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

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Kintraw (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 24.7.15

This is a site I had been keen to visit for a number of years. Now I am here. Was it worth the wait? Oh yes!

We parked at the parking area a little further up the hill and I hurried down towards the stone. The stone looks impressive from a distance but it is only when you get up close do you realise how tall this stone actually is.

One thing I did notice about the stone is the row of 9? finger sized holes running down the side of it. Anyone know what they are? Tiny cup marks? Someone drilling into the stone?

The setting of the stone is wonderful. The hills, the loch, islands in the distance - this place has it all.
This is a place I intend to return to one day. Hopefully that day won't be too far into the future.

***
Whilst I was visiting I noticed an elderly chap on the other side of the road who appeared to have broken down. I went over to see if I could help? It turned out he was an American tourist who had visited the site the day before with his wife but had forgotten his camera. He told his wife he would make a quick solo return trip (with camera) to grab some photos. Unfortunately he succeeded in driving into the ditch and had become stuck! The police had stopped and radioed for a recovery vehicle - that was over two hours ago! I offered him a lift and some water but he said he would wait for the breakdown people. He said he was enjoying the view. I wished him well. I bet his wife wasn't so happy when he eventually arrived back at the hotel!

Balliscate Stones (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

Visited 24.7.15

When visiting the very nice town of Ballomory, sorry I mean Tobormory, you can't help but visit these standing stones. We parked, as before, at the pottery and I headed up the path with Sophie in tow. Dafydd decided to sit this one out.

Where the path ends and becomes a rough track it became increasingly muddy. The last time I visited this track was brilliant white with freshly laid scallop shells. Now it was quite overgrown with most of the shells hidden by grass. It didn't look like many people had been along here recently. (I noticed when I re-visited the museum on the harbor front that the stones were no longer being promoted)

We climbed up and over the wall via the very rusty steps and straight into a bog-like field. It was very, very wet and very, very muddy. Luckily Sophie had her ever present pink wellies on whilst I attempted to jump from one (relatively) 'dry spot' to the next.
At least it wasn't raining!

We soon squelched our way to the stones and admired the views. Well, I admired the views, Sophie hid behind the stones to try to keep out of the cold wind. There is no change to report on the stones since my last visit. They are still here, keeping watch. Before long it was time to go - time and tide and ferries wait for no man - or woman.

Dunchraigaig Cairn (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 25.7.15

As Postie says, this is only a minor player in the context of Kilmartin. Almost anywhere else it would get star billing. There are just so many things to see within the Kilmartin area. I have been here twice and only scratched the surface. You would need at least a fortnight to do it justice. Just to add that there are ferns growing in the back of the largest cist. Looks a bit like a mini grotto.Adds to the charm of the site.

The Great X of Kilmartin (Stone Row / Alignment) — Fieldnotes

Visited 24.7.15

It was a lovely summer's evening. The low sun shone brightly over these wonderful stones. All was quiet except for birdsong and the occasional passing car in the distance. The stones had a decent covering of 'hairy lichen' and the angle of light showed the cup marks in all their glory. It is easy to take rock art for granted in Kilmartin Glen. Something we should never do of course. I hope the stones, their cup marks and secrets are with us for another couple of thousand years. I hope this glen is as beautiful then as it is now. If you have never been, make sure you visit this special place and allow as much time as possible to try to take it all in. Evening and morning visits are best as the place can get busy when the afternoon coaches arrive. Still, this place is big enough to accommodate us all - you can always find a quiet spot amongst these large and mysterious stones.

Ballymeanoch Henge — Fieldnotes

Visited 25.7.15

Found it! Actually it was fairly easy - just look for the rough grass covered patch / slight mound. Covered in nettles on my visit. The shape of the henge could be made out by following the line of stones sticking out of the grass. The central cist was choked with nettles and brambles. The smaller cist was full of mud. As Postie says, not a great henge, but I am glad I finally got to see it all the same. :)

Ballymeanoch Cairn (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 25.7.15

This (along with the henge) was another site I didn't get chance to visit last time. The ground here was even wetter, parts of the field were underwater. It was like walking across a water meadow. However, this is a nice little cairn with several kerb stones still standing. Little else I can add to Postie's previous comments and observations.

Ballymeanoch — Fieldnotes

Visited 25.7.15

It was time to leave the simply wonderful Kilmartin Glen but before I do I wanted to visit Ballymeanoch Henge - something I failed to do on my previous visit.

Of course, for those who have been here, you pass the cracking Ballymeanoch standing stones along the way. Yet again I had the place to myself.

The wet weather had left the field very boggy and very wet and muddy underfoot. However, it was well worth a bit of mud on the old boots to get close up and personal with these stones. They are superb. It is hard to believe they have stood guard over this glen for so many years. Long may it continue..........

The Glebe Cairn (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

As luck would have it I 'had' to pass the Glebe cairn to get back to the B+B - honest!

On my last visit I settled for a view from the museum cafe due to the rain. But, as we all know, that isn't the same as a proper visit. It was getting dark and I didn't have long.

I walked over the top of the cairn - not sure if this is the 'done thing' - but it seemed the natural thing to do. Just me, the sheep and a large pile of grey stones. I crossed the field in the gloom and headed up the hill to the B+B. And back to reality............

Nether Largie North (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 24.7.15

For some reason I didn't get to see this fantastic site on my last visit to Kilmartin. Something I intended to put right on this visits.

And it certainly was worth the wait. Wow. What a great place - one of the best of the many excellent sites in Kilmartin Glen.

I heaved the metal hatch open and climbed down into the chamber. The cup marked cist cover is a sight to behold and the intact cist is a joy. This is a place to sit and ponder.

Which I did until my 'phone went with Karen insisting I get to the B+B immediately as the children were playing up (a common theme on this holiday) and she was pulling her hair out.
Time to go - prompt!

This is one of the many 'must see' KIlmartin sites.

Nether Largie Central (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Next up Nether Largie Central.

Personally I preferred north and south.

The metal rods holding the capstone up is a bit of a turn off although it does the job it is intended to do.

Due to the lessening light I was unable to make out any carvings. I spent less time here than the other sites. You are spoilt for choice at Kilmartin.

Nether Largie South (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 24.7.15

The next stop off on my solo walk around the Kilmartin sites. It was bliss to have the whole place to myself and not have the children in tow. I could stop and look and spend as long as I wanted at whatever I wanted.

The sun was getting low in the sky and the shadows were getting longer. I clambered into the cairn and looked around and marvelled and pondered - all in equal measure. This really is a great site to visit.

I noticed on a post near the cairn that this was podcast number 6. I am sure that will mean something to you hip and trendy I.T. people out there! :)

Ronacan Bay (Stone Fort / Dun) — Miscellaneous

Drive By.

This Dun is easy to spot when driving along the A83 overlooking Ronachan Bay. There is a handy car park right next to the site.

Unfortunately time constraints prevented me from a proper visit. However, the site can be seen as a flat-topped, fern covered mound. Great views.

Canmore states:
This fort, occupying the summit of an isolated rocky knoll, measures 24.5m x 18.5m within a 6.1m thick wall, now reduced to a grass-covered stony bank, not more than 1.0m high. A number of facing stones are visible in situ as shown in plan. A subsidiary crest line, traceable all round the knoll except on the W, may represent the edge of a terrace made as a seating for the outer face of the wall. The exceptional wall thickness would allow for mural chambers and galleries but no trace of such structures are now visible. The entrance is in the E. A D-shaped enclosure, formed by a low bank, and measuring 27.5m x 9m internally is situated at the base of the knoll, immediately SE of the entrance. Without excavation it is impossible to assess its relationship to the fort.

RCAHMS 1971

Lochorodale 2 (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Visited 26.7.15

Directions:
From the B842 take the minor road signposted Dalsmeran. Drive up the steep and narrow road, past Homeston Farm, until you reach a kink in the road at the top of the hill. The cain is (somewhere) next to the road on the left (when looking uphill).


We were staying in the lovely (and posh!) Oatfield House B+B and this site was only a short distance drive to the south. How could I not visit?

Unfortunately the site was totally overgrown with chest high ferns. I trampled about in the wet vegetation but there wasn't a hope of finding the remains of this chambered cairn.

This is definitely a site which requires a winter visit.

On the plus side there are fine views to be had as you drive back down the hill over the surrounding countryside.

Suidhe (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

Directions:
On the road to Iona (A849) Park at the cemetery about 1 mile west of Bunessan. Go through the gate and up the steep but short hill. When you reach the top you will see the ruined, deserted buildings and the two standing stones.

The views north across Loch Na L'Athaich over to the mountains are breathtaking. We stopped of here on our way back from Iona. You should do the same.


Canmore states:
There are two standing stones on the NNE side of the barrow. One stone measures 1.1m high x 0.6m and the other 1.95m high x 0.6m. The smaller stone has a hole 0.4m from the top but this does not seem to be an ancient perforation. 1974.

An Dun Torrens (Stone Fort / Dun) — Miscellaneous

Drive-by

This fort is very easy to spot when heading down the A849 towards Iona. It is a large rock outcrop. Unfortunately I didn't have time to stop.

Canmore state:
On the summit of a rocky knoll situated 350m N of Torrans farmhouse, between the road and the shore of Loch Scridain. The remains of the Dun measures 30m x 14m. The wall of the dun is now reduced to a grass-grown band of rubble about 0.3m high. The only feature within the interior is a modern stone-walled enclosure. 1972.

Glennan (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 24.7.15

This standing stone is only a short distance away from the Creagantairbh stones. If visiting one stone along this beautiful valley it makes perfect sense to visit the other.

There is just about room to park on the narrow road but it is tight. Access is via a gate and then up a rough track. The stone is quite close to a farm house but I never saw anyone at home so it wasn't a problem.

The stone is 2m high and covered with moss.

The cairn next to the stone consists of an overgrown mound of 'spiky' grass. There are many stones sticking out of the ground.

Unfortunately I didn't know about the rock art at the time so missed that. Well worth a visit.

Culgarie (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 29.7.15

Directions:
A couple of miles north of the Drumtrodden stones on the B7085. It is on the west side of the road just north of a crossroads.

The stone is easy to see from the road and access is via a handy gate. The field was empty when I visited.
The stone is approximately 1m high x 0.5m wide.

Lochbuie Stone Circle — Fieldnotes

Visited 23.7.15

From the parking area head for the the kerb cairn within the trees. Visible from parking area. Follow the (infrequent) white painted stones next to the fence on your right. Keep walking and you will see a large, old wooden gate (with equally old, wooden sign on it) which gives access to the field where the circle resides. This is to your left as you walk keeping the fence to your right. I hope this makes sense?! The circle is not visible from the parking area but it is only a short, if wet, walk. Well worth the effort.

This is a good spot for a stone circle (I assume this area was drier when it was built) It is in a natural amphitheatre which reminded me (a little) of Castlerigg. Some of the stones were harder to get close to than others due to the standing water.

There were several other visitors which surprised me a bit as this is well off the beaten track. One was a car load of Americans and I tried to explain what the standing stones, kerb cairn and stone circle were about - given my limited knowledge. They had previously visited the Orkney sites and the Clava Cairns so knew a fair bit anyway. Not your average American tourists then! :)

Lochbuie Outlier 1 (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

This large stone is covered with 'hairy lichen'.
A notch is out of the top of the stone.
The field was slightly drier here - relatively speaking!

The sun was shining, mist enveloped the distant mountain. I saw a pheasant, rabbit and swift (or was it a swallow?). Lovely.

Lochbuie Outlier 2 (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

This standing stone is to the right of the gate which leads you into the field where the circle is.
Easy to spot.
I wonder if it has been struck by lightening at some point? Just a thought.

Lochbuie Kerb Cairn (Kerbed Cairn) — Fieldnotes

This site is also visible from the parking area. A little oasis of trees in a field of water and bog. At one point Dafydd's welly got so stuck in the mud it came off his foot and I needed to use two hands to pull it out of the mud, such was the suction.

I liked it here (I like sites with trees). Several large kerb stones remain and the entrance is well defined and in good condition. Very nice and well worth stopping off for on the way to the circle. Just make sure you bring your wellies!

Lochbuie Standing Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 26.7.15

The stone can be seen on the approach road and from the parking area.

It was sunny and not raining! However, this water meadow (it must be) was incredibly wet and muddy. Parts of the field was underwater. The landlord of the B+B we were staying in said that normally the field was dry from June to August - but not on my visit. Apparently local farmers were reporting this is the wettest summer they have had since 1985. This I can believe. The stone now has its own moat to protect it.

Seanbhaile (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 23.7.15

Directions:
Alongside the minor road which leads to the Lochbuie sites. Approx 2 miles south of turn off from the A849. On the east side of road, where the road kinks.

Couldn't see a thing. Chest high ferns cover the whole area. I did see a peacock though.

Canmore states:
This cairn is about 6m in diameter and 1.2m in height. It is a heather covered stony mound with some surviving kerb stones on the NW and S sides. 1973.

Torhousekie (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

These two cairns are in the field opposite the stone circle. Assuming what I saw were the cairns they are both grass covered stone mounds. One is approximately 1.3m high and the other 1m high.
Both are visible from the road.

Auchagallon Cairn (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 2.7.15

Directions:
Signposted off the A841 (Historic Scotland site.
5 minute walk up track from parking area.


In keeping with the rest of the day it was raining. But as the site is quite exposed I also had the strong wind to contend with. However, there are good coastal views to be had although the mainland was shrouded in mist and cloud.

The site is well maintained and has the customary information board. What does strike you about this site are the different types of stones which presumably was deliberate? The information board states the site has never been excavated.

This is an easy site to visit if you are on Arran and well worth it. Who knows, it may not even be raining when you come! :)

Glen Shurig (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

This cairn has a nice setting, high up on a valley side. Access is easy as the road which runs immediately south of the cairn has a handy metal gate. The field was frequented on my visit by friendly sheep. The cairn is now a low mound covered in ferns and is easy to spot from the road.

Canmore states:
A turf and bracken covered cairn on a level shelf of a steep hillside. It is 12.8m E-W by 10.7m, up to 1.2m in height. It has been mutilated on the southern side. Near the centre are four slab-like stones. Three are up to 0.8m high, the other is almost buried. 1977.

Ardnacross (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 26.7.15

Directions:
A short distance north along the B842 from the Glenlussa Lodge standing stone.

I viewed the site from the road, which is a field of long grass. I could see no sign of this chambered cairn. It has either now been reduced to nothing or so little remains it is hidden by the long grass. I was too wet and tired to go trapsing about in the long wet grass to go looking for any remains - lightweight that I am!

Canmore states that in 1960 it was about 24.5m in length and 1.5m in height. It is certainly not that big now.

Glenlussa Lodge (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 26.7.15

As Postie says, you can't miss this big 'fella.
If you need any help it is near a telegraph pole.
In saying that, if you can't see the stone the chances are you won't see the telegraph pole either!

It is side-on to the road and approximately 2m high. There are good coastal views from the stone. Looks rough out at sea today. Glad I am a land lubber!

Torrylin (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Signposted off the A841 (Historic Scotland site)

Although the rain continued to pour I was determined to fit one more site in before calling it a day. My boots and feet were sodden from the earlier sites I had visited and I was relived that this one actually had a proper path to it.

As the Vicster points out the path is pretty and on this occasion offered some respite from the rain. I could put up with the odd muddy patch or three!

Although there is not a huge amount to see it was interesting and different to see the four compartments of the burial chamber set out in front of you. As others have said, this is far from being the best site to visit on Arran but it is worth it nonetheless. AND it has a proper path!

Kilmory Knap Chapel (Bullaun Stone) — Fieldnotes

If you are looking for somewhere 'out of the way', this is the place for you. Located at the far end of a finger of land jutting out from Kintyre it takes a long drive down a narrow (but pretty) road to reach the Chapel (Historic Scotland site)

The chapel is famous for its early christian cross slabs and the spectacular MacMillan's Cross.

Outside the entrance to the church (on the left) I noticed what I believe to be a bullaun stone. I am far from being any kind of expert but I have seen a few over the years and to my (untrained) eyes this is one. If it's not, it certainly looks like one. I can find no mention of the stone on the Historic Scotland website etc but I reckon that's what it is.

Perhaps someone who knows more about these stones can have a look if they ever happen to be in this very 'out of the way' place and report back?

Lady Cross (Round Barrow(s)) — Miscellaneous

Drive-by 1.8.15

Directions:
On the A171 between Ugthorpe and Aislaby.


Despite being right next to the road (northern side) I couldn't see either of these two barrows due to a large covering of chest high gorse and fern.

E.H. state (Lady Cross barrow):
The barrow is an earthen mound 1.2m high and 14m in diameter. In the centre of the barrow is a hollow caused by previous excavations.

Dun Bogs barrow: The barrow is an earth and stone mound 1m high x 12m in diameter. In the centre of the mound is a hollow caused by excavations in the past.

Newton Mulgrave Round Barrow (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.8.15

As Fitzcoraldo says the barrow has a very flat top - like it has recently been ironed!
E.H. state:
This earth and stone barrow is 1.5m high x 17m in diameter. In the centre of the barrow is a slight hollow caused be excavations in the past.

On the opposite side of the road is another barrow. This one I could see no trace of.
E.H. state:
This earth and stone barrow is 0.7m high x 9m in diameter. Past excavations have left a hollow in the centre and the mound has been almost levelled on the west side. This barrow was originally one of eight spread across the north side of Newton Mulgrave Moor and lies in an area rich in prehistoric monuments.

High Park Farm (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.8.15

Directions:
A short distance south-west of Loose Howe.
On the opposite side of the A171.


There are two barrows showing on the O/S map here. The first one you come to I couldn't see any trace of. Which perhaps isn't surprising as E.H. state it is only 0.4m high at the time of their last inspection. Probably ploughed out by now?

The second barrow is much more prominent and easy to spot a little further down the minor road. It is in a field of sheep and has clearly be dug into at some point in the past. It is now a rough grassed mound. Although there is a barbed wire fence around the field access is easy thanks to a helpfully position wooden field gate. There are extensive moorland views to be had from the barrow. Whilst there we watched a bird of prey sat on a wooden fence post before it majestically flew off nto the yonder. E.H state this barrow is 1.6m high x 24m in diameter.

Loose Howe (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.8.15

Directions:
Opposite the camp site on the minor road off the A171 towards Ugthorpe.

Nothing to see.

E.H. state:
A round barrow of earth and stone standing up to 0.5m high and 10m in diameter.

Claphow Farm Lingdale (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.8.15

Directions:
To the north of the village of Lingdale mid point between the A 171 and the A174.


Took a wrong turn and happened to be passing.
The filed (next to the farmhouse) where the O/S map shows the 'tumulus' to be is wild and overgrown. I couldn't make anything out. E.H. have nothing to report.

Hilda's Well (Sacred Well) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.8.15

Directions:
On the A174. Church and holy well is signposted.

The well is easy enough to find at the back of the church. I wooden handrail assists the pilgrim down the grass slope. The restored well has a stone trough next to it which had a large collection of old rusting coins in it. Judging by the amount of coins in the bottom of the well this place gets a lot of visitors.
The water did look clear but I didn't risk it.
This is a very peaceful spot with only the sound of a wood pigeon for company. It is nice here.
Unfortunately the church was locked so I couldn't have a look inside.
Well (excuse the pun) worth a visit if you happen to be visiting the nearby lovely fishing village of Staithes.

Murk Mire Moor (Cairn(s)) — Miscellaneous

Drive-by 1.8.15

Directions:
A short distance north of the Three Howes cairns. On the western side of the road.


Couldn't see any trace of the cairns. This whole section of moorland is covered with heather. The O/S map shows 5 cairns here. E.H. have nothing to report - which isn't much help!

Three Howes (Round Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.8.15

Visible from the road on the right when heading south along this lonely road across the desolate heather-clad moorland. As Chris says access is easy from the obvious track - also an easy place to park.
If you like windswept moorland views, this is the place for you! Can't comment much about the barrows as they are overgrown with heather.

The Wheeldale Stones (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.8.15

Whilst driving south along the minor moorland road between Grosmont and Newton-on-Rawcliffe I counted 6 of these roadside stones. 3 of which had square holes cut into the upper part. The stones are tall and quite impressive. How old? Who knows?
They appear to be markers across this bleak moorland to assist travelers?

Willerby Wold House (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.8.15

Directions:
A short distance west of the B1249. Opposite Willerby Wold Farmhouse.


Couldn't see anything due to the field being in crop (wheat). Parking on the grass verge is easy enough.

Rawcliffe Howe (Round Barrow(s)) — Miscellaneous

Drive-by 1.8.15

Directions:
A short distance north east of the Cawthorne Camps barrows. O/S map required.


Despite being right next to the road I was unable to see the barrow due to the high bank. More to the point due to the way the road is cut into the hillside. Lack of time prevented a stop and search.
Parking may be tricky along these narrow, twisting lanes. Will have a proper look next time I am here.


E.H. state:
A round barrow situated on a prominent position overlooking the Vale of Pickering. The barrow is an earth and stone mound standing 1m high with an original diameter of 20m. The edge of the barrow has been truncated by the cutting of the adjacent road which is at least 3m below the top of the mound. The parish boundary passes through the marrow.

Rudston Monolith (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.8.15

Wow! This stone is incredible. As soon as you see the church you see the stone. It hits you between the eyes. It dominates and overpowers the church. It is huge, not just in height but in depth and width. It is even bigger in real life than it looks in pictures.

All of this is true but what is most impressive is the power this stone radiates. If ever a stone was a symbol of power, prestige or greatness - this is it.

There is little more to say than come and visit and see for yourself.

Although it was evening when I arrived at the church I was pleasantly surprised to find it still open. The church is nice inside and well worth a look. I was also able to pick up a couple of postcards of the monolith and an information leaflet.


***
This morning I received news that a lifelong friend of mine suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. This came as a great shock and is one of those moments when you consider your own mortality. I dedicate these notes to my friend Keith (known to us as 'The Trend'). Thank you for the memories. May you rest in peace.

Templewood (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Visited 24.7.15

Next stop on my mini 'Grand Tour' was the famous Templewood complex. It was a lovely summer's evening and long shadows were begin cast over the stones. I was amazed that I was the only one here. I expected the (unusually) nice weather would have brought the tourists out? Clearly not,

Although Templewood has been tidied up a lot it is still a great place to visit. Access is as easy as it gets and the information boards are very informative. I always find that sites which have trees around them to have that 'special feeling'. Templewood is no exception, particularly when you are lucky enough to have the place to yourself.

Ballygowan (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art) — Fieldnotes

Visited 24.7.15

Directions:
When you reach the cattle grid and the sign which says no motor vehicles beyond this point walk up the road. Quite shortly you will come to a rough track on your right heading up hill. Go up the track and stay on it until you reach the house. Immediately before the house come off the track and go right over very boggy, uneven ground. Head for the end of the trees on the skyline to your left. The railing around the rock art will soon come into view.

This was the one Historic Scotland site I failed to find on my previous visit and I was determined to put that right. Due to the very wet summer here in Scotland the ground underfoot was often bog-like. It was clear that few people had been here recently - including Historic Scotland. The grass within the fencing was long and overgrown - although not as bad as outside the fence! Despite being an H.S. site there are no sign posts or black and white posts to help guide you here - why not I wonder?

The rock art was a little disappointing to be honest. Perhaps it was the light? There are much better examples *and easier to find( else where in Kilmartin. Still, at least I got here. Mission accomplished!

Ri Cruin (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 24.7.15

The last time I came to Kilmartin it rained and rained and then rained some more. In fact it never stopped raining from the moment I arrived to the time I left. Kilmartin is a joy but is more of a joy in decent weather. A return visit was always on the agenda and here we are, 5 years later, back in Kilmartin glen.

We were booked into a B+B opposite the museum and as it was a lovely summer's evening I didn't want t waste the opportunity. Karen agreed to take the children to the B+B and let me have the rest of the day to myself to re-explore the many wonderful sites Kilmartin has to offer - result!

Karen dropped me off near Ri Cruin and drove off. I immediately headed up the path and was keen to see if this site was as good as I remembered it? And of course, it was! I had the place to myself and eagerly sought out the axe head carvings. The light wasn't great for this but I did spot them once I got my eye in.

With its relative seclusion away from the 'main' Kilmartin sites you are likely to also have the place to yourself. The axe heads, cists and surroundings still (alongside Dunned Fort) makes this my favorite Kilmartin site. Simply wonderful.

Mid Sannox (Standing Stones) — Miscellaneous

Only managed a drive-by to see this impressive stone whilst trying to find the B+B. Tempers were begining to fray in the car so I thought it best not to stop!

When near Sannox don't miss the nearby wonderful re-created Viking ship in the small harbour.

The Mare and Foal (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

Visited 31.7.15

5 years since I was last here. That went quick!

My only 'old stone' site of the day - if you don't count Roman as old (far too modern!)

Access as before. The field grass is very long and there were no animals present. The sun was breaking through the clouds but the wind was quite cold. There are good views to be had. Hadrian's Wall to the north (with several walkers in presence) and sweeping valley views to the south.It is windswept and bleak here, but bleak in a good way (although I wouldn't want to spend a night out here - even n summer!)

As for the stones, they seem to be as I remember them. The taller stone about 1.7m high, the smaller stone about 1m high. Both stones seem to be on an oval bed of stones sticking out of the grass. Odd thing is they look very similar to the size and shape of the stones of the famous wall. Perhaps it is just my imagination?

It was nice to say 'hello' to these stones again.

Cairnholy (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Visited 30.7.15

Am I really the first TMAer to visit this wonderful site for 10 years? Hardly seems possible?

Although Historic Scotland recommend parking on the A75 and walking up to the site (long walk) you can drive all the way up and park in the small car park. The road is in good order except for the last few metres before you reach the parking area - bit rough.

To put it (not very) quaintly - these are the 'dogs'!
What a fantastic place to visit. The two chambered cairns are superb. One has an impressive facade of tall standing stones, the other a large capstone still pretty much in situ. Both cairns offer excellent coastal views with mountains in the background. Keep an eye out for the large prostrate stone near the wooden fate to Cairnholy 2. Surely once part of the chambered cairn?

The sun was shining (something we had seen all too little of on this year's holiday) but the wind was cold. Dafydd was attempting to make a spear from a stick and sharp stone he had found whilst Sophie decided it was too cold and went back to the car. Although the site must have made some impression on her as later that afternoon on the beach she made a burial chamber instead of a sand castle - that's my girl!

This really is an excellent place to visit, one of the best I have been to. Second only to Machrie Moor on Arran this holiday - and that;s no disgrace. I have really enjoyed my holiday in this south west corner of Scotland. It is easy to overlook this area whilst heading direct for the delights of the highlands. The countryside is pleasant more than spectacular although it does have some good coastal views. What is does offer (in spades) is a fine selection of both historic and prehistoric sites to visit. Some superb - such as this one. The next time you plan a trip to Scotland try to factor in some time here. You won't fail to be impressed.

Cairnholy Cairn (Cairn(s)) — Miscellaneous

Visible from Cairnholy 2 - across the field to the north east. Large(ish) grass covered mound.

Canmore state:
The cairn sands on a terrace above the west bank of the Kirkdale burn, 140m ENE of Cairnholy Farm. It measures 145m in diameter and 1.7m in height. The centre has been dug into and its sides clipped by ploughing. 1994

Lessons (Cairn(s)) — Miscellaneous

Drive-by 30.7.15

Directions:
A short distance east of the Newton Stewart cairn, on the B7079. On the norther side of the road, other side of a stone wall.


There are two cairns here - High Lessons (no sign of it) and Low Lessons (visible as a rough grass covered mound in the middle of the field). There was no obvious place to park in close proximity.

Canmore state:
High Lesson - The cairn is almost completely destroyed, grass covered rubble base, 0.3m high. 1966
Low Lesson - A partially grass covered cairn, half of which has been removed fom its south side. It is 70ft in diameter and 6ft high. 1966
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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.

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