gloomy depths - the bottom is not yet reached - and showed where another tunnel leads away into the heart of the hill.

At the bottom of the shaft a magnificent flint axe with a giant left-handed grip has been found. There were also other rude weapons and arrow heads of flint, flakes and chippings, spear points, bones of animals, and similar traces of the ancient British village which once occupied the site. "These were the people who dug the mine and worked it until the flints ran out," Mr Cobell said. "Then it was just left open and became the rubbish pit for anyone passing by on the road." Above the prehistoric debris came traces of the Roman occupation of Britain. A roof tile of unmistakeable Roman make and a chimney tile bear the footprints of a dog that walked over them while they were wet and drying in the sun. Its footmarks can still be seen. A bronze coin of the Roman period has also been found, but its exact date has yet to be determined. Vast quantities of pottery of the early Iron Age were mixed in indescribable confusion with Roman wares, Anglo-Saxon wares, and pottery of successive peoples down to the fine medieval glazes. Fragments of 16th and 17th century glazes lying on top of all this accumulation have definitely been identified.

A few yards away is another curious hole made by these prehistoric miners. It may have been the floor where the flints were worked. The tremendous number of flakes found suggest that it was, but it was also the scene of a great fire, for which there is no explanation at present. Charred bones, burnt wood, and scores of flints scorched and split by intense heat are still there. Mr Edward Holis, curator of the Buckinghamshire County Museum at Aylesbury, said: "I know of nothing in England like this mine, if mine it be. The variety of the debris from so many periods of history is amazing, and until the site has been fully examined by experts it is impossible to say what is the real solution."
In the 'Gloucester Citizen', 25th August 1932.

Hully Hill Monument (Artificial Mound)

I'm glad HornbyPorky's fieldnotes say the graffiti is gone. I thought I'd add this to show the indignities have been going on for a while. I hope when McDonalds crumbles these stones will still be here.

On Saturday, the Greater Edinburgh Club, under the leadership of Mr Sterling Craig, visited "Edinburgh's Stonehenge," a group of four large stones at Lochend, opposite the point where the new Glasgow road branches off the old road to Broxburn. For 4000 years these megaliths have stood like the peak of a submerged mountain rising out of the ocean of prehistoric darkness, but testifying to the existence of a lost continent.

Local tradition says that there was originally an avenue of standing stones, 350 yards long, crossed by a shorter double row of megaliths about 80 yards from its western end. A Bronze Age burial ground, 30 yards in diameter, of much later date, has been erected in the northern part of the crossing. The eastmost megalith is eleven feet high and three to four feet broad, and the others are about six feet in height, standing at the souther, western, and northern extremities of the crossing avenues.

The unity of the monument is now difficult to recognise, because it is broken by a deep railway cutting and a wide road. The terminal megalith (now in a piggery) is obscured from the rest by a large advertisement hoarding, but it undoubtedly belongs to the same period as Stonehenge and was erected by the same fogotten race.
In The Scotsman, 23rd May 1938.

Througham (Long Barrow)

Witts, in his 'Archaeological Handbook of the County of Gloucester' (1883) says:
It is 100 feet long, its greatest width being 50 feet, and height five feet; its direction is east and west, the highest portion being towards the east.

The mound was cut in two about fifty years ago to make room for a cottage and some pigstyes; the latter now occupy the centre of the barrow! During the excavation one human skeleton was found. Probably this is the only instance in the county of a prehistoric burial place being turned into a pigstye!

Twizzle Stone Long Barrow

Not really tea-time viewing, but I've posted a photo of an apparently 'trephinated' skull found in a long barrow at Bisley (perhaps this very barrow... it's a bit confusing). It was found by Dr. W. H. Paine from Stroud, in 1863. We read: "this is only a partial trephination, the operation having been abandoned either on account of the death of the patient or an unwillingness on the part of the priest-doctor to proceed with it." How about the unwillingness of the patient?! This 1923 paper by Thomas Parry even has some photos showing his (patientless) experiments into how it might have been done. A fascinating and ghastly subject to ponder on.

Bryn y Groes (Chambered Tomb)

In a field called Croeslechau about two miles eastward of this town or village [Talgarth] but in the parish of Bronllys and on a farm called Bryn-y-groes, is a cromlech, not merely interesting on account of its antiquity, but from the circumstance of a white thorn growing close, and indeed under part of it, which has gradually raised the horizontal or covering-stone several inches out of its original position; it is therefore not only venerable as a relic of very ancient days but as a natural curiosity.
Theophilus Jones, History of the County of Brecknock, v2, 1809.

The RCAHMW's 1986 inventory of ancient monuments in Brecknock puts the site 500m south west of Pontithel, and includes a description by Edward Lhuyd from about 1700.

In Ireland surely a barrow with a strange hawthorn (white thorn) would have been given a wider berth... an indication that the fairies were living there and wouldn't be happy about any disturbance. But maybe things don't work that way in Wales. The barrow was destroyed in the first part of the 19th century and it's not very obvious where it was.

West Kennett Avenue (Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue)

From the Western Daily Press, 18th August 1939.
Historic Wilts Stone Circle Damaged.
Mr Norman Cook, curator of Avebury Museum, stated yesterday that the soldiers who were encamped at Avebury, Wilts, last week, did considerable damage in the stone avenue which adjoins the famous stone circle there, and left behind them filth and litter and refuse from the camp kitchen.

Mr Cook, who was speaking at a Swindon Rotary meeting, said: "They parked themselves in the Avenue on August 9. They had 119 tanks, a camp kitchen, etc. with them. When they had gone it was found that this crack regiment had left a permanent record of their visit.

"To our horror we found they had cut inscriptions commemorating their visit on our stones, although personal assurances had been given that no harm would come to the monument. They left an indescribable amount of filth and litter. It will cost us a tremendous amount of money. One inscription may remain forever to record their visit."

It is understood that the War Office is investigating the matter.
I expect the War Office very soon found itself with more pressing matters, unfortunately, given the date. I like the way Norman is taking it personally, about 'our stones'. I wonder if the graffiti is still visible, how disgraceful. But I wonder whether there were really 119 tanks? It seems a very specific number, as though he'd counted them, but also somewhat incredible - more crowded than the car park today down the road? And why were they allowed on an archaeological site when they had the rest of the Marlborough Downs? Rather confusing.

Nine Stanes (Stone Circle)

- It is unfortunate that the Office of Works should have disregarded the Garrol stone circle, so nobly situated, and so impressive. On my last visit (the 15th) I was shocked to find that the woodmen in clearing up the cut wood had piled and burned a large quantity of heavy brush in the very centre of the circle, thereby cracking, displacing and disfiguring the stones and chamber slab of the inner circle.

I could be scathing at this juncture, but it is seldom fruitful of happy results. I will only say that if rude men were the builders (by no means proved), our present civilisation is turning out ruder and cruder ones to whom nothing whatsoever appears to be sacred.

I foresee, too, that during re-afforesting by the Department further disfigurement will take place - and possibly complete obliteration.

This circles is a source of great interest to strangers, as I well know, and therefore a valuable asset to a locality endeavouring to popularise itself. But apart from this cheap side-view, the Garrol circle is an inspiring object, fascinating and fruitful of thought, and of the highest human and historical interest. May some kind hand protect it!

-Arthur F. Leslie Paterson,
Birkwood, Banchory.
The fight for Stones goes on. A letter in the Aberdeen Press and Journal, 24th July 1936.

Boar's Den (Round Barrow(s))

Ascending Parbold Hill and proceeding eastward in the direction of Standish, says [Mr Price, honourary secretary of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire], a slight decent is made into the ravine called Sprodley Wood, locally known as Fairy Glen, and along this wood runs Sprodley Brook. Shortly after passing over Sprodley Brook, in a field on the left may be seen a grass-covered mound, which from time immemorial seems to have been called Boars Den.

[...] From this plateau a magnificent view presents itself at every point of the compass. Northwards, beyond the silver streak of the Ribble estuary, rise the Cumberland Hills; nearer, and trending eastwards, may be seen Pendle Hill, Bleasdale Moors, Longridge Fells, Rivington Pike, and Anglesark Moors; southwards, Standish, Billinge Beacon, and Ashurst; and westward stretches a vast plain, with the Welsh mountains faintly outlined across the Mersey estuary. Few sites in Lancashire could rival this in its command of the ancient landmarks and beacons of the county, and the estuaries of the Ribble, Mersey, and Dee.
In the Wigan Observer, 25th May 1904.

Tolmen Stone (Constantine) (Natural Rock Feature)

The Tolmen of Constantine.
Mr. R. Edmonds called attention to this rock - the finest of its kind in Britain; it is ten time as large as the Logan Rock, which is estimated at 70 tons. The Tolmen (or holed-stone) is about 33 feet long, 19 broad, and 15 high. Of this fine relic, Mr. Edmonds said that unless a subscription be immediately set on foot to purchase the rock, together with that portion of the cairn which it covers, there is reason to fear that the fragments will soon form part of the national buildings now in progress at Chatham or Plymouth, as the granite quarries have already reached within a few feet of it. If the three Royal Societies of Cornwall were to interest themselves in the preservation of this noble monument and effect its purchase, the comparatively small sum thus expended would confer honour on all its contributors, but if it were suffered to perish, the disgrace to our native county would never be effaced.
A warning against complacency when it comes to believing other people will look after the best interests of our monuments in their landscape. In the Royal Cornwall Gazette, 12th October 1849.

Stonehenge (Circle henge)

The following letter from "The Proprietor of Stonehenge" appeared in the Times, of Thursday last:-

In a recent impression of the Times "A Visitor to Stonehenge" complains of the general damage done in thirty years past, and of particular damage done on the day of his visit. I believe no one of our old monuments has suffered less during the period first mentioned, and, considering the thousands who annually visit it, I think the public deserve much credit for the very little damage done.

On inquiry I find that about a fortnight ago an individual of the mechanic class brought a large sledgehammer, and, notwithstanding the remonstrances of a person who is usually at the stones holding horses, persisted in breaking the corners of two of the fallen stones. This is the only recent damage I can find, after a careful inspection. If I knew his name and place of residence, I should assuredly try what the law could do in such a case of wilful mischief; but, speaking generally, and judging from results, I believe an appeal to the public interest in such monuments and to the good feeling so generally entertained is the best preservative.

In the few cases of attempted mischief I am bound to say that the operative class are not those principally implicated. A member of the professional classes was one evening found, in the interests of science, as he asserted, endeavouring to ascertain the depth of the foundations. He apologised in the county paper, and the matter dropped.

A respectable paterfamilias, who arrived in a well-appointed barouche, was heard by a relative of mine asking for "the hammer and the chisel." On being requested to desist from the intended operation, the answer was, "And who the deuce are you, Sir?" On being told the petitioner claimed to be the proprietor of the threatened institution, he declared he had always believed it "public property."

In another instance three young men, being found on the top of two of the standing stones, stated they were about to carry off a piece of what is called the Sarsen stone for a relative of one of them, who was a distinguished archaeologist. On my writing to that gentleman, depracating a renewal of his relative's visits with such intentions, he assured me no relative of his would be guilty of such an act, adding, as a further assurance, that the act was unnecessary, as he already possessed a piece of the stone in question; he added, "given him by a friend."

I think I can re-assure the public mind as to the question, and I may surely ask those who take an interest in it, when they see attempts of the sort, to offer one of those good-natured remonstrances which will carry weight with the offender, and are sure to enlist the sympathy and assistance of the great body of bystanders.
Re-reported in the Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 23rd September 1871. I love the dry retelling of the anecdotes. And the final paragraph surely still holds as good advice today.

Hollingbury Hillfort

A few weeks since, a labourer employed in digging flints, near Hollingbury Castle (the ancient earthwork or camp on the summit of the hill between Brighton and Stanmer), discovered an interesting group of antiquities, placed very superficially in a slight excavation on the chalk rock. It consisted of a brass instrument, called a celt; a nearly circular ornament, spirally fluted, and having two rings placed loosely on the extremities, and four armillae or bracelets for the wrist, of a very peculiar shape. All these ornaments are composed of a metallic substance, which, from the appearance of those parts where the green patina, with which they are encrusted, has been removed, must have originally posessed a lustre but little inferior to burnished gold. They are clearly either of Roman or Anglo-Roman origin, and probably were buried on or near the site of interment of the individual to whom they belonged.
From the Salisbury and Winchester Journal, 7th February 1825. It seems they're in the British Museum now: I found their photo here. Not quite so flash as a gold torc but I like them. They've got a very modern minimal look about them.

Carlingwark Loch (Crannog)

From volume 7 of the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (1870).
December 1866. The Donations to the Library and Museum were as follows, and thanks were voted to the Donors:-

1. By Samuel Gordon Esq. and J T Blackley, Esq, Castle-Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire.

Large Caldron, formed of very thin plates of yellow bronze, the bottom being formed of one large sheet, and the sides of various smaller portions, all riveted together. It is patched in various places with additional bronze plates of various sizes riveted on. The caldron measures 26 inches in diameter across the mouth, the sides being straight, but bulging out to the extent of 1 inch above the rounded and flattened bottom. Part of the circumference of the mouth, where the handle had been attached, has been torn away.

The caldron was dredged up by the donors from Carlingwark Loch, Kirkcudbright, and contained

an adze, 7 inches in length, 2 inches across the face (Plate 1 fig. 1);

three axe-heads, measuring from 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches in length, and 2 to 2 1/2 inches across the face (figs. 2, 3, 4) - each of these tools have small projections of the metal on each side of the half-hole;

four small picks or hammers, with narrow extremities, from 6 to 7 1/4 inches in length (fig. 5) and apparently a broken half of another hammer-head, 4 inches in length;

hammer-head with flattened ends (fig. 6);

portion of a small saw, 6 1/2 inches, with blade 1 inch in breadth - a portion of the wooden handle remains riveted to the blade (fig. 7);

portions of a fine cut saw, 2 1/2 inches in length and 1 1/2 inch in breadth;

nine portions of double-edged blades, with pointed extremities resembling sword points, from 2 1/2 to 6 inches in length, and from 1 1/2 to 2 inches in breadth;

nails of various lengths, one with a large head, with a cross marked on each side (fig. 8);

small slender chisel, 5 inches in length, 3/4 of an inch across the face; portion of another chisel; three punches, 4 3/4 to 5 3/8 inches in length (fig. 9);

four split bats with eyes (figs. 10 and 11);

two large holdfasts; six hooks, varying in size from 2 1/2 inches to 5 inches in length (fig. 12);

iron buckle (fig. 13);

two handles with loops, apparently the handles of a bucket, one rudely ornamented with punched parallel lines (figs. 14, 15, 16);

wooden handle (fig. 17);

an iron implement (fig. 18);

iron tripod or ring, with three feet, apparently for supporting a pot (fig. 19);

and an iron frame, with numerous bars, and having two feet, the other two apparently awanting, the whole resembling a rude gridiron; five pieces of iron handles, one measuring 5 3/4 inches in length by 1/4 of an inch in breadth, has a loop at each extremity (fig. 20);

snaffle horse-bit, with check-ring 3 inches in diameter (fig. 21);

file, 9 3/4 inches in length and 1 inch in breadth; various scraps of iron plates; portions of iron hoops or bands perforated with holes.
That's a lot of stuff. I started to regret typing the list. There are a few more things listed but I got the impression they were other stuff being donated by the two men mentioned, rather than stuff found in the caudron. There's a photo of the cauldron here on the NMS database, along with all its miscellaneous contents.

Newtown Hill Cairn (Cairn(s))

To the Editor of Saunders's News-Letter.
SIR- Yesterday, being in the neighbourhood of Glencullen, with two friends, we went to inspect a cromlech between that place and Ballyedmonduff named "Giant's Grave" in the Ordnance map. Imagine our surprise and indignation at finding only its site; it had recently been literally quarried away, perhaps, for some purpose for which any other stones would have answered just as well, and this too, at no great distance from quarries now being worked.

Archaeologists should learn from such cases as this, which unfortunately are only too common, the importance of never passing one of these structures without taking a sketch, or better still, if possible, a photograph, and measurements of it. It is much to be regretted that landed proprietors do not adopt proper precautions for the preservation of these interesting relics of remote antiquity from wanton destruction.

I am, sir, your obedient servant, W.H.S. Westropp, MRIA.
Blackrock, October 11, 1867.
In Saunders's News-Letter, 15th October 1867.
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This hill, it has a meaning that is very important for me, but it's not rational. It's beautiful, but when you look, there's nothing there. But I'd be a fool if I didn't listen to it.

-- Alan Garner.

...I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn...

-- William Wordsworth.

Some interesting websites with landscape and fairy folklore:

My TMA Content: