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Watch Croft (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

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.

Twelve Men's cist — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Twelve Men's cist</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead

Bearah Tramway cairn (Cist) — Images

<b>Bearah Tramway cairn</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead<b>Bearah Tramway cairn</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead<b>Bearah Tramway cairn</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead

Bearah Tramway cairn (Cist) — Fieldnotes

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) — Fieldnotes

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........

Bearah Common (Long Cairn) — Images

<b>Bearah Common</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead<b>Bearah Common</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead<b>Bearah Common</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead

Trethevy Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Trethevy Quoit</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead<b>Trethevy Quoit</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead

Dartmoor — News

Preservation group up for award

From Western Morning News Feb 26th 2011

Nomination for project to save cairns on moor

A project to improve the condition of prehistoric cairns on Dartmoor has been nominated for a national award.

The Dartmoor Cairn Repair Project has been shortlisted for the Marsh Archaeology Award, organised by the Council for British Archaeology.

The award is given to a voluntary project which has worked to improve the condition of the nation's heritage.

There are more than 1,200 known round cairns on Dartmoor. The majority are thought to date to around 3,500-4,000 years ago, although some may be even older.

The project between Dartmoor National Park Authority (NPA), English Heritage and the Dartmoor Preservation Association saw volunteers carry out surveys and repairs under specialist supervision.

It has resulted in 31 of the scheduled monuments being removed from the English Heritage "at risk" register.

NPA archaeologist Andy Crabb said: "This is great recognition for a fantastic project which has surveyed and repaired over 45 prehistoric cairns in the last five years.

"The cairns repaired by the project had become damaged through disturbance such as the remodelling of the stone material to create shelters. This can expose fragile archaeology once contained within the cairn and destroy its distinctive profile."

James Paxman, chief executive of the Dartmoor Preservation Association, added: "This is tremendous news and proves what an enormous amount can be achieved by volunteers working together with other organisations.

"The team has become a highly skilled and close knit unit. Besides the actual restoration work the quality of their field survey drawings is outstanding and provides an important new source of information about Dartmoor's cairns." The winner will be announced in March.

Helman Tor (Natural Rock Feature) — Images

<b>Helman Tor</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead<b>Helman Tor</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead<b>Helman Tor</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead

Cornwall — Links

Caradon Hill Area Heritage Project

Keeping us up to date on a funded project to, amongst other things, rediscover and preserve some of the archaeology around the Hurlers, Stowe's Hill etc.

The Hurlers (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>The Hurlers</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead<b>The Hurlers</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead<b>The Hurlers</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead

Trippet Stones (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Trippet Stones</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead

Crowpound Menhir (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Crowpound Menhir</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead

Crowpound Menhir (Standing Stone / Menhir) — News

Menhir gone!

I am not sure what has happened and will be making enquiries but the stone that may or may not have been a standing stone...has vanished.
It has been replaced by a modern granite upright with a messy road sign stuck in top of it....
I asked a couple of locals if they knew what had happened to the stone but I am no further forward.

Mr H

Stonehenge and its Environs — News

New website being looked at.

Feasibility study for a Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site web presence

The Tourism Company have been commissioned by English Heritage to look at how they could improve the online presence of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site. At present, information is spread across a number of different websites run by a variety of organisations that have a stake in the World Heritage Site. The result is a fragmented online presence that is hard for users to navigate around. English Heritage has asked us to look at whether it would be feasible to create a more joined-up approach to presenting the World Heritage Site online, with one option being to create a centralised website. Our work involves consultation within English Heritage and amongst the World Heritage Site partners. It also includes the compilation of case study material from comparable multi-stakeholder web projects around the UK and from abroad.

The Greywethers (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

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.

The Greywethers (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>The Greywethers</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead<b>The Greywethers</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead

Fernworthy (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

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..

Fernworthy (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Fernworthy</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead

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

<b>Metherall Settlement</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead<b>Metherall Settlement</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead

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

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) — Images

<b>Blakeley Raise</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead<b>Blakeley Raise</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead<b>Blakeley Raise</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead

Blakeley Raise (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

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) — Fieldnotes

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.

Stonehenge and its Environs — Images

<b>Stonehenge and its Environs</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead

The Pipers (Boleigh) (Standing Stones) — Images

<b>The Pipers (Boleigh)</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead

White Tor Stone Row (Stone Row / Alignment) — Images

<b>White Tor Stone Row</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead

White Tor Stone Row (Stone Row / Alignment) — Fieldnotes

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)) — Images

<b>Broad Down Cairn</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead<b>Broad Down Cairn</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead

Broad Down Cairn (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

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) — Fieldnotes

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 — Images

<b>Chittaford Cairn and Cist</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead

Chittaford Cairn and Cist — Fieldnotes

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....

Chittaford Cairn and Cist — Images

<b>Chittaford Cairn and Cist</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead<b>Chittaford Cairn and Cist</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead<b>Chittaford Cairn and Cist</b>Posted by Mr Hamhead
Previous 50 | Showing 51-100 of 888 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
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

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