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Fieldnotes by Mr Hamhead

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Showing 1-20 of 212 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20

Men Marz (Standing Stone / Menhir)

As we were camping within walking distance it seemed a shame not to visit. This is a massive stone! Like Jane says, shame about the cross perched on top. There's now an interpretation area across the road, in French, but with some great old photos.
I managed to get a stone on the ledge! I'm hearing wedding bells already!

Bartlow Hills (Round Barrow(s))

Without any fieldnotes or a map these monsters took a bit of finding. I eventually parked at the south end of the village and walked back along a footpath through woods before branching off to the right deeper into the woods where the 'hills' suddenly appear in front of you. Wht are they not known better? possibly because there are very few other sites in the area?
Visiting in early April there is very little greenery around, though more than in Cornwall at the moment. Even so there is no view from the top of the tallest mound because of the trees all around, which is a shame.
I would love to know more about the excavations here, how they were carried out and where the story of the light being left burning inside came from.

Lesquite Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Inspired by CARLs visit, I thought it about time I got to see Lesquite Quoit, especailly as I spend quite a bit of time in the area during the spring due to its close proximity to Redmoor nature reserve.

So, having spent the day watching woodpeckers and blue tits feeding their young, being mugged by three over excited squirrels and generally having a great time deep in pristine woodland, I drove over to the pull in beside the field.

As I got out of the car I spotted a fox cub on the other side of the road scarper into the corn with a vole in its mouth. I walked across carefully hoping to catch sight of it only to be greeted by three other cubs, all happy to have photos taken...

...but back to the quoit.

It's an interesting one as there is no sign of how, if it did, the cap stone sat atop of the uprights. Perhaps it never did, the other large stone that stands behind is too far away to have been part of one structure, so why is it there? The small stone that sits beneath the sloping cap stone, is it original or just a large stone placed there years ago and now considered part of the group?

Is there a connection with Helman Tor and its supposed Neolithic encampment?

So many questions...

Langstone Downs Cairns (Cairn(s))

Three large cairns sit on Langstone Downs. Apart from a few uprights in place in and around the eastern cairn they appear to be just three large piles of stones. The 'hill' itself is overshadowed by Sharptor to the east, one of Bodmin Moors finest summits.
The Langstone, that gives the hill its name, is conspicuous by its absence...unless you know better?

Changwens Menhir (Standing Stone / Menhir)

This stone is on private land belonging to Trelew Farm.

Built into the wall, it is recognised as a monument although some might say it was ancient farmers making use of a large lump of stone...we may never know?
Another stone has been identified nearby lying recumbent in the wall.
Within five mins walk of Boscawen-un, this whole area seems to have more standing stones than any other part of Cornwall.

Trelew Menhir (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Wow! photos do not do this stone's a big un!
Easy to find just up the drive to Trelew Farm. It is on their land but they are happy for people to visit. In fact guests using the farm for B&B are encouraged to walk through the fields to visit Boscawen-un passing another menhir on the way.
See link for details

Pridden (Standing Stone / Menhir)

This stone is on private land and the field is used to keep horses in. I was advised that the landowner would probably not want people walking through the fields.
The stone can be seen from the road just east of St Buryan but it is narrow at that point and not easy to stop.

Watch Croft (Cairn(s))

10 April 2011
Fantastic sunny day with little wind. Decided to do a circular walk taking in Watch Croft, Carn Glava, and Bosigran. Approcahed Watch Croft from the west, parking the car beside the fork in the road with the 'modern' quoit above Morvah. A Bridleway leads up the hill to the old mine and the adjacent houses. At the entrance to the houses we turned right and followed a vague path up to the summit and trig point. BE CAREFUL..plenty of pits in the area...they may not be very deep but you never know!
Even in early April the amount of undergrowth makes going off path difficult but we made the summit easily and took in the views. The standing stone is just south of the summit and a little bit of a disappointment after the others we had seen in the previous 24 hours...but nevermind.
From here we headed east on a well used path to Carn Galva...always the highlight of any trip to the far west.

Bearah Tramway cairn (Cist)

Don't know how I have not gone looking for this one before....walked the area loads of times. Marked as a cairn on OS maps, this little cist is hidden under a gorse bush beside the old tramway that runs west from Bearah Quarry.
Apart from the capstone there is very little above ground...hardly a cairn in the Bodmin Moor scheme of things.
Too dark and too small to take a look inside so had to rely on the camera to get a photo. It looks very tidy inside with banding on the stones suggesting where the earth/water level once was?

Bearah Common (Long Cairn)

Finally got to visit on not only a dry day, but also in early spring before the bracken and everything else had taken over this site. For the first time I could make out the whole long cairn.
Stretching away up hill from the cist/quoit? is a boat shaped area walled in by low stones, this is what I have never seen before. I can see now why it is called a long cairn.
I would still love to know if the large stones that make up the central structure were ever all erect or were they a cist that was set above the present layer of earth and have collapsed as earth has been taken away........

The Greywethers (Stone Circle)

After trudging through the forestry for what seemed like hours it was great to get out onto open moorland again. It was hot with little breeze so on first reaching the circles I chose to sit in the shadow of the northern most stone and have my lunch...and take on water.

Refreshed I explored.

I had the stones to myself, the gentleman who had walked with me from Fernworthy had gone off to find a cairn on the side of Sittaford and a couple who had avoided encroaching on my lunchtime had slipped off to who knows where.

For some reason I started thinking about the figures on Easter Island...although the stones here are not that large they just gave a sense of being so...perhaps it is because there is very little else in the landscape for scale.

I lingered a while, took in the tranquility..realised that it would probably be the only time I ever visit this remote part of the moor before heading up hill to Sittaford Tor.

Fernworthy (Stone Circle)

At a landscape where any features of interest are hidden by dense forest and unfollowable tracks...a real stone circle!

By the time I got to Fernworthy Circle I had given up on ever finding Assycombe...I navigate by reading the landscape and using an OS forestry nothing ever corresponds with an OS map but I had decided that Assycombe required a climb...and under a baking sun and no wind the thought of climbing along paths that I had no way of telling if they were the right one or not did not entice me.

So I had carried on to Fernworthy hoping that it would be easy to find...and it is. It sits inside a nice clearing which gave me the impression that this might have been how some of these circles were when they were erected all those years ago. (I know many will argue that this isn't so and that they would have been on top of hills so they could be seen..but)

Part of me wanted to climb one of the trees on the edge of the clearing and look down onto the circle...but I feel my days of tree climbing are behind me...and looking at the spindly branches I decided to forgo this fancy.

I had a quick look at the stone rows...mainly hidden by the midsummer grass..and then met up with another walker who offered to lead me through the maze of tracks to Grey Wethers..

Metherall Settlement (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

This group of huts and a cairn can be found a short distance uphill from the reservoir, turning left up a track soon after passing the visitor centre car park.
Though not signposted from the track they do have short posts beside them with identification numbers on.....if only the corresponding list was available to point out where the other antiquities could be found within the plantation!

The hut circles were easy to find and it was obvious that the forestry had kept them clear of any growth apart from grass.

I did not find the cairn circle as I was unclear just quite where it was and away from the track and the huts the terrain was overgrown and uneven...and it was too bloody hot to go too far off piste...

Blakeley Raise (Stone Circle)

I can report that the Sellafield traffic still use the road beside the stones as a high speed short cut home. Sadly I did not read the notes before myself and Mrs Hamhead decided to drive up there at around five o'clock last Wednesday afternoon!!!

It took us a while to work out where all these single men were coming from at great speed....
We had been enjoying a fantastic walk beside Ennerdale in the sunshine when I noticed Stone Circle on the OS map...shall we go I i have a choice? said Mrs H.

I realise I am spoilt with all the circles down here in Cornwall and the nearby racetrack was a little off putting but i coudn't get too excited about Blakeley....its nothing to do with the fact that it might be a modern recreation...most circles in Cornwall have been re-erected at some just didn't have that something..

Still, its easy to get to (unless you time it wrong) and it is a quiet retreat after the madness of the Lakes. We drove a little further south along the road and parked up at the gates to a plantation. From here we walked up the hill opposite...great views from the top over to the Isle of Man and Scotland.

The Spinsters' Rock (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

A cold grey February afternoon is not the best time to go viewing Dartmoor's we spent a pleasant three hours in the pub and then had a quick drive up the road to view this beast. Size wise it is impressive but it all feels too modern.....
...By that I mean the rebuilding of the quoit somehow takes away the is after all only an approximation of what was there before and its a bit like a Victorian tourist attraction.

I am sure I have read somewhere that at one time there was a stone row and some circles nearby....
...anyway, this is a very handy antiquity, lying as it does only a few miles from the A30..and on a cold grey day when spending more than five mins out of the car is not recommended it is worth a visit.

White Tor Stone Row (Stone Row / Alignment)

This double row of stones runs downhill going south from Higher White Tor keeping the ridge on your right. The stones are small and i would imaging would be hard to find once mid summer has passed and the grass has grown.

Broad Down Cairn (Cairn(s))

I don't suppose I will ever visit this cairn again.....might not even be able to find it again! It really is in the middle of nowhere and the only reason i chanced upon it was because I was trying to find the driest route between two points.
Broad Down is a large expanse of boggy grassland to the north of Postbridge running down the the East Dart river. This small cairn sits atop of the down...but i have to say i am not too sure of my grid ref mainly because of the featureless terrain.

Chittaford Down (Cist)

Not the easiest site to find if approaching from north along Drift Lane from Postbridge look out for a stile on the left as you start to climb out onto the open moor. Once over the stile keep going till you reach a dry ditch (the Powder Mill leat) Turn right and follow this to the first tree. The turn uphill for about 50 yards and you just might find it....

Chittaford Cairn and Cist

Not the easiest site to find....walking north along Drift Lane from Postbridge look out for a stile on the left as you start to climb out onto the open moor. Once over the stile keep going till you reach a dry ditch (the Powder Mill leat) Turn right and follow this to the first tree. Then turn uphill for about 50 yards and you just might find it....

Hawks Tor row (Standing Stones)

These five uprights have been wedged into a natural fault in the rock at the western end of Hawks Tor. They provide a barrier from anything approaching along the ridge from the west as you either have to climb over them or descend down some distance and traverse around below.

I can find no mention of them in any history books so have no idea what age they belong to..but see no reason why anyone would put them there in 'modern times'.

Hawks Tor can be accessed from a footpath that heads left from the road up to Trewortha Farm from Berriobridge.
Showing 1-20 of 212 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20
Mr Hamhead started as a doodle on a scrap of paper many years ago.....then he became a submariner in a series of poems that I am writing. When I needed a name for this site he just sort of popped up.
In the real world I go under the far less interesting title of Mark Camp, keen walker, historian and tourist guide.
I am lucky enough to live in Cornwall, a mile from the south coast and within half an hours drive of Bodmin Moor. Hence the sites I have contributed.
My first love up on the moors (and Cornwall in general) is industrial history, but you are never far from a lump of granite and through research for walks I have become interested in all things ancient.
It has helped that I have been listening to Mr Cope since buying Reward as a young student and have followed his career from the far west where musicians seldom come to play.
As I have said before on the site, if any TMA contributors are in the area and fancy a walk on the moor, get in touch, I will be happy to share my knowledge of everything the moor has to offer.

oh yes website is at

My TMA Content: