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

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Tim Bucktoo's Latest Posts

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Mine Howe (Burial Chamber) — Fieldnotes

Visited 3rd week September 2004. Spent a long time chatting with the 'officious-looking' woman ... in fact she is a relation of the original discoverer, and has very much comitted herself to the future of the site. (Recalls several visits to the Rollright Stones, also privately managed, and with a refressing lack of state care paraphenalia).

Had a good 20 minutes with a borrowed torch scouring the walls for graffiti or signs of stoneworking. There are some pecks along some of the steps, indicating they were purposfully shaped or split, and the bottom step seems to have a deliberately chosed ripple-marked slab. Didn't find a single scratch or significant step wear, almost as if the site had hardly been used.

The upper steps have toe-spaces, and are more like a stone step-ladder. The base of the chamber is a huge flat slab (bedrock?), but which perhapse could be inspected by careful excavation down one side, as it looks impossible to lift being a supporting structure for the walling.

The site is certainly un-burial chamber like, more a sort of souterrain? It has a feeling of industrial purposfulness - one would have expected more precisely-placed stonework if it were a tomb.

The 2005 excavations should provide more fascinating information.

London Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Still there and still faintly illuminated behind a smoky screen. The Overseas Bank of China building is now derelict - a sad sight.

Garrywhin (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

A short walk over marshy ground (on raised boardwalk), leads past the cairns. Locally known as Carn of Get, and signposted as such. The cairn is open to the sky, and the floor is concreted, which detracts from the site's character. More interesting is the surrounding landscape, which demonstrates the continuity of existence in the crofting 'lowlands beyond the highlands' (there are no mountains in the far NE of Scotland) - the surroundings abound with scraps of cairn and low stones, to the NNE is Garywhin fort. Continue a short way along the path to reach a sizeable, ruined dam, which probably fed the 19th century corn mill at Whaligeo.

There is parking for one (small) car by the path, or, provided it is done considerately, more space just before the private farm road a short distance further on.
Tim Bucktoo, armchair archaeologist. Interest sparked by reading Alfred Watkins book on ley lines - think they're a load of harmless rubbish now, but it got me hunting down the neglected and obscure antiquities of the countryside.

Best find to date: an unknown carving of a medieval lute player on a country parish church roof boss.

Live in NE Scotland, but the picture is of the Hawk Stone in the Cotswolds, not far from the Rollright Stones, where I spent many hours in my youth.

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