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

Miscellaneous Posts by thesweetcheat

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Roskestal West Cliff (Round Cairn)

The map of Penwithian round barrows in Cheryl Straffon's revised "The Earth Mysteries Guide to Ancient Sites in West Penwith" (2010) shows a coastal barrow at Roskestal.

There's nothing listed on Pastscape or the Cornwall and Scilly HER, although there have been various finds of stone tools on the cliffs here, as well as a prehistoric field system.

Pordenack Point (Round Barrow(s))

Three or possibly four barrows on the rocky headland of Pordenack Point. The most easterly appears to have the remains of a retaining kerb or circle. Descriptions from Pastscape:

SW 34622417 (Russell No 8)
A mutilated or gutted turf-covered mound approximately 6.5m in diameter and about 0.7m high. Its centre is hollow and a few squarish boulders and stones are evident (almost at ground level) forming a crude structure which is approximately 2.0m by 1.2m internally and about 0.3m high. Spoil from the centre has been piled up on the sides thus heightening parts of the mound. The structure is almost certainly not the remins of a lookout hut as suggested by Geary because, again, all vistas, except to the north-west, are blocked by outcropping rock. It has the appearance of a crudely excavated mound with perhaps, as suggested by Russell, the remains of a cist in the centre. If this is the case it is odd that Henderson did not note the fact and also the existence of the adjacent mound in 1917 (c.f. SW 32 SW 5).
SW 34632417 (Russell No 9)
An amorphous earth and stone mound built on natural outcropping rock with three large contiguous retaining slabs on the east side. It is approximately 6.7m by 6.3m and up to 1.0m high. The largest of the three slabs is 1.1m high and has two drill holes in its outer face. It is probably a barrow but it may also be associated with the adjacent buried OS triangulation point.
SW 34632418 (Russell No 7)
An extensively mutilated turf-covered mound approximately 6.0m in diameter and up to 0.6m high; two large boulders protrude through the turf. There is no evident trace of a kerb and if it is a barrow it is in a very poor
condition.
SW 3468 2417
The mutilated barrow occupies a prominent cliff-top position on a heather-covered headland.

The remains of the incomplete kerb circle which measures approximately 11.0m in overall diameter comprises a total of nine exposed slabs and boulders. The largest standing slab is 0.9m high and 1.8m wide; the surviving part of the disturbed turf-covered mound averages 0.9m high.

The grave and possible small cist are as described although only the tips of the slabs protrude through the turf.

The south-west side of the mound has been completely eroded away by the coastal footpath which has cut through the kerb. The end stone of grave is now almost completely exposed and further damage will occur if the mound is not consolidated and the parth re-routed.

Published 1:2500 survey amended.

It is suggested that this barrow be scheduled.
Sadly the suggestion that the path be re-routed and barrow scheduled has not been taken up.

Salakee Downs (Cairn(s))

Salakee Down Stone Circle (SV9250 1032)

Vivien and Robert Seaney, writing in Meyn Mamvro 84 (Summer 2014), refer to a book they found in the Archives at St Mary's library: "Antiquities Historical and Monumental of the County of Cornwall" (1754) by William Borlase and its reference to a lost stone circle on Salakee Down, together with a plan of the site.

Part of the circle is formed by a "Great Stone" with "13 basons" on its top. Borlase depicts the stone in an engraving and describes it as over 7 feet tall, with a girth of 40 feet. The Seaneys located this stone and next to it found a flat area of exposed rock, which they believe is the location of the lost stone circle. They commented that the smaller stones shown in Borlase's plan have disappeared, leaving only larger earthfast stones.

Full details of their findings are set out in Meyn Mamvro 84. Meyn Mamvro

Kelsey Head Cliff Castle (Cliff Fort)

In addition to the main V-shaped fort mentioned in pure joy's miscellaneous post, there is a further defended headland on the Kelseys, overlooking Porth Joke at SW 76855 60709. It isn't shown on Ordnance Survey 1:25000 mapping, but is scheduled along with the larger site.

http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/resultsingle.aspx?uid=1020026&searchtype=mapsearch

Pentire Point East (Round Barrow(s))

Descriptions of the cairns at Pentire Point East from the National Heritage List for England:
The monument, which falls into three areas of protection, includes three round cairns situated on the coastal headland dividing Fistral Bay from Crantock Beach. The cairns are arranged in a west to east linear alignment and survive as circular stony mounds, two with retaining kerbs. The westernmost is on the tip of the headland and has an outer retaining stone kerb measuring up to11.4m in diameter; an inner cairn of up to 0.8m high; and a possible stone-lined cist to the north east defined by three large slabs of slate. A concrete platform, bench and the base of a signpost have been erected on the mound and are excluded from the monument although the ground beneath these features is included. The central cairn mound has an outer retaining kerb and measures up to 12m in diameter and 1m high. On the centre of the mound a bench has been erected, and there is the base of a signpost on the east side by the kerb. These features are also excluded from the scheduling but the ground beneath them is included. The eastern cairn mound measures up to 23m in diameter and 1.5m high.

Carn-y-Wiwer (Ynyshir) (Cairn(s))

Cairnfield of small cairns, presumably clearance cairns in the main.

Coflein/RCAHMW suggests it may be post Medieval, but Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust have assigned a Bronze Age date. The site is certainly very similar to other Bronze Age cairn-fields in South Wales.

There is one possible funerary cairn at ST0276794150, described by GGAT as:

"Cairn in Carn y Wiwer cairnfield. Roughly circular with flat top, much better marked than other cairns in the group. Edges grass-covered, but the top has been denuded of vegetation (probably through placing of black plastic on top) revealing a mass of small pieces of sandstone (0.1m) set in dark earth. Dimensions: 5.7m diameter, c0.3m high."

Darren (Crickhowell) (Ring Cairn)

Coflein description:
Well-preserved ring cairn c. 12.7m diam, composed of a bank of boulders c. 1.5m wide x 0.3m high. Sited on gently S-facing slope with principal view SW down Usk valley, c. 100m NE of prehistoric hut settlement. Largely turf and billberry covered

Nant yr Ychen (Round Cairn)

A cairn of uncertain age, but Coflein suggests it may be prehistoric:
Situated on the summit of the ridge above the Nant yr Ychen and the Grwyne Fechan. Stone built and roughly circular on plan, measuring about 8m in diameter and up to 0.5m in height. Probably a routemarker, but some stones eroding out of the vegetation suggest that it could be older than post medieval. The cairn has a deep hollow, presumably the result of antiquarian investigation or robbing. The resulting spoil now forms the walker's cairn that overlies the south-east side.
It didn't grab my attention as I passed it.

Morgan's Hill (eastern group) (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

Group of round barrows on the eastern slopes of Morgan's Hill, running roughly parallel with the much later Wansdyke earthwork.

Only three of the multiple barrows listed on Pastscape and the six shown on the OS 1/25000 map are visible at ground level.

The OS 1/25000 shows two further barrows to the north, centred on SU034672, but these appear to have been ploughed out.

The Bryn (Cairn(s))

As well as the large cairn visited by Carl, there is a hard-to-find ring cairn to the NNW at ST13619105. Coflein has the following description:
Almost circular cairn rim on ground which slopes NW, thereby ruling out the possibility of it being a hut circle. There are a few large stones in the interior. condition=Near Destroyed

Ring cairn or robbed round cairn consisting of a ring bank 1.5m-2.8m wide and 0.4m high, 13.4m ext. diameter, with a break in the NW quadrant (1967). By 1979 the cairn was already enveloped in dense conifer plantation and by 1991 neither the ring cairn nor its neighbouring small mound could be reached.

Cwmeldeg (Cairn(s))

There are two cairns here. The northern one (ST10489223) is as described in Carl's fieldnote.

The southern one (ST10509215) is smaller. Coflein:
On open moorland, is a grass and bracken covered stony mound, diameter 7.0m, height 0.6m. A probable cairn. Discovered during field investigation (OS).


There is also a recumbent stone (natural?) lying a little to the north of the northern cairn, as the ground starts to slope away.

Carneddi Llwydion (Cairn(s))

Linear-ish group of cairns on the Senghenydd Ridge. Coflein descriptions for each (west-east):
Cairn A (ST10479193)
measures 9m diameter, 0.7m high on the SE, 0.1m on the NW. The centre has been dug out to ground level. Uncertainly a round barrow; if it is the location looks unusual.
Cairn B (ST105920)
measures 15.2m in diameter and 0.6m high. The ring-like perimeter measures 1.5m-1.8m wide, possibly an integral part of construction but possibly a feature of erosion.
Cairn C (ST10529204)
measures 17.1m in diameter and 0.9m high. The pronounced ring-like rim measures 2.1m-2.8m wide and 0.3m high.

Twyn-y-Gwynt (Chambered Tomb)

Coflein description of what may be a fortuitous natural stone setting, or something more exciting:
Two large earthfast slabs on north facing slopes of Twyn-y-gwynt, standing some 6ft tall. It is uncertain whether these represent natural outcropping rocks, or remnants of a deliberate prehistoric structure - perhaps a collapsed Neolithic burial chamber. Some 26m north-east are two large recumbent slabs, one partly grass covered, the other lying partly on top of it. These slabs give the appearance of a toppled prehistoric structure but again, the antiquity or origin of these slabs cannot be ascertained without further investigation. The sites were first noted and reported to the NMRW by Mr Graham J Oxlade, Pontypridd.

Twyn Hywel (Round Cairn)

Coflein has the following:
A centrally disturbed round cairn, 8.5m in diameter and 0.5m high.

Several tumuli on 'Eglwysilan Common' were opened in 1753, when a number of urns containing burnt bones were found in stone cists, condition=Damaged.

Pant Waungorrwg (Ring Cairn)

Coflein is somewhat non-commital on this site. The site type is "ring barrow?", the description refers to hut circles.

They have a picture, though:

http://www.coflein.gov.uk/images/l/EGL2012_136/

Coed-Pen-Maen Common (Cist)

Not just a cist, but a cist in the centre of a cairn circle (or very denuded kerbed cairn). And exciting finds were found there.

Coflein:
Eight stones, up to 0.5m high, define a kerb circle, within which is a cist, 1.6m by 0.6m.
Excavation, in 1830, which recovered burnt bone and 'bronze buttons' is thought to have removed the body of the cairn.

Tor Glas (Round Cairn)

This cairn is not marked on O/S 1:25000 mapping which seems odd as it's on a path close to the Beacons Way path. It is however in an area rich with Bronze Age monuments, several of which (Upper Neuadd cairns, Cribyn) are intervisible with the cairn.

Coflein description:
A stone cairn on the steep west-facing slope of Tor Glas. It is roughly 6m in diameter and 0.50m high situated on a slight terrace. On the northwest side the cairn had a possible edge or kerb to it but grass covering the edges obscured the detail.

Castle Park (Enclosure)

Two closely-spaced earthworks alongside The Ridgeway, Norchard Beacon.

Coflein descriptions:

Castle Park (west) (SN07030030)
The N and E sides of a possible subrectangular hillslope enclosure, c.40m in extent. A terraced track has been associated with the site.
Castle Park (east) (SN0762000204)
1. Earthworks of two relict field boundaries, occurring in single current field, c.160m across: the S earthwork, a curvilinear SW-ESE bank/scarp set above ground falling to the N, corresponds to a boundary depicted on OS County series (1890); the more N feature appears to be an E-W scarp, or lynchet, not incompatible with irregularities n current field boundary.

2. Aerial photography on 11th Jan 2006 confirms that earthworks are remnants of a denuded hillfort or defended enclosure, with an inner, oval defended enclosure crossed by an east-west boundary and partly fossilised on its south-west side by a field boundary, and a wider-spreading arc of bank to the north, formerly describing an outer defended enclosure or annex. The remains are consistent with the place-name.

Norchard Beacon (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery)

Group of four round barrows, near a couple of nearby defended enclosures, on the top of an west-east ridge alongside a road/track known as The Ridgeway. Somewhat crude excavation techniques were used...

Coflein descriptions of the barrow group (west-east):

Bier Hill IV (SN06980009)
One of four barrows upon Bier hill excavated 1851-1859 (see Nprn305116, 305117, 305119), 35m in diameter and 1.4m high, in which were found human bone, ashes and sherds of a cinerary urn.
Bier Hill III (SN07020010)
measures 26m in diameter and 1.6m high. In 1851 gunpowder was used to open a cist within the barrow, smashing a skeleton lying beneath the capstone.
Bier Hill II (SN07100009)
The smallest of four barrows upon Bier hill (see Nprn305115), 18m in diameter and 0.4m high, a 'food vessel' was recovered from the mound in 1851.
Bier Hill I (SN07280007)
27m in diameter and 1.6m high, BA pottery and flint chips were recovered in the 1850's. There are no indications that the mound has been used as a beacon.

Lydstep Mesolithic forest and footprints

Coflein information about the drowned forest and assorted footprints:
An extensive peat deposit which was uncovered by exceptionally high tides during the winter of 2009-10. In the surface of the deposit a number of footprints were visible, both of human and animal form. Many of the footprints were quite confused, suggesting that people were milling around on the edge of what would have been a wetland area bordering a lake or lagoon in the Bronze Age. Some distinct sets of tracks of human and animal origin were also determined. In particular, foot prints appearing to be of red deer were clearly recorded.

On 24th June 2010 the RCAHMW laser scanned the surface of the deposit in conjunction with Deri Jones and Associates, allowing a complete and objective recording of the extent of the deposit and footprints to be made.

Radiocarbon 14 dates suggest 6150+/-120BP, 5300+/-100BP (OXA-1378, OXA-1412), calibrated to 5400-4750 BC, 4350-3940BC. Artefacts recovered from the northen end of the beach include 36 flint tools from a level of '1ft deep in red clay drift' and the Lydstep pig. Contemporary sketches of the find from Tenby Museum show that a stone arrow head was found in the pig's shoulder. The surface of one part of the peat exposure was laser scanned by RCAHMW staff in 2011 working with staff and volunteers from Dyfed Archaeological Trust.
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"The fleeting hour of life of those who love the hills is quickly spent, but the hills are eternal. Always there will be the lonely ridge, the dancing beck, the silent forest; always there will be the exhilaration of the summits. These are for the seeking, and those who seek and find while there is still time will be blessed both in mind and body." Alfred Wainwright

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