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

Fieldnotes by Gavin Douglas

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Witchy Neuk (Hillfort)

I approached Witchy Neuk by road from Rothbury (on mountain bike) Take the unclassified Rd which goes up past the cemetary and golf course. Turn right at the junction opposite Whitton Tower. (Carterside Road) Follow the signs for Newtown and Tosson, continue for about 4 miles through, Newtown, Rye Hill, Little Tosson and Bickerton. When you reach Hepple Whitefield continue a little further, to the edge of the plantaion on your left, and you come to a public footpath, also on the left. From here a short walk takes you around the north facing crags and on to the summit of the hill fort.

Its well worth exploring these crags as they are very wild and beautiful, with ancient Rowan's and Scotts Pine growing from the rocks.

The ramparts are over 2mtrs high in places and the dry stone walls supporting them can be seen.

It's also worth having a look at a cairn that is situated outside the hill fort to the SW. It appears to have been excavated, perhaps by Thomas Wake, who discoverd evidence of Roundhouses (Hut Circles) here in 1936

Several other hill forts can be seen from here: Tosson Burgh, to the NE also Harehaugh and the lesser known enclosure called Soldier's Fold to NW

Well worth a visit!
I spend alot of my spare time biking and walking around Coquetdale, where i have lived for the last 15 years with my wife, Alison. We live near the Simonside hills, where Alison's family farm. I like to read local histories, and I have written some essays myself which have won prise's at The Morpeth Gathering. I like to photograph the sites I visit, and make home-made videos. I play guitar in a local folk/traditional group and perform at folk clubs and events in the valley. I also write tunes, many of which are inspired by the Northumbrian Landscape.

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