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Lanceborough King Barrow (Round Barrow(s))

Viewed from Maiden Castle 14.10.14

This is a very large barrow and can be easily seen on the road leading to Maiden Castle car park and from the car park itself. However, the best view is from above, from the ramparts of Maiden Castle.

I am not sure which direction to take if you wanted a closer look as the barrow is surrounded by fields in crop. As far as I know there is no public right of way to the barrow.
Posted by CARL
17th October 2014ce

Maiden Castle (Dorchester) (Hillfort)

Visited 14.10.14

I had previously visited this iconic site a few years ago but then I was short of time and only had chance to explore a short section of the mightily impressive ramparts. This time would be different as it is a morning visit and I could take my time – allowing for the fact that Karen would be waiting for me sat in the car!

It is a 5 minute walk from the car park, up the path, and through an original entrance of the hillfort. You then come to the first of several information boards scattered around the site. This directs your attention to the surviving low bank of what is left of the long barrow. This would be very easy to miss if you weren’t specifically looking out for it.

The rain (thankfully) had eased today and I was able to walk around (in a clockwise direction) in comfort. Although the skies were a menacing grey there was little wind and the temperature was very mild for the time of year. There were only two other people visiting the site, one was walking her dog and the other looked like a student who was making notes and sketches as she walked around.

The ramparts are superb and must have looked amazing in their prime, topped with a huge wooden palisade. Even the mighty Roman army must have been (at least a bit) intimidated when confronting this hillfort - although we all know the eventual outcome! The hillfort dominates the surrounding countryside and as you walk around the defences there are good views to be had in every direction.

As I walked around I spotted 3 circular shapes in the grass, given away by a ring of darker grass. Were these the outlines of huts? They certainly looked to be about the right size. My next stop was the information board at the remains of the Roman temple – well worth a look.

I then stopped at the eastern entrance to the hillfort where I feel the defences are at their most impressive. (This is the section of the site I explored on my previous visit).
The two information boards (one broken) explain about the complex defences and the discovery of the pit of sling shots and mass grave found here. I was also able to spot what looked like the remains of a round barrow.

I continued my walk around the site until I ended up back where I started. Walking back down towards the car park the large barrow in the fields beyond looked particularly impressive. It took me just over an hour to complete the circular walk. There are worse ways to spend an hour of your life. When I got back to the car Karen had fallen asleep so I gave her a bit of a fright when I opened the car door!

This is a famous E.H. site but it has not been commercialised (like others) and you can happily wander about the hillfort pretty much wherever and whenever you want. I have visited many hillforts over the years but in terms of sheer scale and impressiveness there is nothing to compare with Maiden Castle.

This is one of those sites which is worth travelling a long way to see. If you get the chance to visit, do so. You won’t be disappointed.
Posted by CARL
17th October 2014ce

Marden Henge (and Hatfield Barrow)

Visited 13.10.14

I first visited this site a few years ago but on that occasion I was in a rush and I (somehow) missed the information board. I had been meaning to revisit ever since.

This time I had Karen with me and it didn’t take her long to spot the info board. It is the other side of a wooden stile giving access from the road to the small field owned by English Heritage.
The heavy rain didn't help when trying to read the information.

As has previously been said there is very little left of the henge to see - a low, arcing grass bank.

Although what remains of the henge obviously needs to be protected I am not sure why E.H. has this site on their advertised list of ‘places to visit’.

It is a bit out of the way and I am sure the average visitor would be somewhat disappointed by what they find.

There are certainly other much better preserved henges people could visit and appreciate.
Posted by CARL
16th October 2014ce

Dun Cnoc a'Sga (Stone Fort / Dun)

Visited: September 3, 2014

If you follow the B884 southwest from Dunvegan, then branch left to follow the road to Orbost for about one kilometre, you will pass the remains of the fort of Dùn Cnoc a'Sga on your right. The dùn sits atop an impressive rock-girt outcrop about 150 metres across the heather to the west, but access to the summit is straightforward.

Very little of the original fortifications remains, though a sprinkling of loose blocks gives a fair impression of the original outline, and sections of the foundation course endure to the northwest and southeast. A feature of the summit is a "circular cairn about 7.0 metres in diameter and 1.0 metre high, surmounted by a small modern cairn" (RCAHMS description).
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
15th October 2014ce

Newton Barrow (Round Barrow(s))

Visited 13.10.14

There is room to park off the very busy A360 at the start of the track which leads to the transmitter aerials. The barrow is a short distance along the track.

Not a lot to see other than the usual low grass mound.

Can be seen quite easily when driving past.
Posted by CARL
15th October 2014ce

Wimborne St. Giles (Round Barrow(s))

Visited 13.10.14

Directions:
South of Cranborne near the junction of the B3081 / B3078.

There are several barrows marked on the O/S map either side of the B3081 and in woodland adjacent to the B3078.

The bad news is I couldn’t spot any of the barrows marked as being in open fields to the west of the trees. Ploughed out?

The good news is there are two whopping barrows to be seen directly opposite each other, in trees, on the B3081. There is room to park next to the trees / metal gates.
(Ignore the private – no public access sign!)

Both barrows are very large, approximately 3 metres high x 15 metres across.
The surfaces of both barrows are covered in ivy. There is a small depression in the top of the northern barrow which may indicate previous excavation? I didn’t spot any depressions in the southern barrow but chances are it has been dug into at some point.

If you happen to be in the area these are a cracking pair of barrows to have a look at.
The only thing to spoil the visit was the rubbish dumped at the side of the road. (I thought I was back home in South Wales for a minute!)

For some reason I couldn’t find any E.H. information on these barrows – which seemed strange given their size and close proximity to the road.
Posted by CARL
15th October 2014ce

The Great Barrow (Artificial Mound)

When visiting Knowlton Henge the barrow is unmissable.
It is in a private field next to the henge (full of sheep at the time) and does not have a public right of way to it. The field is overlooked by a farm house who I assume own the field?

If you want to access the field for a closer look it is easy over a low metal fence.
I chose to view from the henge as there didn’t seem much to gain from getting closer – other than perhaps an upset farmer?

The barrow is large but totally overgrown with several large trees and many bushes.
I would imagine climbing to the top of it would be tricky.
Posted by CARL
15th October 2014ce

Knowlton Henges

Visited 13.10.14

Directions:
Sign posted off the B3078. You can park right next to the site.

This is one of those sites that I had been looking forward to visiting for a long time.
I am pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed – despite the heavy rain coming down.
(At least I had the site to myself!)

This is pretty much as easy a henge you are ever likely to visit. It has obviously suffered from erosion over the years but it is still in pretty good condition. It must have been very impressive when first constructed.

What surprised me was the old yew tree at the far side of the henge which was covered in clooties, bells, feathers, messages etc. Some of the messages were quite moving. It is nice that some people keep the old traditions alive.

The ruined church is also an obvious place to have a look around.
Inside the church were many tea lights scattered about the floor.

Knowlton Henge is well worth visiting if you are in the area.

That’s another English Heritage site knocked off the list!
Posted by CARL
15th October 2014ce

Alfriston Church (Christianised Site)

It’s difficult to wander around here and not think that it must have been an ancient site. There are give-away signs almost everywhere you cast your eyes. Firstly there’s the church built on an almost circular mound with its stout flint retaining wall and then you notice its proximity to the Cuckmere River built in a bend which could almost have formed an oxbow lake. Possibly more than 2000 years ago it was an island, this being a low lying and marshy area, giving more weight to the idea of it being a sacred place. Within the retaining wall on the Eastern side is a large stone, though I’m not sure if it’s a sarsen, as it looks more like a piece of sandstone. A few metres from that is another large stone, definitely a sarsen, laying next to the entrance of the Old Clergy House (the first ever NT property). Unfortunately I couldn't get a clear photo of this as it was almost hidden by Valerian on this occasion. Just a few more metres South is a group of three sarsens nestling under some trees looking slightly neglected and unloved. I looked around the foundations of the church to see if any stones had been built into that and was surprised to discover none, although this is often the case with christianised sites. There are, however, more stones built into walls and buildings around the village. A R Cane Posted by A R Cane
15th October 2014ce

Clickimin Broch

27/09/2014 - Last site we visited on a brilliant week in Shetland. Interesting site in the middle of Lerwick. Couldn't find the carved footprints mentioned on the info board. If you visit, it's also worth popping into the Shetland museum nearby - lovely place, full of old stuff nicely presented. thelonious Posted by thelonious
2nd October 2014ce

Dun Taimh (Stone Fort / Dun)

Visited: September 3, 2014

As you drive south past Gesto on A863 from Uig, the precipices of Beinn Dhubh rear up ahead. And if you are sufficiently sharp-sighted, you can just make out the outline of Dun Taimh on its northwest summit. Although this fort lies at an altitude of 150 metres above the waters of Loch Harport, the road obligingly rises to within 30 metres of the dun, with a small car-park handily placed just a few metres beyond its highest point. Just cross the road, straddle the fence, and enjoy a gentle walk over heather for no more than 400 metres.

Now badly ruined, Dun Taimh offers almost unrivalled views beyond the precipitous cliffs of Beinn Dhubh towards Loch Bracadale and its many islets, Macleod's Tables and the Outer Hebrides. Within the fort stands a large cairn, built in 1887 from masonry from the dun, to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee.
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
2nd October 2014ce

Sumburgh Head (Promontory Fort)

23/09/2014 - A coastal path leads from Jarlshof to Sumburgh Head. Site of an Iron Age fort. Nice Stevenson Lighthouse sits on the possible site of a now long gone broch. Worth a visit just for the view. thelonious Posted by thelonious
30th September 2014ce

Jarlshof (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

23/09/2014 - After a lovely morning on St Ninian's Isle we made our way south to Jarlshof. I hadn't been that excited about it beforehand but within a few minutes of being there Jarlshof soon worked a little magic on us. The site has so much history it's hard to get your head round whilst there. The timeline is amazing of all the buildings for such a relatively small site. The audio guide is great and very helpful. Being allowed to enter the buildings and walk round was a big bonus. If anything on Shetland is a must visit, for me this is it. I was so excited by the end I flipped into proper tourist mode and bought a Jarlshof tea towel in the gift shop on the way out. thelonious Posted by thelonious
30th September 2014ce

Beorgs of Housetter Cairn (Chambered Cairn)

22/09/2014 - After visiting Trowie Knowe Chambered Cairn and Beorgs of Housetter Standing Stones we decided to have a go at finding this chambered cairn. Not the easiest site to get to. Grid ref on Canmore (HU 3603 8544) is pretty spot on. The cairn is situated near the top of a rocky slope, on about the 100m contour line (70 meters above the cairn and stones below). Stick to the grassy bits as you climb, left of the cairn as you look up and it's not too bad. This small heel shaped cairn is lovely. Made up of pink granite with a great facade and chamber. We sat by the cairn for ages just gazing out at the grand view. Worth the effort and one of the highlights of our trip. thelonious Posted by thelonious
29th September 2014ce

Harold Stone (The Havens) (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Regrettably failed visit 24 July 2014.

After a walk up from Broadhaven to see the Upper Lodge Stones, we carried on along the road in the hope of getting to see this rather less overgrown monolith.

It's clearly visible over the hedge on the approach, but sadly is right in someone's back garden, so permission to view is a must here. We knocked on the door but no-one was in and in view of the setting, we didn't try a sneak. Shame, but there you go. Looks like a very fine stone, someone is lucky to have that as a garden feature!

Disappointment aside, it's a great, if rather unusual position for a standing stone. Not many of the standing stones in this part of Pembrokeshire are set on cliff tops. The sea fills the western vista and no doubt there are some spectacular sunsets from here. We watched the sunset over Ramsey Island later on the same evening, quite lovely.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
28th September 2014ce

Upper Lodge Stones (Standing Stones)

Visited 24 July 2014.

It's a steepish walk up the road from Broadhaven on such a hot day. There are two stones visible, buried in the wall/hedge next to the road. Ivy is taking its inexorable grip over both of them, a chopping would be beneficial.

Assuming the stones go down to road surface level (or further), they're blooming tall, both well over 6 feet. The setting obviously doesn't make for the best of ambience, but is visible for a long way south, from the seafront at Broadhaven. Presumably they have a relationship with the nearby Harold Stone, although the two sites are not intervisible. If they ever were part of a stone circle, they would be in a pretty atypical position for one.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
28th September 2014ce

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
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