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Fieldnotes by markj99

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The Doon (Twynholm) (Hillfort)

The Doon (Twynholm) is a ruined hillfort c 0.25 miles W of Twynholm. It lies within a circle of mature trees at the summit of Doon Hill. Canmore ID 64068 (go to Links) considers there to be an inner enclosure 24m across surrounded by an oval outer enclosure measuring up to a maximum of 65m on a N-S axis. The outer enclosure consists of a grassy rampart up to 2m high surrounded by a 9m ditch. No central features were observed.

Directions: Take the W road into Twynholm off the A75. Within 50 yards the 30 mph limit starts. Park at the gateway on the R within 30 yards. Walk along the edge of the field for c.100 yards to a gate into the adjacent field. Head W up the hill c. 200 yards to the obvious circle of large trees at the summit of Doon Hill.

Stroanfreggan (Round Cairn)

Directions

Stroanfreggan Cairn is in the middle of nowhere so I have prepared a detailed account of how to get there from Dumfries & Newton Stewart.

Directions for Stroanfreggan Cairn: From S of Dumfries. Follow A75 through 3 roundabouts from edge of Dumfries. Turn R for Kilmarnock A76 on Glasgow Road Roundabout. (There is a McDonalds on the L at the first roundabout on the A76).
After about 16 miles reach Thornhill. Travel through Thornhill to N edge. Turn L for A702 Penpont/Moniaive. Stay on A702 for 8 miles to Moniaive. Stay straight through Moniaive. The A702 becomes the B729 a single track road with passing places. Stay on B729 for c. 10 miles until Stroanpatrick, a small hamlet. After passing a black tin hut on L park up at the first L about 400 yards further on. Walk down the Southern Upland Way for about 300 yards. Stroanfreggan Cairn lies c. 80 yards on your L in rough pasture.

Directions for Stroanfreggan Cairn: From Newton Stewart. Take A712 New Galloway on E edge of Newton Stewart. Drive around 18 miles on A712 to reach New Galloway via Clatteringshaws Reservoir. Turn L at the junction in New Galloway for A712 Crocketford. Cross over the Ken Bridge. Turn L for A713 Dalry/Ayr. About 4 miles later reach St John’s Town of Dalry. Take the R turn for A702 Moniaive up Main Street. After c. 500 yards take the second L turn at a crossroads in St John’s Town of Dalry. This is the B7000. Stay on this road past Kendoon Power Station for c. 6.2 miles to reach a junction with the A729. Turn R for A729 Moniaive, a single track road with passing places. After c. 2 miles you will see Stroanfreggan Mound on your R. Park at the junction with the Southern Upland Way. Walk down the Southern Upland Way for about 300 yards. Stroanfreggan Cairn lies c. 80 yards on your L in rough pasture.

Visited 14.04.12

Stroanfreggan Cairn is a greatly reduced round cairn in a rural location c. 5 miles E of Carsphairn. According to Canmore ID 64370 (go to Links) it originally measured c 75 feet on a N-S axis. The extensive stone robbing has exposed a cist in the E half of the cairn. Canmore states that the cist measured 3 ft 5 ins x 2 ft x 2 ft 3 ins internally, beneath a cover stone, 5 x 4 ft. The massive capstone is especially impressive. The centre of the cairn has been entirely reduced to ground level except for a c. 4x3 feet boulder. The perimeter has also been extensively reduced to a maximum height of 5 feet on the S arc. Canmore states there was a peristaltith of c. 2 feet high boulders now reduced to 3 remaining stones.

Stalldown Stone Row Cairn S (Cairn(s))

Directions: Take the B213 Ivybridge turn off the A38. If you exit from the E, turn R, cross over the A38 and take the first L on the roundabout signposted for Cornwood. If you exit from the W, take the first L on the roundabout signposted for Cornwood. Follow the Cornwood Road for c. I mile until you reach a mini roundabout. Take the L turn onto a narrow lane for Cornwood. Stay on this road for c. 2.5 miles until you reach the Cornwood Inn at a crossroads in Cornwood. Take the R turn for Torr/Harford onto a lane. After 0.25 miles stay straight on the lane. After another c. 0.5 miles stay straight. After another 0.25 miles turn L up an un-signposted lane and bear R after a sharp corner. Follow this narrow leafy lane for c. 0.25 mile then take the L fork. The road will end c. 0.4 mile later just after Watercombe Farm. Park as close as possible and follow the track for c. 0.5 mile past the water treatment buildings reaching the open moorland of Stalldown Moor. When you are 100 yards clear of the buildings strike N uphill towards Stalldown Stone Row relying on GPS or Map Reading to reach the Southern Cairn 0.4 mile N at SX 63215 61854.

Stalldown Stone Row Cairn NE (Cairn(s))

Directions: Take the B213 Ivybridge turn off the A38. If you exit from the E, turn R, cross over the A38 and take the first L on the roundabout signposted for Cornwood. If you exit from the W, take the first L on the roundabout signposted for Cornwood. Follow the Cornwood Road for c. I mile until you reach a mini roundabout. Take the L turn onto a narrow lane for Cornwood. Stay on this road for c. 2.5 miles until you reach the Cornwood Inn at a crossroads in Cornwood. Take the R turn for Torr/Harford onto a lane. After 0.25 miles stay straight on the lane. After another c. 0.5 miles stay straight. After another 0.25 miles turn L up an un-signposted lane and bear R after a sharp corner. Follow this narrow leafy lane for c. 0.25 mile then take the L fork. The road will end c. 0.4 mile later just after Watercombe Farm. Park as close as possible and follow the track for c. 0.5 mile past the water treatment buildings reaching the open moorland of Stalldown Moor. When you are 100 yards clear of the buildings strike N uphill towards Stalldown Stone Row relying on GPS or Map Reading to reach the Southern Terminal 0.5 mile N at SX 63218 62074.

Stalldown Stone Row Cairn NW (Cairn(s))

Directions: Take the B213 Ivybridge turn off the A38. If you exit from the E, turn R, cross over the A38 and take the first L on the roundabout signposted for Cornwood. If you exit from the W, take the first L on the roundabout signposted for Cornwood. Follow the Cornwood Road for c. I mile until you reach a mini roundabout. Take the L turn onto a narrow lane for Cornwood. Stay on this road for c. 2.5 miles until you reach the Cornwood Inn at a crossroads in Cornwood. Take the R turn for Torr/Harford onto a lane. After 0.25 miles stay straight on the lane. After another c. 0.5 miles stay straight. After another 0.25 miles turn L up an un-signposted lane and bear R after a sharp corner. Follow this narrow leafy lane for c. 0.25 mile then take the L fork. The road will end c. 0.4 mile later just after Watercombe Farm. Park as close as possible and follow the track for c. 0.5 mile past the water treatment buildings reaching the open moorland of Stalldown Moor. When you are 100 yards clear of the buildings strike N uphill towards Stalldown Stone Row relying on GPS or Map Reading to reach the Southern Terminal 0.5 mile N at SX 63218 62074.

There is a cluster of cairns in or near the Northern third of Stalldown Stone Row. Stalldown cairn circle (listed in TMA) is constructed a few yards to the E of the Stalldown Stone Row axis, a hiatus in the row of standing stones. Around 100 yards NNW in open moorland there is a small grass cairn measuring c. 30 feet across with a 4 feet earth bank. An intermittent perimeter of kerb stones c. 1.5 feet high define the edge of the cairn. There is a shallow hollow in the centre of the cairn suggestive of an excavation. It lies c. 30 yards E of Stalldown Stone Row.
A third cairn, Stalldown Stone Row Cairn NE lies c. 100 yards SE from here, on the E side of the stone row.
The concentration of several sites in a small radius suggests that it was the centre of ritual activities at Stalldown. The inclusion of Stalldown cairn circle into the stone row perhaps indicates that it was the focal point.
Historic England 1015806 (go to Links) has a full description of Stalldown Stone Row and its associated cairns.

Stalldown Stone Row Cairn NE (Cairn(s))

There is a cluster of cairns in or near the Northern third of Stalldown Stone Row. Stalldown cairn circle (listed in TMA) is constructed a few yards to the E of the Stalldown Stone Row axis, a hiatus in the row of standing stones. Around 100 yards NE in open moorland there is a small grass cairn measuring c. 45 feet across with a 3 feet earth bank. There is a pronounced hollow in the centre of the cairn suggestive of a removed cist. It lies c. 50 yards E of Stalldown Stone Row.
A third cairn, Stalldown Stone Row Cairn NW lies c. 100 yards NW from here, on the W side of the stone row.
The concentration of several sites in a small radius suggests that it was the centre of ritual activities at Stalldown. The inclusion of Stalldown cairn circle into the stone row perhaps indicates that it was the focal point.
Historic England 1015806 (go to Links) has a full description of Stalldown Stone Row and its associated cairns.

Stalldown Stone Row Cairn S (Cairn(s))

The ruined cairn lies c. 250 yards S of the Southern terminus in Stalldown Stone Row. It has been reduced to a circle of rough uneven grassy lumps, measuring c. 10 yards across by 1 yard high. The dark green of the cairn contrasts with the light brown of the moorland.

Historic England 1012748 states that the centre of the cairn has a central hollow probably related to a past disturbance in search of a cist. It also speculates that the cairn may have been the original terminus of the stone row. The Stalldown area has been used for peat cutting in the past so some of the stones may have been removed or buried. In any case, the close proximity of the cairn to Stalldown Stone Row extends the area of the Stalldown Complex.

South Cairnwell (Standing Stone / Menhir)

South Cairnweil Standing Stone is a triangular granite pillar reaching a rounded top at c. 7 feet. The basal cross-section of 3'3''x2'4''x8'' is maintained until the last foot of the stone. According to Canmore ID 60446 (go to Links) the stone was removed sometime between 1911 and 1970. It was re-erected in its original position by the farmer in 1973.

Directions: Take the A77 Portpatrick out of Stranraer heading S. After 1.33 miles ignore the Portpatrick R turn staying straight on the A716 Drummore. After another c. 6.5 miles go past Sandhead, take the next R for Kirkmadrine Stones. After 0.4 mile turn R onto a minor road for Kirkmadrine Stones. After c. 0.45 miles you will see a small lay-by at NX 08654 48386 with a gate where South Cairnweil Standing Stone Path starts. The stone is about 180 yards S from this point beside the path.

Slewcairn NE (Cairn(s))

Slewcairn NE is one of a pair of cairns situated c. 0.25 miles E of Slewcairn Long Cairn. It is a grassy cairn completely robbed of stones and hidden in the trees. It lies in a clearing c. 50 yards from the forest track. According to Canmore ID 65494 (go to Links) it measures c. 10 yards across by up to 1 yard high. There is a small mound on the apex, c. 2 feet high, covered in vegetation.
Slewcairn SW, its near neighbour, lies about 130 yards SW across the forest road in open ground.
I visited the Slewcairn complex on 12.05.12.

Slewcairn can be approached from the North, my choice of access. This involves 5 miles of forestry track which can be tackled by foot, bike or car.
By foot a 10 mile return plus up to 1 mile of deviation between 3 sites makes for a 11 mile walk.
By mountain bike the effort to travel 10 miles on a forest track is greatly reduced, my choice for my visit.
By car, preferably 4x4, 10 miles on a forestry track is reduced to 30 minutes travel at 20mph.
When you reach NX 92824 61374 (GPS navigation is essential) you are equidistant between Slewcairn SW & NE. Neither are easily spotted. Slewcairn NE is hidden in trees at NX 9284 6143. Slewcairn SW is on a rocky rig at NX 9276 6133. Slewcairn Long Cairn is 0.25 miles W along a forest ride starting at NX 92619 61592. Walk W on this narrow clearing for c. 300 yards to the end of the trees. Slewcairn Long Cairn is c. 130 yards S of this point lying in rough terrain at NX 9239 6142 The grid references for each cairn are as recorded in Canmore.
Take the A711 for Dalbeattie at Cargenbridge on the edge of Dumfries. Bear L onto a narrow lane in Beeswing 100 yards before the church. After about 3.75 miles on this road take the R turn for Solway Fishery. After c. 300 yards there is room to park on your R at NX 9370 6632. You can walk or cycle from here on continue on by car bearing SE at first for c. 5 miles along a forest track.

Slewcairn SW (Cairn(s))

Slewcairn SW is one of a pair of cairns situated c. 0.25 miles E of Slewcairn Long Cairn. It is almost completely robbed of stones on a rig c. 60 yards SW of the forest track at NX 92824 61374. According to Canmore ID 65492 (go to Links) it measures 10 yards across and up to 1 yard high. It is heather covered with a small scattering of stones on top. A modern cairn c. 2 feet high has been built on top of the cairn.
Slewcairn NE, its near neighbour, lies about 130 yards NE hidden in the trees.
I visited the Slewcairn complex on 12.05.12.
Slewcairn can be approached from the North, my choice of access. This involves 5 miles of forestry track which can be tackled by foot, bike or car.
By foot a 10 mile return plus up to 1 mile of deviation between 3 sites makes for a 11 mile walk.
By mountain bike the effort to travel 10 miles on a forest track is greatly reduced, my choice for my visit.
By car, preferably 4x4, 10 miles on a forestry track is reduced to 30 minutes travel at 20mph.
When you reach NX 92824 61374 (GPS navigation is essential) you are equidistant between Slewcairn SW & NE. Neither are easily spotted. Slewcairn NE is hidden in trees at NX 9284 6143. Slewcairn SW is on a rocky rig at NX 9276 6133. Slewcairn Long Cairn is 0.25 miles W along a forest ride starting at NX 92619 61592. Walk W on this narrow clearing for c. 300 yards to the end of the trees. Slewcairn Long Cairn is c. 130 yards S of this point lying in rough terrain at NX 9239 6142 The grid references for each cairn are as recorded in Canmore.
Take the A711 for Dalbeattie at Cargenbridge on the edge of Dumfries. Bear L onto a narrow lane in Beeswing 100 yards before the church. After about 3.75 miles on this road take the R turn for Solway Fishery. After c. 300 yards there is room to park on your R at NX 9370 6632. You can walk or cycle from here on continue on by car bearing SE at first for c. 5 miles along a forest track.

Dulnain Bridge (Natural Rock Feature)

On the Eastern edge of Dulnain Bridge, a village in Strathspey, there are some unusually shaped rocks known as Roches Moutonnees. The term describes rocks which have been shaped by the passage of a glacier. The characteristic shape is a smooth shallow slope in the direction of the glaciers advance with a steep edge in the lee of the glacier. About 18000 years ago Dulnain Bridge was covered by a vast ice sheet moving E and measuring up to 700m deep.

These rocks are small examples of the form which is found throughout the Cairngorm area. Ord Ban near Aviemore is a massive example, reaching up to 428 metres high.

Directions: There is a lay-by at NJ 0021 2497 on the E edge of Dulnain Bridge. A short path leads to the Roches Moutonnees.

Redhouse (Standing Stones)

Redhouse Standing Stones are c. 100 yards apart in adjacent fields. There is no line of sight between them and they are dissimilar types of stones. They lie at SW and NE on the compass.

Redhouse SW is a classic standing stone shape with a large cross-section tapering to a thin rounded top.

Redhouse NE is a broad thin earthfast slab. Bladup thought it was originally a capstone which has been erected upright. I would agree with this theory. It could be the only remaining stone of a ploughed out chambered cairn set upright as a rubbing stone.

Rangag West (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Rangag West Standing Stone is erected c. 30 yards N of Rangag Farm on the A9, about 7.5 miles N of Latheron on the A9. The tall stone can easily be seen from the A9, 40 yards to the E.
The stone is a square pillar measuring c. 9.5 feet high with a 2.75 x 2.75 feet cross-section according to Canmore ID 8274 (go to Links). It has a c. 10 degree lean to the E. Some packing stones have been placed on the E base to support the heavy stone which is securely earthfast.
My visit was in 2012 however it is still visible on Google Maps Street View so I assume the leaning Rangag West Standing Stone is still standing.
Rangag East lies 0.5 mile E up the track which starts at Rangag Farm. It is listed under Canmore ID 8222 (go to Links) as Rhianacoil.

Directions: The stone is on the A9 7.5 miles N of Latheron beside Rangag Farm. There is room to park near the farm to take a closer look. To reach Rangag East follow the straight track at the N end of Rangag Farm for about 0.5 mile. Rangag East is within 10 yards of the track on the right c. 30 yards before a fork in the track. (I haven’t visited Rangag East. The directions were taken from OS mapping using Canmore’s Grid Reference.)

Poltalloch Cist

Poltalloch Cist lies c. 0.75 miles NE of Poltalloch House ruin near Kilmartin, Argyle. The cist, measuring c. 3 feet by 2 feet, is covered by a capstone of the same dimensions. It is partially hidden by tussocks of rough grass. There are no visible traces of a cairn surrounding this cist.

According to Canmore ID 39478 (go to Links) there may have been up to 4 cists in the vicinity, however, by 1973 only one cist was found by OS.

On my visit in 2010 I also failed to locate any additional cist. However, the Poltalloch Cup and Ring Marked Panel nearby made this a satisfactory journey.

Mulchaich (Chambered Cairn)

I visited Mulchaich Cairn in 2012 after a clean up in 2011 detailed in Canmore ID 12763 (see Links). A survey plan of the cairn is available on the site.

Mulchaich Cairn is constructed on top of a gently rising natural knoll, with fine views all round. The unusual feature of Mulchaich is the double kerbs. The inner kerb is on the crest of the mound and the outer kerb is on the slope.

The circular inner kerb has a c. 60 feet diameter and the oval outer kerb on the slopes of the mound has a maximum diameter of c. 150 feet in the NW-SE axis.

Mulchaich Cairn has been severely robbed. The interior of the cairn has only one upright stone, an earthset slab c. 3 feet high by 3 feet wide. There are several 6-8 feet slabs nearby suggesting there was a cist or passage in the cairn. The inner kerb is intermittent with some large earthset stones measuring 5-6 feet still in situ. The band between the kerbs is largely grassy, measuring from 30-45 feet across with some small earthset stones exposed. The outer kerb has large gaps with short stretches of 1-2 feet stones left to define the perimeter.

Like Hob, I was frustrated to find out about the cup marked stone after my visit.

Mossyard 6 (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

Mossyard 6 is a Cup and Ring marked stone laid on a dyke in Mossyard Caravan Park. The stone is rectangular measuring c. 3 x 1 foot in cross-section, tapering from 9 to 1.5 inches thick. It is set on top of a stone dyke in front of a static caravan near the centre of Mossyard Caravan Park. I have posted a picture taken by the late Jan Brouwer which gives the exact location. It was still in situ in 18.02.17 when I visited the Mossyard sites.

There are four Cup and Ring Marks on the exposed top of the stone. There is a central line of 3 cups with a single ring measuring up to 4 inches across and a cup with two rings measuring c. 6 inches across on the NE corner of the stone. There is also an oval depression in the SW corner, measuring c. 3 inches across and 1 inch deep, which may be natural.

Mossyard on BRAC (go to Links) contains superior images of Mossyard 6 and other Mossyard Rock Art Sites.

Directions for Mossyard 6: Take the Mossyard road off the A75. After c. 0.5 mile turn sharp L at Mossyard Farm them sharp R to Mossyard Bay car park. Walk back along the road to Mossyard Caravan Park. Take the R fork into the park then follow the L fork for 130 yards. When the road bears R turn L onto a short row of static caravans. Mossyard 6 is on a wall on the N side of the second static caravan (see Images).

Mossyard 1 (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

Mossyard 1 consists of two cup and ring marks on a 12 foot wedge of exposed rock on the coast at Ringdoo Point in Dumfries and Galloway. It lies 700 yards SW of Mossyard Caravan Park.
There are two distinct panels, 1a and 1b. Each panel has a line of natural depressions running down the centre.
Panel 1a is adjacent to a dry stane dyke. It has a single cup with 5 rings in the W quadrant. Canmore ID 63710 (go to Links) discusses the possibility of a carved double groove cartouche around the cup and ring carving. It is apparent in two images, Panel-1a 2004 taken by rockartuk, see Mossyard on BRAC (go to Links).
Panel 1b, which lies immediately NE of 1a, is badly eroded, a cup with 3 surrounding rings. It also is carved in the W quadrant of the panel.

Directions for Mossyard 1: Take the Mossyard road off the A75. After c. 0.5 mile turn sharp L at Mossyard Farm them sharp R to Mossyard Bay car park. Walk back along the road to Mossyard Caravan Park. Take the R fork into the park then the R fork SE parallel to a row of static caravans. After c. 120 yards a faint track heads SW across a field for c. 350 yards to reach a gateway. Turn L following the field perimeter for c. 130 yards, turn R, following the field edge for c. 160 yards. Follow the field perimeter R for another 100 yards looking out for the large glacial erratic ahead. If you hug the dry stane dyke you will find Mossyard 1 c. 20 yards N of the boulder.

Mossyard (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

In my experience Rock Art is the most frustrating of all the categories (except possibly Burnt Mounds). It is hard to find due to erosion, being covered by turf or a 6 figure grid reference accurate to 100 square metres. I walked past the Clarksburn Wood stone several times in dry weather only to see the cup and rings marking appear on a rainy day.

Rockartuk were Rock Stars in the Rock Art world. Gus van Veen and Jan Brouwer travelled the length and breadth of the United Kingdom unearthing hidden gems, cataloguing sites and taking exceptional pictures of Rock Art.

Sadly, Jan Brower passed away in 2011. The last post of Rockartuk on TMA was on 29th January 2011 . The free archive of photos had to be rescued due to Fotopic.net's demise. They are now available on UKRA.net (go to Links).

Mossyard was investigated by Rockartuk and they found 6 separate sites in the location. I was only able to find Mossyard 1,3 and 6 on my visit in 2017 but 50% is a good result in the search for Rock Art.

I have just notice that the grid reference for this site is rather closer to Mossyard 1 than Mossyard 3. The officially recorded grid reference in Canmore ID 63739 (go to Links) is NX 5469 5204 for Mossyard 3.
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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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