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

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Bishopston Valley (Promontory Fort) — Fieldnotes

Visited 11.10.13

Directions:
See directions for Caswell Cliff Fort.
When you reach Pwlldu Bay there are two footpaths leading north off the main coastal path. I took the more western path which goes behind a house, across a field and into the woods. The fort is on the eastern side of the woods.


When I use the word ‘path’ what I really mean is a path on the map but nothing on the ground! When you enter the very overgrown woods you are met with a steep sided ravine in which making any headway is difficult. There are lots of moss covered boulders about and trees and roots angled in all directions. It reminded me a bit of the jungle in Jungle Book. Alas there was no sign of any singing/dancing monkeys. Certainly the archaeological remains amongst these trees are not as good!

In all honest I couldn’t make out anything of this promontory fort – but there again I can’t say with 100% certainty that I was looking in the right place to start with.

Perhaps it would be easier to approach the site via the more eastern of the two paths although this would involve walking through the woods the whole of the way.

High Pennard (Promontory Fort) — Fieldnotes

Visited 11.10.13

Directions:
See directions for Caswell Cliff Fort.
Continue west along the coastal path, past the picturesque Brandy Cove, the large pebble beach off Pwlldu Bay and up onto Pwlldu Head. It took me about 1 hour to walk from Caswell Bay to the fort.


This stretch of coastal path is wonderful with a varied landscape and obvious fantastic coastal views. You do need to take care however, as sections of the path are very close to the edge of the cliff and you are no more than a step away from a ‘half day out with the undertaker’ – as the late great Fred Dibnah used to say.

Pwlldu Head can be seen from a fair distance away as it is the highest point along this part of the coast. Although the path up to it isn’t overly demanding. On the way you pass what looks to be an old lime kiln. I startled a young fox that was enjoying the sunshine on the path between the gorse.

The centre of the fort is now a roughly oval field. Along the northern side of the field, under the hedgerow is a small earthen/stone bank.
Are these part of the remains of the northern defences?

I would recommend a visit for the walk and coastal views but not for much of the archaeology remains.

Caswell Cliff (Cliff Fort) — Fieldnotes

Visited 11.10.13

Directions:
I parked in the Foreshore car park (opposite Bishop’s Wood - £2.20 for 2.5 hours) on the B4593 although there is another car park directly across the road from Caswell Bay. From Caswell Bay follow the coastal footpath signs west. There is low water tide route across the beach, or if the tide is in, along the narrow road (no pavement).


It was a beautiful autumnal day and after having enjoyed my recent day out on the Gower so much I felt compelled to another visit. This time I decided to walk along the stretch of coastal path between Caswell Bay and Pwlldu Head. Only a short stretch of path but one that would allow me to take in 3 cliff/promontory forts. As an aside, the creation of the Wales Coastal Path has to be one of the best things the Welsh Government has ever done – an unquestionable success enjoyed by many people.

It has been many, many years since I last visited Caswell Bay and I had completely forgotten what a great, family-friendly, place this is. Large car park, toilets, café / shop, Lifeguard station and easy access onto sands. The Bay is quite small so fairly sheltered, the sand soft and litter free and the sea a turquoise blue. The fact the sky was also blue and the sun shining brightly obviously helped matters. I arrived at the beach at 8.30am and noticed a photo-shoot of some sort taking place at the bottom of the beach. As the tide was out I opted for the low tide coastal route which involves walking across the lovely sands around to the right and up a set of steps. This then brings you out onto the coastal path proper.

I looked up to where the Cliff Fort is but there was no chance of an approach from this direction. Near vertical sides with head height bushes of gorse. I decided to continue along the coastal path towards High Pennard Promontory Fort and try accessing the Caswell Fort on the way back via the alternative route along the road to the north of the site.

The route along the road is quite dangerous and you will need to be very careful – particularly if you have children with you. The road is steep, narrow, with a couple of bends and cars that drive too fast. Sections of the road has no pavement so walking along the yellow lines is the best you can hope for.

There is little/nothing that can be seen of the Cliff Fort, other than a roughly triangular shaped field. The boundary of the field (which may or may not have remains of ramparts) is completely overgrown with high bushes and is fenced off.

Although I couldn’t recommend this site to visit from a TMA perspective I can highly recommend a visit to the lovely Caswell Bay and this stretch of the coastal path.

Cefn Bryn Great Cairn (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 11.10.13

When visiting Maen Ceti you simply have to stroll over to have a look at this impressive Cairn. Now not very high it still has a fair sized footprint which perhaps gives an idea of how high and impressive it must have been when first built. Speaking of which I wonder if Maen Ceti was robbed of its stones to help build the Cairn?

As with Maen Ceti the views are extensive and this must have made a bold statement ‘back in the day’. Well worth a visit in its own right.

Maen Ceti (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Fieldnotes

Visited 11.10.13

It was the end of my day on the beautiful Gower peninsular and it was time to head on home. However, I couldn’t leave without taking the opportunity to visit the mighty Maen Ceti.

I parked in the very bumpy car park (had the place to myself) and headed towards the tomb which is just about visible from the parking area. The nearby Cairn is also visible from here. The sun was still shining in a lovely autumnal blue sky with only white fluffy clouds for company.

It is only a short walk but a cold breeze made me do my jacket up. The last time I visited the path was quite bogy with large puddles to negotiate. No such problems this time although it seems the resident cattle and horses favour the path as their chosen site for emptying their bowels.
I wouldn’t have minded but I didn’t have my bag and shovel with me in order to take advantage of their generosity!

As I approached Maen Ceti I was taken aback by just how massive the capstone is. It was larger than I had remembered - it really is huge. There are many large stones scattered both around the tomb and under the capstone. I noticed that the ground under the capstone was covered in a large puddle.

There are fine views to be had from Maen Ceti and if you ever have the good fortune to visit the Gower be sure to visit.
This is a ‘must see’ site for anyone who is even remotely interested in our prehistoric past. This is one of those sites that never fails to impress – regardless of how many times you visit.

Emma's Grove (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 6.10.13

It had been a good out in Gloucestershire, on perhaps the last summer-like day of the year? On the way home we happened to be passing the Air Balloon Inn - somewhere he pass often but never get around to stopping. Although early evening the sun was still shining and the children wanted a go in the [playground while we could enjoy a drink in the beer garden. Karen had her usual latte and I had a glass of local cider.

I had wanted to visit the Barrows across the road and now, at last, was my chance.

The road outside the pub is extremely busy and despite Karen’s concerns I managed to get across unscathed. For those old enough to remember the video arcade game ‘Frogger’ – it was a bit like that!

Once safely across I followed the public footpath (signposted) into the trees. Before too long I located the spot where the Barrows reside but due to the dense undergrowth could make out very little.

I guess this is one of those sites where a winter visit is the order of the day.
As TSC says 'don't bother coming in high summer!'

Time to get back to the pub and finish off that cider………………

Money Tump (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 6.10.13

Directions:
On the eastern side of a minor road south of Bisley, a little north of the Nash End Farm Barrows. There is room to park next to a rough track. Access to the Barrow is via a public footpath / stile. It is only a 2 minute walk.


A Barrow with a name – usually worth having a look for?

The weather was warm and sunny and the walk easy and flat.

The Barrow is now no more than a low grass mound, approximately 20m wide x 1m high.
Sited on a reasonably prominent position in the flat countryside.

Just about worth a quick look when in the area.

Nash End Farm (Bisley) (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 6.10.13

Directions:
On the western side of a minor road just south of Bisley.
The Barrows are in a field behind a derelict farm building.


We parked at the metal gate and I quickly jumped over and walked around the back of the building. The field behind was full of cows but I was able to spot one of the Barrows.
Not much to see I am afraid – now only a very slight bump in the field.

Not one to recommend.

The Giant's Stone (Long Barrow) — Fieldnotes

Visited 6.10.13

Directions:
From the village of Bisley take the minor road east towards Battlescombe. The Giant’s Stone is on the left hand side of the road, amid some undergrowth / trees.


Thanks to TSC for the directions. Without his help I doubt I would have found the stones. The trick is to drive along the road as far as some buildings (on the right) and then look out for a rusty metal field gate on your left. The lane is narrow but you can squeeze in next to the gate. Once over the gate go to your left and have a rummage about in the bushes next to the road. The stones are then pretty easy to spot. If you knew where to look you can see the stones from the road but finding them via the metal gate will make life a lot easier.

In all honesty there is very little to see here other than 3 stones sticking out proud of the ground – forming a parallel row. In saying that, for some reason, I found this a nice little quite spot to spend a short while. It is not very likely you will be disturbed here.

Not much to see but if you are in the area there are worse ways to spend a few minutes.

p.s.
The tree growing between the stones in some of the photos is no longer there - thankfully!

Twizzle Stone Long Barrow — Fieldnotes

Visited 6.10.13

Directions:
From the village of Bisley take a minor road south east. The Twizzle site is on the left, in a copse of trees, next to a public footpath.

A farmer was busy ploughing his field adjacent to the trees which may explain why there was no farm machinery present on my visit. There were however several large piles of logs being stored amongst the trees.

As TSC states, there is little to see here other than ‘lumps and bumps’.

Not really worth the effort of a visit although access is very easy.

The Camp (Long Barrow) — Fieldnotes

Visited 7.10.13

We parked at the metal field gate and I quickly hoped over.
The unmistakable grass covered mound of a Long Barrow is right in front of you – despite it having been severely mangled.

In its glory this would have been a fine sight. It is still approximately 3m high x 50m long although badly dug into.

The 3 large stones remaining are now largely overgrown with brambles although the white and yellow lichen covering them was still easy to see.

The late afternoon sun had warmed the stones and despite its destruction this was still a good place to be – on a day like today anyway. The Barrow occupies a fairly prominent location within the surrounding flat countryside.

It loos as though the land owner is erecting a barbed wire fence around the field although access should still be ok as long as he/she doesn’t cover the field gate with the stuff. The mound of the Long Barrow is easy to see from the roadside but you need to get up close to see the stones.

Well worth a visit when in the area.

Througham (Long Barrow) — Miscellaneous

Visited 6.10.13

Just to confirm what TSC has stated, the Long Barrow is not visible from the lane to the south due to a combination of high hedge, stone walls and buildings.

The best bet for a way of access would be to ask permission from one of the houses. How you would work out which house to ask at I don’t know?

Not something I had the time or inclination to do on this trip.

Randwick Long Barrow — Fieldnotes

Directions for round barrows:
See directions for Randwick Long Barrow.
The Barrows can be found in the trees to the right of the information board.


The information board states that finding the two Round Barrows is ‘challenging’ – not to your average TMAer I would say! Although to be fair most people would walk right past not knowing what they were.

The larger of the two Barrows is approximately 0.5m high x 5m across
The smaller one is about 0.3m high x 4m across.
They are right next to each other.

Worth a quick look when visiting the Long Barrow and Dyke.

Standish Wood (Dyke) — Fieldnotes

Visited 6.10.13

Directions:
See directions for Randwick Long Barrow.
The Dyke is next to the information board – can’t miss it!


The information board states that the Dyke is approximately 2,000 years old but its actual function is unknown.

The Dyke is about 1.5m high and runs in a straight line for about 60m before disappearing into the trees.

Worth a look when visiting the Long Barrow.

Randwick Long Barrow — Fieldnotes

Visited 6.10.13

Directions:
From Junction 13 of the M5 take the A419 towards Stroud. Just before entering Stroud follow the signs north for Randwick. Drive through Randwick and as you come out of the other side you will come to a bus stop / parking area for Standish Wood (N.T. site). Park here and walk along the old road (past the metal barrier) which runs through the woods. The Long Barrow / Round Barrows / Dyke can all be found along this path (all on the left).

Please note – there is no vehicle access from the west via the B4008 / Stroud Green – as we discovered!


Standish Wood is not the easiest place to find but the effort is well worthwhile.
The weather was glorious, the sky blue, sun shining and not a hint of wind. Fantastic for early October. Perhaps the last day of summer weather this year? (let’s hope not!)
Karen and the children went exploring in the woods while I went to do my own type of searching – ‘old stone’ hunting!

It was a very pleasant walk along the old, long disused road through the delightful woods. The floor of the woods was carpeted in leaves and the leaves on the trees were starting to turn to the tell tale colours of autumn – brown, red and yellow. The old drystone wall either side of the road had tumbled in many places and nature had started to take control – all adding to the experience. There were lots of families out and about enjoying the weather and (as you do) we smiled and said ‘hello’ as we passed each other.

Isn’t it funny how when you are in the countryside it is the ‘norm’ to say ‘hello’ to anyone you meet whereas in the city you would only get strange looks if you did the same thing? Another reason why I much prefer the countryside.

After about 5 minutes of walking along the road you will see a handy N.T. information board on your left. This gives details of the history of the Long Barrow / Round Barrows and Dyke. The Dyke is right next to the info board and you can’t fail to spot it. For the Long barrow keep walking down the road a little further and then head up the slope / through the trees to your left. Just head for the highest point.

You will very soon come out into an open ‘oasis’ with a very large Long Barrow sat in splendid isolation. This part of the wood had clearly been de-forested at some point and is now an open grassy area surrounded by woodland. Perhaps a scene our Mesolithic ancestors would have approved of as they waited to catch their prey? (Minus the Long Barrow of course!)

The Long Barrow is about 3m high x 50m long. Covered in grass and cut down tree stumps. Someone had recently made a fire on top of it. The woodland on the far side of the Barrow had been dug down and this gives the Barrow a much greater height from that side – perhaps 5m high.

The information board states that the Barrow was excavated in 1883 and that a skeleton had been found inside a cist. You can see where it had been dug into although no sign of the cist.

Unfortunately, because of the trees, there are no views to be had. However, a section of trees has been cut away opposite the information board and you get a good idea of how good the views would be without the trees.

This is a lovely (if a little awkward) place to visit and well worth the effort.

Paviland Cave (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Fieldnotes

Failed visit 30.9.13 :(

The ‘Red Lady’ of Paviland – a name surly to stir the imagination.
A site of international importance and one I am sure that most, if not all, of the readers of this fine website would love to visit.

And here I am, a mere 60 or so miles away – so why I haven’t I as yet made the ‘pilgrimage’?
The obvious answer of course is because of the well know difficulty of visiting the site. Indeed, some books I have read positively warn of the perils of undertaking such a task.
Even Neil Oliver went for the abseil approach – no doubt also making better TV of course.

I had recently come across a website which actually gave details of how to access the cave (without the need of a rope!) and by co-incidence within days TSC posted his fieldnotes – and thus confirming the access details I had read.

Time to put this right. A day off work, no children in tow, weather forecast reasonable for the time of year and an O/S map and tide timetable at hand. What could stop me?

The tide timetable stated that low tide was at 10.00am. I set out at 7.30am to allow plenty of time to drive to the Gower and walk to the cave by low tide. My plan was to park on the B4247 and take the footpath directly south to the cave. Unfortunately there was absolutely nowhere to park on this stretch of road and in the end I decided the best option would be to park in the large car park in Rhossili, next to the N.T. shop, and walk along the coastal path to the cave.

I arrived early enough not to have to pay the £3.00 parking fee (the little shed wasn’t yet open) and I eagerly made my way past the N.T. shop, coastguard station and east along the coastal path. T

he weather was warm, dry and only a little breeze so all was good. I avoided the temptation to check out the several cliff/promontory forts I passed as priority for today was the great cave itself. After all, I could take my time and look over the forts on the way back.

It took me 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach the cave and my heart was racing with expectation and excitement. (This will no doubt sound ‘sad’ to most people but TMAers will know what I mean.) I quickly identified which was the correct headland with photo’s I had taken with me and was soon scrambling down the ravine with the drystone wall running down the middle of it. Why on earth would anyone bother to build a wall here?

I passed Foxhole Slade Cave and was soon onto the treacherous rocks. I have never visited a place before where the rocks were so sharp. They were covered in barnacles and one slip would have resulted in my legs being badly cut (I was wearing shorts). However, this was quickly put to the back of my mind as I was now only a few metres from my goal.

It was at this point that my bubble of excitement burst. The tide was still not far enough out to get around the headland. By now it was 10.30am and I assumed the tide hadn’t fully gone out and I would just have to wait. I sat there like King Cnut and watched the waves roll in and out. To my surprise a seal swam past, sticking its head out of the water to look at me as it did so. I bet he/she could see the cave!

I decided to have a look at Foxhole Slade Cave while I was waiting but my mind was fixed on the tide and Paviland Cave. I returned to the rocks and sat and waited and waited. By 12 noon it was obvious (even to me) that the tide wasn’t going out any further. I tried to get to the cave by scrambling along the side of the headland and also from the other side of the headland – DO NOT attempt this as it is dangerous.
The only safe way to access the cave would be from the beach – which was still underwater. I was so desperate to see the cave I would have swam for it if I had taken bathers with me – that would have been a first!

Despite my best efforts their would be no visit by me today. I had to be sensible from a safety point of view as if I did fall and incapacitate myself, not only was I on my own, but there is no mobile phone signal from the rocks. I slowly and disappointedly had to head back up the ravine and onto the coastal path. So close – but so far. Gutted.
All I can think of is that the low tide wasn’t low enough and that not all low tides allow access – if you see what I mean. A ‘low’ low tide is perhaps necessary?

On the way back to the car park I visited the other sites along the way and tried to enjoy the coastal views but no doubt my disappointment took the edge off it. This is clearly one place I will need to come back to. As Fu Manchu used to say (ask your dad) ‘I will return!’

For anyone contemplating a visit can I offer the following advice?

1. The cave would be accessible to most people once the tide is far enough out. The walk off the coastal path down the ravine is straight forward although the sharp rocks are a little tricky. I would not recommend a visit for those with mobility problems.

2. The walk from the car park in Rhossili is long but offers great views. The quickest way would be to get someone to drop you off on the B4247 and head directly south. However, the coastal path is steep and narrow in places and is often close to the cliff edge. I would not recommend a visit with children – far too dodgy.

3. Check the tide times (try to get a ‘low’ low tide and leave yourself 1.5 hours to walk to the cave if coming from Rhossili.


I hope this is of some help and you have better luck than I did. I still feel gutted about this ‘failed visit’ – more so than any other ‘failed visit’ I have had over the years.
One day…………

Horse Cliff Fort — Fieldnotes

Visited 30.9.13

As TSC states there is little to see, just a low arcing bank approximately 1m high.

As you would expect, the coastal views are great.

Don't get too close to the edge as one slip and you will be joining the ancestors!

Paviland (Cliff Fort) — Fieldnotes

Visited 30.9.13

After the huge disappointment of not being able to access Paviland Cave I somewhat reluctantly headed up to the top of the cliff (after first visiting Foxhole Slade) to have a look at the remains of this Cliff Fort.

There is little I can add to the previous fieldnotes.

I purposefully looked for, and found, the metal ring used by those abseiling down the cave (the one the always show on TV!). Small consolation I know.

I peered over the edge to see if I could at least glimpse the cave entrance – I couldn’t.
I was however nearly blown over the edge by a strong gust of wind and I had to quickly drop to all fours to avoid getting a very brief glimpse of the cave before hitting the rocks!

Be careful out here!

The Knave (Cliff Fort) — Fieldnotes

Visited 30.9.13

Directions:
Midway between Thurba cliff/promontory fort and Paviland cave. The Knave fort is a short walk south off the coastal path.


The coastline along this stretch of the Gower is particularly dramatic with the layers of rock forming the cliff rising high out of the water on a steep angle.

I was able to make out two lines of defence, the outer rampart now about 1m high, with the inner ramparts about 2m high.
The dreaded gorse covers part of the northern outer defences.

Not much else to add really.

Worth a look when walking this stretch of the coastal path.

Lewes Castle (Cliff Fort) — Fieldnotes

Visited 30.9.13

Directions:
You can either use the public footpath from Middleton to the north east or follow the coastal path from Rhossili. Either way the path runs right past this Cliff Fort.


There is not much left to see.
Just a half-circle low grass bank approximately 1m in height.
It appears that over the years the sea has washed away most of the cliff containing the majority of the fort.

Lovely views over Fall Bay.

Old Castle (Enclosure) — Fieldnotes

Visited 30.9.13

Directions:
Park in the main visitor’s car park in Rhossili (£3.00 all day) and follow the road down past the N.T. shop towards the Coastguard station. Continue along the coastal path and this is the first of the several cliff/promontory forts you come to. Can’t miss it as it is right next to the path and has a N.T. sign giving its name and age.


As this fort is so close to the amenities Rhossili has to offer it is no surprise that it attracts the most visitors. Indeed, on my day out walking the coastal path this was the only site I visited where I saw anyone else. Due to the number of people visiting there were sections of the ramparts which has been repaired and had signs erected requesting people keep off the banking due to the erosion it was causing. Thankfully, at least when I visited, people were heeding the signs and observing the fort from the footpath.

This is a very easy site to access and one that shouldn’t be missed if you happen to be at this far end of the Gower peninsular.
It also has the added bonus of giving great views over to Worm’s Head.


** A short distance south I spotted a suspicious looking curved bank vanishing over the cliff edge. Clearly whatever it was has all but been eroded away by the sea. Was this all that is left of some sort of prehistoric enclosure? **

Worm's Head (Enclosure) — Miscellaneous

30.9.13

I walked down past the Coastguard building and was afforded great views of Worm’s Head. Although I had seen Worm’s Head many times in the past it had always been from further away and now up (relatively) close I had a better appreciation of its size.

It’s a lot bigger than it looks from further afield.

The information board states that Worm’s head is accessible 2 hours either side of low tide. However, when I looked the causeway was till underwater so perhaps a ‘low’ low tide is required? Or perhaps today was a particularly ‘high’ low tide – if that makes sense?

Either way, a view from the mainland was the closest I was going to get to it.

Thurba Camp (Cliff Fort) — Fieldnotes

Visited 30.9.13

Directions:
From the main Rhossili visitor’s car park follow the coastal path south west past the N.T. shop and coastguard station and then east towards Port Einon. You will know when you get to Thurba as there is a little N.T. sign telling you so!


The fort itself is a short distance south west of the main coastal path – on a headland.
I counted 3 defensive banks – the outer two being approximately 2m at their highest (when standing in the ditch) and the inner bank approximately 1m high.
In places you can easily see how the banks were constructed of stone

As you would expect there are great coastal views to be had.

Well worth a quick stop-off when walking the coastal path from Rhossili.

Red Fescue Hole (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Miscellaneous

30.9.13

Directions:
Follow the directions for Red Chamber Cave. When walking from Red Chamber Cave back to the coastal path there are two small ‘caves’ to be seen on the side of the opposite headland – I have no idea which one is the Red Fescue Hole?

I didn’t bother actually ‘visiting’ the ‘caves’ as they are really no more than shallow rock shelters in the side of the cliff. Access would be over grass along a steep slope.

Red Chamber (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Fieldnotes

Visited 30.9.13

Directions:
Mid way between Thrumba Camp and The Knave cliff forts. The cave can be easily seen from the coastal path near a stile. The cave is high up on the headland.

There is no ‘path’ to the cave but it is only a short walk from the coastal path through the ferns / gorse. However, the slope is very steep and you have to be very careful – I wouldn’t fancy walking to the cave if the grass was wet. Not somewhere to take a child that’s for sure!

The cave itself is small, approximately 1 metre high, going back about 2 metres.
There was a yellow numbered tag nailed to one of the stones. No idea what it was for?

Great coastal views as you would expect. I would suggest it best to simply view the cave from the coastal path and not risk the walk up to the cave. It is a bit dodgy.

Foxhole Slade (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Fieldnotes

Visited 30.9.13

Directions:
From Paviland Cave head up the ravine (with the drystone wall running along it) and Foxhole Slade is in the cliff face on the left. Easy to find although access is over loose stones.

This was the most substantial of the caves I visited / saw today. The cave is clearly still used as a shelter judging by the recent camp fire which had been made there. This would certainly be a good place to sit out a storm.

Well worth a look when visiting Paviland Cave.

Knelston (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.10.13

Directions:
Knelston can be found on the A4118 heading west towards Rhossili. You will pass a Texaco garage on your left and immediately after a school on your right. You can park outside the school. Walk a short distance west and you will come to a farm drive on your right – opposite a house called The Rectory. Walk up the farm drive and follow the public footpath signs on your right. You go over a couple of stiles, through some trees and into a field. Directly in front of you (on the opposite side of the field) is a field gate. Walk to the gate and the stone will come into view in the next field over. The public right of way runs straight past the stone so no access worries.


The stone is a big one, triangular in shape and comprising of many quartz pebbles.
There is a fair bit of ‘hairy’ lichen growing around the top of the stone.

I am quite surprised this stone has not been added before given its size and relative ease of access?

There is not much in the way of a view.

Coflein states:
‘Set on level ground, a roughly triangular standing stone, 2.2m high x 2.2m and 0.6m thick’.

Rossal (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 2.8.13

Directions:
Just south of the A849 / B8035 junction. On the left of heading south.
The Cairns are situated on a small rise visible from the road.


We were heading back to the B+B and despite it still being fairly early in the evening, due to the weather; the light was already starting to fail. We pulled over on the side of the by now deserted road and with some trepidation I got out of the car into the pouring rain.

The fence between the road and the ridge is the type which is head height and due to the weather I didn’t fancy trying to climb it. I could see no obvious gate giving access to the field.

The ridge upon which the Cairns reside is quite close to the road and there are several ‘lumps and bumps’ on the ridge which could have been any of the Cairns. Without getting closer it would be impossible to say what was natural and what was man or woman) made. In this weather I would imagine the field would be very bogy.


Canmore states:
‘There are 3 cairns about 750m NE of Rossal, overlooking the tidal flats where the Coladoir River runs into the head of Loch Scridain.
Cairn A – the most northerly cairn of the three measures 4.6m in diameter by 0.3m high and stands on the summit of a rocky ridge. It has been severely robbed but a number of kerb stones are still in situ, the tallest 0.8m high being on the N side. Outside the kerb on the S side there is a single stone 0.7m high which may be one side of a ‘false portal’ setting.
Cairn B – 80m SSW of cairn ‘A’ on the W flank of the same ridge. It measures 5.3m by 4.6m and 0.5m high but only a few kerb stones are visible. At the centre are the remains of a cist measuring 1.2m by 0.9m. The stones protrude only 0.2m above the turf.
Cairn C – 17m SW of ‘B’ measuring about 8.2m in diameter and 1m in height.
No other cairns were noted in the vicinity.’

Scallastle (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

Visited 2.8.13

My last site of the day.

The rain hadn’t let up all day and by now even I had just about had enough for the day and was looking forward to a warm shower and a change of clothes.

To be honest I didn’t have the enthusiasm to go and ask permission for a close-up look at the stone and instead settled for a view, through the mist, from the top of the drive.

The stone certainly deserves more attention than I gave it – but on a better day!

Tinkinswood (Burial Chamber) — Fieldnotes

Karen woke up with a back problem so our planned day out had to be put on hold. The weather forecast said it was likely to be the last day of summer sunshine so I was eager not to waste it. I told Karen I would take the children to nearby Dyffryn Gardens (N.T. site) who had an open day so entry was free (it would also allow her to rest with the children not around).

By co-incidence, you have to drive past Tinkinswood to get to Dyffryn – all the excuse I needed to call in to say ‘hello’.

The weather was indeed very good with warm sunshine and white fluffy clouds. We parked up next to the gate and the first thing I spotted was a police notice warning motorists not to leave valuables in the car – clearly they have had some problems here?
I also noticed a sign advertising the fact that next Saturday (21.9.13) between noon and 4.00pm there would be an expert on site who would be giving free guided tours of Tinkinswood – sounds good. Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it as I have a children’s birthday party to attend!

We headed across the field and had a good look around. For a change the inside of the burial chamber was dry and free of the near ever present puddle. I sat in the sun and tried to contemplate things while the children were happily playing in and around the chamber. Several people came and went while we were there. It was also nice to see that the ‘information machine’ was back in working order and both children had a go at turning the handle.

As an aside, the machine at nearby St Lytham’s was also in working order when stopped off there on the way home.

On the way back to the car we climbed over the stile and had a look around ‘The
Quarry’. In fact, when I visit Tinkinswood these days I seem to spend as much time at
the quarry as I do at the burial chamber itself. I find the place interesting and imagine
that at one time the whole area was covered in such large stones. No shortage of
building material here - there are still easily enough stones left to make another
burial chamber.
Credit to CADW for making this area accessible to the public –
something that was not possible until recently – not officially anyway!

Tinkinswood and St Lytham’s are without doubt ‘must see’ sites of South East Wales.

Tiraghoil (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 2.8.13

Another standing stone right next to the road to Iona (A849)

You can gain access to the field where the stone stands through a gate.
The stone stands on the brow of a hill and is about 2.5m tall.

I can’t comment on the views due to the mist and rain.
I am sure I would have stayed longer had the weather been kinder!
Still, this is without doubt a good stone to visit when in the area.

Taoslin (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 2.8.13

The rain continued to pour. This was easily the wettest day of our holiday. Still, you can’t let a bit of moisture stop you from visiting a site can you?

The wind was so strong it blew me back into the car as I got out – much to everyone’s amusment! The bank up from the road was very slippery and the wooden stile was on its last legs. In fact it gave way under me as I crossed over – again much amusement from the car!

The stone is a good one. It is about 2.5m tall and stood in what was now more of a swamp than a field. I didn’t stay long before hurrying back to the sanctuary of the car.

Well worth a look when you are on your way to Iona along the A849.

Fionnphort (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 2.8.13

On the way back to the B+B after visiting the wonderful island of Iona we stopped off to have a quick look at this impressive standing stone.

The stone is approximately 2.5m tall and is next to Achaban House.

We were all soaked to the bone following our trip to Iona and the rain continued to pour.
We were all cold, wet and hungry and it was still a long drive ahead of us.

Well worth a look if heading over to Iona.

Caisteal Eoghainn A' Chinn Bhig (Crannog) — Miscellaneous

2.8.13

There is a passing place you can pull into on the A849 which affords great views of the Crannog. The hills were shrouded in mist and the rain fell. Waterfalls cascaded in the distance, in a way they only see to do in Scotland.

Boat required for a better closer view of the Crannog!

Well worth a look if you ever find yourself travelling along the A849.

Torr Aint (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.8.13

Directions:
Near a minor road south of Dervaig – can’t miss it!


We parked on the minor road next to a field gate. The rest of the gang stayed in the car whilst I hopped over the gate and across the rough, bogy field of thistles towards the Hillfort. The surrounding landscape is fairly flat and the Hillfort occupies a prominent position.

The walk up to the site isn’t too far but it is steep. On the way up you pass several ruined stone building which are interesting – I can guess where they got the stone from to build them! Most of the buildings were overgrown by thistles, particularly the insides.

There isn’t a huge amount to see with the exception of a length of walling still standing to a height of about 1m which was a pleasant surprise. The views from the top are wonderful and makes the effort to climb worthwile in itself.

A site to recommend but only suitable for the fairly fit only. If you do visit take care when on top, the sides are very steep and it is a long way down!


Canmore states:
‘This fort stands (at a height of 46m OD) on the summit of a steep-sided, isolated ridge 900m SE of Torr a' Chlachain farmhouse, close to the Salen - Dervaig road. It measures 70m by 32m within a single wall which has been so severely reduced by stone-robbing that virtually no traces now survive on the NE and SW sides. On the NW and SE, however, long stretches of the lowest course of the outer face remain in situ, consisting for the most part of massive boulders, the largest of them measuring 1.2m by 1m and 1.2m in height. the entrance faces NW and is 2.1m wide. Ploughing has encroached over almost the whole of the interior.’

Dervaig C (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.8.13

From the Dervaig A stones follow the road west down the hill and keep an eye out for the ‘new’ cemetery on the left – not the ‘old’ cemetery a bit further down the road. Park in the car park and follow the path down towards the cemetery but then go to the left heading for the stone wall. Once you get to the wall you should be able to spot the standing stones without too much trouble.

This stone row comprises of 3 stones;
Stone 1 is about 0.5m high and is squarish / L shaped
Stone 2 is about 1m high
Stone 3 is about 2m high

All 3 stones are surrounded by ferns and are in close proximity to the wall.

There are no views from the stones themseves – I wonder why they errected here?
Near the stones is a small rocky knoll which does afford good views.
Just below the knoll is what looks like to be two Cairns but I don’t know if they are Cairns, field clearance or natural?

Dervaig B isn’t as good as Dervaig A to be honest but they make a good ‘joint visit’.

Dervaig B (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.8.13

Despite being in a woodland setting (a place which usually means I fail to find what I am looking for) these stones are very easy to spot.

Park in the viewpoint car park and follow the obvious ‘path’ through the ferns. The stones are signposted and access is via a kissing gate. The stones are visible from the gate.

As we approached the stones the children who were climbing all over them decided to leave which meant we had the place to ourselves. I know I have said it before but there is ‘something’ about a woodland setting which often enhances the visitors experience – this is no exception. The weather was windy but sunny. Once in the plantation the wind ceased and the sunlight streamed through the tall pine trees – lovely!

The stone row consists of 2 standing stones (each about 2.5m tall) and 3 large fallen stones. The stones are covered in moss and are impressive. Pity the fallen ones haven’t been re-erected – perhaps one day?

This is a great place to visit, easy to access, impressive stones in a woodland setting.
What more could you want?
When on Mull this is a ‘must see’ site.

Ardnacross (Stone Row / Alignment) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.8.13

Directions:
On the western side of the main A848, near Ardnacross, opposite a farm.
Follow the track up towards a barn and then strike out to your right uphill.
The stones are not visible until you reach the brow of the hill.

This is a great site consisting of a row of 3 fallen stones. Next to the fallen stones are 2 Cairns, one Cairn has a stone kerbing going half way around and the other has kerbing going all the way around. The other side of the Cairns is a single standing stone and next to that another possible fallen stone. Not much going on here then!

To cap it off there are good costal views to be had. If you happen to be on Mull you could do a lot worse than visit this site although I suspect it would be best to ask permission first. I am quite surprised that these are the first fieldnotes for such a quality place.


Canmore states:
‘Three kerb-cairns and the remains of two flanking settings of standing stones are situated on a platform in the hillside 600m WSW of the farm.
The largest cairn is comparatively well preserved, it measures 5.5m in diameter and has a kerb of large boulders which are almost continuous. The cairn material is still about 0.4m in height on the south side. Several kerb stones of another cairn may be seen protruding through the turf 4.6m to the NW; it is about 4m in diameter and on the south side some 0.2m high. One metre to the N, 5 kerb stones of a further cairn, about 3m in diameter, are visible at ground level.
Both groups of standing stones appear to have been aligned NNE and SSW but only one stone is still upright. The SE group comprises one prostrate slab (2.3m long and 1.1m broad), a standing stone now leaning slightly to the south (2.4m high and 1.05m at the base), and a third slab, half of which is covered by turf, but at least 1.9m long and 1.25m broad.
The three stones of the NW group have all fallen and are partly obscured by turf, but the largest is at least 2.8m long, 1.4m broad and 0.35m thick’

Ardnacross Cairn (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.8.13

Directions:
On the eastern side of the main A848, near Ardnacross, next to a wood.
You can park in a passing place and then over the usual metal field gate.

I followed the tree line down to where the Cairn is but I couldn’t see a thing due to the head high ferns. A non-summer visit required!

Canmore states:
‘The cairn is situated 500 SE of Ardnacross. It stands to a height of 1.3m above the surrounding field and measures about 8m in diameter. It is so overgrown that it is difficult to distinguish the edge of the cairn from the natural knoll on which it lies’.

Kilninian Cairn (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.8.13

Directions:
A short distance south east from the Kilninian Standing Stone. On the southern side of the B8073.


I viewed the Cairn from the roadside.
Easily seen as a large, grass covered, rocky mound.


Canmore states:
‘About 440m SW of Kilninian parish church is a large cairn measuring 15m in diameter and 2m in height. A series of large boulders forming the kerb can be seen intermittently around the perimeter, especially on the S side. A considerable amount of stones has been robbed from the top of the cairn and from its N half, but otherwise is relatively well preserved’.

Kilninian (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.8.13

Directions:
On the brow of a hill on the southern side of the B8073, about 1 mile west of Kilninian, near Tostary.


Stopped off to have a look for the stone on the way back from spending the afternoon at the wonderful beach at Calgary Bay.

Although there is access via a metal gate it is tough going to get to the stone.
Parking is also tricky on the narrow road.
I had to force my way through chest high ferns, bracken and thistles – all up a slope!

However, upon reaching the stone the effort seemed worthwhile.

The stone would be about 2m high if it were standing straight.
It is covered in white lichen and has a large boulder at its base.

There are great coastal views.
To top it off a double rainbow formed once the sun had come out.

Well worth a visit if you are ready to do battle with the undergrowth!

Dun Nan Geall (Broch) — Miscellaneous

Directions:
On the southern side of the B8073, at the head of Ballygown Bay.


The Broch can be easily seen from the roadside.
It is a large pudding-shaped mound of stones.
Access would be by climbing over a wooden fence.

Looks well worth a proper look. One for next time.

Fanmore (Kerbed Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.8.13

Directions:
On the northern side of the B8073, about 2 miles south of Achleck.


Despite the Cairn being right next to the road, I couldn’t see a thing due to the trees and head height bushes and ferns.
The site is completely overgrown.

Gruline (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Visited 1.8.13

We stayed the night in a lovely B+B near Mausoleum (SNT site – well worth a look) and once the children had been settled down I had the opportunity of going for a walk before it got too dark. Luckily I was only a short walk from several ‘old stone’ sites so as they say ‘jobs a good ‘un’!

I walked onto the B8035 and headed south.

Gruline standing stone is easily seen in the middle of a field from the roadside.
Access into the field is easy enough over a metal field gate. Although technically there is no public access, given the location and time of day this was never going to be an issue!

The stone is about 2m tall and has a nice backdrop of hills and even a waterfall in the distance.
A bird of prey shrieked overhead which added to the occasion.

Well worth a visit when in the area.

Gruline 2 (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Failed visit 1.8.13

Another 4 years growth since Postie visited has no doubt made this stone even more difficult to locate / access.
(Well done by the way Postie for finding it!)

I tried to visit but the trees/bushes were impenetrable and it was starting to get dark so I decided to have a look at the nearby Cairns instead whilst there was still some light left.


Canmore states:
‘This impressive standing stone is situated within thick scrub and trees on the West side of the road from Salen to Kinloch. Now leaning to the ESE, it is aligned NNE and SSW at its base, which measures 1.2m by 0.4m: the stone stands to a height of 2.45m and tapers towards a pointed top’.

Gruline Cairns (Cairn(s)) — Fieldnotes

Directions:
At the southern end of the field immediately south of the Gruline Standing Stone.


The light was starting to fade and as I crossed the field towards the Cairn I was delighted to see two deer near the Cairn. One next to its base and the other half way up its side. They were startled by my presence and ran off – wonderful!

The Cairn looks huge as you approach – about 8m high. But this is due to the natural mound it stands on and on its opposite side it is ‘only’ about 2m high.

The Cairn has trees all-around its base and is covered with tree stumps.
The top of the Cairn is capped with ferns. There are lots of stones sticking out of the surface.

On the walk back to the B+B I spotted another 5 deer in a field before they ran off into the trees. What a great way to end the day!


Canmore states:
‘A prominent knoll known as Carn Ban is surmounted by a grass-covered cairn measuring about 26m in diameter and 2.2m in height. Its original shape and size has been mutilated by robbing, clearance and fallen trees’.




The other Cairn is a little distance to the east which Canmore has named the Gruline Cairn. It is located in trees and as it was now pretty much dark I didn’t try to investigate.

Canmore states:
‘This cairn is situated 400m west of Gruline House. Measuring about 18m in diameter and 1m in height it has been severely robbed of stone and is overgrown by shrubs’.

Fernhill Farm (Round Barrow(s)) — Miscellaneous

‘Drive By’ 7.9.13

Directions:
Near the junction of the B3134 / B3371

Visible as a grass covered mound when driving along the B3134.

E.H. state:
‘A bowl barrow located on level ground 450m SW of Fernhill Farm. Visible as a mound 23m in diameter and 1.25m high. The barrow mound has been spread by past cultivation. The barrow was partly excavated by H Taylor in 1926. Finds include early to middle Bronze Age pottery and the tips of two antler picks’.

Whitestown Farm (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Visited 7.9.13

Directions:
Directly opposite Whitestown Farm, near the B3134/B3371 junction.


We parked outside the farm and it took a little while to spot the Barrow.
It is immediately behind the hedgerow running alongside the road. It was difficult to see through the hedge at this time of year. I couldn’t see any obvious access into the field. It appears the southern edge of the Barrow has been cut through by the hedge / road. It is now no more than a low grass ‘bump’.

E.H. state:
A bowl barrow located on level ground 20m NW of Whitestown Farm. It is visible as a mound 19m in diameter and 1.75m high at its highest point. The barrow has been spread by past cultivation on all but its southern side where it has been partly levelled by road construction’.

Wright's Piece (Barrow / Cairn Cemetery) — Fieldnotes

Visited 7.9.13

Directions:
Either side of the B3134, a little south of the B3371 turn off.


There is a public right of way both sides of the road running right past both sets of Barrows – via wooden stiles. There is also a handy lay by to pull into so access is very easy.

The Barrows on the northern side of the road are well defined and easy to spot as large grass covered mounds. 3 are next to each other and the 4th is the other side of the hedge.

The Barrows to the south of the road (my O/S map shows 4 Barrows) are less well defined and appear as a row of undulating grass covered mounds.
Not as impressive as the northern Barrows.

There is a further single Barrow a short distance to the south next to a building but I couldn’t spot that one.

E.H. has nothing to report.

Lodmore Farm (Round Barrow(s)) — Miscellaneous

‘Drive By’ 7.9.13

Directions:
Alongside the B3134, just north of the Priddy Circles


My O/S map shows three Barrows on the western side of the road although I could only spot 2 during our ‘drive by’ – both grass covered mounds.

E.H. has nothing to report.
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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.

My TMA Content: