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Burraland Broch

21/09/2014 - Still a little excited by the boat trip to Mousa we decided to have a walk along the coast SE from Sandsayre pier to Burraland broch. Easy walking along a track for about one and a half miles. The views out to sea and of course Mousa are very good. Nice walk if you like sea birds. Diving gannets and nosey bonxies seem to fill the air above the Mousa Sound. The broch has a great position at the end of a little headland. Still a decent amount of wall left but a lot of stone has collapsed into the middle. A nice walk to a nice broch, there are worse ways to spend a couple of hours. thelonious Posted by thelonious
28th September 2014ce

Mousa Broch

21/09/2014 - Sunday afternoon boat trip to Mousa. The boat left Sandsayre pier (small visitor centre and toilets) for the short and luckily calm crossing to Mousa. You get about two and a half hours on the island which is plenty as there is a nice signposted walk of about one hour, leaving plenty of time to explore the broch. We walked clockwise so got to the broch towards the end of the loop. I liked this as I had a better idea of the time left before the boat back to the Mainland. After seeing so many brochs in ruined states, seeing Mousa broch up close in all it's glory is quite something. A bit like a ancient cooling tower to be honest from the back. Looking up from inside and climbing the steps to the top was great. I liked the stones used, a million different colours and shades. thelonious Posted by thelonious
28th September 2014ce

Knowe of Wilga (Chambered Cairn)

21/09/2014 - Waiting for the afternoon boat to Mousa we had a few hours spare so a quick look on the OS map showed this chambered cairn which looked promising as it was close by and even if there was not much there the view out to sea should be good. Parking in the layby at the turn off from the main road to Sandwick, we took the track heading up the hill, south of the cairn. Once enough height was gained we had a short stroll over to the cairn. It's worth approaching the site from the slopes above via the White Stane (large quartz boulder) as the first view we got of the chambered cairn with the sea behind was breathtaking. It sits on top of a small knoll, looking out east to a vast sea and sky. The cairn is in a ruined state but still plenty of stones to look at where the chamber is. On the south side there looks to be a curved path/wall leading up to the cairn on top. Very interesting place and the views to Mousa and along the coast of Mainland Shetland are fantastic. Top site. thelonious Posted by thelonious
28th September 2014ce

Islesburgh (Chambered Cairn)

22/09/2014 - When I saw Ravenfeather's photos and read the fieldnotes a few months back, I knew if I got a chance to go to Shetland this was one of the sites I would love to visit. This small and perfect heel shaped chambered chain is just lovely. As good as I had hoped and should be a must visit for anyone going to Shetland. I wish the sun had shone but it was still great just to be there. Top site and a very happy thelonious that day. thelonious Posted by thelonious
26th September 2014ce

Stanydale Temple (Stone Circle)

24/09/2014 - Visited after Scord of Brouster at the end of a long day out. The sun had done a runner and I was tired, so was not much in the mood to look around. The Neolithic house soon cheered me up a little, great bonus on the way to Stanydale Temple. I liked the windbreak on the front of the house. Then just a short walk on to Stanydale Temple. The building is impressive. I think I liked the outside walls more then inside the 'temple'. The concave facade is fantastic and reminded me of a few of the chambered cairns I have seen this week. Great site with lots to see. I need to go back when it's sunny and I'm more awake. thelonious Posted by thelonious
26th September 2014ce

Scord of Brouster (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

24/09/2014 - I agree with Carl, this site is well worth a visit. Looking down from the info board the site doesn't look much but strolling around the Neolithic farm I felt a nice vibe. Very interesting houses surrounded by walled fields. The location is fantastic as well. thelonious Posted by thelonious
25th September 2014ce

Sandness Hill (Cairn(s))

24/09/2014 - Hill can be climbed from a few directions. We started from Huxter, following the coastal path west, past the Loch of Huxter Broch and then climbing the hill to the cairn via Ramna Vord. Access is good with stiles where needed to cross fences and walls. The cairn on the summit of Sandness Hill is nice. Low with a good sized footprint. The view from the top is excellent. The other tops SW of the summit have a few cairns on them that could be a fair age as well. Good cairn and a good walk. thelonious Posted by thelonious
25th September 2014ce

Loch of Huxter (Broch)

24/09/2014 - From the parking area at Huxter follow the signs to the watermills. These norse watermills are well worth a visit. From here it's only a short distance to the broch. The broch is not in great condition and has been adapted into a sheep fold at some point in the past. Its location is lovely though, next to Loch of Huxter and great views out to sea. Couple of Whooper swans on there loch whilst we were there which was nice to see. thelonious Posted by thelonious
25th September 2014ce

Ronas Hill (Chambered Cairn)

22/09/2014 - The summit of Ronas Hill, the highest point on Shetland, is home to a quite fantastic chambered cairn. Starting from Collafirth Hill, the walk to the summit of Ronas Hill takes about an hour not including the stops to look at the amazing view all round. It was misty this morning on the hill but the early morning sun shone through now and then. The hill is covered in the most brilliant pink granite boulders. The chambered cairn at the summit is made from these boulders and the pink colour of the cairn is striking in the sunlight. Still in good condition with its passage and chamber intact. It's a hands and knees job to get down the short passage but the chamber is a nice size. The sun lit up the passage from the SE for a time whilst we were there. This one is a must visit. The walk alone is great on the hill but the cairn and its location in the landscape is incredible. thelonious Posted by thelonious
22nd September 2014ce

Mynydd Mawr (Round Cairn)

I parked the car in the car park that's next to Llyn y Dywarchen, hoping to take a bit of a short cut, but we went the wrong way, turned right around the rock Clogwynygarreg instead of left, this took us into a very boggy area and we were forced to take a very circuitous route. But in the end we got to a place where we could see the route, just up a steep long winded slope from here.

In the distance before us there was a group of people, we aimed for them, they were on the path. By the time we got to where they were they had moved on up the path to the stile, a sit down later and we were on our way to the stile. Above the stile is Foel Rudd, a peak at the end of an arm coming off from Mynydd Mawr, it is high above us but 125 meters below the summit cairn. It was about here that I started to get really out of breath, and my legs got very heavy, it never used to be this hard. At the top of Foel Rudd the whole eastern side of the mountain opens out before us, Moel Eilio is from here just a stones throw from Craig Cwmbychan and it's cairn, that one we'll see later. Y Garn and the Nantlle ridge has opened out into the long and scary view that it is, the view to Snowdon across Llyn Cwellyn has been there all along dominating the view east.
After another short sit down we are making our way towards the still sitting walking group, which has turned out to be a group of women, huffing and puffing our way through their midst one of them comments upon my nice camera, but I'm too out of breath to utter anything more then uuuhuuhn in a thank you type noise, no energy to say she has a nice something or other, just enough energy to keep following Alken, one foot in front of the other.
The ground is now a wide ridge, on the right the ground falls away gently to Cwm Planwydd, but on the left Craig y Bera's cliffs of certain death drop straight down to the ground far far below, across that valley Y Garn rises up into a dome like massiff, it has two great cairns upon it, running off from those two cairns the Nantlle ridge runs off terrifyingly wonderful towards another cairn upon Craig Cwm Silyn.
Whilst we're looking over the cliffs of certain death, a woman joins us, we exchange pleasantries and move on some more, a woman on a mountain on her own ? not seen one of those before. It's really not far to the top from here, breathing has returned to normal and the legs have attained their normal weight.

Way up at the top and the cairn is before us, nobody else is up here yet, so we get a few photos in before every one else comes. The views are amazing, from the Lleyn peninsula to Caernarfon, which I mistakenly took to be Bangor, one can see a very long way in all directions, and it is a feast for the eye. The cairn has spread far and wide, but enough remains for numpties to have constructed three large but low shelters out of it. We pick one and have our butties, they don't even touch the sides. The lone woman has arrived and is now taking her own photos, a woman after my own heart, I wish. Then the group of women arrive and take over the largest of the shelters, then a mixed couple and then another, on our way down two more women pass us, is this a girl's mountain, 9 out of 10 walkers were women, you don't see that very often. How very refreshing.
The women have taken over the top of the mountain so we decide to take our leave, a few more photos and were off down the gentle slope to Craig Cwmbychan and it's good looking cairn.
postman Posted by postman
21st September 2014ce

Craig Cwmbychan (Round Cairn)

The walk down from Mynydd Mawr is very easy, just a summers strole down a gentle hill, contrasting highly with the walk up it. The cairn upon Craig Cwmbychan is visble from up on the higher summit, it was probably smaller than it's near neighbour, seeing as it's only been built into one shelter instead of three.
Standing back from the cairn in almost any direction you can almost kid yourself into believeing that it is still whole and full. But closer to and it has a small entrance into what would be very welcoming shelter from howling winds and sideways stingy face rain. But today the weather is behaving impeccably and the shelter is just a desacration, I almost want to push the stones in but I'm far too knackered, Alken is lying on his back and i'm sitting on a big flat stone of the cairn admiring the view.
The view is admirable, large and dark is the Snowdon massiff, across the valley is Moel Eilio, itself crowned by a large cairn, a ridge runs from Moel Eilio in the direction of Snowdon. Across the hill tops we can see the distant Carneddau and the peak of Tryfan. The cairns on Y Garn and the Nantlle ridge float ethereally above a low arm of Mynydd Mawr. Craig Cwmbychan cairn sits right on the edge of it's ridge, below it the ground gives way sharply down.
As good as this cairn is and as good as the view is it is still time to go, instead of making our way back up to Mynydd Mawr and going back the way we came, we struck off in a more direct route, going down at 45 degrees, through thick heather, large rocks, and hidden streams, it was not the right way at all.
postman Posted by postman
21st September 2014ce

Ffrith-Y-Garreg-Wen (Round Barrow(s))

As soon as the A55 duel carriage way fully opened, North Wales got a whole lot closer, on a good day the Clwydian range is just an hour away, and Snowdonia another half hour. So you can imagine how many times Ive passed by within a hundred feet of this large barrow, but the short cut to it is fraut with many perils, consequently it's taken half my adult life to stop and run across the road for a quick look and go see.
To be fair there is a less dangerous route to it from the west by the roundabout and Cafe, but it is twice as far to walk as the short cut, the lazy git in me always prefers a short cut, there just so much shorter.
So, you come off the A55 at the Caerwys junction, like your heading for the Mcdonalds, but go past it (unless your hungry), and park on the left by an entrance to a small nature preserve. Cross over the road and jump the bramble ridden barbed wire topped fence into the field. Cross the field, going towards the A55, jump the fence and your next to the road, four lanes and a central barrier now need to be crossed. Here comes the peril, close your eyes tight shut, wait for the sound of racing cars to die down and run across waving yor hands wildly in the air. It's just an option.
As we waited for a brake in the traffic a police car went past and I wondered if this was legal, having made it safely to the other side another fence jump and were just fifty yards from the barrow.
It's a big barrow, sat upon a slight ridge overlooking the Vale of Clwyd and the highly forted mountain range there. It has a very good view to the south and a better one to the west.
If you stand in the right place the top of the barrow is a foot higher than me, and on the other side of it a foot shorter than me. If you stand on the top of the barrow you can see Mcdonalds.
There are many other barrows in the vicinty some up to three meters tall, some with ditches, some in bunches, and some in bushes. In the trees immediately south east is an ancient enlosure of undetermined (by Coflein) date.
I'll be back.
postman Posted by postman
21st September 2014ce

Hill of Cruester, Bressay (Standing Stone / Menhir)

20/09/2014 - A really fine standing stone. Visible from all around, it stands in peaceful loneliness on a small rise. I was very taken with it. thelonious Posted by thelonious
20th September 2014ce

Dunanellerich (Stone Fort / Dun)

Visited: September 3, 2014

Listed as a 'possible dun' by RCAHMS, the grass-covered mound of Dunanellerich is already prominent when viewed from the roadside beside the bus shelter at the south of Harlosh when loooking west towards the community of Dunanellerich. A walk of 300 metres or so will take you there.

There is little to see here. The mound itself is completely covered by grass, though stonework emerges intermittantly all around. Carnmore states that the site has been used as a stone quarry in the recent past, obscuring much of any detail that formerly existed.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
17th September 2014ce

Lanyon Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

I visited Lanyon Quoit on 7th December 2013 (apologies this isn't a recent visit) as part of a look around the Penwith area with my Father.

This was the first site we took a look at and I was blown away, all the pictures I had seen of it previously had left me expecting a site roughly as high as a kitchen table (why?)

It was a grey morning and the mist had not long lifted. Access to the site is very easy indeed and we spent a good bit of time hanging around this one checking it out from different angles, speculating on how it would have looked before being 'repaired' all those years ago.
Posted by Beebon
16th September 2014ce

Castle-an-Dinas (St. Columb) (Hillfort)

Visited 09.09.2014.

As mentioned below, access to the site is very easily up a gracelly track with a small car park with a very short walk.

It was a beautiful evening when I visited, the evening sunshine was slightly hazy so my view from the tope of the site was restricted but it added a wonderful atmosphere.

The ramparts are imp[ressively well preserved and much bigger than I was expecting. I visited with my father and we had a good look around the place, only bumping into one other person.

Well worth checking this plce out!
Posted by Beebon
16th September 2014ce

Penycloddiau (Hillfort)

My first time here was slightly hampered by small children and knock 'em over winds, seven years later in thick sunshine I'm back for a full circuit, and a gander at that restored cairn. The walk from car to hill fort entrance is no more than fifteen minutes, it's all up and the views expand accordingly. The entrance to the fort isn't as impressive and imposing as the rest of the fort would suggest, that's mainly because it isn't the actual entrance, but rather the route of the Offas Dyke path. There are two entrances, both on the east side, so that's the route I take, counter clockwise. The single bank starts off quite low and mellow, steadfastly it follows the edge of the hill up and over hillocks and spurs, in one place a massive hollow is come across, but the bank carries on. But by the time I reach the only entrance I can say is definitely an entrance they have grown to at least six feet in height.
Some shenanigans have taken place here at the entrance, a massive strip of grass has been removed and covered in a wooden fence, laying horizontal over the scar, a big pile of plastic covered something has been placed in the inner ditch, from the rubble taken from the forts defences someone has created a small throne, shenanigans I tell you.
The walk along the eastern ramparts is now gaining in some more height, the views to the east are long but a bit flat and farmy, there are also two banks now. Wheeling in the far distant sky is a Red Kite, an unmistakeable silhouette against the deep blue of the sky, this is the farthest north I've seen them.
Now the north end of the fort has been achieved the ramparts have grown in number again, four there are now, and very good they look too covered in unusually bright pink heather, in fact, over half the fort is covered in pink heather. From here I can just see the trig point on Moel Y Parc, behind which is a barrow and a cairn, I'll have to go there one day and see if there's much difference between the two. I stop off here for a look at the restored cairn, and decide that it is a very loose restoration, it looks good but longevity has eluded it's restorers. Turning south I retrace the kids and mine steps from seven years ago, two large banks make it most of the journey down the west end, punctuated by a slight and possibly modern entrance with a stile, and some fairly convincing round house platforms. Then it's back up to the false entrance at the south end and the view beckons us on to the next hill fort over Moel Arthur, but I went up there not long ago and it's almost tea time ive gotta go. So I go.
This is a superb hill fort, one of the largest in Wales I suspect, and that cairn needs to be seen before it fades back into the well trodden hill top.
postman Posted by postman
15th September 2014ce

Penycloddiau cairn (Cairn(s))

When I came here in 2007 I stood right next to if not on top of this bronze age cairn, and never noticed it. Of course I noticed there was the predictable small walkers pile of stones on the highest ground but, apart from that I remained clueless. Until Thesweetcheat went up there and found that the thing had been restored, of course that means I'll have to go back for another look, four years it took since I found out about it. Not bad.
The cairn is right at the northern tip of the fort of the same name, and right next to one of the busiest footpaths in North Wales. It looks good but I'm not sure about it though, the stones of the kerb are loose and simply placed on the ground in a circle around the slight mound. Some of the stones have already started to spread, I replaced a few but they leave a big brown mark where the grass has died. Honestly, I cant really see it remaining long in the shape it is now, which is a shame because it looks good, from a distance.
postman Posted by postman
15th September 2014ce

Dun Treaslane (Stone Fort / Dun)

Visited: August 31, 2014

Dun Treaslane, which is not indicated on the OS maps, stands on a tiny promontary on the right (east) bank of the River Treaslane, exactly at the point where it debouches into Loch Treaslane.

Nowadays, the dun is scarcely recognisable, just a mound densly cloaked in heather and shrubbery. Almost the only evidence of its former self are some large foundation blocks which can still be seen intermittently around its periphery. As with so many of Skye's ancient duns, the best part of the exercice of visiting them is the scenery you experience en route.

To visit Dun Treaslane, head north along the A850 and take the road signposted to "Aird Bernisdale" before you cross the River Treaslane, and about a mile south of the signposted road that leads to the small community of Treaslane itself. On a fine day, there is nothing better than to walk the eastern shore of the loch from Aird Point to the dun (under 2 kilometres) and back again.

There is actually a bench on top of the dun should you wish to linger and enjoy the views.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
15th September 2014ce
Edited 16th September 2014ce

Rathcoole (Holed Stone)

Yet another Dublin curiosity, I'd never heard of this until I stumbled upon it here: http://www.irishstones.org/place.aspx?p=246 And what a nice surprise it is, nestled to the side of an, until recently, overgrown graveyard.

Rathcoole is supposedly named after this: http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/15924/newtown_lower.html the rath of Coole or Cumhaill, he of Fionn fame and is at the west edge of Dublin county.

I arrived and didn't hold out much hope of getting to the stone as the walls of the church/graveyard are very high and the gate seemed forbidding. However, there was a groundsman there and I pushed through the gate no problem. I asked him if he knew of the stone and sure enough he led me to it. I asked if he knew much about it and he said he had heard that the tradition was to pass a newborn through the hole in a cleansing ritual, similar to baptism I guess.

The man was very friendly and showed me around the grounds – turns out that he's a volunteer, doing the work to keep busy and doing a fine job, having cleared what was a seriously overgrown perimeter.

The stone, not even a metre square, sits there amongst the various relics of Christianity, a reminder of our pagan past, a survivor, pitted and pockmarked and tilting and still here, a small trace, or testament, to a tradition that remains despite all that time has altered.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
14th September 2014ce

Dun Liath (Glasnakille) (Broch)

Visited: September 4, 2014

Dun Liath (Glasnakille/Drinan), credited as a 'possible broch' by RCAHMS, is to be found some 800 metres beyond the northern road-end in the community of Glasnakille, near Elgol in Skye's Strathaird peninsula. From there, an excellent track heads north through a Forestry Commission plantation, crosses the Allt na Cille stream, then almost immediately exits the woodland via a gate. Now follow the track for a further 250 metres through bracken and birch scrub till you arrive at a gate across the road.

Just before this gate is an attractive self-catering holiday cottage (the notice on the gate gives its address as No 1 Drinan). The broch lies in a region of scrub and heather a short distance east of the cottage. The best approach is to start at the aforementioned gate, on the cottage side, and follow the fence line towards Loch Slapin (i.e. southeast) for about 45 metres, then head to your right for another 15 metres. The conspicuous white stonework of the dilapidated southwestern wall of the broch should come into view.

The broch is almost circular, its centre filled (in September) with heather in full bloom. The walling is conspicuous and abundant on the west side of the structure as a dilapidated pile of white stones lying atop well defined outer foundation courses. To the east, the heather prevails, and though there are stones there aplenty, most are obscured.

This Google map shows the location of the Broch relative to the cottage. The black line shows the recommended approach route from the gate to the broch. At the present time, this is quite thickly vegetated, so you are unlikely to see the broch till you are almost upon it.

LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
13th September 2014ce
Edited 18th September 2014ce

Bog (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

Interesting new panel from today ,some typical rock art that includes what could be a "footprint " but also a millstone which obviously could date from much later . Sorry can't give proper grid ref yet , hence Bog etc. tiompan Posted by tiompan
11th September 2014ce

Dun Eyre (Stone Fort / Dun)

Visited: August 31, 2014

Dun Eyre, which is not readily seen from the main road, stands almost a kilometre east of the A87 and at an altitude of some 130 metres near the village of Kensaleyre. It is reached by following a tarmacked road that slants off uphill to the right near the northern boundary of Kensaleyre for just over a kilometre, passing through the scattered community of Eyre. There is a space to park and turn at the end of this road.

From the road end you will see the crag girt Dun Eyre directly ahead, and a path continues towards it, albeit with a fence to cross on the way. Though bounded on most sides by steep clifs, the dun can be entered from the south, where twin rows of boulders lead to the entranceway.

Very little remains of the fort, though the stumps of walling can be seen around much of its circumference. Below the fort, prominent grassed over somewhat sinuous mounds—almost a metre high—head away from the dun for considerable distances. Are these the remains of former defensive ramparts, or simply overgrown remains of dykes built more recently from stone robbed from the fort?
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
11th September 2014ce
Edited 18th September 2014ce

Tumulus de Kercado (Tumulus (France and Brittany))

I all but saved this one to the last, Kercado is the one that got away last time, the one that nagged at me most for not seeing it. So I cleared our schedule grabbed the camera and torch and promised the kids some crepes, mmmmm pancakes.
It didn't go down well to find the age old creperie had been bought and turned into a curry house, Rogan Josh ? in the middle of the afternoon ?
The kids said no.
So we made our way over to the Tumulus, an underwhelming description if ever I heard one, and paid the disinterested youth. In receipt of said pay we received a quickly translated into English pamphlet about the "Tumulus", so, armed to the teeth with information and exploratory tools we entered the woods.
A sign by the paying entrance fee area on the wall proclaimed the tumulus to be 4500 Before JC, Jimeny Cricket, now that's an old place.
The bright and breezy walk through the trees took but a minute before we were brought face to face with Carnac's beating heart. Perhaps, certainly maybe definitely the oldest of all the amazements currently found around Carnac, Spaceship mark says it's 4800 years BC, Bloomin Crikey that's an old place.
As we approached the entrance to the tomb a couple came out and went off round the back, giving us the chamber to ourselves for a while, we went inside. Carnac's beating heart had a puddle in it, the analogy lost a bit there, then Eric hit his sister and he got sent outside to find a naughty step to sit on. Honestly, even in here ?
But neither stumbling splashes nor minor miscreants could mar this moment, I admired the huge floating capstone above us and I searched for carvings, but I couldn't find them, perhaps the pamphlet could shed some light on them, oh right.. Eric's got it.
Found during excavations were flint, diorite and jadeite axes, and middle and late neolithic pottery, restored in 1925. Jane says now that it's as old as 5000bc, that's 7000BP, Bum pack that's an old place, and getting older all the while apparently.
I wish I could've stayed there for ages, but someone was hanging round the entrance, obviously our time was up, come in number 42.
So we followed the stone circle around the tumulus, people rarely go around the back, and here in the woods we found a good arc of small to medium stones. Burl says of the circle , it is an incomplete misshapen ring of 27 stones (we didn't see that many), graded in height from a six footer at the ESE, the best preserved arc is at the south, there are no stones at the north, he strangely doesn't mention the surmounting pillar, which must have gone up around the same time as the circle, I'm presuming. I wonder how far down it goes, does it touch the capstone ? what did it all look like before it was restored ? what did it all look like when the stone circle and menhir was put up ? Why does Doctor who always pick fit young girls to take to exotic locations ? they never fully appreciate it.

This is an absolute wonder of a place, somewhere to see in all seasons in all weathers, so with an afternoon in summer under our belts we pick Eric up from his naughty step and leave.
Our ferry tomorrow leaves at 11am, and it could take as long as eight hours to get there, so we leave in the middle of the night in the most torrential rain you've ever seen, got back into England to find scorchio sunshine, then we ran out of petrol with no money, aaargh, pain is the cleanser, pain is the cleanser!!!
postman Posted by postman
11th September 2014ce

Bohonagh (Stone Circle)

We tried to follow Jack Roberts' instructions, but didn't feel at all comfortable trying to get to the circle as he directs. So, given the difficulty of parking, the livestock in the fields, and the reported problems of reaching the site, we drove around and found the owner, who lives at the top of the next road to the left off the N71. We were given permission to drive up to their milking parlour along a track going uphill between the two minor roads (if driving east on the N71, this is a sharp turn back on yourself.) We parked easily at the top, and the circle is in the field to the northwest, behind the milking shed at about 200 metres, through a wide gate having a pedestrian access at the right. Once on the other side, the boulder burial is visible up the slope to the left. We then just had to step over a few wires. Posted by meg-y
11th September 2014ce
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