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The Pot (Natural Rock Feature)

The Pot can be found just to east of the path, straight after the wee village of the Buller's O Buchan, heading towards the cliff fort. This was once a massive cave until its roof fell in. Now there is a 'pot' like shape with a truly spectacular entrance. Today it was fairly calm but on a rough day it must be a quite a sight with spray and foam everywhere.

A pathway around the 'Pot' is not really to be advised as there are sheer drops both sides and bits of erosion. Add in a bit of snow and ice, the danger is obvious. Not a place for children.

Very spectacular tho and the view from the main path is excellent.

Visited 17/1/2015.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
18th January 2015ce

Carn na Cuimhne (Cairn(s))

I must have driven past this place quite literally hundreds of times but never spotted it. Fortunately on this occasion the eagle eyed HG spotted it almost immediately on the banks of the River Dee. To many places on this river have police signs not allowing people to park, so I ignored their advice and parked just above the cairn to the west of Carnaquheen on the A93. The cairn is amongst the trees next to the beautiful River Dee, a short walk downhill of about 100 meters (over a gate and over a fence).

To be fair, they chose a good place to build their castle, the ancients thought of the idea first and I like their place better.

The cairn itself is 11 meters wide and almost 1.5 meters high. Cairn stones are clearly visible but slight erosion on the river side has happened. This place must have seen some amount of flooding. It has been recycled in more recent times and used as a place of memorial for those fighting in war. Also it was the rallying place for the Clan Faquharson (who have close links with the Shaws/Chattan) who fought against Westminster rule in 1715 (the Standard Of Rebellion was raised proudly in Braemar just along the road) and 1746 (more than 300 fought at Culloden), as mentioned on the memorial slab erected in 1972. The top of the cairn had, at one point, been re-arranged to hold a flag pole. However the flag and it's pole have long gone. So an important place in Scotland's history. But with the very old looking trees and magnificent surrounding mountains it feels ancient. Hopefully back in those ancient days it was maybe less violent.

With that it was back up the hill. The car was still there, and Braemar and the Linn Of Dee beckoned. No disturbence by the Royals so all was well :-)

Visited on 10/4/2013.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
17th January 2015ce
Edited 20th January 2015ce

Lothbeg Bridge (Chambered Cairn)

Modern antiquarians visiting north-eastern Scotland for the first time may, quite possibly, grasp within sweaty palms an itinerary featuring little more than the 'show sites' highlighted - or rather, celebrated - within Mr Cope's multi-coloured, dayglo tome. Nothing wrong with that. They are rather good, are they not? However if our friends' cerebral functions happen to resemble my own to any meaningful degree (sorry about that)... monuments such as Grey Cairns of Camster and Achavanich will sow a priceless, insidious seed of curiosity ensuring they must return again some day to experience that which lies just below the horizon of popular perception in these parts. No choice in the matter.

Take the great chambered cairn which overlooks the Loth Burn as it exits the wondrous Glen Loth, little more than half a mile from the North Sea. Although the monument is seen to great advantage from the (very) minor road traversing the glen, our theoretical itinerant motorists heading up the A9 for the first time will need to possess exceptionally myopic vision to have any awareness of what they are passing immediately beneath. There are apparently the remains of two cairns upon this coastal crag... however such was the overwhelming dominance of vegetation at the time of my (late May) visit that the chambered example had to suffice. This wasn't a hardship, to be fair. And besides, I had no wish to stumble upon a lost family unit of T-Rexs before they'd had the chance to partake of breakfast.

Parking is to be had upon a service road beside Lothbeg Farm, that is west of the bridge. Traversing said bridge, a wooden gate beckons across the A9, to the right of a driveway accessing further habitation, the name of which I failed to ascertain. Or at least remember. Whatever, a short, steep scramble uphill through Grade A 'industrial strength' fern brings me into the presence of the substantial remains of a long cairn. Although clearly having suffered at the hands of 'excavators' and/or locals in search of building materials, for me this is a significant monument to find slumbering unobtrusively above one of Scotland's major tourist routes.

According to the Ordnance Survey people [EGC Jun '61; JM Feb '76] the monument's dimensions at the time of survey - admittedly some time ago now - were "about 20.0m NW-SE by 18.0m and 2.0m high" whilst "round the south periphery there are some earthfast slabs, which may be of a perimeter kerb." Of primary interest for me, however, was the discovery of the remains of a chamber still in situ, this featuring one particularly substantial orthostat apparently representing the back-slab. Nice.

It has to be said that the vibe here, relaxing upon the ancient stone pile looking to the nearby coast, is very different from that of sublime peace encountered at numerous other similar monuments populating the not too distant - and, from an archaeological perspective, utterly mind blowing - Strath of Kildonan. Yeah, somehow I detect a rather unusual juxtaposition of 'ancient' and 'modern' mindsets jostling for position here, neither actually achieving overall supremacy. I don't quite know what to make of it, to be honest. Perhaps it is because - ironically, since it was here first! - the vision of this great long cairn does not sit comfortably with that of the numerous caravans and camper vans rushing by below? The former the epitome of timeless permanence, at least from a human perspective; the latter representing a fleeting instant in a life such as mine. The comparative incremental passing of time jars, the two scenarios too mutually exclusive for both to be of the same world. And yet they are. Or something like that. But then again I'd suggest TMA'ers do not do what we do in order to be 'comfortable'.... but to experience, to have our perceptions of this world challenged.

And the great chambered long cairn, thankfully still sitting at the entrance to Glen Loth after all these years, does just that.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
17th January 2015ce

Bairnie Hillock (Cairn(s))

Yet another cairn that has taking a tremendous battering but somehow it survives. It's taken me ages to get here but at long last I've made it. Agriculture, cows and erosion have taken their toll. Long ago children were, sadly, buried here. Fortunately none of this list of damages was here today and the cairn/barrow seems to be happy enough despite all that has befallen it.

The cairn is 14 meters wide and originally stood at almost a meter high, then it had a barrow plonked on top of it as well. Good views, to the east the North Sea, to the west is the impressive Hare Cairn, to the south Aberdeen and to the north Balmedie (and its tremendous beach, further up the coast is the Trump's golf disaster, sorry course :-( :-( ). Still the dunes would have been moving recently and today, pretty windy.

Just south of Balmedie, or north of Aberdeen and to the east of the A90, on Hatton farm land. There is a junction here and much safer to come from the north. Saves crossing the dual carriageway.

Visited 15/1/2015.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
15th January 2015ce

Leggetsden (Cup Marked Stone)

Leave the B9001 north of Inverurie at the Oldmeldrum/Pitcaple crossroads heading towards Pitcaple. Take the first farm track heading south (after the minor road) and park at Resthivet. Walk further up the track until a small wood. A wee path leads up the hill, keep going until at the top and look north. The rock should be about 50 meters away.

The large sloping rock has 3 decent sized cup marks and was discovered by G. Currie in 2007. Still I found it by chance after going for a stroll to look for cup marks, poor light prevented some decent pics but I'll go back and try to do better.

Visited 8/1/2015.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
10th January 2015ce

Cnoc Bad Na Cleithe (Cairn(s))

Having neglected to push on to this excellent little height during a visit to the Cam Loch chambered cairn last year, thelonious's images were subsequently pivotal in ensuring I didn't compound the error this time around. Well it is said, is it not, that only a fool repeats his/her mistakes? OK, sometimes life's a bit more complicated than that, but I guess the general principle is sound enough.

Having spent the morning at the well placed Carrachan Dubh chambered cairn I'm - farcically in retrospect, given the quality of the site - actually in two minds whether to stop off at all.... or press on toward the night's stop within Glen Coe, an admittedly quite considerable drive away. As it is my recollection of the aforementioned pictures wins the day, duly parking within the gaping entrance to the Lyne Quarry upon the A837, that is a little distance south of the Lyne chambered cairn. Here the low, grassy ridge of Cnoc Bad Na Cleithe rises a relatively short distance away to the approx north-west. It looks an easy ask, to be fair, but of course - this being North-west Scotland - it is not, the intervening ground riven by bog and potentially ankle breaking leats. Aren't they just? Oh, not to mention the sinuous course of the Ledbeg River which somehow evaded inclusion within my deliberations. As it happens this oversight has a wondrous, unforeseen outcome... but there you are.

Reaching the river I (obviously) realise my error and, luckily, discover that it is possible to cross dry-shod, thanks to the lack of recent rainfall, by balancing upon naturally deposited 'stepping stones'.... only to encounter a second line of defence in the form of an unclimbable deer fence. No doubt even more so if you happen to be a deer. Nevertheless this obstacle is, in turn, overcome - or more accurately 'undercome' - by crawling beneath it at the confluence with the Allt Bad a' Ghille Dhuibh. So, aside from falling almost headfirst into a hidden leat (thankfully no damage results, except to my somewhat effected nonchalant demeanour), I manage to ascend the southern flank of Cnoc Bad Na Cleithe without further incident until I more-or-less literally stumble upon the remains of what appears to be a large round cairn. Surely this can't be right.... the monument I've come to see apparently overlooks Loch Awe to the north? There is nothing depicted upon the map (and subsequently no entry upon Canmore) but I've seen enough prehistoric cairns now to know a clear example when I see one, at least within the acceptable parameters of 'reasonable doubt'. The location is classic, the interior featuring a number of larger stones suggestive of previous internal structure, the circumference well defined. What else could it be? Yeah, I'm convinced that here we have a smaller southern companion mirroring the position of the great northern monument. Speaking of which...

Upon cresting the ridge, there it is. A large, round cairn, apparently 'unopened', set some way below the summit and featuring as just one facet - albeit a fundamental one - of a quite exquisite view looking north across Loch Awe. One might even term it 'monumental'. Or perhaps not. According to Audrey Henshall the cairn measures - or at least did in 1963 - "7ft to 8ft high and... 63ft N-S by 70ft transversely". Descending for a closer look it is apparent that a number of large stones occupy the cairn's summit, slabs that might be deemed out of place if the existence of a concealed chamber wasn't a real possibility. As I sit back and try to take it all in... an impossibility, but it's fun attempting... the morning's low cloud begins to peel away from the upper reaches of the surrounding hills revealing the grey summit of Canisp rising to the north-west beyond Cnoc an Leathaid Bhuidhe, a view to complement the magnificent vista across Loch Awe. Incidentally a couple of small islets within the loch's northern waters are cited as possible crannogs by Assynt's 'Hidden Lives Project':
http://her.highland.gov.uk/SingleResult.aspx?uid=MHG13053

It would be feasible - I think - to descend directly to the A837 from the cairn and so avoid having to ford the Ledbeg River, reaching tarmac near the entrance drive to Lyne farm. Or more to the point, vice versa. However I decide to return whence I came to have a further look at the southern monument. Hey, two for the price of one. Can't argue with that.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
10th January 2015ce

Carrachan Dubh, Inchnadamph (Chambered Cairn)

So here I am at Inchnadamph (in Gaelic 'Innis nan Damh'... 'Meadow of the Stags)' at the southern end of Loch Assynt, apparently a veritable mecca for geologists during the last decades of the 19th Century owing to its strategic position upon the Moine Thrust Belt, this a linear fault in the Earth's crust stretching all the way from Loch Eriboll to Sleat, Isle of Skye. Which would explain the memorial to two such exalted gentlemen - Ben Peach and John Horne - sited a little north at NC24912221, then. Yeah, as I understand it this was the first such feature to be identified (as opposed to discovered) upon the planet, the lads' fieldwork crucial to resolving the apparent paradox of why strata of older rock happen to reside upon those of younger here in Scotland. In knowledge lies wisdom, eh, one assuming a certain Mr Darwin was following proceedings with interest at the time?

Despite - for me - the somewhat uncomfortable vibe of the Inchnadamph Hotel... too many expensive sports cars, not enough proper cars... there is a hint of time immemorial inherent in the locale, this no doubt coloured by the realisation that the bones of polar bears were found in the limestone caves nearby, presumably hibernating for much longer than intended, poor things? For ever. If anything this feeling is amplified - turn the dial to 11, man - as I leave the car park, cross the River Traligill and follow the stony track eastward to search out another chambered cairn depicted upon my ever more annotated map within Gleann Dubh. The track veers left to accompany the Allt Poll an Droighinn for a short distance prior to swinging south-east, whereby the monument is visible surmounting a rocky knoll near the confluence with the River Traligill, accessed via a very, er, idiosyncratic footbridge.

As with other such monuments in the area Carrachan Dubh is by no means a massive cairn, the OS citing "c.20.0m in diameter and 2.3m high [(EGC) 24 Apr 1961]"; nevertheless residual traces of a passage - and hence presumably a chamber still located within - remain in situ, primarily a prominent upright "1.4m long x 1.5m thick [OS (J M) 15 Aug 1963]" protruding from the summit and featuring some exquisite surface grain. There are a pair of smaller stones upon the approx south western arc, too.

So, all in all this is a fine, unprepossessing monument occupying a great spot within a wild glen bisected by rushing water. It would be difficult to wish for much more, to be fair. Unless a passing all powerful entity transcending the laws of physics could grant world peace... or the company of Gillian Anderson for the duration. Yeah, a great spot to sit and chill out for a while despite the unwelcome attentions of the midges which, although not on their best behaviour, are nonetheless manageable enough with a head net... so don't forget to pack one if coming in season.

The occasional walker passes by, head down, no doubt heading for Ben More Assynt. Aside from that the only apparent movement is the water making its way to Loch Assynt. No doubt there is much more than that, not least the bloody midges. However today my head is set to macro vision mode for a while before it is time to move on to the wondrous Cnoc Bad Na Cleithe.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
10th January 2015ce

Allt A' Bhaid Loisgt, Loch Hope (Chambered Cairn)

There is something about Loch Hope which ensures I find it more appealing than most other Scottish lochs... well, at least the substantial lowland variety. Clearly it's not a question of aesthetics alone since, even with Ben Hope's summit swallowed in a mass of grey vapour, even with rain hammering upon the car roof... I'm nevertheless compelled to halt and go for a wander. Perhaps such a compulsion is driven, at least in part, by the ethereal - perhaps almost metaphysical - 'edge of the world' aura I sense here, perched upon the far northern coastline of Britain, so far from home, yet paradoxically so at home. Then again perhaps it's simply beyond credible explanation? Ha! Time to pull on the boots before my head explodes.

Heading west, the A836 is carried across the River Hope - Loch Hope's outflow, no less - by the Hope Bridge, not far from the hamlet of Hope (there is literally an abundance of 'Hope' here) before climbing to a prominent bend where it is possible to park before a towering, gated deer fence. Beyond, a stony track heads southwards a little way above the western shore of the loch, although such is the surface water prevalent today that it might as well be a stream, albeit only part time. In due course it is necessary to cross a bona fide example in the guise of the Allt A' Bhaid Loisgt, this bordering woodland cloaking the eastern flank of Ben Arnaboll. The track veers toward the shore of the loch where - if I'd been in possession of a more up to date version of the OS map - I might have been able to interpret an unusual feature near an apparent hut circle as a souterrain. Then again maybe not with vegetation of such luxuriant density.

Anyway moving on.... a little further south along the shore there stands what is by all accounts the remains of an Orkney-Cromarty type chambered cairn measuring 'approximately 15.0m in diameter and 1.7m high - [OS (NKB), 19 Dec 1978]'. Although heavily overgrown and featuring the remains of a later parasitical building to the west, this is actually a reasonably substantial monument with what appeared to be a clear remnant of chamber within. Furthermore the torrential downpour, an incessant, unwelcome travel companion since before dawn, begins to ease and permit voluminous sunbursts to intermittently transpose the intensity of light within the loch-side foliage. From apparent monochrome to a colour palette of such vibrancy as to resist all my attempts at definition. I guess water is like that, making sure this dishevelled cairn is a good place to be.

According to the map another cairn is located further to the south, others located upon the far shore of Loch Hope. Yeah, there is a lot more to be seen around Loch Hope.... one day, perhaps? Not least the substantial remains of Dun Dornadilla, which - at least - I can recommend. However this is not an environment condusive to cramming experiences, but rather one to savour. If only for a limited time.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
8th January 2015ce

Balkemback (Stone Circle)

From the hut circles we headed south following the fence line. Thru a gate and keep heading in the same direction. A stream will be reached which can be crossed by heading west and at the next fence a railway beam crosses the water. Be careful here as the electric fence might be switched on. Thankfully it wasn't so none of us fell in. After that look for the gap in the trees, go thru this and head west. The circle will be straight in front.

Three stones remain here, one of the them heavily cup marked, one triangular and last one is having a rest. Sadly the sun hid behind the western hills about 20 seconds before we reached a spot to get a pic of the sunset. Still the gathering darkness added to atmosphere at the end of another fantastic day.

So the end of 5 days climbing up and down in Angus/Perthshire, no accidents and spoke to some nice people along the way. Plenty more to discover so hopefully my guide for 3 of the afternoons will be available as well :-)

Visited 3/1/2105.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
8th January 2015ce

Craigowl (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

Walk in a north westerly (or march since you will walking past a military base) direction heading towards a gate in the distance. This is the lower reaches of Craigowl Hill easily recognised by all the masts on top of if.

There are 2 similarly sized hut circles both around 8-9 meters in width with tremendous views looking south towards the Tay. Both seem to be in reasonable condition.

Visited 3/1/2015.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
8th January 2015ce

Hill of Prieston (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

The brown coloured stone is at NO3900339667. 7 cups, 5 of which are ringed, with channels leading from 2 of the rings.

NO3900839661 has 6 cup marks.

Both near the Coldstream military base.

Visited 3/1/2015.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
8th January 2015ce

Prieston Hut Circles (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

Head straight down from the cup marked rocks to buildings in front. This is the former British military base called Coldstream, which has seen better days. It is still being used except this time it's by cows.

Just before the camp there are 2 hut circles.

NO3893039693 at 6.5 meters wide.

NO3891639663 at 9 meters wide.

Visited 3/1/2015.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
6th January 2015ce
Edited 7th January 2015ce

Gallow Hill 2 (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

Down the hill and slightly west from the 'quarry' stone Tiompan discovered this.

Boulder is 0.7 by 0.7m
16 cups of various sizes. 2 rings. Part of an embankment aligned N-S.

Yet another beautiful stone.

Visited 3/1/2015.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
6th January 2015ce

Gallow Hill (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

From the cist and roundhouses we kept heading further west until we were under the huge radio mast that dominates Gallow Hill. The rock is on the eastern edge of a quarry about a 100 meters or so down from the mast.

Tiompans description :

Sandstone rock 1m by 0.7m.
16 cup marks of various sizes.
2 cups have triple rings and abut.
1 cup with triple ring abuts, an oculus with 2 rings.

Fantastic stone and a privilege to see it with the person who found it.

Visited 3/1/2015.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
6th January 2015ce

Tealing Hill 3 (Cist)

Walk in north west direction from the roundhouse on the narrow path. Right beside is a small cairn, only 3 meters wide by 0.4 high. It has been houked revealing what looks to be a remnants of a cist.

Also discovered by Tiompan around the same time as the roundhouses nearby.

Visited 3/1/2015.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
6th January 2015ce

Tealing Hill 2 (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

Head in a north west direction from the Tealing Stones across the fields until the fence. (1k approx.) Over the gate and follow the track until slightly beyond the trees, you should see the fence heading directly west.

Tiompan found these roundhouses several years ago and has hasn't filed a report. There are 2 roundhouses, 1 fairly massive and other slightly smaller (far to big to be hut circles) with tremendous views south.

Worth a mention as it ties in with the next small site.

Visited 3/1/2015.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
6th January 2015ce

Tealing Stones (Standing Stones)

From the ring and cup marked rock we followed the fence east until it made a T junction with another fence. The track behind probably comes up from the cottages where the car is parked. Obviously we took the scenic route :-)

No changes here, it is still overgrown and with the height of the vegetation hard to spot so keep an eye out for the tree standing by itself.

Visited 3/1/2015.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
6th January 2015ce

Tealing Hill (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

Head east from Huntingfaulds Cairn. Luckily I have the stone's finder so no problems here. 13 cups with 4 ringed. Found by Tiompan during 2004.

Visited 3/1/2015.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
6th January 2015ce

Huntingfaulds (Cairn(s))

After a 'fair nicht oot' a good walk was required so Tealing Hill and the Sidlaws provided the answer. Once again Tiompan was my guide which took in an area of varied prehistory.

Turn west towards Tealing from the A90 (heading north), go past the famous souterrain and take the first minor road heading north. A row of cottages provides plenty car parking.

Walk up the hill thru Huntingfaulds Farm and just east of the track the cairn can seen. Unbelievably the farmer has erected a protective fence around the site complete with a gate. Sadly the cairn is much damaged, one or two kerbs might remain and there are hints of a cist. The remnants are 9 meters wide and 0.5m tall. Situated nicely on top of a hillock there are lovely all round views.

Visited 3/1/2015.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
6th January 2015ce

West Mains (Cairn(s))

The final climb of another superb day in the Angus Hills, the afternoon being spent again in the great company of Tiompan whose knowledge of the area is unsurpassed. West Mains was our final destination.

At Auchterhouse on the B954 take the minor road west which turns into a minor road, go past East Mains and follow sign to West Mains. We stopped at the first gap in the hedge and parked.

Head up the hill thru the fields until the rough pasture. A track leads to the top of the hill. Once again lovely scenery as the shades of night came down. Sadly two sheepdogs were interested in us trying to 'nip' our legs, their owner barely tried to stop them as they harried our progress. Why people like this are allowed dogs beggars belief.

The cairn is at the top of the hill and has fantastic all round views, even as the sun was fading. Even better the moon came out to play. The cairn is approximately 22 meters wide and 1.5 meters high and according to Canmore remains 'intact'. A double cist was excavated during the late 1800s and the spoil from this somewhat ironically used to build the more modern cairn. Also on top of the cairn is a trig point.

The end of a magnificent day with great company. A night of music and refreshment in Fife to come and some sleep. The next day we will do more exploring.

Visited 2/1/2015.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
6th January 2015ce

Fiscary (Chambered Cairn)

The Forest of Borgie is not perhaps the best place in Scotland for an exhausted antiquarian to spend the night, its dark, 'moist' interior seemingly offering the optimum breeding environment for that most annoying of Highland creatures.... the fisherman. Why they can't keep themselves to themselves I simply do not know. Having said that the trees also provide pretty ideal conditions for midges, too, although the driving rain which greets me at dawn at least mitigates against their adverse impact somewhat. Scanning the map I decide to head toward Bettyhill upon the A836 to check out some cairns I've circled - well, highlighted with a rather poor scrawl of indecorous form - on the map a little east of the village. Might be of interest..... er, perhaps.

Now visitors new to the area might well wish to make a diversion to see some of the excellent monuments of Strath Naver (e.g Skelpick and Coille na Borgie). I, however, park a short distance beyond the Farr road (the Swordly turning is too far) and walk up the obvious track to the North east. Although the weather conditions are absolutely shocking my initial displeasure is short lived, soon rendered more-or-less irrelevant by the realisation that here, at Fiscary, we have another of the northern coast's prehistoric gems just sitting upon the hill side above the road as naturally as you like. As if it has always done so.... which, from our modern perspective, is not that far from the truth, when you think about it?

The first of the trio of cairns I have the distinct pleasure of encountering [NC73226248] is a massive example of the round genre, according to RCAHMS "27m in diameter and 3.5m high, which has been disturbed but does not appear to have been excavated". An unusual feature - in my experience possibly unique - is the presence of a retaining, circular wall of rubble defining the base of the cairn in lieu of a kerb, this, by all accounts, an original feature. A large flat stone "1.6m by 0.7m" lying upon the monument's south-western nether regions is perhaps suggestive of a chamber subsumed within. It certainly doesn't appear to be field clearance, so I reckon this is a pretty good bet. All in all a very impressive monument, then. But wait, there's more....

Looming above through swirling mist to the approx NNW stand another two large cairns. Again, however, there is an unexpected twist to proceedings... the full-on Chubby Checker experience with The Fat Boys thrown in for good measure, in fact. Something I simply wouldn't have expected. I mean, I'd never heard of this little, craggy coastal hill top before, so it just goes to show what is literally lying around the Scottish landscape. Yeah, as I reach the summit it is soon apparent that the pair of cairns are connected by a 'platform of stones', the uniform, consolidated nature of which prompted Audrey Henshall (1972) to surmise that here we might well have a 'waisted long cairn of two distinct periods'... as at the infinitely more famous Camster. Blimey! The first cairn [NC73116260] is another massive round stone pile, once again apparently intact and '20.0m in diameter and 2.7m high.' A little way beyond [at NC73106263] - and linked by that umbilical platform - is an Orkney-Cromarty chambered cairn with a 'Camster type tripartite chamber.. 16.0m in diameter and 1.5m high' (Henshall 1963), this still defined by the remains of a number of internal orthostats. Double blimey! Hey, perhaps if it hadn't been excavated by Kerr in 1891 it would also be more-or-less intact. Perhaps.

The hilltop possesses a fine view across Farr Bay and the coast, in better weather (not that difficult a concept to grasp today, to be fair) no doubt proving to be an idyllic spot for a picnic. As it is I receive a full-on, merciless pounding from the inclement conditions, low cloud advancing menacingly across the mountains rising to landward and bringing yet further driving rain. But, regardless, how great is it that such an intriguingly unusual prehistoric complex can survive in such a substantial state of preservation upon the tourist trail? A rhetorical question for a Citizen Cairn'd, naturally.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
6th January 2015ce

Carlunie (Cairn(s))

Once back down the hill at Arniefoul we headed back to the A928 and south to the Mains Of Ogilvie. Here we turned west and kept going until Upper Middleton farm. With permission granted to park the 'great unwashed' we proceeded to climb the hill. Carlunie Hill is quite a steep climb but on the whole not to difficult. As well as quarries to fall into beware of lots of wee holes.

This is a beautiful place made all the more spectacular thanks to a covering of snow. I love the snow as it brings a different atmosphere and obviously improves the scenery on a nice sunny day. On Arniefoul it snowed quite a lot, but here it was clear. The view north to Denoon Hillfort is stunning, as is the view everywhere from the summit.

The cairn itself is 14 meters wide and 2 meters high. It has been houked a bit on the south side but today it looked perfect despite the fences meeting place on top of it. Great place!!!

Visited 2/1/2015.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
5th January 2015ce

Arniefoul (Cairn(s))

Head north west on the A928 from the A90 (north of Tealing) and take the first minor road east, then next minor road south. Today road conditions were quite tricky thanks to heavy snow but taking our time we arrived at our destination near The Wreaths farm at the first house.

From here its on foot and head east basically thru the fields, over fences, heather and flurries of snow. There is another trap awaiting the unwary. Quarries aplenty up here so lots of quarried stones to look at. In fact these places are worth a good look. Most of the dry stane dykes in the area appear to come from here going by the stone shapes and sizes.

Once at the top, in amongst these quarries, look for a small clump of trees. The cairn is underneath these trees and continues to the south. Some kerbs remain on the south side. The cairn itself is 21 meters wide and 1.8 meters tall.

Visited 2/1/2015.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
5th January 2015ce

Knowehead (Cairn(s))

This might look like a massive cairn but it isn't. It is a natural mound some 30 meters wide by 4 meters high. The cairn is the top bit some 12 meters wide and 1 meter high. It is situated in a beautiful place with beautiful views, the River Isla to the south and the Highlands to the north. Going by the field there is a fair chance the mound was an island as the Isla seemed to be returning to normal after recent flooding in the area. Certainly the walk to the mound created a lot of misery for the old boots. Formerly it was used, as normal, as a place of justice.

However the sun came out and it became a very calm and warm place. Within another hour things would somewhat change.

Leave Coupar Angus heading in a northern direction on the A923. Cross the River Isla and stop at the first crossroads then look east.

Visited 2/1/2015.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
5th January 2015ce

High Keillor Farm (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Also known as Baldowrie Farm the stone is what everybody else says so I'll mention the cairn instead.

The cairn is kept intact by a wall covering the east/north/west curve. Superb views north, today the highlands are white but the snow is coming my way later on. Sitting at 13 meters wide and 0.7 meters tall the cairn has had several cists removed. Prehistoric discoveries have also been made in nearby fields.

So a nice place in a nice setting!

Visited 2/1/2015.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
4th January 2015ce
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