The Modern Antiquarian. Ancient Sites, Stone Circles, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic Mysteries

Latest Posts — Fieldnotes

Previous 25 | Showing 26-50 of 15,463 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 25

Aldringham Green (Round Barrow(s))

Visited 27.10.14

Directions:
In the village of Aldringham, on the eastern side of the B1122.

The O/S map shows a public footpath running south-east from the B1122 past the barrows.
In reality it doesn't exist. There is no access through the hedge or past the farm workings.

From the side of the road I could make out one of the barrows as a rough, scrub covered mound.

E.H. state:
Two bowl barrows situated near the edge of a south-west facing slope overlooking the Hundred River. The larger of the two is visible as an earthen mound c.21m in diameter and stands to a height of 1.2m. The second barrow, which lies 7.5m to the south-east of the first, is c.14m in diameter and stands to a maximum height of 0.6m. A slight hollow in the centre marks the site of an old excavation.
Posted by CARL
28th October 2014ce

Tinker's Walk (Round Barrow(s))

Visited 27.10.14

Directions:
Either side of the B1387, the approach road to the village of Walberswick.

For a dead-end road it was surprisingly busy.
However, there is room for a couple of cars to park at the entrance to a bridleway.

I couldn't see anything of the barrow to the north of the road as it is very overgrown woodland and access would be very difficult.

However, the barrow on the southern side of the road (near a rather smelly pig farm) could be seen as a rough grass covered mound.

Not one to go out of your way for.
Posted by CARL
28th October 2014ce

Church Common (Round Barrow(s))

Visited 27.10.14

Directions:
North of the village of Snape, on the southern side of the A1094.

Parking is difficult (a recurring theme so far from my travels in this part of the world) but Karen briefly pulled over so I could have a quick look over the hedge for the barrows.

All I could see was one small area of rough grass.
Was this the remains of one of the barrows?
Or have they now been ploughed out?

Unfortunately E.H. have nothing to report on the matter.
Posted by CARL
28th October 2014ce

Pole Hill (Round Barrow(s))

Visited 27.10.14

From the minor road which runs to the south there is room to pull in right next to the barrow.

The barrow is quite large (for this area anyway!). Approximately 1.5m high x 20m long.
It is covered by nine trees and surrounded by flat fields in crop.

Well worth seeking out if you happen to be in the area.
Posted by CARL
27th October 2014ce

Dunan an Aisilidh (Stone Fort / Dun)

Visited: September 1, 2014

Somewhat more remote than most duns, Dunan an Aisilidh is nevertheless easy of access. Situated right at the northern tip of the Braes peninsula, a few kilometres south of Portree on Skye, you can make your way there by a pleasant walk of about 2 kilometres from the community of The Braes, following the coastline round Balmeanach Bay, then walking above cliffs northwards (past a natural arch and a sea stack) as you make your way up the eastern coast of the peninsula.

As you near your goal, the cliffs decrease almost to sea level before one final rise to the 15 metre high crag bearing Dunan an Aisilidh. Carnmore lists this galleried dun as a possible semibroch, but there is little more to see now than some foundation walling and a pile of fallen masonry on its western flank.

Nevertheless, with Ben Tianavaig to ite North and the Black Cuillin to the south, it is a great outlook point on some magnificent scenery.

This map indicates the general direction of your route.

LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
26th October 2014ce

Holywell, Circle, Barrow and Linear Earthworks (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

This is a very interesting site, but not easily seen as such from the roadside, it's a barrow within an oval earthen enclosure (called a henge elsewhere, but the ditch is external) with linear earthworks running out of each side. Best seen from the air, especially in image 2 here........ http://map.coflein.gov.uk/index.php?action=do_advanced&extenttype=BOX&minx=315122&miny=375241&maxy=375284&maxx=315214 .......
I was fully aware of this site, it's on the list of places to go, but, I didn't know that when I was there or I would have stayed longer and tried harder to see it.
A strange and complicated place.
postman Posted by postman
25th October 2014ce

Penygraig (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

Do not come here if your looking to see something, Coflein say of this the southern of the three barrows........A probable barrow, one of three in the vicinity, c.20m in diameter and 0.5m high....yeah right.
Two out of three barrows are only half a meter high and the third is totally destroyed, even at half a meter they merge seamlessly with the surrounding terrain.
So, if your barrow watching in this part of North Wales don't pick one at random from the map, have a look on Coflein first, like what I didn't.
postman Posted by postman
25th October 2014ce

Grimspound & Hookney Tor

On a walking break for a few days in Devon last week. Spent a day (it was never going to be long enough) travelling to and walking on Dartmoor. First walk was to Wistman's Wood - a place I have long wanted to visit. Ancient twisted oaks dripping with silvery lichen and huge rocks covered in mosses, the place had another-worldly feel.
Later, a quick roadside stop to look at Soussons Common Cairn Circle and then on to Grimspound Bronze Age settlement.
Grimspound is one of the best known prehistoric settlements on Dartmoor, probably dating from the Late Bronze Age, with the remains of 24 houses/hut circles enclosed within a stone wall. A very impressive place to visit as positioned on the steep side of some spectacular moor land. A peaty fast flowing stream runs down past one side of the circular wall.
Text taken from 'Ancient Dartmoor' by Paul White says "The most famous of the pound settlements is Grimspound, which is untypical in the immense thickness of its outer walls. It has been calculated that these would have taken 35 man-years to make. Since the site is badly positioned for defence (and the Bronze Age was a remarkably peaceful period) it is hard to see why such a massive structure was needed." Paul White goes on to say it would be tempting to assume these people were pastoralists, keeping their sheep and cattle on the moor and bringing them in for protection from raiders such as wolves or 'the wild lads from the next valley', however, he adds there is no evidence to support these assumptions.
tjj Posted by tjj
20th October 2014ce

Ridge Hill (Round Barrow(s))

Visited 13.10.14

Directions:
Next to a minor road off the A352 to the north of Cerne Abbas / west of Buckland Newton.

There is very little to see. I could only spot one of the barrows. Approximately 0.3m high x 5m across.

Don't bother.

E.H. state:
The monument includes two bowl barrows aligned broadly NNW-SSE on the crest of Ridge Hill. Both barrows have been reduced in size by past ploughing. The northern barrow has a mound, now elongated but formerly 8m in diameter, and 0.5m high. The second barrow, approximately 30m to the south west, is now visible only as a slight rise in the ground surface but was formerly 13m in diameter and 0.6m high. Both mounds are surrounded by quarry ditches from which material to construct them was derived. These have become infilled over the years and now survive as buried features approximately 2m wide. The barrows lie within a wider area of prehistoric field system which is not included in the scheduling. All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.
Posted by CARL
20th October 2014ce

Valley of Stones Barrow (Round Barrow(s))

Visited 14.10.14

You can pull in at the wooden gate and sign pointing the way to the Valley of Stones.
I didn’t have time to visit the valley but immediately to the right of the gate is an area covered by the dreaded gorse. Amidst the gorse, next to the road, is a gorse covered mound.
It is approximately 1 metre high x 10 metres across. You can’t get too close due to the gorse.

E.H. has nothing to report.
Posted by CARL
20th October 2014ce

Grey Mare Barrows (Round Barrow(s))

Visited 14.10.13

Parking at the start of the private road to Gorwell Farm (room for one car) the barrows are easy to see as low grass mounds in the field the other side of the fence. There is a metal field gate which gives access to the field. This was my starting point for visiting the nearby Grey Mare and her Colts.

E.H. state:
Two bowl barrows 283m SSE of the Grey Mare and her Colts
Two bowl barrows situated on the upper western-facing slopes of a prominent hill, overlooking a dry valley and with distant views to the sea. The barrows survive as circular mounds surrounded by buried quarry ditches, from which the construction material was derived. The western mound measures 29m in diameter and 1.3m high; the eastern mound is 24m in diameter and 1m high.
Posted by CARL
20th October 2014ce

Kingston Russell (Stone Circle)

Failed visit 14.10.14

I am gutted about failing to find the stone circle.

We managed to arrange a short two-day break away (without the children!) on the south coast.

This was due to be the first ‘major’ site on my itinerary for the two days but due to the awful weather I rescheduled the plans which basically meant we did things in reverse order. So, instead of being the first site to visit it became the last – which (at least partly) was the reason for my failure.

It was not clear from the map which was the best route to the circle. From the south or from the north?
It looked about the same distance walk so I opted for the approach from the south as I would be able to take in the Grey Mare and her Colts on the way. (Despite being an E.H. site they give no information on the best way to approach the circle – despite an e-mail to them requesting advice). Unfortunately I had not read dickie's directions beforehand – mistake.

After visiting the Grey Mare I continued north through the fields (but not as I should have done along the bridleway). After crossing the first field I was met by a large field in crop. I was able to walk part-way into the field along a track but there was no way through it without causing damage – something I wasn’t prepared to do. I re-traced my steps but could find no other way past the field of crop.

Due to time constraints I discounted the longer walk past Gorwell Farm as I needed a more direct route.
I decided to return to the car and attempt an approach from the north. We weaved our way through the maze of unsignposted lanes and followed the road as far as we could. Unfortunately about 1 mile before where the O/S map shows the road ends and the footpath starts the road turns into a very rough track – suitable only for 4x4s.
I simply didn’t have time for this extra walk as we had to get back for the children. I was very, very disappointed.

The next time I visit I will take the rout via Gorwell Farm. Although it may be longer than dickie's directions it involves the shortest distance ‘off road’. Given my poor orientation skills this probably gives me the best chance of success!

I would be happy to hear the advice of others who have visited as to which is the best route to take.

I guess you win some, you lose some………………… Still gutted though!
Posted by CARL
20th October 2014ce

The Grey Mare & Her Colts (Long Barrow)

Visited 14.10.14

Directions:
Park at the start of the private road to Gorwell farm (room for one car).
Directly in front of you is a bridleway. Walk along the bridleway (high hedge on your left) until you reach a wooden stile. Go over the stile, turn right and walk a short distance until you reach a metal gate on your left. **This is NOT the gate you see immediately after going over the stile**. You will see the long barrow from the gate.

As has previously been reported, despite its ruined state, there is a lot to recommend a visit.
The standing / fallen facing stones are very large and there are sufficient remains of the earthen part of the long barrow to easily make the shape out. Far away in the distance the coastline and sea can be seen. On my visit the field was full of sheep that seemed quite at home nestled down amongst the stones – until I disturbed them!

Despite the damage caused to it the long barrow has somehow retained a sense of ‘atmosphere’.
It only takes about 5 minutes to walk to the Grey Mare and it is well worth the minimum effort required.
Posted by CARL
20th October 2014ce

Carreg Cennen (Sacred Well)

Carreg Cennen. An evocative name to the (somewhat protruding) ears of an Englishman first brought here by his father during 1983 (Cestyll '83, as I recall), a boy with a head filled with incoherent images of 'something' that perhaps existed before what was quickly becoming, to him, the complete bollocks of organised religion... the hymns we were forced to sing at school.... but took subconscious delight in defying. Even then. Something burning within, something subsumed deep in the folk memory. Ancient Britains. Not desert people. Christianity irrelevant.

I arrive today, in pouring rain, with more than an eye on re-visiting the not so distant (incredibly undervalued) hill fort of Garn Goch. Do so if you can. Parking in the rather busy car park, I wonder if it is actually a good idea to revisit times past? Would the somewhat cynical mind of the 45 year old render the magical experience of the initiate superfluous? In short, er, no. I purchase my ticket and ascend the track to the fortress perched upon its eyrie. The medieval fortifications are easily retrieved from my psyche... their imprint seared upon my impressionable mind years ago. Not so the very attractive lady - with idiosyncratic canine companion and perfect breasts - engaged with capturing the vibe for posterity upon her DSLR. Pure class. Superlatives come as standard at Carreg Cennen, the mind thrown into overdrive, with carnal base thoughts vying for attention with those upon an altogether higher plane. Unfortunately the words do not flow from my brain to the tongue in any coherent manner.... as usual.

So... a rather steep flight of steps descend to a dark passage - lit by loop holes - to access the entrance to (one of) the caves which permeate this carboniferous limestone crag. This is something special, however. Really special indeed. The rough-hewn steps vanish into a more-or-less unfathomable gloom below.... so careful now. The eyes adjust a little, revealing a medieval outer wall, fashioned into 'pigeon holes' to accommodate, well, pigeons - funnily enough - to supplement the castle food supply. Within, a naked gash within the cliff face represents the threshold beyond which a torch will be required. To be fair I've been here before, feeling my way to the cave's terminus in utter darkness during the early 90's. Forgot a torch. And humans so need to appreciate where they are going, do they not? Ok, appreciate, if not necessarily understand.

I've borrowed the Mam C's torch today..... and advance down the narrow, undulating passage toward the very underworld itself. The thought that pre-Ice Age people were laid to rest within here, a proto-chambered tomb if ever there was one, blows my mind, the floor of the cave suddenly descending to afflict a stumble, walls as luminescent as marble, as apparently hydrated as a cascade, yet ironically dry to the touch. I reach the end point of the cave, my heart pounding as if in homage to New Order's iconic Oberheim DMX drum machine, my breath clouding my vision as upon a sub-zero December morning, my camera lens overwhelmed with vapour. Here, upon the right hand flank, has been fashioned a small pool of water, inexorably replenished from water dripping from the roof. I extinguish the torch and eat my lunch in utter darkness, struggling to comprehend how such sensual deprivation can have such an opposite effect?

The flanks of the cave are engraved with graffiti, some inspiringly celebrating love, some utter moronic bollocks. The human experience, then? The instinctive base line and the sublime. I refrain from recording my passage, of course, leaving behind merely a trace of my exhaled carbon dioxide and spilled coffee. Well, distant ancestors were laid to rest here, it has to be said. I ponder for a while and suppose I can see the reason why. Yeah, this place is not really that different from the Pavilland Cave visited earlier this year. If I'm anything to go by, the perceptive visitor's brain appears able to retrieve a fragment of what went before.... sorry, but I can't articulate any more than that. So come and experience for yourself.
GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
17th October 2014ce

Rathurles (Standing Stones)

To the north of the tri-vallette ring-fort are two large recumbent blocks of stone.
In the older OS letters they are described as the remains of a druids altar however in the latest description they are described as "gateways" and "Listed in the SMR (1992) and RMP (1998) as piers. These gatepiers are located in the field NE of Rathurles ringfort (TN021-012001). They consist of two large recumbent limestone blocks fomerly used as gatepiers to mark the entrance to the ringfort and are likely to be of nineteenth-century date."
On the old 6" OS maps of the 1840s they are described as "remarkable stones".

To me I'm not sure how they could be described as gate-posts to a ring-fort and I've been trying to identify where this newer description came from. There those appear to have been some work done to the stones and at what date this was completed I don't know. However where these large stones are now located is not near any existing or old field entrance. Why someone would move them to this position I don't know. It seems to me more likely that they are in their original position?

The ring-fort itself is known as "the fair of munster or Ormond" (Ormond comes from the irish for north munster) or an old aonach site. Seemingly it is the reason why the town of Nenagh is located where it is. The thinking being that when the Norman settlers arrived they moved it to a new location.
bawn79 Posted by bawn79
17th October 2014ce

Sheep Down Long Barrow

Visited 14.10.14

As formicaant states the long barrow is easy to visit (being close to the minor road running south from the A35 to Portesham) but there is not much to see.

It has now been reduced to a long low grass mound.

Still worth a look when in the area.
Posted by CARL
17th October 2014ce

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
Previous 25 | Showing 26-50 of 15,463 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 25