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

Fieldnotes by markj99

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Showing 1-20 of 372 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20

Dolmen de Lannek-er-Men (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Visited 15.09.23

Dolmen de Lannek-er-Men is located in Port Brillac, a small village c. 4 km NW of Sarzeau in Morbihan. The chamber of this dolmen measures c. 3m x 2m x 0.6m. Two medium-sized capstones are supported by several orthostats on the NE and SW sides. There is a large floor slab in the NW half of the chamber.

The dolmen is wedged into a corner against a hedge in a grassy area, used as a car park on my visit. In fact, a BMW bumper was almost touching the dolmen. My picture options were restricted to lateral views.

Menhir de Kermaillard (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Visited 15.09.23

Menhir de Kermaillard is a massive standing stone, sub-rectangular in cross section, measuring c. 1.7m long and 1.2m wide. This dressed pillar rises to a point at c. 4m. There is a square measuring c. 0.6m and a crescent carved in bas-relief on the base of the WSW face. A small axe carved on the left of the square is no longer visible. Proposed carvings on the ENE face are not visible in bright light.

Allee Couverte de Grah-Niol (Allee-Couverte)

Visited 15.09.23

Allee Couverte de Grah-Niol is located on a narrow lane on the Northern edge of Arzon. There is convenient parking 50m N of the site. Unfortunately there is a low fence round the allee-couverte denying any internal access. This is unfortunate as there are carved stones inside the passage of the monument. A standing stone is erected on the E end of Allee Couverte de Grah-Niol, on the roadside.

Le Petit Mont (Chambered Cairn)

Visited 15.09.23

It is only 6 euros to access the Cairn de Petit Mont. Given the size and quality of the site that is good value. It includes a group tour in French of the Cairn & Dolmen 3a, which is off limits without a tour guide. I requested some English commentary and the guide was obliging enough to give me a short lecture in English in the chamber. I was also able to take photos.

Visited 15.09.23

Cairn de Petit Mont is a large pentagonal cairn perched on a headland South-West of Arzon in Morbihan. The elevated position has extensive sea views and enables the cairn to be seen from afar. The unusual shape of the cairn, which currently measures 55m long by 55m wide, may be a result of its multi-phase construction. According to the tour booklet a mound covering a closed chamber (Chamber 1) was constructed in c. 4600 BC. The mound measured 50m x 19m x 1.6m. A stone cairn, measuring 22m long and 12m wide was erected over the mound c. 100 years later. 700 years later a chambered cairn with one accessible chamber (Chamber 2) was built over the original cairn. After another 1100 years a fourth phase of building occurred in 2700 BC. The cairn was modified and extended. Chamber 2 was blocked off and Chamber 3a and 3b were built, accessed by passages from the East side of the new cairn.

Unfortunately, this was not the final modification of Cairn de Petit Mont. Due to its strategic position on the coast Hitler order the construction of a concrete bunker within the cairn in 1943. The bunker was built in the SE side of the cairn. This modification completely destroyed Chamber 3b and partially destroyed the passages of Chamber 2 and Chamber 3a. The cairn was neglected until 1979 when archaeological excavations resulted in the final phase of modifications, completed in 1989. As a result Chamber 3a and its passage were restored. We also have access to Chamber 2 via the Bunker. The facades of the cairn were modified into a series of 3 steps with a flat roof.

Tumulus de Tumiac (Tumulus (France and Brittany))

Visited 15.09.23

I stumbled across Tumulus de Tumiac while waiting for the Petit Mont Cairn to open; Mad dogs and Scotsmen go out in the midday sun. I saw the mound on the horizon and experienced the usual gravitational attraction. A path to Tumulus de Tumiac is conveniently located in a lay-by on the E edge of Arzon in a long straight on the D780. The site is closed to the public, a relatively common state of affairs in my experience, so I contented myself with a distant view. The grassy mound measures 86m in diameter and 20m high according to the information board. A central tomb, measuring 4.4m x 2.4m x 1.75m, is covered by successive layers of clay. The mound has been dated to 4790 BC.
The mound is known locally as Butte de Cesar (Caesar's Mound). He is reputed to have witnessed a naval battle from the summit of Tumulus de Tumiac in 56 BC.

Gavr'inis (Chambered Cairn)

Visited 15.09.23

I travelled to the Cairn de Gavrinis via a pre-booked trip from Port-Navalo with Le Passeur des Iles on a 20 person boat. The journey to the island took around 20 minutes. There was an organised lecture on the Cairn de Gavrinis in French for around 30 minutes before we were allowed to enter the passage in small groups. We were allowed free access to the passage and chamber, which are lit by subdued lighting, for 5 minutes. There were no restrictions on photography allowing me to take some good pictures of the carved stones in the passage and the chamber. The boat was waiting at the end of the tour. I would recommend this trip though I could have done without the extended lecture in French.

Les Pierres Plats (Allée-Coudée)

Visited 14.09.23

Access to this monument has been restricted by a low fence round the perimeter. There is an official sign denying permission to enter the dolmen. I respected this request reluctantly because I would have liked to see the carved stones in the monument.

Mane-Er-Hrouek (Tumulus (France and Brittany))

Visited 14.09.23

Mané-er-Hroëck tumulus is easily visited via a signed footpath on Rue de Kerpenhir. The chamber entrance is obviously modern but that doesn't detract from the atmosphere in the plain chamber in the centre of the tumulus.

Menhir de Kerpenhir (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Visited 14.09.23

Menhir de Kerpenhir is a massive irregular standing stone on the coast c. 200m N of Société Nautique de Locmariaquer (Locmariaquer Sailing Club). The menhir is c. 3.5m high by 2.5m wide. It is orientated ENE-WSW on its broad faces.

Menhir de Kerpenhir is featured on page 160 of Le guide des mégalithes du Morbihan by Gabriel Le Cam. This book is an indispensible photographic record of 338 monuments in the Morbihan area.

There is a large car park off Route de Kerpenhir on Pointe de Kerpenhir, c. 2km SSE of Locmariaquer. Walk c. 40m N from the Car Park to reach a closed gate on the right. Follow a track W round the coast. After c. 350m turn left along a path. Follow this path W for c. 100m to reach Menhir de Kerpenhir.

Grand Menhir Brise (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Visited 14.09.23

Grand Menhir Brise is one of Locmariaquer's big three sites. It is only accessible via the Site des Megalithes Visitor Centre for 6 euros. To be fair, there are three impressive monuments, unrestricted visiting time and free parking so what's not to like?

Grand Menhir Brise consists of four massive recumbent stones which are though to have been parts of one of the largest ever menhirs, measuring c. 20 metres long. There is speculation as to whether the Grand Menhir Brise either broke on erection or as a result of an earthquake or was deliberately toppled. There is archaeological evidence of 19 socket holes forming a giant stone row, with Grand Menhir Brise as an end stone. Whatever the reality, there is no doubt that the Grand Menhir Brise is an impressive antiquity.

Table des Marchants (Chambered Cairn)

Visited 14.09.23

Table des Merchants is one of Locmariaquer's big three sites. It is only accessible via the Site des Megalithes Visitor Centre for 6 euros. To be fair, there are three impressive monuments, unrestricted visiting time and free parking so what's not to like?

La Table des Merchants is a cairn constructed in 1993 around the surviving naked dolmen for the preservation of the antiquity. It was interesting to see the carved rear stone and ceiling in the chamber. However, the new cairn reminds me of the reconstructed cairn at Newgrange. I prefer my ancient monuments unadulterated.

Er-Grah (Cairn(s))

Visited 14.09.23

Er-Grah Tumulus is one of Locmariaquer's big three sites. It is only accessible via the Site des Megalithes Visitor Centre for 6 euros. To be fair, there are three impressive monuments, unrestricted visiting time and free parking so what's not to like?

Er-Grah Tumulus has gravitas but it's long thin footprint make it difficult to capture a definitive image. The undoubted focus is the central tomb with its massive capstone, the cherry on the cake. I decided to walk slowly round Er-Grah Tumulus absorbing its antiquity as I strolled.

Mané Rutuel (Passage Grave)

Visited 14.09.23

I followed directions to Dolmen de Mané Rutuel from the Tourist Office in Locmariaquer. After a 5 minute walk, I discovered that the long mound is closed to the public due to safety concerns. I was reduced to walking round a protective fence, making the best of limited views. Mané Rutuel is an impressive monument but a disappointing outcome.

Bronzo (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Visited 14.09.23

I found the Menhir du Bronzo by following the Sites des Megalithes sign opposite the Tourist Office. The broken menhir is located in a vacant plot on the left of Ruelle du Bronzo. The site has two large stones: the erect bottom half in the SW and the displaced top half lying to the NE. Each half of the broken stone measures c. 6 feet long.

Dolmens Des Grays (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Visited 13.09.23

Dolmens des Grays is located 5 minutes E along the coastal path starting in Pen Lan Car Park. At first sight the monument is a jumble of stones. There is an interpretation board, suggesting that the cairn consists of an amalgam of 3 separate tombs. It divides the cairn into Tomb A,B & C. They are in the N, SW & SE respectively.

Continue E along the path for 10 minutes to reach Dolmen du Crapaud.

Dolmen Du Crapaud (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Visited 13.09.23

Dolmen du Crapaud is located on a cliff edge SE of Plage des Granges, S of Pen Lan (Penn Lann). The remains of this site have been much reduced by coastal erosion. The chamber resembles a toad viewed from N, hence the french name Dolmen du Crapaud.

The site is easily accessible from a coastal path starting in Pen Lan Car Park, heading E past Cairn des Grays to Les Granges.

Camrie Fell (Cairn(s))

Visited 05.09.23

Camrie Fell Cairn is a low grassy cairn, c. 2 miles N of Glenluce in Dumfries and Galloway. The mound is located in high pastureland, c. 500 yards NNE of Gleniron Farm.

The footprint of a round cairn is located on an E-W slope in a grass field. There is a grass bank on the perimeter of the cairn, running clock-wise from the S Arc to the N Arc. The bank measures up to c. 6 feet wide and 2 feet high. The radius of the W half of the cairn is c. 27 feet. The E half of Camrie Fell Cairn has been reduced to ground level. There is only one stone, measuring c. 1.5 feet by 1 foot, on the flat surface of the cairn. It is located in the NE quadrant.

Canmore ID 61601 has a full description of Camrie Fell Cairn.

Take the North St turn-off in Glenluce, heading for the Three Lochs. After c. 1.3 miles turn left down a narrow unsigned lane. Follow this single track lane for c. 0.9 miles. Take a sharp right turn at Keepers Cottage. This rough farm track leads to Gleniron Farm. After c. 0.3 of a mile you will reach a 90 degree corner at NX 1961 5983. There is room to park here. A gate leads NNE up a slope adjacent to a dry stane dyke to a ruined farm. Follow the track though the farm. The cairn is located c. 150 yards NNW in the next field.

Craig Fell N (Cairn(s))

Visited 03.09.23

Craig Fell N & S Cairns are located in Glenwhan Forest, c. 3 miles S of New Luce in Dumfries and Galloway. An off-road bike is preferable to travel the c. 3.5 miles via rocky forest tracks.

Craig Fell N Cairn is in a clearing c. 100 yards E of the forest track. It can be accessed by a vague boggy path through scrubby trees. The irregular grassy mound measures c. 50 feet across and 3 feet high according to Canmore ID 61609. Its surface is scarred by plough-lines. There are some medium-sized embedded stones scattered amongst the tussocks.

The smaller S cairn is located c. 75 yards S of Craig Fell N Cairn. According to Canmore ID 61604 Craig Fell S Cairn was one of many small cairns destroyed by afforestation. It is inaccessible due to an impenetrable forest.

There is room to park at NX 1422 6181. My route is viewable on Craig Fell Cairns.

Cairn Wood (Barskeoch) (Cairn(s))

Visited 15.08.23

Cairn Wood (Barskeoch) Cairn is located in Cairn Wood c. 3 miles W of Newton Stewart in Dumfries and Galloway. The cairn is hidden in an enclosed wood c. 300 yards N of Barskeoch Farm. The circular grassy cairn is surrounded by mature trees. It measures c. 70 feet in diameter and 4 feet high. According to a 1912 report in Canmore ID 62939, the mound was surrounded by a peristalith of large stones laid at irregular intervals. These stones are no longer in situ, however, a jumble of around 10 large stones has been deposited on the S arc of the cairn. It is possible that these were the original peristalith stones. The kerb of Cairn Wood (Barskeoch) Cairn is defined by an earth bank c. 1.5 feet high on the E arc and an intermittent circle of kerb stones. There is a large cup mark measuring c. 5 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep on an upright kerb stone on the NE of the perimeter. The interior of the cairn has been robbed-out, leaving an irregular grassy surface dotted with protruding stones. The centre of the cairn has a low grassy mound and a sub-circular rubble of exposed mossy stones, c. 5 feet in diameter.
Showing 1-20 of 372 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20
I love to travel, especially to antiquarian sites. I'm working through the extensive Cornwall site list with an annual week holiday. Avebury is my favourite spiritual destination. Las Vegas is my favourite sinful destination.

I also enjoy hill climbing however as time passes the hills grow steeper. I have climbed around 30 munros, however, I've also climbed The Cobbler, Stac Pollaidh and Suilven so height is not the only criteria.

I used to play golf (9 handicap) and support Queen of the South however I gave up both bad habits. Horse racing was a more recent obsession. Epsom and Newmarket are my favourite racecourses. At the moment my current obsession is music gigs: Arcade Fire, Dinosaur Jr, Sparks, Jesus and Mary Chain and Belle & Sebastian, my favourite band.

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