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Morfa Abererch (Standing Stone / Menhir)

It's been three and a half years since Alken first posted his pictures of this stone, and Iv'e been trying to find an excuse to come all this way beyond finding a single standing stone. So I reminded myself that I've not had a proper look at Dinas Dinlle yet, and it's been years since I was last at Yustumcegid, and here we are.
There is a car park yards away from Abererch railway station, we left the car there, on a nice day like this, in fact the hottest Easter Sunday since records began, (were hearing something like that more and more often) assume the car park will fill quickly, so come early?
Leaving the car park head directly to the obvious entrance to the beach, ignoring if you can ladies in beachwear, turn left and walk along the coast east until you see the stone, it will be easy to spot, assuming it remains upright.
This is presently one of the weirdest sited stones I've yet seen, and I've seen a few. It is at high tide just yards from the sea, perched on a shelf at the edge of the sand dunes, like a penguin ready to dive into the deep blue. The stone looks like it has been dug out of the dunes, 320 degrees around the stone it is free of it's sandy grave, but the back of the stone is still in the dune. So you can stand on the beach beneath it, or on the shelf right next to it, or above the stone on top of the dune.
Standing back on the beach, I swear you can see the old land surface into which the stone was set, and all around it the sand has gathered into dunes and swallowed it whole.
But the rising seas, especially stormy rising seas have eaten away the land between sea and stone.
Sadly, in the last three and a half years since Alken was here some massive twat has scraped a name into the stone, I couldn't read it, perhaps it was a Welsh word, either way I decided it meant "stupid woz ere".

Funnily, the stone reminded me of far away Clach An Trushal on the Isle of Lewis, clearly it wasn't the size, rather, it's close proximity to the sea. The coast line hasn't changed that much round here in the last four thousand years, so the stone at Abererch must have been placed here for sea goers to see, the beach being a good landing place. And like Clach An Trushal, once on land there are many ancient sites to be going to. Perhaps I'm talking bollocks, that's what this site does to you, it urges you to think about what has happened here, Old Wales says "there you go, what do you make of that"
A hat, a brooch or a flying Pterodactyl?

Ninestane Rigg (Stone Circle)

No field notes til now? for shaaaame!

This was a total bastard to find!
Or rather my brain was fried by the time we got here.
First attempt to get there ended when I realised I was in the wrong place, your supposed to just follow a line of trees up hill, but these trees turned half way up, back to the car.
Second attempt, took rather longer to work out I was still in the wrong place. Tree felling combined with the slightly misty view from the nearby Buck stone, convinced me for quite a while that I was Ok, I wasn't, back to the car. Nearly gave up here.

A bit further on the road turns a quick right then left, whilst going over a stone bridge, I finally decided this was the right place and I should go for it seeing as I'm here.There are lots of old stone bridges round here. Park near the bridge and climb up the embankment. Burl calls this first part of the walk, almost precipitous. Follow the fence up hill, then onto open moorland until you find a stile with a handy sign pointing the way to Ninestanes Rigg, which was way more than handy.

Until in the end the two still standing stones come into view, and I breath a heavy sigh of relief, it should've been quite easy to find, but first you must be in the right place.
Well, I wasn't expecting there to be this many stones here, yes it's called nine stones, but you don't really expect there to be nine. All the other pictures by Rockartwolf showed only four, I was pleasantly surprised.
Burl says it's an unusual ring, one stone down eight still standing, most of the stones are small perhaps stumps, it strikes me as one of the few circles he hasn't dug at.
Two stones still stand, one is leaning quite precariously, some of the other stones are quite the stump though, or perhaps they are just low stones, long grass does quite well at hiding the lower stones.
Much tree felling has occurred, changing the aspect of the circle dramatically, they seem to be felling these trees by crashing a UFO into them, Armageddon seems to have transpired with the nearest still extant forest, 'tis a right mess.

After stamping the long grass down a bit I set to with the camera, hoiking up the tripod as far as it goes for that lofty view. The day has taken a decidedly grey turn, thin mist hangs in the air, but I think I really liked this stone circle, was it the euphoria at finally finding a long awaited quarry? or the satisfying number of stones, or lots of different things. Liked it.
Bye stones.

Buck Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Parking isn't good, I selfishly took up half a passing place, there wasn't much traffic, and I think I got away with it, I was only gone ten minutes.
Barely a five minute walk, if that, from the road side.
As described by Hob Nov 2004.
Hard to spot in the long grass. Nice knobbly top to the stone. You can probably see Ninestanes Rigg from here, or at least where it is.

Lochmaben Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

This one has been on my list of must see's ever since I got Burl's paper back guide, about twenty years ago, so it's good, nay, very good to finally get an audience with this contender for most famous standing stone in Scotland if not Britain.
High praise for a random stone most people, including stone-heads haven't heard of.
Let me begin.
Finding it is but a trifle, leave the A75 for Gretna, at the west end of town, turn right onto B721, then immediately left, take next right, at the cross roads go straight across. Pass Old Graitney and drive right down to the Solway Firth. The car park, such as it is, holds half a dozen cars and is just twenty yards from the Solway's mud. Leaving the car follow the often flooded footpath south west, passing two fields look right, see the stone, approach the stone, love the stone.

The Lochmaben Stane doesn't sit alone, there is another, something Burl's book misses out. The smaller of the two is a meter high boulder, still large and straddles two fields, sitting just twenty yards or so from the big one. For this was once a stone circle, like the big Cumbrian ones, but got destroyed for simply being in the wrong place.
The big one is taller, taller than me and fatter than Benny, take my word for it Benny is fat.
Burl states the dimensions as being nine and a half foot long, so he must have written his entry whilst it was lying down after a fall in 1982.
C14 dated wood from the stone hole at upwards of 3200 BC, so it's a really old one, like the Cumbrian ones.
The circle would have stood at the northern end of a Ford place across the muddy Solway Firth.
After The Scots invaded us in 1398 bringing on the battle of Otterburn, commissioners met here at the Lochmaben stane to discuss a truce.
Has any other standing stone been the site of a truce between two countries? I doubt it.
See, famous. Or should be more so.

The stone obviously gets the occasional visitor, because someone had arranged a row of little stones at the megaliths foot.

The one thing I didn't like about it was the walk along the Firth, during moments of flood, the flood dumps all of it's detritus onto the footpath, what could have been a lovely walk in the countryside turned into a difficult hobble through dozens of broken up trees, and oh god! don't mention the plastic.

Pict's Knowe henge

This henge wasn't on my list, I'd never heard of it til last week, I only found it on the map whilst looking at the route from the last site to the next, this earthwork was between the two, so I had a deeper look and found that Bladup had added it as a site on here some time ago, then deleted his pictures so the site page has remained empty for some time. So it seems it's up to me to go take a look and flesh out this withering website.
There is no footpath to the round thing, but this is Scotland, where we're going we don't need footpaths. So I hike my tripod over my shoulder and leave the daughter in the car at the road side, parking near to, but not blocking a farm gate.
Walking across the field I keep willing one of the model aircraft club members to actually fly a plane but no luck, you stick to your corner of the field and I'll stick to mine, winner, my corner has a henge in it.
Or is it a henge? the lengthy description of the site on Canmore has the site as domestic prior to the 90's, but much bronze age stuff was found, pottery shards , two planks and a whole Ard plough.
The entrance is very indistinct, at the north east is a slight dip in the bank, or is it an excavation scar from archaeology ?

I stroll round it once doing photography, then stand gormlessly in the middle for a bit, trying to figure the place out, I never did. The Portal says the entrance is at the west, I never saw it.
I walk round again with my tripod fully extended and held high above my head trying to get an elevated view, I must've looked a bit of a twit.
Speaking of which it's high time I was off to my next port of call.

Easthill (Stone Circle)

Ignore the directions from New Abbey, if you come by car, park at the church just to the west of the circle, plenty of room in the car park, follow the sign that says 7 grey Stanes, and follow the wall east towards the circle. Two gates must be got through. Keep looking left over the wall to see when the trees end, when they do, leave the wall at 90 degrees, stone circle is no more than a hundred yards distant. Easy.

Having said that, last time we came here about 17 years ago, we failed to find it, coming as we did from the opposite direction to this time. This time was inexplicably simple, I cant figure out how I missed it last time.
My daughter Philli has come out with me today, and to my amazement she's coming to see the stones with me instead of staying in the car.
The stones are easily spotted on their weird Little hillock, it's like a large round stage and the stones are arranged around it's circumference. The circle is also called the 7 Grey Stanes, they are grey, but there isn't 7 there's 9 or 10. So either someone can't count, or picked a number at random, or a couple of the stones are modern intrusions. I didn't count them, but one was loose and moved with the touch of a foot.
A large flat topped stone has tiny cup marks on it, but they are apparently natural, and a small cairn like mound can be seen in the circles west side.
To the west of the circle the hill forms an amphitheater type arrangement round half the circle, making an unbeatable viewing platform for the circle. To the west of the circle the view is wide and distant, the ground falls all the way down to the Solway firth and doesn't rise again til Cumbria, so extensive views and obvious sunrise opportunities.
The idea that the circle has been "fiddled" with is kind of born out by the fact that some of the circle stones are inside the circumference of the circle. It doesn't detract from the spectacle of the place, the view alone should be enough to keep the visitor rooted for a while, add to that the elation one feels at finally finding a recalcitrant site, and I'm well and truly established.

Until it is time to go of course, I've still got a couple of must sees to find yet, and feeling buoyed by my stone finding abilities I'm eager to get off to the others. Bye stones.

Fontburn Dod Wood (Stone Circle)

An often encountered problem with the winter solstice is lack of daylight, not helped by the sun stubbornly hiding all day behind thick grey clouds, it was daylight enough when we started, we being daughter and me, but it was going to be cutting it close, it all depended on the route to the stones.
I've never been here before, I don't know the best route, I don't know exactly where it is. Looking at the map, three options suggest themselves, driving all the way to Newbiggin farm, ask to leave your car there, smile sweetly. That would get you closest. Or you can park at the northern most of two car parks, follow the north side of the reservoir til you happen across the stones, or you can park at the southern most of the two car parks, follow the southern shore of the reservoir until you feel the stones are close and trust your moment to leave the path, should there be one.

For no other reason than the southern car park looks easier to get to, I choose to follow the southern shore.
There was indeed a path, a good one too, a wooden walkway wends it's way through the trees and bracken, crossing streams, looking nice, it would look nicer in summer.
But it only lasts two thirds of the way, it abruptly turns south and tries to usher you away from the prize, it's definitely getting towards dark now, but with eyes firmly on the prize I try to get a bit more speed out of my daughter, not far to go now. Following the edge of the trees with the reservoir appearing and disappearing through threes, we follow a path that only exists in my mind.
But the ground is very uneven, strewn with large branches streams and slippy stretches of mud.
I decide to forgo my Dad of the year trophy and instruct daughter to sit on that rock, and wait there while I run on ahead. She's been through this before, she knows the score, if we keep going at this pace it will all be flash photography, that's OK if your called Ken and talk funny, but i'm not a good photographer in bad light, and this was the baddest.
Do you often run to stones?
Running, slipping, hobbling, climbing over a fence, finding a path, following it until I think i'm there, I think I'm there, the path must now be abandoned, with no more than a feeling to go on. I think a fence was climbed, and maybe a small stream was jumped, then a small bank was climbed and hey presto the stones were right before me twenty yards distant. Working at the edge of human endurance can really focus the mind, daughter on her own in woods as it gets dark, am I mad? no sleep, little food, totally spent I was. I still uncannily went straight to the stones, unswerving, no is it this way or that. I like stones, me.

Our old mate Bladup suggested this four poster to me, i'm really into four poster stone circles mainly because I found what I reckon is an actual four poster but miles away from where it should be, in North Wales. But also because I think it's interesting how stone circles evolved over the centuries, so many stony stories of what a stone circle should be.
Anyway, Bladup said that this four poster was just like my Hafodygors wen, so here I am.

Well there are four stones set into what looks like a cairn, but that is where the similarity ends four me (sorry).
I have no doubt that Fontburn Dod is a four poster, but I think one of the stones has shifted, leaving what looks like room for another, so some may have thought it contained more stones. Probably
Two of the stones have cup marks on top of them, but one also has natural weathering that looks like cupping, just to confound the postie i'm sure.
Like most four posters the stones aren't tall, no more than a meter high, short squat rounded boulders, lord knows what was going on at Lundin Links, bloody over achievers.
I don't have the time or the light to explore the place properly, only enough time for a quick five minute sit, only enough light for 18 pictures, then it is unfortunately time to go, I must go and rescue my babe in the woods. The more four posters I see the more convinced I am that my North Walean wonder site is what it looks like, a four poster.
But i'm not ready to cross Fontburn Dod off my list just yet. Now I know the way, a fair weather visit is already overdue.

Yeavering Bell (Hillfort)

It's hard to say how long I've been wanting to get my tired bones up this hill, Stewart Ainsworth from time team was the first to alert me to it's existence, during a dig at Bamburgh castle. He suggested the two sites were in contest for the area, the one with the castle came out on top, apparently. Looking on google earth reveals a wide wall round the whole hill top, and I do like a good walled hill fort, so on the list it went. I've been past it a couple of times, even been over to the Battle stone at the hills foot, but from there the hill looks high and difficult to find an easy way up. Looks aint deceivin'.

Winter solstice 2018, after an almost successful sunrise at Duddo, I decide it's time to make that climb, the climb of the Bell, the Bell that Yeavers.
I park the car on the B6351 at the Grefrin (site of) monument, it's a fairly obvious place. Then walk down the road to the Battle stone, arriving at the stone I take a quick look round and make a dash for the hill, dashing because i'm pretty sure this isn't the proper way up. But i'm a massive fan of the direct route, if I can see where I want to go, i'll always go in a straight line, a bit Roman innit.
There are fences that have to be crossed before you can disappear from view into the trees, but once through them the hill side is open and it's just a whole lot of upness.

It gets harder and harder with each passing year negotiating these steep climbs, and this was one of the steepest, but after fighting only two heart attacks I reach the eastern entrance to the fort. After picking myself up from the inevitable collapse.
I sit round for a bit getting my breath back and taking in the vista, appreciating the strong cold winds, it's been a while since I could actually and literally look down on the world. But there's no time for nonsense, my daughter is waiting in the car, and I've a special stone circle to find after this, so I head south following the forts wall clockwise round the hill top.

The totally collapsed wall is a very wide stony spread, how high would the wall have stood? could you climb over it, or was there a fence with it, on it? Was it mainly for show?
Who knows, right now, i'm just following it.

I take a walk up to the topest most top of the hill, there's supposed to be a cairn, but it's just another grassy bump so I retreat from the biting wind back down to the southern rampart and keep following all the way to the western end of the fort. From here I think I can see where the Hethpool stone circles are. From there I take a turn round onto the northern rampart and back into the wind, It's not so bad back down on the valley floor but up here it's literally pushing me about. From here I look back down to the road, my car is a little silver dot, in the field beyond my car is a henge, apparently now only visible as a crop mark, if grass is a crop. But I feel I can actually see a circular something on the edge of the field. It doesn't take long til i'm back at the eastern entrance. I bid a fond farewell to Yeavering Bell, and take an even more straight line back to the road, passing the Battle stone one more time. If I do pass this way again I wont be stopping, there are still lots of other sites that will be taking my obsession into the future.

God bless the obsessed.

Ffridd Isaf (Ring Cairn)

Coflein has it down as a ring cairn, but Kerb cairn would be a better lable, should one be absolutely necessary. This monument has me standing on the firmest ground all day, not the actual ground, a possible ring cairn, some possible hut circles, a possible stone row and standing stone. This is definitely a cairn, it has kerb stones on the outside, standing stones protrude through its outer mound, ok,
it could be a ring cairn, but a cairn, it very much is.

In the middle is a rectangular depression with a stone in it's side, it is the cist. The low mound that makes the ring has at least a dozen stones sticking up out of it, two of them are set side ways suggesting an entrance, all be it eight inches or so wide.
With kerb stones set into it's circumference, a kerbed ring cairn. It could be a small embanked stone circle, with a later cist inserted. It's better than I'm making out.

There is a lot of rocky clutter all around though making it a hard place to define, but I think I have it defined now.
The surroundings are pretty damn good. The lake sparkles in the late afternoon sun, and the mountains change colour with the passing of every cloud. Only the quarrying shenanigans gets on my nerves

Gorseddau (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

The biggest most impressive hut circle here, and that's saying something cause there's dozens and dozens of them, some Roman, some Medieval but mostly they're Iron age.
The circle is situated under the hillside quarry banks , I'm sure there's a proper word for them, but seeing as they're made by people who dig up and sell mountains i'm not going to learn it.
To be honest I'd gotten mixed up on what I was looking for here, I thought I was nearly done with only a kerb cairn to go, but it seems there was one last hut circle that needed a looking at, it was a stonker.
It wasn't tucked away in some hilly fold, it wasn't hiding under some outcrop, it was out in the open, on level ground where every one could see it, and they could see every one.
There is even a low hillock to stand upon and look over the circle to Moel Hebog.
The walls are, in places, a couple of feet in height, the entrance is to the north, facing the mountain.

Time has gotten away from me here like no where else, I'm now going to have to modify my plans for places elsewhere. For now, find that kerb cairn.

Cwm Ystradllwyn (Standing Stones)

It took me a while to locate this possible stone row, even when I had I was rather doubtful that I had. Coflein says there are five stones and I only found four, they are in a line to be sure, there's even space for a now missing stone. Still quite doubtful.

Contrastingly, I went almost straight to the little standing stone. It is definitely a standing stone, all be it a slightly diminutive example. Coflein also note its close to a field boundary and an enclosure. Thus perhaps casting some doubt as to it's authenticity as a bronze age standing stone.

Plas Llyn (Burnt Mound / Fulacht Fia)

Coflein says.......A crescent shaped burnt mound with an opening adjacent to the nearby stream.Thoroughly covered in turf but made up from small stones less than 0.2m in size and visible in places. Reaching a maximum height of 0.5m above ground level the feature measures approx. 5m by 6m.

I say..... splendicular views all around, not a great site, to be sure, but it's bronze age and obvious and it's a good place to get your bearings from. I didnt know it at the time but from there you can see a kerb cairn with cist from here, below and closer to the lake.

Braich y Gornel (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

Whilst en route to a possible stone row from a possible ring cairn, I came across a few more possibles. This hillside is chock full of possibilities .
These monuments are, as far as I can tell not on Coflein, unless they got a little lost themselves, which is quite possible if the weather was average.
Possible 1. A large circular spread of stones seemingly in concentric rings of three, the inner ring looks like a hut circle.
Possible 2. A pair of circular stoney spreads. One has a clean interior like a hut circle or ring cairn, the other is stones all over like a round cairn.
They are right next to each other, on the edge of a possible settlement (there are low walls).

I cant fathom why Coflein says nothing about them, they are large and obvious.

Cwm Ystradllwyn (Ring Cairn)

Lots of things had to come together for me to be here, money, time and weather foremost among them, but the unsung hero of the day was research. without it I wouldn't have known there was anything down here at all. I left the car in the car park by the Llyn next to the dam, walked back up the road to the house Tyddyn-Mawr, then, left at the house, and then tried to find a footpath that goes north from the road, I couldn't find it, it has gone. So I made one up, and entered the hill side.
My immediate destination is a found on Coflein ring cairn.....A possible disturbed ring cairn with a central cist. The overall form is uncertain but about 2.5m to 3m in diameter.....was all the information they had, besides being in an old settlement, which has prehistoric hut circles, quite an enticement., to me anyway. En route to the settlement site I came upon a lone hut circle, took a picture, got home and Coflein says nothing about it at all. There is a vast amount of activity up on this hill side, not all of it recorded by officialdom. From the bronze age through the Iron age through the Roman era, through the medieval to just last century. Almost every age is represented up here.
Wales in a nutshell this place.

So there I am standing on the edge of a settlement site, I can see the walls, and the view is tremendous, but as yet no hut circle and certainly no ring cairn. There are various stones lying about the whole area but I pass them by until I come across the very obvious hut circle, less obvious is the two smaller huts right next to it, one of which is full, covered by long annoying grass. Also next to the huts are three or four neat piles of stones, I couldn't work them out at all. It took me some time to find the ring cairn, it doesn't look like your average ring cairn, I looked at it once, pointed it out to myself and said, that's something, then walked away.
I sat in the hut circle and thought for a while, I pondered and then I ruminated, and then I finished off with a smidgen of contemplation. There was no ring cairn, at least not like the vast majority of ring cairns. I decided that the "something" that I had seen would probably be it, there are four stones in the middle that could be a cist, and it has a handful of surrounding stones that are doing their best to be a ring, but failing, though not miserably.

This is but the first site of the day and I have a long walk ahead of me, so off we go, we'll, I do.

Garth y Foel (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

Thesweatcheat and I passed very close by a few years ago en route up Cnicht, so I've been waiting for the chance to return and have a poke around for three years. After mooching around the southern slopes of Moel Hebog I only had a limited amount of time left and these hut circles are closer and easier to get to. So here we are, or were.
Parking was had in Croesor, at an actual car park, mostly used by walkers who are going up mountains, but it serves equally well for those going hut circles.
From the car take the road north west up the hill, stop when you reach the long farm track/driveway going left to Cae-glas, go down it and straight past the farm house. Follow the wooden posts marking the footpath, after the house the path goes through a gate in a wall, then, following wooden posts, through another gate, this time in a fence, then over a wall with stile. Immediately after the stile go down hill towards the sound of the river. A low wall must be got over, just over the wall is the first hut circle, I note it with much glee, then walk away further down hill, where I see the biggest and most impressive of the four hut circles here.
On the lowest terrace, just by the river are three hut circles, one is really quite large and immediately obvious. Made of head sized stones now covered in moss, as is everything down here, with a south east facing entrance, facing the river, or something else.
The second lower hut circle is quite recognisable, but at the same time indistinct, because the moss covers everything, everything. The third circle is the most ruined, nay practically gone, I have supplied a photo of where I think it is.

Then it's back up the hill to the lone upper hut circle. The entrance has grown somewhat to the extent that a third of the circle is very ruined, but the rest is quite good, the two trees would give some welcome shade in summer, but at the end of the day, through the camera, they seem to suck the light out of the scene making photography a little tricky. But to the naked eye, a more magical place would be hard to find, the river making one of the best sounds in the world, moss and ferns still hanging on to that summer feeling. The golden glow of a typical North Walean sunset rose slowly up through the trees, I thought I'd got there only just in time, but as I wandered about in a fairy tale I decided I'd got there perfectly on time.

Old Harestanes (Stone Circle)

This is my first time at the Old Harestanes, it's been on the list for ages, so it's high on the list of today's must see's. The reason it's taken so long to get here is it's on private property, in fact it's at the back of someones back yard. Some door knocking and mild smiling is the order of the day here.
Eric and myself approached with some trepidation, which door should we knock on, being who I am I always go for the door with a letter box in it, you can't go far wrong there.
I knocked on the inner door of the porch, on the west side of the house. Twice. An old man came to the door, I asked him if he had a stone circle on his property, and could we have a look, pretty please, smile, think happy thought's. He said we do, it's over there, he pointed. We couldn't see it, but he clearly wasn't going to show us so we said thank you very much and walked off behind his house. It's not a big garden, it was quickly found.

Hob said from RCAHMS "No comparable monument exists in Peeblesshire, but one near Penmaenmawr, Caernarvonshire, dateable to the Middle Bronze Age, is strikingly similar." where on earth is that then? Penmaenmawr isn't in Caernarvonshire is it? They don't mean Circle 275 do they? I cant agree with that. RCAHMS also says theres four stones in the circle, looks more like five, with a little intruder.

It's in someones garden, did I say that, I thought it would be good living next door to Balbirnie, but this ol' feller has one all to himself. Just imagine having an actual stone circle that has appeared in books and stuff, in your garden.
So, there are six stones, one is tiny, and I think an intruder to the true stones. Five actual large stones form what's left of the circle, which was never large. On the floor inside the circle is a raised area, it could be an overgrown getting buried stone, as its in a garden I didn't go digging. There may have been some lithic movement.

Not the best location to see a ruined stone circle, but glad to have gotten to see it anyway, hopefully the words Old Harestanes will now begin to move into the back of my mind, and settle down with all the other names. Funny thing about names of ancient sites, I think I can remember all their names, yet not an idea who that boy my son hangs round with is.

Orwell (Standing Stones)

I came here once a long time ago, but have no digital pictures, which was the only reason I needed to make the detour further up north to the lovely Loch Leven.
The fact that this pair of standing stones are tall, strong and good looking stones that over look the western edge of the Lomond hills (which are actually miles away from the Loch of the same name)had something to do with it as well.

No map needed here much either, easily seen on the north side of the A911 between Milnathort and Wester Balgedie, opposite Orwell farm, which gives the stones their names, named after a farm, how inglorious.

There's no where good to park, I made do with blocking a field entrance, leaving kids in the car, and jumping the fence for a ten minute quick meet and greet. Hi I'm the postie, no not that one, and you are? big stone? ok, and your friend there? he's big stone too eh? Not very talkative, stones, it's nearly always a rather one sided conversation.

Two stones, separated by about fifteen yards, one stone is tall and bulbous, with rounded edges, the other is more angular, rough and sporting the undressed look. The rough stone has pinky quartz veins on it's lower half of one side, the side facing the other stone. Both stones have been reset in concrete.
The Lomond hills fall away quickly on it's western edge and the look is of dramatic scree and cliffs. Further north along the hills is a hill prosaically named West Lomond, it has a cairn upon it's summit and can be seen framed by these tall stones, if you stand in the right place of course.

A good stone pair.

Tuilyies (Standing Stones)

You don't need an ordnance survey map to find this one, easily spotted on the south side of the A985 between Kincardine and Dunfermline, just west of Cairneyhill, north of Torryburn. There is a layby right next to the stones, but no way of gaining access to the stones field, except for jumping the barbed wire fence, even with an injured leg it is but a two second ordeal.
The tall single standing stone is a very good example of the type, taller than me, grooved by precipitation, and an almost hole, it doesn't go right the way through.
It's reminiscent of the Queen stone near Symonds Yat, and the tall Machrie moor stones on Arran.

Just yards away is the remaining three quarters of a good four poster stone circle. I like four posters, the most economical of stone circles there is. It's the Toyota Prius of the megalithic world, whilst not being intensely irritating.
So three stones remain, the smallest stone is fairly unremarkable, grey and squat. The middle sized stone was just right. Leaning maybe and a very flat surface to one side. The tallest stone is most impressive, maybe eight times the size of the smaller one, pretty yellow lichen crowns it's pate.

Is the taller single stone an outlier to the circle? or was the circle put here because the stone was already here? What happened to the missing fourth stone? Lots of four posters end up as threesomes, how come? Questions questions.

Nice place, I do like four posters.

Balfarg Riding School (Henge)

It took ages to find this place, I really didn't want to miss it as the last time I came round here I didn't know it was here, so I put in a little extra effort.
It can be seen on drive by on the west side of the A92. You could park near Balbirnie and walk from there, it's just 400 feet away. Or you can do what we did, drive round in circles until something gives.
Kilmichael Road is a long crescent shaped road surrounding "The Henge", when your at it's furthest right hand edge, going clockwise, there is a left hand turn, it leads to Glengarry Court, to it's right is a stream with a grassy walkway and path following a stream to the mortuary enclosure.
Phew, at last.
The well worn henge can still be seen, but only in one small place, at it's southern extreme, from there it curves round the west side of the wooden posts, becoming more and more shallow until it just fades away. More than two thirds are gone.
The mortuary enclosure has been well reproduced for our visiting pleasure, I took more time feeling and photographing the posts than I did the henge.
Not a great site, but a must see part of the Glenrothes stoning experience.

Balfarg (Henge)

Eleven years ago I came here and was caught between dismay 'n disgust and elated giddiness. I really like the henge, I even approve of it's surroundings, should all henges be out in the countryside? I can stand a few getting stranded in suburbia, juxtaposing nicely with our last site of the day.
But some knob had lobbed a big blob of yellow paint on the last remaining circle stone, it was still there last week, couldn't the council do something about it? has anyone told them? has anyone told anyone?
Still a bit disgusted to tell you the truth.
Still like it here though.
I once got told off by a crusty lady not to walk on the henge at Thornborough, this one would make her head explode, they've cut car parks into the henges bank all the way round, they put a fence in the ditch by the entrance to stop smaller cyclists wearing it out. There's a boy in the ditch singing to him self whilst hitting his own head with a stick, it wont wear out the henge, it just made me laugh.
And there is nearly always someone watching you through a window.

Still like it here though.
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After visiting over a thousand ancient places and driving between fifteen to twenty thousand miles every year I can only conclude that I'm obsessed with these places, and finding this website ten years ago only compounded that obsession, at least I'm not alone anymore.

My favourite places are:

Ring of Brodgar
Balnauran of Clava
Nine stones close
Bryn Celli Ddu
The Druids circle (penmaenmawr)
HafodyGors Wen
Gwal y Filiast
Grey Wethers
Boscawen Un
La Roche au Fees
Talati De Dalt

and these are only the ones that immediatly spring to mind, so many stones and not enough lifetimes.

My TMA Content: