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

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Morfa Abererch (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

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?

Ystumcegid (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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Morfa Abererch (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

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Y Ffor (Burial Chamber) — Images

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Bachwen Burial Chamber (Chambered Tomb) — Images

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Dinas Dinlle (Cliff Fort) — Images

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Ninestane Rigg (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

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 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, 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) — Fieldnotes

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) — Fieldnotes

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 — Fieldnotes

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.

Pict's Knowe henge — Links

Canmore extensive description and aerial photos


Easthill (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

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.

Pict's Knowe henge — Images

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Showing 1-50 of 10,032 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
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
Callanish
Balnauran of Clava
Torhouskie
Swinside
Nine stones close
Bryn Celli Ddu
The Druids circle (penmaenmawr)
HafodyGors Wen
Gwal y Filiast
Grey Wethers
Boscawen Un
La Roche au Fees
Drombeg
Uragh
Talati De Dalt

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

My TMA Content: