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

Fieldnotes by twinny

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Lang Cairn (Chambered Tomb)

After a trip to the Stockie Muir chambered cairn ( I promised myself I would return to seek out its nearest neighbour which lies across the other side of a Forest. It may as well have been on the Moon because getting to it was extremely difficult and a real test of will. First off the farmer has locked the gates along the road so that it is no longer possible to drive along the road for most of the way. The road itself was in fairly good condition and was an easy walk but its a fair treck to get to the forest where the cairn lies. We walked for at least an hour and a half. For those of you who live in nearby Glasgow this walk is an experience in itself as this large tract of land has nothing on it. Nothing for miles around except the most amazing panoramic view of the Kilpatrick Hills, The Campsie Fells, Loch Lomond and over to the NW the cobbler and Arrocher. Once you enter the forest be careful not to walk too far. The ride to your right that takes you out onto the moor has an observation platform halfway down. No other break in the forest has this so if you spot it, this is the one. Once you get to the forest edge look up to your left diagonally and you should be able to spot a heather covered long outcrop. This is the cairn. Prepare yourself for another 20min slog across boggy moorland to get to it. Once I arrived I was struck by how big this cairn is. I mean its massive. Its at least 8 times the length of the Stockie Muir cairn (mentioned above). Standing on its top its hard to get a sense of what this place was like when it was inhabited. Take a wander down to the edge of the forest that runs alongside the cairn and whisper your name. It will come back in a very distinct echo as there is a large cliff and waterfall hidden by the forest which forms a natural amphitheatre. If the forest wasn't there I bet this would be a very distinctive spot indeed. As it is this is one for the completists.

Stockie Muir (Chambered Cairn)

The thought of a Chambered Cairn may not excite you compared with some of the other places mentioned on this web site but the StockieMuir Chambered Cairn was worth the walk. It sits high up on the side of a Glen that rolls down for miles in a gentle slope to the banks of Loch Lomond. A better view can be had from the unusual rock formation that sits higher up the hill from us called the 'Whangie' but by the time we'd battled across the boggy ground to get here our new view seemed more worthwhile. The rocks that form this Cairn undoubtably came from the Whangie but here there is a river nearby and is obviously a good place for settlement. We did debate whether people settled near their dead but wherever it was they didn't want to travel to far to bury them hence this Cairn. The Chambers have collapsed to form distinct indentations along its length but for all that its is 'ruined' it still impressed the hell out of me. How could I have lived in this area all my life and walked the nearby Queens view many times and never known this was here? Its a lot larger than the pictures seem to suggest. Take your directions from Greyweathers postings and don't do what we did which was to walk 'as the crow flies' straight at it. The going is heavy and the heather hides a few nasty surprises such as boggy holes in which to sink your legs knee deep.

Clickimin Broch

This broch was 'reconstructed' by the Victorians back in the 1850s'. I wasn't too happy to learn this from the information board which you'll find just before the entrance but as soon as I started to wander about I began to get a sense that this was an ancient site. It stands on a promontory of land which flows out into the loch that is so striking it is an obvious place for settlement and for defense. Bizarrely enough Lerwick has encroached upon this special place so much that as you gaze back along the path you see the main road into town, the garage, A Safeway Supermarket and as you turn your eyes out across the loch you see the new sports centre built with Shetlands new Oil wealth. Fortunately, if you gaze straight ahead across the loch to the distant hills you can see back into the past and get a sense of what it might have been like to arrive in this place perhaps after a long journey.
The twin brother of wee_malky.

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