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

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Lanyon Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Fieldnotes

Is this not one of the coolest places? Had such a top morning sat staring at this last summer.

Frosty morning, no one around - kind of misty too in that Cornish fashion.

Great to clamber under the top stone too and sit under it's huge mass - thinking...

Grey Cairns of Camster (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

It wasn't just the sheep that were flocking around these - there were plenty of folk who'd made it a stop-off as they toured the area.

I was keeping an eye out for the ice cream van as we tip-toed over the boggy marsh with the help of the trouser-saving wooden walkways to inspect the mounds.

They've been lovingly restored which to my mind takes away little of their mystery. It allows you to clamber inside and get a real feel for them - even my Mum couldn't resist it.

We ventured into the one with the tallest passage - it being wet underfoot and lacking in swimwear. The narrow passageway led into a wider chamber where it was actually possible to stand. Light filtered through the clear ceiling making it possible to see exactly what was inside.

It was like a stone igloo with a large, flat stone leaning backwards on the outer wall. I felt like we could have sat and leant against it for a time looking out through the tunnell.

However, sense got the better of us and we crawled back out to the warmth of the car. Who says modern life is rubbish!

Hill O'Many Stanes (Multiple Stone Rows / Avenue) — Fieldnotes

Driving round the north east coast of Scotland feels like nearing the end of the world. Devoid of the gigantic scenery that makes its opposite highland coast so popular, it has a less obvious appeal - its charms much subtler.

However, I was eager to reach the target but have to admit to being a tad disappointed. Lured by visions of 200 stones standing proud on a hilltop I pounded up the path to reach the spot.

Instead of great monoliths (I'll do my homework next time) I was confronted with what resembled a low-rise rockery of higgledy-piggledy stones no more than a foot high at best sloping down towards the coast.

What is intriguing is that its purpose remains unearthed. Once thought to be a collection three times the size, the most likely guesses put the site down as a tool for the agricultural calender.

It's a lonely spot and not one in which I lingered (more to do with the arrival of a couple who looked close to divorce than anything else) but its very clear in my mind's eye as I write and well worth a visit and a ponder whatever the weather.
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