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Valley of Stones Barrow (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 14.10.14

You can pull in at the wooden gate and sign pointing the way to the Valley of Stones.
I didn’t have time to visit the valley but immediately to the right of the gate is an area covered by the dreaded gorse. Amidst the gorse, next to the road, is a gorse covered mound.
It is approximately 1 metre high x 10 metres across. You can’t get too close due to the gorse.

E.H. has nothing to report.
Posted by CARL
20th October 2014ce

Grey Mare Barrows (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 14.10.13

Parking at the start of the private road to Gorwell Farm (room for one car) the barrows are easy to see as low grass mounds in the field the other side of the fence. There is a metal field gate which gives access to the field. This was my starting point for visiting the nearby Grey Mare and her Colts.

E.H. state:
Two bowl barrows 283m SSE of the Grey Mare and her Colts
Two bowl barrows situated on the upper western-facing slopes of a prominent hill, overlooking a dry valley and with distant views to the sea. The barrows survive as circular mounds surrounded by buried quarry ditches, from which the construction material was derived. The western mound measures 29m in diameter and 1.3m high; the eastern mound is 24m in diameter and 1m high.
Posted by CARL
20th October 2014ce

Kingston Russell (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Failed visit 14.10.14

I am gutted about failing to find the stone circle.

We managed to arrange a short two-day break away (without the children!) on the south coast.

This was due to be the first ‘major’ site on my itinerary for the two days but due to the awful weather I rescheduled the plans which basically meant we did things in reverse order. So, instead of being the first site to visit it became the last – which (at least partly) was the reason for my failure.

It was not clear from the map which was the best route to the circle. From the south or from the north?
It looked about the same distance walk so I opted for the approach from the south as I would be able to take in the Grey Mare and her Colts on the way. (Despite being an E.H. site they give no information on the best way to approach the circle – despite an e-mail to them requesting advice). Unfortunately I had not read dickie's directions beforehand – mistake.

After visiting the Grey Mare I continued north through the fields (but not as I should have done along the bridleway). After crossing the first field I was met by a large field in crop. I was able to walk part-way into the field along a track but there was no way through it without causing damage – something I wasn’t prepared to do. I re-traced my steps but could find no other way past the field of crop.

Due to time constraints I discounted the longer walk past Gorwell Farm as I needed a more direct route.
I decided to return to the car and attempt an approach from the north. We weaved our way through the maze of unsignposted lanes and followed the road as far as we could. Unfortunately about 1 mile before where the O/S map shows the road ends and the footpath starts the road turns into a very rough track – suitable only for 4x4s.
I simply didn’t have time for this extra walk as we had to get back for the children. I was very, very disappointed.

The next time I visit I will take the rout via Gorwell Farm. Although it may be longer than dickie's directions it involves the shortest distance ‘off road’. Given my poor orientation skills this probably gives me the best chance of success!

I would be happy to hear the advice of others who have visited as to which is the best route to take.

I guess you win some, you lose some………………… Still gutted though!
Posted by CARL
20th October 2014ce

The Grey Mare & Her Colts (Long Barrow) — Fieldnotes

Visited 14.10.14

Directions:
Park at the start of the private road to Gorwell farm (room for one car).
Directly in front of you is a bridleway. Walk along the bridleway (high hedge on your left) until you reach a wooden stile. Go over the stile, turn right and walk a short distance until you reach a metal gate on your left. **This is NOT the gate you see immediately after going over the stile**. You will see the long barrow from the gate.

As has previously been reported, despite its ruined state, there is a lot to recommend a visit.
The standing / fallen facing stones are very large and there are sufficient remains of the earthen part of the long barrow to easily make the shape out. Far away in the distance the coastline and sea can be seen. On my visit the field was full of sheep that seemed quite at home nestled down amongst the stones – until I disturbed them!

Despite the damage caused to it the long barrow has somehow retained a sense of ‘atmosphere’.
It only takes about 5 minutes to walk to the Grey Mare and it is well worth the minimum effort required.
Posted by CARL
20th October 2014ce

Carreg Cennen (Sacred Well) — Fieldnotes

Carreg Cennen. An evocative name to the (somewhat protruding) ears of an Englishman first brought here by his father during 1983 (Cestyll '83, as I recall), a boy with a head filled with incoherent images of 'something' that perhaps existed before what was quickly becoming, to him, the complete bollocks of organised religion... the hymns we were forced to sing at school.... but took subconscious delight in defying. Even then. Something burning within, something subsumed deep in the folk memory. Ancient Britains. Not desert people. Christianity irrelevant.

I arrive today, in pouring rain, with more than an eye on re-visiting the not so distant (incredibly undervalued) hill fort of Garn Goch. Do so if you can. Parking in the rather busy car park, I wonder if it is actually a good idea to revisit times past? Would the somewhat cynical mind of the 45 year old render the magical experience of the initiate superfluous? In short, er, no. I purchase my ticket and ascend the track to the fortress perched upon its eyrie. The medieval fortifications are easily retrieved from my psyche... their imprint seared upon my impressionable mind years ago. Not so the very attractive lady - with idiosyncratic canine companion and perfect breasts - engaged with capturing the vibe for posterity upon her DSLR. Pure class. Superlatives come as standard at Carreg Cennen, the mind thrown into overdrive, with carnal base thoughts vying for attention with those upon an altogether higher plane. Unfortunately the words do not flow from my brain to the tongue in any coherent manner.... as usual.

So... a rather steep flight of steps descend to a dark passage - lit by loop holes - to access the entrance to (one of) the caves which permeate this carboniferous limestone crag. This is something special, however. Really special indeed. The rough-hewn steps vanish into a more-or-less unfathomable gloom below.... so careful now. The eyes adjust a little, revealing a medieval outer wall, fashioned into 'pigeon holes' to accommodate, well, pigeons - funnily enough - to supplement the castle food supply. Within, a naked gash within the cliff face represents the threshold beyond which a torch will be required. To be fair I've been here before, feeling my way to the cave's terminus in utter darkness during the early 90's. Forgot a torch. And humans so need to appreciate where they are going, do they not? Ok, appreciate, if not necessarily understand.

I've borrowed the Mam C's torch today..... and advance down the narrow, undulating passage toward the very underworld itself. The thought that pre-Ice Age people were laid to rest within here, a proto-chambered tomb if ever there was one, blows my mind, the floor of the cave suddenly descending to afflict a stumble, walls as luminescent as marble, as apparently hydrated as a cascade, yet ironically dry to the touch. I reach the end point of the cave, my heart pounding as if in homage to New Order's iconic Oberheim DMX drum machine, my breath clouding my vision as upon a sub-zero December morning, my camera lens overwhelmed with vapour. Here, upon the right hand flank, has been fashioned a small pool of water, inexorably replenished from water dripping from the roof. I extinguish the torch and eat my lunch in utter darkness, struggling to comprehend how such sensual deprivation can have such an opposite effect?

The flanks of the cave are engraved with graffiti, some inspiringly celebrating love, some utter moronic bollocks. The human experience, then? The instinctive base line and the sublime. I refrain from recording my passage, of course, leaving behind merely a trace of my exhaled carbon dioxide and spilled coffee. Well, distant ancestors were laid to rest here, it has to be said. I ponder for a while and suppose I can see the reason why. Yeah, this place is not really that different from the Pavilland Cave visited earlier this year. If I'm anything to go by, the perceptive visitor's brain appears able to retrieve a fragment of what went before.... sorry, but I can't articulate any more than that. So come and experience for yourself.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
17th October 2014ce

Piran's Round (Hillfort) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Piran's Round</b>Posted by Beebon Posted by Beebon
17th October 2014ce

Sheep Down Long Barrow — Fieldnotes

Visited 14.10.14

As formicaant states the long barrow is easy to visit (being close to the minor road running south from the A35 to Portesham) but there is not much to see.

It has now been reduced to a long low grass mound.

Still worth a look when in the area.
Posted by CARL
17th October 2014ce

Sheep Down (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery) — Miscellaneous

I was able to spot 3 barrows when driving along the minor road to the east. They appeared as rough grass covered mounds.

Access to the barrows can be made via a farm track leading from the road.
Posted by CARL
17th October 2014ce

Bottlebush Down (Round Barrow(s)) — Miscellaneous

‘Drive by’ 13.10.14

Driving along the B3081 I could spot two of the barrows showing on the O/S map.

Both are rough grass covered mounds.
One is right next to the road and the other is further into a field.
Parking would be difficult on this busy road.
Posted by CARL
17th October 2014ce

Oakley Down (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery) — Miscellaneous

‘Drive by’ 13.10.14

Several of the barrows making up this cemetery can be seen when driving along the very busy A354.
Parking would be a problem if opting for a closer look.
Posted by CARL
17th October 2014ce
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