Showing 1-20 of 1,285 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20
See details for Y Bwlwarcau.
Keep walking up the hill, past Caer Blaen Y Cwm and Moel Ton-Mawr.
Continue through the fields keeping the trees to your right.
Just before the trees end there is a metal field gate giving access to a track through the trees. Walk along the track a short distance and you will come to a clearing on the right. This is the home of the Danish Camp.
It is about another 10 minutes walk on from Moel Ton-Mawr.
Passed several sheep skulls on the way which was a bit strange.
Very little to see. Faint outline of a bank.
If you weren’t specifically looking for it you wouldn’t have known it was here.
Judging by the ferns if you came in the summer you definitely wouldn’t be able to see anything (except for ferns of course!)
Don’t bother – not worth the effort.
COFLEIN doesn't have a lot to say either:
'An oval enclosure, c.45m NE-SW by 36m, defined by a bank and, possibly, a ditch'.
(source Os495card; SS88NW30)
See details for Y Bwlwarcau.
Keep walking up the hill, past Caer Blaen Y Cwm, and stay on the forestry track heading south east – keeping the forestry plantation on your right.
When the plantation turns to the right, hop over barbed wire fence.
Moel Ton-Mawr is directly in front of you.
It is about a 40 minute walk from the car.
Although my O/S map showed forest, a large swathe of the plantation had been cut down and gave the area a feeling of destruction.
The Hillfort covers a couple of fields which was home to lots of sheep and lambs.
This has the advantage of keeping the grass short so the double ditches surrounding the site are easy to spot. The ditches are approximately 1m deep.
A fairly remote spot which requires a bit of leg work to get to.
Although the ditches are well defined I doubt many would consider it worth the effort? This was the best of the four sites I visited on my walk today.
'On the gently sloping western side of the Moel Ton-Mawr summit plateau are the earthworks of diamond-shaped concentric hillfort, associated with wider-spreading field systems no doubt of Iron Age date.
The complex consists of a subrectangular enclosure 75-80m east-west by 60-65m. It occupies the central southern part of a larger, more irregular enclosure that is roughly 230m east-west by 195m. This may also have been intended to appear rectilinear despite the concave north-eastern facade which rests on a stream channel. Both enclosures are defined by double banks with medial ditches. This suggests that they are broadly contemporary. Both have south-facing entrances, the outer offset by some 20m to the east. These are connected by further banks and ditches, producing a forecourt or approach way'.
See details for Y Bwlwarcau.
Continue uphill until you reach a forestry track. (10 minute walk)
The enclosure is directly to the right (north) of the track.
As with Y Bwlwarcau this is another area of ‘rough, lumpy bumpy’ ground.
The earthworks however are more substantial and easier to spot.
Despite being the middle of May it was fairly bleak up here and the cold wind biting.
The sun was doing its best to break through the grey clouds but it was obvious rain wasn’t far off. Not much in the way of views although the birdsong was nice to hear.
Being a South Wales site it was no surprise to find an empty larger can………..
'A quadrangular enclosure, c.44m E-W by 40m, defined by double banks with a medial ditch; a c.164m stretch of N-facing bank and ditch, runs ENE-WSW, c.68m to the N: the site is obscured by a N-S trackway.
The bank and ditch to the N, together with less defined E-W linear features, c.52m to the S, have has been considered as the remnants of a large outer enclosure, c.200m square, similar to those at Moel Ton-Mawr'.
From the M4 (Jct 36) take the A4063 towards Maesteg.
A couple of miles outside Maesteg you will see a brown sign to the left directing you to Llangynwyd (Historic Village). Turn here and enter the small but pretty village.
At the crossroads go straight across and keep going down hill, under the pylons, until the narrow road takes a sharp turn to the left. It is opposite a farm drive.
There is plenty of room to park here on the verge; next to a metal field gate.
Although the O/S map shows a public footpath heading up the hill there is nothing to show on the ground. There is however a rough ‘tractor track’ which seemed an obvious route to take. The ‘tractor track’ is made up of the usual lumps of broken masonry, bricks and concrete. What was different was that there were also the remnants of several grave headstones – some of which appeared to be relatively new. How and why these came to be used in such a manner is anyone’s guess although it did seem inappropriate and a waste?
Anyway, 10 minutes later and I am at the site.
Very little to see in all honesty. A ‘rough, lumpy bumpy’ area of ground covered in spiky grass and gorse. You could just about make out a curving bank approximately 0.5m in height. There are decent views over Llangynwyd and Cwmfelin in the distance.
Not one to recommend.
'Y Bwlwarcau is a enclosure complex, Iron Age or rather later, set on east-facing slopes on a broad spur of Mynydd Margam. It is a complex multiperiod site, but one coherent layout can be identified, as well as obviously later trackways and medieval type house platforms.
The most obvious layout had a strongly defined inner enclosure set within a much larger outer enclosure and linked by an approach way. The 0.3ha inner enclosure is roughly pentagonal measuring some 64m across. It is defined by two to three lines of ramparts and ditches. The entrance faces east where its outer ramparts turn to form a funnelling approach way at the end of which they swing back to enclose the roughly concentric curvilinear 4.3ha outer enclosure. This rests on the steep slopes above Cwm Cerdin to the north and elsewhere it appears to have been defined by two widely spaced ramparts.
A small, generally rectangular enclosure lies between the inner and outer circuits to the south of the approach way and is attached to the ouer rampart. It is about 50m north-south by 38m and is defined by a rampart and a relatively broad ditch. This could be a contemporary feature rather than a later addition'
From Cheltenham take the A435 south and shortly after passing the A436 junction keep an eye out for a turning to the right (west) for Cockleford / Elkstone. Turn here and follow the minor road south to Elkstone. Just before the road joins the main A417 there is a minor road to the left which bends around the back of the farm The Barrow is about 1km along this road.
This is another substantial Barrow which is easy to access. The Barrow is right next to the road and there isn’t even a fence or hedge you have to negotiate.
The Barrow is covered with several large, mature trees. The Barrow occupies the summit of a relatively high spot in the surrounding rolling countryside. There were many stones scattered on the surface amid the grass.
The top of the Barrow shows clear signs of at one time being dug into – no doubt for treasure!
A chap on a quad bike drove past twice but didn’t stop to ask questions.
As Karen had previously let me collect a bag of cow manure I returned the favour by collecting a bag of pine cones for her to use when making Christmas decorations for people.
One good turn deserves another.......
This is a cracking Barrow and is well worth a visit when in the area.
‘The monument includes a round barrow set just below the crest of a hill, about 500m to the north of the road to Combend Manor. The barrow mound measures 35m in diameter and is 4m high. The mound is surrounded by a ditch which has been infilled over the years and can no longer be seen at ground level. It will, however, survive as a buried feature about 4m wide. There is no evidence that the barrow has been excavated in the past'
From Cheltenham take the A435 south and then west along the A436. You will shortly cone to a turning on your left (south) signposted Cowley. Take this turning and about 1.5km along the minor road you will come to a turning on the left. There is room to park next to the field gate opposite. The Long Barrow is visible from the gate and is only a short walk away, along the Gloucestershire Way.
After spending a day visiting what must have been every charity shop in Cheltenham (It’s what Karen wanted to do for her birthday) it was time for a bit of ‘old stoning’.
After my recent near scrapes with farmers it was nice to be able to visit a site that has a public right of way. Well, that isn’t 100% accurate as you do have to enter a field off the Gloucestershire Way – but it is only a matter of a few metres – so I am sure it would be ok.
The sun was shining through the gaps in the clouds. Had it not been for the cold wind it would have been quite warm. The track way from the road was fairly flat and I passed a herd of cows with an ever watchful bull in a field to my left. Fortunately I was more interested in the Long Barrow which was in the empty field opposite.
A handy metal field gate gave easy access.
The Long Barrow has clearly taken a bit of punishment over the years and was now in two sections with a gap through the middle of it. It looks as though the cattle walk through this gap when using the field. There is also evidence of what appears to be at least two ‘excavations’ of the Barrow in years gone by?
For all this, the Long Barrow still stands tall and proud in its position at the head of a valley.
It is approximately 30m long x 3m in height. A large bush/small tree grows in each of the Barrow’s two sections. I could only see one largish stone lying on top of the grass.
There are good views all along the valley and presumably this is why the Barrow was placed here originally?
I sat for a short while on top of the Barrow, looking down the valley and simply watching the world go by. It is these types of moments which make it all worth while.
Well worth the effort when in the area.
Before too long I had to head back to Karen in the car.
‘Do you have a plastic bag I can have?’ I asked.
‘Yes, here’ she replied passing the bag. ‘Why do you need a bag?’
‘I just passed a large cow pat which would be good for the rhubarb’
‘Does it smell much?’ Karen wearily enquired.
‘Not much’ I reassured her!
I know how to treat a girl on her birthday!!
I finally got to visit the ‘Lang Stone’ – just!
After confirming the position of the ‘Lang Stone’ from COFLEIN I optimistically set off in search of the stone. I could tell from the map that the stone was on private land with no public right of way. There were two possible ways of approach.
The easiest way appeared to be via Underwood Leisure Centre (see notes for Stockwood Barrow). I crossed the field containing the Barrow and headed north towards the trees. It should have then been an easy walk across the next field to the field containing the stone. Problem – the field in question was being ploughed by the farmer and clearly there was no way of getting past him without being spotted.
I retraced my steps back to the Leisure Centre and went for plan B.
Plan B involved taking the minor road south off the A48 (in Langstone) which runs under the motorway and past Langstone Court. As I drove past Langstone Court (posh) things didn’t look promising. Signs stated ‘private’ and ‘warning – guard dogs’ were accompanied by several CCTV cameras. We carried on down the road to the pretty church where there was just enough room to pull in next to the gate.
A public right of way runs through the graveyard and around the back of Langstone Court. Unfortunately this is only part way to where the Lang Stone resides.
Luckily there are high hedges at this point and keeping to the hedgerows as much as possible I headed east across a couple of fallow fields. Again luck was on my side as there were gaps in the hedges giving easy access between the fields. After walking up the brow of a hill (right next to the motorway) I looked through the hedge to my right and spotted the elusive Lang Stone.
The field had recently been ploughed (no doubt by the same farmer I saw earlier) and I quickly walked over to the stone. To be honest it was all a bit of a disappointment. It is now no more than a squarish block of conglomerate stone approximately 1.5m across. Several small stones appeared to be lying underneath it.
At this point my luck ran out. I looked up and saw the farmer I saw earlier, in his tractor, who had stopped and was looking at me. We looked at each other for a couple of minutes and he started his tractor back up. I thought ‘here we go’ and waited for him to drive towards me. To my surprise he turned around and carried on ploughing the next field. Still, best I go I thought.
I quickly headed back the way I came and as I was about to go through I gap between fields I heard the rumble of a tractor. I looked across and saw a different tractor heading towards me. In a flash I backed through the gap and went the only way I could without being seen – through a small boggy area covered in brambles. I battled my way through and managed to get back to the hedgerow just as the tractor slowly made its way the other side. I crouched down as the tractor carried on. The tractor driver was clearly looking for something (me probably!) as it turned and headed back towards me. I scampered along the hedgerow and thankfully got back onto the public footpath without being stopped. Back through the church yard, into the car, and away as quickly as possible.
It probably sounds quite funny now but it was an unpleasant experience at the time.
I should have felt a sense of achievement of seeing the stone but all I felt was relief.
All in all, was it worth it?
I would have to say no. The stone (if it is prehistoric) is not much to look at and given the apparent lack of a ‘warm welcome’ to visitors I wouldn’t recommend a visit.
If you do intend having a look at the stone yourself I would recommend either asking for permission first (not sure how successful that would be?) or approach via Underwood. This would be a more direct route and (as long as no farmers are about) give easier access.
‘A slightly trapezoidal conglomerate block measuring 1.5m by 1.25m and 0.65m thick. Is located in a slight hollow on a low local summit. If once upright and larger, the rest of it has been removed’.
Despite my earlier failure to find the Barrow I can now report success!
(Don’t know how I managed to miss it the first time)
The Barrow is easy enough to find.
Take the B4245 south off the busy A45 (near Newport) and then turn right into Underwood. This is a modern housing complex and operates a one-way system. Head for the leisure centre (closed) and there is room to park near the locked gates.
Walk past the gate and around the back of the leisure centre towards the children’s play area. The Barrow can be seen as a low, ploughed down ‘mound’.
Unless you were looking for it specifically you probably wouldn’t know it was there.
Still, in this part of the world, the fact it has survived at all is a bonus.
Not really worth the effort of a visit unless you are in the area and desperate for something ‘old’!
From Bromyard take the A44 east and then turn south along the B4220.
Take the turning on the right signposted Stanford Bishop and the church is up a little lane on the left. There is room for a couple of cars to park outside the church gates.
A typical pretty medieval church in a typical rural location – or so I thought.
But there was more to this church than meets the eye.
Firstly it has a possible prehistoric standing stone built into the graveyard wall.
I circled the graveyard twice before discovering I had walked right past the stone!
The stone is immediately to the right of the gate – under the lamp post.
It is hard to spot from the inside as it is covered in ivy but from outside the church yard it is obvious. The stone is about 1m high and has some moss growing on it.
Secondly, in the churchyard next to the path is a large healthy looking yew tree.
The certificate inside the church states the yew is approximately 1,200 years old!
Thirdly, whilst looking around inside the church I noticed a chair in the corner, next to the alter. Not the usual place to find a chair I thought? It had a slightly odd design and looked old so I had a closer look. I then noticed a brass plaque attached to the chair that stated the chair was known as St Augustine’s Chair. The plaque is inscribed: ‘The traditional chair upon which St. Augustine was seated at the historic conference with the British Bishops at the Second Synod AD 603?
WOW, a 1,400 year old chair! I of course just had to sit on in and quietly ponder the meaning of life for a few minutes in the calming silence of the church.
How cool is that? (Well, I thought it was good anyway!)
I enjoy visiting old churches. Not than I am religious but I do like old buildings and admire the workmanship which has passed the test of time. Living in a city as I do, it is easy to get a bit despondent with the world when you see the litter, graffiti and crime which take place. Getting out into the countryside and knowing there are still parts of the country where churches can be left open without fear of vandalism and ‘honesty tables’ can be left outside selling eggs, jams, vegetables etc certainly does restore my faith in humanity.
I know things are not as straight forward as that but you know what I mean.
Needles to say I would strongly recommend a Visit to St James’ if you are ever in the area. Not a typical church at all.
From Bromyard take the B4212 north towards the hamlet of Edwyn Ralph. Just before entering Edwyn Ralph the road forks. Take the minor road to the left and then the first turning on the right. This leads directly to Wall Hills Farm and the associated Hillfort.
We drove up the narrow lane and the Hillfort became immediately apparent on the left.
It is difficult to park but we managed to pull in just before the second cattle grid.
If you walk over the grid there is a metal field gate which gives access to the Hillfort.
There is no public right of way so a degree of trespassing is required.
The impressive defences are clearly visible from the road if you prefer.
If you do decide on a closer look you will be confronted by a well preserved bank and ditch.
I would estimate the rampart to be about 6m high from the outside and about 2m high from the inside.
There is a hedgerow / barbed wire fence which divides the southern section of the Hillfort.
All was quiet and I only had sheep for company.
There are no trees growing on the Hillfort and there are great views to be had in all directions.
This is a fairly flat area and you could see for miles.
In view of the hedge/fence and the fact I wasn’t supposed to be there I didn’t hang around too long.
In hindsight it would have been far better to have asked permission at the farm
Just as we turned around and headed back down the lane a car came the other way heading towards the farm. That was a bit of luck as 5 minutes earlier and I would have been spotted!
This is a cracking Hillfort; the best I have visited for quite a while.
I am surprised that no one else has posted Fieldnotes before this.
I would heartily recommend a visit.
Be sure to ask permission first!
From Leominster take the A4112 north east and then the minor road south towards the hamlet of Whyle. Bach Camp can be found to the west of Whyle. A narrow lane runs along the east of the site – parking is difficult.
As you travel south towards Bach Camp it is clearly visible on the right.
The site is free of trees so the remains of the bank / rampart can be easily seen.
The only remaining ‘defenders’ of the Hillfort are the sheep who seemed to be enjoying the spring grass.
The lane running past the site is very narrow and the closest we could find to pull over was outside the nearby farm. This resulted in several dogs barking loudly the whole time we were there.
A public footpath (signposted) runs along the eastern defences of the site.
Due to the dogs barking and the narrowness of the lane Karen didn’t feel comfortable stopping for long so only a quick visit was possible.
Certainly worth checking out when in the area.
On the way to Peterborough and Flag Fen I took the opportunity to start our little holiday with a quick ‘look see’ at the Coate stone circle. Access is easy enough as a minor road runs directly past/through the circle.
As has been previously said, 5 stumps of stones are easily visible from the road (as long as the grass is kept short) and I settled for a view from the road side. I saw little benefit in jumping over the rusty barbed wire for a closer look.
What a shame this circle has not survived intact.
Although I doubt the people living in the posh houses opposite would welcome the increased number of visitors that would attract!
Worth a quick detour when travelling along this stretch of the M4.
Visible on the left when travelling along the minor road north from the village of Great Addington to Woodford. A public right of way leads from the road to the Barrows.
There is room to pull in at the metal field gate at the start of the track which runs from the road straight to the 3 Barrows. (No doubt giving the name ‘Three Hills’)
By the time we arrived at the site the sun was starting to set on a beautiful clear day. The cold wind had picked up and was a reminder that it was still only early spring – certainly not warm enough for shorts yet!
Luckily the weather had been dry for a few days and the mud track was easy enough to walk up with just the occasional puddle evident. Within 5 minutes I was at the Barrows which had been left alone despite the surrounding area being cultivated.
The 3 Barrows are within touching distance of each other are all about 2m high x 20m across. All 3 Barrows are covered in scrub with a couple of small trees starting to take hold. There was clear evidence of a lot of rabbits calling the Barrows ‘home’.
All was quiet and there were decent views to be had despite the nearby wind turbines slowly revolving in the evening breeze. The sky was turning to orange and it felt like one of those ‘great to be alive’ moments – wonderful.
For whatever reason I really enjoyed my visit here and would heartily recommend a visit if you happen to be in the area.
Well signposted from the eastern side Peterborough.
It was a long journey but we had finally arrived at our destination – the famous Flag Fen. Probably like many reading this it had been a place I had wanted to visit for a number of years and it did seem slightly surreal to actually be here at last. We parked in the car park and quickly crossed the bridge into the visitor’s centre.
We were met by a very helpful chap at reception who provided up with a map and a quick overview of the site. There is also a small shop and café area.
Despite being a lovely sunny day, I was surprised to find that except for a handful of other people we were the only ones there, so pretty much had the place to ourselves.
We visited the reconstructed Bronze Age / Iron Age round houses, the Soay sheep (plus new born lambs which Sophie in particular liked), museum and of course the famous wooden causeway. I had seen the wooden planks both on TV and in books and I must confess in real life it looks just as confusing – little more than a jumble of wood. It does take a fair degree of the ‘eye of faith’ to see it for what it actually is.
It took us about an hour to go all around the site before we headed back for a cuppa and a sit outside on the veranda. It was a very peaceful place to be although I would imagine (hope) it gets a lot busier in the summer? It only cost £8.00 for a family ticket and was well worth the entrance fee.
I am pleased to report that Flag Fen lived up to my expectations and I guess the only disappointment was not seeing Francis Pryor lurking about amongst the reeds!
Although we did see a heron close up and a fox lurking in the undergrowth.
Flag Fen is well worth the effort of a visit – I am sure you won’t be disappointed.
From Peterborough travel north to the village of Newborough (on the B1443)
The enclosure is along a track leading to Moores Farm and farm shop.
In a nutshell, don’t bother – there is nothing to see.
Follow the directions previously given by Kammer but be aware that the mentioned second information board no longer exists. My advice would be to park on the brow of the hill, just before the road descends down towards the stone bridge crossing the river. There is ample parking.
The stones were not visible from the road due to the trees and undergrowth.
I managed to find a gap in the bushes and pushed my way through onto the cultivated field the other side. It then didn’t take long to spot the stones.
They are in a small fenced off area at the edge of the field, amongst the undergrowth.
Now, I don’t claim to be in any way an expert on ‘old stones’ but I have seen a few over the years. And as Chris points out they certainly don’t appear to be prehistoric. At least if they are they look as though they have been subsequently worked as they are too square to be natural?
Each stone is approximately 2.5ft high x 8 inches across and lean towards the south.
Both stones are covered in green/yellow and white lichen.
These stones are not the easiest to find and given their somewhat dubious ‘history’ it is not a site I would recommend unless you are particularly keen.
It took me ages to find the museum until Karen pointed out that we were parked behind it and had actually walked past the place on the way into the city centre.
I blame the information hoarding which was hiding the stone!
There isn’t a lot you can say about the stone itself.
It is small – approx 1ft high x 2ft across x 2inch wide.
Looks a bit like a small headstone
Had a few strange looks from museum staff out of the window as I was admiring the stone in the middle of their newly mown lawn.
Not much to recommend a visit unless you happened to have parked behind the museum and happen to be walking past the stone…………………..!
Either side of a minor road, south of Chilcompton, off the B3139.
Both Barrows are right next to the road and can be identified as low grass covered mounds. Although you probably wouldn’t know they were there unless you were specifically looking out for them.
Don’t go out of your way to visit.
E.H. have nothing to report.
A short distance west of the B3114 / B3139 junction, North West of Binegar.
A public right of way runs past the Barrow which was easily spotted as a ‘rough grass mound’.
‘A mound 30m in diameter and 1.8m high with a gently sloping profile. Situated on a south facing slope, immediately below the crest of a hill 205m south east of Redhill Farm’.
Located on the southern side of Radstock, along a minor road off the main A367 / A362 junction in the middle of the town.
Driving south out of Radstock, this Barrow is very noticeable sitting right on top of a prominent hill overlooking the town.
We were on our way to the village of Kilmersdon to see the ‘Jack and Jill Hill’ as in the famous nursery rhyme – which is also well worth a visit.
(Karen thinks I’m mad – perhaps I am?)
The Barrow is now a rough-grass covered mound approximately 1.5m high x 10m across.
Access is over a wooden fence with a single piece of barbed wire on top; from the road to the east of the site
There are fine views to be had from the top of the hill overlooking the town.
Strangely enough E.H. doesn’t appear to have any info on the Barrow although it does show on the O/S map.
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I have visited both historic and prehistoric sites for a number of years but since 'discovering' this website my visits have spiralled out of control!
I am now out 'exploring' as often as possible and have been to many wonderful places I didn't even know existed before using this website.
Having visited all the CADW sites I am now trying to visit all the E.H. sites and as many H.S. sites as possible.
In trying to achieve these goals I get to travel all around the country and with it the chance to visit as many sites as possible mentioned on this fine website. I hope some of you find my contributions a little helpful?
I have certainly found the contributions made by others to be both very informative and often quite amusing!
I must also mention the lovely Karen whom without her help, encouragement and understanding I would not be able to visit half of the places I do.
I am forever grateful.