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D5 Zeijen (Hunebed)

Visited: July 11, 2014

This hunebed lies opposite the nature reserve of Zeijer Strubben, 300 metres north of the road linking the villages of Zeijen and Peest, yet completely out of sight. Originally, hunebedden were enclosed in earthen barrows, most of which have long since been stripped away. But in the case of Hunebed D5 Zeijen, only sufficient of the barrow was excavated, following its discovery in 1833, to reveal the four capstones: consequently, the hunebed lies in a pit which conceals it from the roadside. Even from close range, only the tops of its complete set of eight sidestones and two endstones can be seen, as they are still almost completely buried under the sand.



I visited D5 by taking the No 83 bus from Assen to Groningen, and stepping out at the Oude Norgerweg halt on Hoofdstraat in the centre of the village of Zeijen. Follow Hoofdstraat north for 700 metres, when the road sweeps west in a broad curve. Continue straight ahead until the field on the right gives way to woodland. Here, a 'Hunebed' sign directs you along the road to the right (Witteveen), following the edge of the trees till you arrive at a small wooded plantation on the right: here you will find the hunebed. The walk should take 25-30 minutes.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
19th July 2014ce

Piperstown (Cairn(s))

On the walk across from the road to the habitation site and cairn cluster, we took the more modern, sandy track which at first goes east-west, then veers north-south to the top of the hill. This track is littered with quartz stones of varying sizes. As the track changes direction, it becomes necessary to leave it behind and head across the moor, most of which is littered with various scatterings of stone, natural and man-made.

At the most easily identifiable hut-site in Piperstown, the door is in the southern wall (just slightly east of south). From front to back it's 7 metres or so and six from side to side, not square but almost. In the 5 times I've visited Piperstown previously I missed this every time, even though it is plainly obvious – I guess you have to know where to look, though we just happened on this today (16/6/14). There are other hut-sites scattered on the hillside but none of the same quality, as far as I could see.

We moved on to the cairn cluster. These are still very visible. They are all in an area of about 120 mettes by 15 metres. The fire burnt away the vegetation and the summer last year was so hot and dry that it turned much of the peat to dust. There is the line of 4 cairns that are more or less aligned north-south. The bottom, most southerly is showing much of its mass, about 6 metres in diameter, but low and with no kerbstones visible.

Midway between this first and the second to the north is a large lump of earthfast stone. The second cairn itself has a most definite kerb, best preserved from the south-east to the west and this is the largest of all the cairns at Piperstown, maybe 8 metres in diameter. Just slightly south-west of this cairn, and out of the main line of four, is another very small, low cairn, and beyond that, directly west is yet another.

Further up to the north is a very denuded and low cairn, and then beyond that, the last of the line and the most 'famous' one, mentioned in Burl's gazetteer as having a circle of stones, an interpretation arrived at after the cairn was excavated and found to have a number of small standing stones surrounding it. These stones are still visible, and unlike the 'body of the cairn which consists of granite boulders, are of a greywacke type of stone. The cairn is tiny, maybe a little over 2 metres in diameter, but is the most cairn-like of all the sites on Piperstown.

It's quite striking how suitable that Piperstown is for habitation, a low, flattish hill, but still prominent enough to dominate its immediate surroundings. West of here is the passage grave cemetery of Seahan/Seefingan/Seefin and this massif, like at other habitation sites in the area, seems to watch over the place, the ancestors guarding the inhabitants.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
19th July 2014ce

D2 Westervelde (Hunebed)

Visited: July 11, 2014

Hunebed D2 Westervelde lies some two kilometres or so south of the village of Norg. It is a small dolmen, comprising eight sidestones and two endstones—all still in place—and originally four capstones. The latter have not been so fortunate: only two still rest on their supporting sidestones, a third is now lying inside the grave, while the fourth is missing altogether. The two portal sidestones still stand.

The air of rural tranquility here is palpable. More likely than not you will have the site all to yourself, with magnificent mature oak trees overhanging the dolmen, yet not overpowering it. Just a great place to visit, and well worth making the effort. I walked the route from Brink to the hunebed in just 25 minutes.

This dolmen lies just off a quiet country lane, in its own wooded enclosure between fields, and is easily accessible. To reach D2, start at Brink (the village green) in the centre of Norg and follow the main road, Asserstraat, as it curves southwards, for exactly one kilometre, at which point it dives into woodland. About 50 metres into the woods, branch right and follow Schoolstraat for 500 metres until you emerge from the trees. Here the road curves to the right. Continue for another 200 metres till you reach the end of the field on your right. Now turn sharp right along the dirt road heading north for approximately 100 metres, where you encounter the wooded enclosure containing the hunebed.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
18th July 2014ce

Kinsellastown II (Round Barrow(s))

A long, ovoid barrow, aligned roughly north-south on its long axis. A very defined ditch remains on the southern end and western flank, dug into on the eastern side. This monument is more like a stepped barrow, or a rath, but not in the shape of this last type. It's 40 or 50 metres long, by 10 or 15 wide, and the ditch is faintly visible on the east side as well. Hawthorn trees colonise the spine. There is the possibility that this is two conjoined barrows with the one fosse.

Were it not for the modern road that splits them, with its banks and trees, Kinsellastown long barrow, and Crehelp round barrow would be intervisible, Kinsellastown raised on a hill to the south of Crehelp. A line between the two would point towards Baltinglass and just miss out Spinans Hill.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
18th July 2014ce

Kinsellastown (Standing Stone / Menhir)

The standing stone is about 5 or 600 metrtes west of the long barrow. Over a metre and a half tall, in a pasture field, on the crest of a knoll that falls away to the west and south. There are deep grooves in one corner of the square-profiled stone that sits down in an eroded pit, 4 metres in diameter and about half a metre deep. This hides the base of the stone as you approach. Church mountain and Slievecorragh dominate the eastern skyline. ryaner Posted by ryaner
18th July 2014ce

Crehelp II (Round Barrow(s))

Utterly fascinating ring barrow, absolutely stunning as you peep over the bank and there she sits in her perfection. To the south the terrain rises suddenly, forming a kind of tangential platform to the barrow, provoking speculation that these 'barrows' are not barrows, but ceremonial henges of some sort. This is one of a few of this type that I've seen in and around Blessington with very flattened interiors, almost as if they were designed that way – if they never contained burials, then what was their purpose?

The external ditch, 20 to 25 metres in diameter, the bank, down again in towards the centre covered in rushes and with no signs of a cist or any structure, just a bit of a depression. This site must trap water in the winter, allowing the rushes to grow – it's not naturally marshy here, quite dry really for a place with such an abundance of rushes. On the northern arc is a rabbit warren dug into the bank, east is a house and back garden with the resident mowing the lawn.

To the south and south-east, Keadeen and Brusselstown are really prominent. Trees block the view east towards Church mountain, but she's there alright.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
18th July 2014ce

Shipley Bottom (Round Barrow(s))

I was actually trying to get to the Giant's Grave further down the road and turned off far too early. Another car pulled up shortly after me and a guy got out and put on walking boots which further confused me. After twenty minutes walking along the valley bottom I realised my mistake, but as it turned out there was something to see after all. Shipley Bottom (or Shapely Bottom as I like to refer to it) doesn't have a huge amount to offer archaeologically, but it does do 'serene', which is not surprising considering its proximity to the Ridgeway path less than half a mile to the west and Liddington Castle a mile to the north. There are two or possibly three barrows along the valley bottom, the western one being the more impressive and better preserved. The eastern one(s) are almost flattened or ploughed out, difficult to say as they just looked like a patch of weeds, but at least that shows that somebody made the decision to stop degrading them. A R Cane Posted by A R Cane
18th July 2014ce

Cnoc Odhar (Chambered Cairn)

11/07/2014 - Sometimes places just get you when you visit. This was one of those for me. The stones that remain from those that made up the chamber are just great. The location of the cairn, overlooking Loch Fleet and the coastline is fantastic. The sun and the big blue sky made the whole place look and feel brilliant. We came from the cairn to the NW but it can be accessed from the road SE, tricky parking though. Well worth a visit. thelonious Posted by thelonious
17th July 2014ce

Creag An Amalaidh (Long Cairn)

11/07/2014 - We had a few days off work and the call to go North was too strong to resist, especially after looking at Gladman's recent trip photos. We have stopped many times for a cup of coffee and a leg stretch at The Mound, the crossing over River Fleet as in runs into Loch Fleet, on our way up North. It's such a fine location with good parking, picnic tables and great views. Brilliant place to watch osprey fishing, if you are lucky, in the summer months. I've been wanting for a while to climb the little hill, Creag An Amalaidh, here but we have never had had enough time before. We were staying close by for a few days so decided to finally get round to having a walk here. Added bonus was the hill also had a cairn to the SW and a chambered cairn within walking distance to the SE.

We chose to climb up from the east, just next to Cambusmore Lodge. A little steep in parts but not bad going to the summit, keeping the crags to our left as we climbed. The summit is topped by the Princess Cairn. Canmore list this as CAIRN, FORT (POSSIBLE). The cairn looked quite small and not mega old to my untrained eyes. Also I couldn't make out any details of a fort. Just a lot of what looked like old peat cuttings. View from the top is well worth going for though.

Heading SW downhill, we made our way to Creag An Amalaidh cairn. The cairn when first viewed from above looks fantastic in the landscape. Getting ever bigger as we approached from above it. 70ft in length, the cairn is pretty big with good sized stones. Quite disturbed but still has a good shape. I really liked this one a lot. Great way to start off our little trip. After having a nosey about for a while we made our way SE to Cnoc Odhar chambered cairn.
thelonious Posted by thelonious
17th July 2014ce

Bailenacuile (Chambered Cairn)

13/06/2014 - Like a few of the cairns round here Bailenacuile is situated next to a watercourse (Allt nan Eun). Easy access from the road nearby and a waymarked trail passes by up the 'Fairy Glen'. Not the best time of year to visit as the bracken was terrible. So bad that we didn't even notice a cairn (60ft in diameter) just west of the chambered cairn! Hard to say what condition this is in because of the bracken but the passage can still be made out. Not the best cairn round here but still worth a visit. thelonious Posted by thelonious
16th July 2014ce

Achaidh (Chambered Cairn)

13/07/2014 - Achaidh chambered cairn (also known as Cairn Of The Red Dog) is similar to Kyleoag chambered cairn and a visit to both makes for a nice walk. Achaidh is easily accessed via the track from the west and also waymarked tracks from Spinningdale. The cairn is a good one. Pretty big with visible chamber and a great lintel over the passage into it. Good location with lovely views. Look out for Rivra cairn just to the SW of it as well. thelonious Posted by thelonious
16th July 2014ce

Newtown Park (Round Barrow(s))

This wonderful barrow is at the top of a hill north of Slieveroe, west-north-west of Blessington. The tiny boreen that gives access to the field is almost impossible to park on. Below the hill and to the west, there is a space with enough room for one car, but it's very tight so I wasn't comfortable hanging around in case a farmer with his tractor happened by.

About 250 metres south into the field and up, the line of an old field boundary becomes visible. Directly behind this is the ring-barrow (the SMR classification). There is a raised area at the centre, but given that there is also an entrance through the bank and fosse at the east, you could be forgiven for thinking this is a ceremonial henge rather than a burial site.

The views from up here are stunning, even with the dank, low cloud – Sorrel Hill, Black Hill, Moanbane and Silsean to the south-east over the reservoir all look magnificent. North-east is the plains of Kildare. I hadn't the time that the place deserves, but was very taken by this monument.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
16th July 2014ce

Eupen Barchien (Round Cairn)

Eupen Barchien

Visited: July 12, 2014

On the outskirts of the Drenthe village of Havelte, better known for its two hunebedden, lies Eupen Barchien, a Middle Bronze Age (ca. 1400 BCE) burial mound. It lies to the east of the road connecting Havelte with the village of Uffelte to its northeast. The mound was originally raised as the burial place of an important member of the community, and it continued in use for other family members in later years.

The mound was thoroughly investigated by archaeologist A E van Giffen in 1946. During his excavations, the remains of two bodies were found, lying on the original ground level, and covered by sand and turf. Further burials, lying in wooden kists, were located in the flanks of the hill, around which was an incomplete ring of stones marking the boundary of the grave. In addition, a bronze chisel was found. Following the excavation, the mound was restored.

In mediaeval times, local legend claimed that the mound was haunted, and although there was allegedly buried treasure within it, no-one ever dared to dig into it.

I visited Eupen Barchien as an addendum to an expedition to the two Havelte hunebedden, D53 and D54. It proved rather tricky to find, even though I knew almost exactly where it lay: just south of a farmhouse, within a 50 metre wide belt of trees to the east of Uffelterkerkweg and Havelte Golf Course.

I was anticipating a significant mound: something not easily missed. But for quite a while I searched for it in vain. Your best guide is the obvious dirt road serving the farm, which heads into the trees (blue marker in the map below).


I finally came across it, almost by chance, lying just to the right of this track, some 30-40 metres along it (red marker). The appearance of Eupen Barchien is of a broad, grassy clearing between the trees—almost insignificant, and rising to little more than one metre at its centre. The only indication of its presence is a short wooden pillar bearing a plate stating that it is a grave mound and an archaeological monument. There is no name board stating 'Eupen Barchien', nor any direction sign towards it.

The grave lies a little outside Havelte. To get there, follow the red line on the map below, which starts at the 'Centrum' bus stop, and guides you to the dirt road mentioned previously, which starts at the blue marker (the distance there and back is 5.5 kilometres). The upper map zooms in to show detail of the immediate environs of Eupen Barchien and the nearby farmhouse.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
16th July 2014ce
Edited 30th July 2014ce

Raheen (Standing Stones)

I had tried to get to this stone a couple of times before, giving up because of the necessity (as I understood then) of traversing much private property. However, there is an ancient sunken lane that passes along the side of one of the bungalows and up to an old farmstead and behind this to the right is the monument.

On the day I visited there was livestock in the field, but except for one cow, they mostly just ignored me. The blocky stone is large, well above average in height, girth and bulk. There are about 14 cup-marks on the southern end of the western face. Even though it's in a pasture field, it's still pretty wild around here – the ground rising to the east towards untamed moorland. Another Dublin megalith, south of Verschoyles Hill.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
16th July 2014ce

Loughane East (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Having had poor luck finding the standing stones south-west of here (they're mostly destroyed), I hadn't much hope heading back into Cork down this road. Unawares, I had already passed one stone and a massive rath and had half decided to give up when on glancing into a football field on my right I spotted this, admittedly hard to miss, giant.

There was a man jogging laps of the pitch, and a couple of kids hanging out around the truck container changing rooms, and there was me, snapping away, completely enchanted by the incongruous siting of this stone (of course it's not the stone that's out of place – it was here first). The man stopped his exertions to ask me if I knew what I was photographing – a standing stone says I, a gallán said he.

This almost triangular stone was once one of a pair (see below) and towers over 3 metres tall, almost tapering to a point as it rises. There is one cup-mark high up on its eastern face. Quite a strange prospect, standing there on the touch-line, waiting for its game.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
16th July 2014ce

Blessington Demesne 2 (Round Barrow(s))

Not dissimilar to its near neighbour, but now isolated in a pasture field on the other side of the local authority housing estate. The SMR record says that this is only visible on aerial photographs, but this is most definitely incorrect. It's there alright, robbed-out mound, bank, fossse, the whole shebang, nestling above a gully on its southern edge, and overgrown with nettles at this time of year.

I scouted around a while, attempting to get a half-decent shot of the monument, and failing dismally. I might drop back in the winter as access is extremely easy at the west end of Blessington town.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
16th July 2014ce

Kiltalawn (Standing Stone / Menhir)

OK, so a confession first – I've visited this site about 5 times before, and photographed it each time. I've never posted it as I'm not convinced of its provenance. It is marked on the SMR at archaeology.ie and this chap http://www.megalithicmonumentsofireland.com/COUNTIES/DUBLIN/Kiltalown_StandingStone.html is convinced, so here it is.

It's deeply embedded in the soil and has been used very recently as a fairly permanent memorial. I get the feeling that when it was pushed over, an attempt was made to smash and bury it. One for the completist only, but I'm glad to record it.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
16th July 2014ce

Blessington Demesne 1 (Round Barrow(s))

This site is actually visible from the N81, down on the right-hand side as you enter the town of Blessington from the north, opposite the Topaz garage and behind the Aldi.

When I stumbled upon it and saw its current situation beside a childrens' playground I laughed out loud. I climbed the tallest climbing frame to take a few snaps, explaining to the mother and her child about the 3,000 year old burial mound.

Absolutely fascinating that this is still here – they even diverted the road around it. It's quite overgrown at the moment, rose-bay willow herb colonising the southern end, but the fosse and bank are still very visible, with the centre of the mound quite flat, either robbed of some of its material or designed like that. (A lot of the barrows hereabouts have similar problems)

This one is a survivor, lying there as the hustle and bustle of a busy town goes on around it, bang in front of your face and invisible. Great.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
16th July 2014ce

Kilbeg standing stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

4 or 500 metres beyond the entrance to the field with the 6 basin Kilbeg bullaun stone is a small hill-walking track, Pound Lane. It has its own signpost and is an Agreed Access hillwalkers pathway. It leads up Black Hill and in a broad loop back over to the parking place directly south of Sorrel Hill.

Not long after moving above the last enclosed field, it passes through an area called Whelp Rock – this is where the standing stone is. Were it not precisely marked on the archaeology.ie map browser I would never have found it.

From the west the stone has a triangular aspect – this face is also quartz encrusted. The lone axis is NNW-SSE and points directly at the passage grave on Lugnagun.

There are many, many stones scattered about the hillside here, with some old booleying sites, and there is that ancient feeling about the place that makes one feel that it could bear more serious investigation.
ryaner Posted by ryaner
16th July 2014ce

Kyleoag (Chambered Cairn)

13/05/2014 - Kyleoag chambered cairn is, for me, the pick of the cairns in this area just north of Spinningdale. A visit here combined with any of the other cairns nearby makes for a lovely walk but if short of time there are a few passing places a car can be parked near the cairn. A signposted path leads from the road to climb uphill by a stream to the site. As we approached from the south the first sight of the cairn was impressive through the trees. Great chamber with lintel over the passageway and a small cell towards the back. It really is a fantastic site and well worth a visit. thelonious Posted by thelonious
15th July 2014ce

Ledmore Wood (Chambered Cairn)

13/07/2014 - First of four chambered cairns we visited on a lovely walk near Spinningdale. This was the one I wanted to visit the most due to its location on the hill overlooking the Dornoch Firth. Starting from Spinningdale we took the track going west up to the summit of A'Chraisg. From the top the cairn can be seen a further 500m or so west. A little bash through the heather and we reached the cairn. Canmore states that it measures 55ft in diameter and about 6ft in height. Well worth the walk up the hill and whoever built it picked a fantastic location for this one. thelonious Posted by thelonious
15th July 2014ce

Camore Wood (Chambered Cairn)

12/07/2014 - Easy access from the parking area to the SW. This chambered cairn is in a lovely wood and protected by a fantastic esker just to the north. Very overgrown but the size can be made out and the odd stone. Great upright slab containing quartz is visible. I like this one a lot and the walk through the wood containing many hut circles is lovely. Don't be put off by the undergrowth. thelonious Posted by thelonious
15th July 2014ce

Camore Wood settlement (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

12/07/2014 - I know these are ten a penny but I love hut circles. The main draw to this wood is the chambered cairn but these hut circles are everywhere here and well worth keeping an eye out for on the walk to the cairn. thelonious Posted by thelonious
15th July 2014ce

Skelbo Wood (Long Cairn)

14/07/2014 - This cairn is just a short walk east from the broch in the same wood. It is a fair-size at over 30m long. Not much to actually see of the stones as it is completely overgrown. Still the vibe is great in the clearing and we had a nice time strolling around the cairn. thelonious Posted by thelonious
15th July 2014ce

Skelbo Wood (Broch)

14/07/2014 - It's sites like this that make me wonder about how few people go to these places. The wood has a good car park and waymarked walks. The broch is marked and it has a nice notice board near it. But the gate leading to the broch was near impossible to open and so few people must visit that the path was overgrown with trees. A little sad as it's a nice site with a lovely view north over Loch Fleet. Very overgrown but worth a look. thelonious Posted by thelonious
15th July 2014ce
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