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

Fieldnotes by markj99

Latest Posts
Showing 1-20 of 81 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20

Fairy's Chest (Natural Rock Feature)

Visited 17.04.09

There is a Car Park at Embsay Reservoir. Follow the road NW, parallel to Embsay Reservoir towards Crookrise Wood. Go straight on at the end of the road following the path N rather than an obvious track E. The path veers NW towards the corner of the wood and follows NW between the moor and the wood. After nearly 1 mile you will reach the Trig Point of Crookrise Crag. The Fairy's Chest lies 300 yards further up the path, on the slope of the moor. It is a large cuboid erratic which looks like it has been shaped by man not nature. It measures approximately 10m x 3m x 3m and has unusually flat surfaces. There are several other large stones around it however the flat top will give it away.

White Cairn, Honeyhole (Cairn(s))

Visited 06.07.19

White Cairn, Honeyhole is a grassy cairn, 3.5 miles WNW of Thornhill. It lies in an elevated field above Honeyhole farm.
Canmore ID 65238 states it "survives as a partly turf-covered stony mound 32.5m E-W by 29.5m and up to 1.7m high with no significant features."
Nothing has changed since the 1977 survey. The flat field contrasts with the cairn's modest elevation. Some scattered small stones are visible amongst a grassy thatch.
Directions: take the Sanquhar road off the A702 in Penpont. After two miles bear L for Scar Water. After 0.5 mile you will reach Honeyhole farm. Continue for c. 300 yards to a gateway on L with space to park. Head uphill SW, towards the corner of the wood. After 300 yards climbing steeply cross into the adjacent field. Walk SW for another 200 yards to reach White Cairn, Honeyhole.

White Cairn, West Skelston (Cairn(s))

Visited 28.08.19

White Cairn, West Skelston is a partially robbed cairn, reused as a dump for field clearance stones and old farm equipment. It is 3 miles W of Dunscore in an arable field overlooking West Skelston farm.
Canmore ID 65098 describes the cairn in 1991 as follows: "This cairn is situated on the crest of a spur and measures 23m in diameter and 3m in height; it has been partly robbed and has been supplemented by large boulders relatively recently."
There are original stones with an aged white patina but there are also a large central robbed out void, large field clearance stones and some old farm equipment on this cairn.
This seems to be the fate of cairns in proximity of farms where the temptation to exploit a natural resource is too great.

Fleuchlarg (Cairn(s))

Visited 07.04.12

Fleucharg Long Cairn has certainly been abused over the millennia, most probably in the last centuries. However, it is still a significant presence in the landscape worth visiting.
It was archaeologically excavated in 1937. Canmore ID 65063 states it "measures 150 ft NNE-SSW by 44 ft across the N end and 85 ft some 25 ft from the S end, and has a maximum height of 14 ft."
Of particular note was "a setting of three boulders, possibly part of a kerb" according to Canmore ID 65063.
There are also large voids in the cairn due to stone robbing.
It is identified as White Cairn in OS 1:50k maps.

White Cairn, Gelston (Cairn(s))

White Cairn, Gelston was a cairn 1 mile W of Gelston, a small community near Castle Douglas.
Canmore ID 64467 says the "remains of this cairn consist of two large stones set in line east to west with an indeterminate scatter of small stones to the south. The west stone is 3.0m long by 0.6m wide and 1.0m high, the other being approx half this size." This entry dates to 1968 and things have changed since then. On 14.09.19 two large stones corresponding to the 1968 entry were piled in the corner of a field with an old tyre at the expected grid reference. There is a third small stone beside the pair of stones but the scattered stones have been removed. The destruction of the cairn has been completed. The remaining two large stones were thought to have been part of the cist originally.
It was more of a practical exercise to find the site of the destroyed cairn than a walk to an existing cairn.

White Cairn, Clatteringshaws (Cairn(s))

This is one for the completists. The Stoners who will leave no stone unturned. The pictures have been on my hard drive since August 2015 so I have had to resort to OS Maps Aerial to describe the final steps to the cairn.
White Cairn, Clatteringshaws is hiding in the forest half a mile SW of Lillie's Loch Car Park on the edge of Clatteringshaws Loch. Take Lillie's Loch/Loch Dee turn off the A712 just S of Clatteringshaws Loch. After almost 1 mile Lillie's Loch Car Park is on L at a sharp corner. Follow Lillie's Loch track SW for 400 yards crossing over a forest road into a wide forest ride. Continue W for 300 yards, bear L at a fork, head W for around 120 yards. Turn L into a narrow forest ride heading S. Follow this path for 200 yards approximately, look for a forest ride to your R. Follow this for 120 yards into a large clearing. Turn L for around 60 yards heading S. Look for a forest ride on your R, follow it for 40 yards and the cairn will appear (hopefully).
White Cairn, Clatteringshaws has its private pine enclosure giving it a sense of isolation. However the ruined state of the cairn detracts from the spectacle. According to Canmore ID 63797 "White Cairn has been circular, 40' in diameter, but it has been almost completely destroyed and small sheep shelters have been built out of its material on the site. The interment has probably been disturbed long ago."
The remains are a confused jumble of stones. As I said, this is one for the completists!

White Cairn, Bargrennan Burn (Cairn(s))

White Cairn, Bargrennan Burn lies in the middle of unimproved grazing, 0.5 miles north of Marberry Smokehouse on the A714 near Bargrennan. It is defined as a "kerb cairn" by Canmore ID 63008.
Many will have visited its more famous companion, White Cairn, Bargrennan which is in the forest near Glentrool Village, almost 1 mile SE.
White Cairn, Bargrennan Burn has fared better than its illustrious neighbour perhaps due to its relative inaccessibility. "The White Cairn is 50 feet in diameter and 7 ft high, slightly robbed on the south. There is a small circular excavation about 2 feet deep in the top but there is no evidence of a cist or chamber." (Canmore ID 63008)
This White Cairn is one of the few to show a glimmer of white, some of the exposed stones having an aged white patina.
A GPS is almost essential for this hidden cairn, however, walking 700 yards N from the sheepfold should allow you to find the cairn.
Starting at Newton Stewart take the A714 Girvan road for 12 miles to Bargrennan. Stay on the A714 for a futher 1.25 miles until you reach Marberry Smokehouse on the R. Parking is possible at NX 33840 78648, a mast at the end of a fast straight stretch of the A714. Walk back along the road until you reach the sheepfold then head N over rough ground for around 700 yards to NX 3422 7910. You should be able to see the cairn as a raised grass mound with some scattered stones from this approach.

White Cairn, Crouse (Cairn(s))

It would be foolish to visit the Hole Stone near Crouse farm without taking in White Cairn, Crouse on the way. There is room to park in a gateway at NX 36446 55806. Walk SE towards the gate in the dry stane dyke. White Cairn, Crouse lies 20 yards E of the gate. At first glance it looks like a field clearance cairn however there is a classic raised bank underlying structure. It is likely that the cairn was robbed of its original stones to build the neighbouring dry stane dykes and field clearance stones were subsequently piled up randomly.
Canmore ID 62871 gives the dimensions of the cairn as "28.0m N-S by 27.0m E-W and 2.0m high".
Return to the gate, walk 40 yards S into the next field to visit the Hole Stone. It is already listed on TMA and well worth a visit. Canmore ID 62872 includes a wealth of information about a second stone and marriage rituals.

Barrhill White Cairn (Cairn(s))

Visited 17.09.19

Barrhill White Cairn is 1 mile W of Barrhill wedged into the corner of a field in forestry. Canmore ID 62561 gives its dimensions as "about 25m in diameter and varies in height from 1.0m to 2.5m".
The grassed-over cairn has been extensively robbed with few scattered stones remaining but the underlying structure is intact. A modern cairn, 10 feet high has been constructed at the summit of the cairn and a sheepfold built nearby. This would account for the missing stones.
Park at Barrhill station and cross the tracks following a farm road N. Walk past Cairnlea farm following the farm road until you reach a sheepfold, about 200 yards on the R. Turn R into the field adjacent to the sheepfold and follow the fence NW across fields for 600 yards until you reach the edge of a forest. Walk NW along the edge of the forest for about 500 yards until you reach a sheepfold. Go through the gate ahead into a large field, the cairn is in the R corner beside the forest.

Laggish White Cairn (Cairn(s))

Visited 05.10.19

Laggish White Cairn lies in a pine forest 4km S of Barrhill. Canmore ID 62463 indicates that the cairn was extensively robbed by 1955 however the tree planting round the cairn has caused further disruption. It also describes the "remains of the White Cairn, grass-covered and measuring 19m in diameter and 1m in maximum height." The current dimensions of the cairn are around 15m by 1.5m. The cairn is still grass covered though pine needles are encroaching. There is a rock outcrop on the N side of the cairn as indicated by Canmore ID 62463.
There are no stones in the centre of the cairn however there is a large recumbent stone 5m W of the cairn, approximately fitting the dimensions of the central recumbent boulder. It could easily have been moved during the tree planting.
The subdued light of the clearing and the unnatural quiet of the pine forest add to the ambiance of this hidden cairn.
Take the New Luce road out of Barrhill. After 2.25 miles you reach a forest. Park up at the lay-by for Dochroyle & Laggish. Follow the track for 0.75 miles to reach Dochroyle, a tiny forest community. Pass through Dochroyle, through a locked gate turning R down the forest track. Turn R into a forest break after 500 yards at NX 23079 78656 which leads into a large forest break. Turn L and head over boggy ground for 50 yards, turn R into the forest for 20 yards to the cairn at NX 2298 7860. The above directions are approximate and a GPS is almost essential to find this cairn.

White Cairn, High Aires (Cairn(s))

Visited 01.12.19

White Cairn, High Aires is situated 7.5 miles NNE of Glenluce, amid forestry and wind turbines. It is a grass covered round cairn, around 20 yards in diameter & 5 yards in height. The summit of the cairn is unexcavated and the stone structure appears to be intact.
Take the Dirnow road off the A75 near Kircowan. After three miles you reach a crossroads. Head straight onto a forest track to wind turbines. After 1.75 miles park beside a turbine at NX 26547 68071. There is an access road to the L. Walk around 300 yards S to a track entering a field. Turn R along the perimeter of the field following the curve until you reach a fence. The cairn is visible 10 yards into the adjacent field.
Further information is available in Canmore ID 62297.

White Cairn, Markdhu (Cairn(s))

Visited 08.12.19
White Cairn, Markdhu was a small cairn on a natural knoll which had been removed by 1911 according to Canmore ID 61791. A sheepfold has been constructed on the knoll but it is now in ruins.
The site is shown on OS 1:50k maps and can be visited in conjunction with Cairn Kenny, a more impressive cairn, which lies around 400 yards NW.
Given their proximity and their relative isolation in rough moorland it makes sense to visit both sites together. See Cairn Kenny page for directions.
While little of the original cairn remains, the location of the knoll in flat moorland may explain the creation of the cairn.

Ballach-a-Heathry (Cairn(s))

Visited 08.03.20

Ballach-a-Heathry cairn is a robbed out grassy cairn of uncertain age. It lies 2 miles NE of Glenluce on the Three Lochs road. It is approximately 25 yards across its N-S axis and 30 yards across the E-W axis. The cairn is grassed over with a deposit of large field clearance stones on the N of the cairn. There is no evidence of a cist.
Given its position in flat pastureland the cairn is quite prominent despite the recent addition of wind turbines. A gate provides easy access to the cairn.
Last visited in 1976, Canmore ID 62413 gives further details of the cairn.

Cairn Kenny (Cairn(s))

Visited 08.12.19

Cairn Kenny lies around 500m NE of High Murdonochee summit in extensive moorland S of Arecleoch Forest. Access is possible from the railway crossing at Miltonise Farm however I chose to approach from the Lagafater Lodge road N of Penwhirn Reservoir.
In hindsight this was a mistake since the road was private before Barnvannoch Farm requiring an extra 2km walk to reach the Lagafater Dam, before walking 4 km over rough wet moorland via High Murdonochee. I would suggest that walking from Miltonese would be shorter, around 3km each way. A GPS or good map reading is essential to find Cairn Kenny.
Cairn Kenny is a chambered cairn around 17m across by 2m high with a robbed out central chamber. Many scattered stones are left in situ on a green turfed cairn which is visible from a distance. Further details are available in Canmore ID 61771.

Miltonise North Cairn (Cairn(s))

Visited 08.03.20

Miltonise North cairn lies 30m E of the Stranraer to Girvan railway line 650m NNE of Miltonise farm (as noted in Canmore ID 61803).
It is a robbed out cairn, approximately 10m across with an off-centre kist exposed. The kist is a 0.5m square, approximately 0.5m deep with two stone slabs remaining in situ. A third potential stone slab lies within 1m of the kist.
A small scattering of buried stones remain on the grass covered cairn, which stands out as a green spot surrounded by brown moorland.
In this rough moorland the cairn is almost invisible until one is standing over it.
Canmore ID 61803 also notes that a second cairn 5m in diameter, covered in peat lies 10m S of this cairn however I was unable to locate this feature.
Canmore ID 61853 describes Miltonise South cairn, which is positioned approximately 400m S. Again, it is a turfed over cairn, around 6m in diameter. I was unable to investigate this due to the proximity of beef cattle in the area.

Knockdolian (Cairn(s))

Re-Visited 27.02.20

I summited Knockdolian many years ago but lost the photos so I had a good excuse for a second visit.
The short steep walk more than compensates the effort required with fantastic 360 degree views including Ailsa Craig to the NW.
Approaching Ballantrae from S, I crossed the Stinchar Bridge and turned right beside the old castle. After 3 miles on the B7044 there is a sign for the Knockdolian Hill path. It is possible to park beside a wood a quarter of a mile beyond this point. Retrace your steps and start the steep obvious ascent up a grass field leading onto a ridge towards the summit.
I was expecting a stonier cairn however the grass cairn at the summit looks like a natural knoll. There are no kerb stones, as noted in Canmore ID 62028, just a few rock outcrops.

Torhousekie Farm (Cairn(s))

Visited 23.02.20

Torhouskie Farm Cairn lies 200 yards E of the farm. It is in a ruinous state, only the outline of a 25 metre cairn and an earth bank remaining.
Canmore ID 62842 suggests it is a robbed out bell-cairn.
It may be accessed by parking at Torhouse Stone Circle and walking back towards the farm around a quarter of a mile. There is a gate into the adjacent field which provides closer access.
The raised earth bank and intermittent perimeter of stones give a clue as to how impressive this cairn would have been in its youth.
There is a scattering of smaller stones at the centre giving the impression of concentric circles. However, these stones may be a later addition due to field clearance.

Torhousekie (Cairn(s))

Visited 20.02.20

On a changeable day with sleet showers I explored the potential cairns to the N of Torhousekie Stone Circle.
There are two candidates listed on Canmore under Torhousekie:
Canmore ID 62839. This was a large cairn 140 yards N of the circle however no trace was found on 18th August 1970. The building of dry stane dykes was blamed for its removal
Canmore ID 62875. This was a large conical cairn, 166 yards N of the circle. It was last observed on 18th August 1970 as "remains of a dilapidated cairn, 28.0m in diameter and 1.0m maximum height. It's top is thickly covered with field clearance stones"
Fifty years have passed since then so we should not be surprised that both cairns are now invisible.
There are many field clearance stones in the corner of the field which bounds the cairn sites and extensive dry stane dykes which would account for their eradication.
Approximately 30 yards E of Canmore ID 62839 there is a small plie of field clearance stones on a natural knoll. At the stated position of Canmore ID 62839 there is a natural knoll with some earth-set rocks but no visible scattered stones.
30 yards N there is an arable grass field next to a farm track. The ploughing of the field has removed any trace of Canmore ID 62875. I have included a picture of the site in case more experienced eyes can spot anything.

Airigh Mhaoldonuich (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Visited 03.07.11

This site is actually Callanish XV. See Canmore ID 72849 for further details.

Beoch Hill (Cairn(s))

Beoch Hill cairn is 300 yards S of White Cairn, Beoch Hill. It's a smaller cairn, around 10 yards across with a hollowed out centre.
See White Cairn, Beoch Hill for directions. From the White Cairn walk S towards a gate around 200 yards away. Beoch Hill cairn is a grassy bank 100 yards S from the gate in rough moorland.
It is listed as Canmore ID 60701.
Showing 1-20 of 81 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. I've been in the Queen's stand on Derby Day, an amazing experience. At the moment my current obsession is music gigs: Arcade Fire, Dinosaur Jr, Sparks, Jesus and Mary Chain and Belle & Sebastian, my favourite band.

My TMA Content: