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Top Low and Net Low (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Top Low, Blore.
Top Low is located upon the summit of a hill standing between the Staffordshire Moorlands villages of Blore and Swinscoe. It is an oval mound of stone and earth 1m high with maximum dimensions of 22m by 20m. Two pits upon the summit of the mound are evidence of excavation. Samuel Carrington opened Top Low in May 1849 and Thomas Pape reopened it in 1929. The field surmounting the top of the hill is shown on a tithe map of the parish dated 1845 as bearing the name Top Low Field.

The report on Carrington's excavations of 5th and 12th May 1849 contained in Bateman's "Ten Years Diggings.." occupy six pages (including the plan of the distribution of the graves kindly added to this site by Chris Collyer). Carrington describes Top Low as being "an elliptical-shaped barrow, about 15 yards wide" the barrow was presumed to have started out as a round barrow whose shape has altered over time as numerous subsequent interments were added to it. Carrington found an interesting variety of funerary practices in evidence at Top Low with 14 interments in total. Two cremation deposits were found, one housed in a pottery vessel and one a loose pile of burnt bones accompanied by a flint implement. 11 interments were complete or partial crouched inhumations, mostly adults. These were interred in various grave forms - some lain in stone-lined cists, some surrounded by lines of stone slabs, some with upright stones erected at the head and feet whilst others were placed upon or leaned against stone slabs. However, the most unusual deposit was found at the very centre of the mound where a small, roughly built cist contained the ritual animal burial of a young hog accompanied by an antler tine. Also found were a bronze clasp, a lozenge decorated drinking cup, a complete 'A' type beaker, a broken leaf-shaped flint arrowhead and fragments of a second beaker.

Pape's 1929 excavation of Top Low was confused from the start as he was not aware that the barrow he was excavating was Top Low, even though he found the skeletal remains of several individuals all mixed up and piled together (probably reinterred by Carrington's workmen during backfilling). He did find a fragment of a polished greenstone axe. Pape's excavation report was published in the Transactions of the North Staffs Field Club simply as "Excavation of a round barrow at Swinscoe". Even after completing the dig Pape admitted that he was not sure if the site was Top Low but he had "an uneasy suspicion" that it was.

There is no public access to Top Low but both field walls between the barrow and the public footpath were down when I visited. There is a free public car park beside the Blore to Ilam road which is just a short walk via public footpaths from the hill which Top Low and Net Low sit upon.

Scheduled Ancient Monument No. =1009654. Scheduled as Top Low bowl barrow. NMR = SK14 NW1. RSM = 13576.

Net Low, Blore
Net Low is located upon the lower slopes of the same hill Top Low surmounts and some have labelled it Top Low II. However, this barrow does seem to correspond with one "in a field called Nettles" opened by Carrington in 1849 which he thought was called Net Lows. The name of the field in which this barrow sits is shown as 'Blore Netlow' on a tithe map of the parish dated 1845. Net Low sits upon a natural knoll on the side of the valley to the South-West of St. Bartholomew's church, Blore. It is an oval earthen mound 0.7m high with maximum dimensions of 13m by 10m.

Samuel Carrington opened Net Low on 2nd June 1849. On the South-West side of the barrow he found a paved cist containing calcined bones and a broken urn of red clay which contained a small vase or incense cup of the same fabric. This may have been the primary interment. Nearby his excavation trench uncovered the disturbed remains of an skeleton which has been interpreted as an Anglo-Saxon secondary inhumation. Near to the skeleton the base of a wheel turned pottery vessel and an iron ring one and quarter inches in diameter were found.

Thomas Pape re-excavated Net Low in 1927 finding disturbed charcoal, teeth (including a human tooth) and the Anglo-Saxon secondary inhumation.

Public footpaths run along the valley bottom below the site and along the hillside above it allowing the barrow to be viewed easily.

Scheduled Ancient Monument No. =1009652. Scheduled as bowl barrow 380m SW of Blore church. NMR = SK14 NW2 RSM = 13575.
BrownEdger Posted by BrownEdger
26th August 2014ce

Carn Les Boel (Cliff Fort) — Fieldnotes

24 June 2014.

We carry on round the coast path from Pordenack Point and its trashed barrows. The sea is that beautiful turquoise blue that you get in far west Cornwall when the weather is at its best, and it's sure at its best today.

The little cove at the base of Lower Bosistow Cliff is quite lovely, revealing a narrow arch cutting deep into - and through - the rock below the headland. From there it's a reasonably steep climb up onto the headland itself, where a sign warns of the dangers of coastal erosion and advises that we stick to the path. Which we do, at least until we reach the fort that occupies the rocky tip of the promontory.

For some reason when we first walked along this stretch of the path we didn't visit Carn les Boel fort. I'm not sure why, perhaps just laziness or a desire to Get Along. No pressures today though, so we can have a leisurely explore and some lunch, away from the Land's End crowds.

Although the rampart isn't as big and impressive as some of the others on this Cornish coast, it's still immediately apparent. It slopes steeply from the central neck of the promontory, ending at sheer cliffs. It's not clear if it always ended so sharply or whether erosion has taken its toll. The ditch is mostly silted up, but from the rampart there is a great view across Nanjizal to the next headland, confusingly named Carn Boel.

The entrance to the fort interior is flanked by large granite blocks, one of which has fallen. The other one is an impressive size, weighing a good few tons. Slightly down the slope is the precariously balanced boulder shown in Hamish's picture.

The interior is quite rocky, dropping to rugged cliffs at its tip. Not the most hospitable place you could decide to set up home, but then there's no evidence that anyone ever did. No hut circles or anything structural can be seen.

We sit and enjoy the view and the sunshine for a while, before deciding to head onwards. We're aiming for Treen and particularly Treryn Dinas today, so we've a little way to go. Before we leave, I take a minor detour to look for the Higher Bosistow round barrow. It occupies the highest part of the headland and has terrific views of the coast. Unfortunately the barrow itself is almost missing in action, barely more than a slight rise in the ground with a scooped centre. Great spot though. Inevitably.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
25th August 2014ce

Carn Les Boel (Cliff Fort) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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25th August 2014ce

Roskestal West Cliff (Round Cairn) — Miscellaneous

The map of Penwithian round barrows in Cheryl Straffon's revised "The Earth Mysteries Guide to Ancient Sites in West Penwith" (2010) shows a coastal barrow at Roskestal.

There's nothing listed on Pastscape or the Cornwall and Scilly HER, although there have been various finds of stone tools on the cliffs here, as well as a prehistoric field system.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
25th August 2014ce

Roystone Rocks — Images

<b>Roystone Rocks</b>Posted by stubob stubob Posted by stubob
25th August 2014ce

Kernic (Allee-Couverte) — Images

<b>Kernic</b>Posted by CianMcLiam<b>Kernic</b>Posted by CianMcLiam CianMcLiam Posted by CianMcLiam
25th August 2014ce

Top Low and Net Low (Round Barrow(s)) — Images

<b>Top Low and Net Low</b>Posted by BrownEdger<b>Top Low and Net Low</b>Posted by BrownEdger BrownEdger Posted by BrownEdger
24th August 2014ce

Pordenack Point (Round Barrow(s)) — Images

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24th August 2014ce

Pordenack Point (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

24 June 2014.

Midsummer has come and gone, but the perfect weather shows no sign of abating. After a longish coast walk and a lengthy delay on a broken down bus on the Lizard yesterday, we decide that the best thing to do is to laugh in the face of the Gods of Fate. So we take another bus, this time to Land's End, for another coast walk.

Land's End is generally a bit grim, as well as being endlessly thronged with tourists. But it has an interesting retired lifeboat to have a look at, as well as some truly breathtaking clifftop scenery, looking across towards the Longships and their lighthouse. Similar to the top of Snowdon, if you can apply your perception filter properly, the surroundings are still well worth the visit.

We make our excuses and leave the theme park environs as soon as we can, but the path is pretty busy round here on such a lovely day.We haven't walked along this stretch of coast path for a long time, a dozen years maybe. And I'd forgotten just how lovely the granite cliffs at this extremity of the British mainland are.

I'm keen to revisit this section as I have only a very hazy recollection of the barrows my map assures me are here, and I'm also pretty sure we didn't even visit Carn les Boel cliff fort when we were last here. Tut.

The crowds thin a bit as we reach Pordenack Point, a striking granite edifice of sheer cliffs and precarious looking boulders. Although we do have to contend with one inane couple who appear to have come here simply to phone their family to tell them what a lovely quiet spot this is. Loudly. Sigh.

The barrows are a bit of a confusing site, badly eroded by being right on the coast path. The map says "tumuli" so I can be confident that there's more than one anyway! Approaching from the northeast, the first promising mound has a central depression and some hefty stones around the edges. This is pretty much definitely a barrow or cairn, albeit a bit of a wreck.

Immediately next to this mound is a large boulder, and right next to that is another mound. This one also looks pretty barrow-ish, although apart from the mound itself, sandwiched between two boulders, there's little in the way of anything structural to assist identification.

[Pastscape suggests three mounds/barrows here, but we only found these two.]

The cliffs drop away dizzyingly to the southwest, to something the map calls Lion's Den, while the coast path carries on southeast towards Trevilley Cliff. Before it drops to Zawn Trevilley we come across what would have been the finest of the barrows up here. Except that the coast path runs right through it and has gutted the site. This seems like such an idiotic and avoidable thing, but there we are.

What we are left with is still worth coming to though, a largely intact kerb of large slabs (it reminds me of the kerbed cairn south of Nine Maidens of Boskednan rather). There is also at least one sizable stone that appears to have formed part of a central cist or chamber, now eroded away. The setting is fabulous too, far-reaching views and dramatic rugged scenery, windswept and punctuated by gull cries. Yep, pretty good place to be laid to rest.

From here we head on round Nanjizel Bay on our way to visit the strangely neglected Carn les Boel.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
24th August 2014ce

Culdoich (Ring Cairn) — Images

<b>Culdoich</b>Posted by LesHamilton<b>Culdoich</b>Posted by LesHamilton LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
24th August 2014ce

Culdoich (Ring Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Visited: May 25, 2012

Culdoich Ring Cairn lies some 200 metres west of the clava cairn at Milton of Clava. Unfortunately, the access path ends at this point, and you have to improvise to progress further. I elected to cross the fences/dykes at both sides of the next field: even so, Culdoich has such a low profile that it only became visible once I lookied over the final dyke at the far edge of the field.

Sometimes referred to as a stone circle, Culdoich is more properly described as a ring cairn.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
24th August 2014ce

Pordenack Point (Round Barrow(s)) — Miscellaneous

Three or possibly four barrows on the rocky headland of Pordenack Point. The most easterly appears to have the remains of a retaining kerb or circle. Descriptions from Pastscape:

SW 34622417 (Russell No 8)
A mutilated or gutted turf-covered mound approximately 6.5m in diameter and about 0.7m high. Its centre is hollow and a few squarish boulders and stones are evident (almost at ground level) forming a crude structure which is approximately 2.0m by 1.2m internally and about 0.3m high. Spoil from the centre has been piled up on the sides thus heightening parts of the mound. The structure is almost certainly not the remins of a lookout hut as suggested by Geary because, again, all vistas, except to the north-west, are blocked by outcropping rock. It has the appearance of a crudely excavated mound with perhaps, as suggested by Russell, the remains of a cist in the centre. If this is the case it is odd that Henderson did not note the fact and also the existence of the adjacent mound in 1917 (c.f. SW 32 SW 5).
SW 34632417 (Russell No 9)
An amorphous earth and stone mound built on natural outcropping rock with three large contiguous retaining slabs on the east side. It is approximately 6.7m by 6.3m and up to 1.0m high. The largest of the three slabs is 1.1m high and has two drill holes in its outer face. It is probably a barrow but it may also be associated with the adjacent buried OS triangulation point.
SW 34632418 (Russell No 7)
An extensively mutilated turf-covered mound approximately 6.0m in diameter and up to 0.6m high; two large boulders protrude through the turf. There is no evident trace of a kerb and if it is a barrow it is in a very poor
condition.
SW 3468 2417
The mutilated barrow occupies a prominent cliff-top position on a heather-covered headland.

The remains of the incomplete kerb circle which measures approximately 11.0m in overall diameter comprises a total of nine exposed slabs and boulders. The largest standing slab is 0.9m high and 1.8m wide; the surviving part of the disturbed turf-covered mound averages 0.9m high.

The grave and possible small cist are as described although only the tips of the slabs protrude through the turf.

The south-west side of the mound has been completely eroded away by the coastal footpath which has cut through the kerb. The end stone of grave is now almost completely exposed and further damage will occur if the mound is not consolidated and the parth re-routed.

Published 1:2500 survey amended.

It is suggested that this barrow be scheduled.
Sadly the suggestion that the path be re-routed and barrow scheduled has not been taken up.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
24th August 2014ce

Chynhalls Point (Cliff Fort) — Images

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24th August 2014ce

Lankidden (Cliff Fort) — Images

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24th August 2014ce
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