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

Fieldnotes by thelonious

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Showing 1-20 of 204 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20

Cnoc Na Maranaich (Chambered Cairn)

13/05/2015 - Nice chambered cairn on top of Cnoc Na Maranaich with nearby standing stone and cairn. The walk from Dunbeath is a good one. Passing a couple of brochs as we walked up Dunbeath Water then onto the chambered cairns of Carn Liath and Loedebest. Finally a short pull uphill to Cnoc Na Maranaich. Makes for a good day trip and the view from the top is great.

Carn Liath (Chambered Cairn)

13/05/2015 - The area round here is full of cairns, brochs, settlements etc. It was hard to pick which way to go. This chambered cairn was my favourite of the ones we visited on our walk. Canmore describe it as 'Orkney-Cromarty, long, horned, with Camster-type chamber'. Well worth a visit combined with a few of the other sites nearby. Easy access from Dunbeath.

Balantrath (Broch)

13/05/2015 - Just a short walk upriver from Dunbeath broch are the remains of Balantrath broch. The walk along the bank of Dunbeath Water between the two is lovely. This broch is pretty overgrown but the location is good.

Langwell (Chambered Cairn)

12/05/2015 - Nice chambered cairn on the south side of Langwell Water. A lot of the stones have been removed but enough of the stones that make up the chambers remain to still get a good idea of what it was like. Well worth a visit, I liked my time there (only slightly spoiled by the caterpillar tracks right through the middle of cairn)

Dirlot (Stone Row / Alignment)

11/05/2015 - On the way back from Backlass stone circle we had a look at these stone rows at Dirlot. Parking in a nearby passing place, it's a short walk to the site. The stones are small and quite hidden in the heather. It was fun walking the side of the hill trying to find the rows. Canmore state 'possibly twenty rows', we didn't find that many but there are a good few visible. Two small cairns are situated on the knoll just above the rows. Worth a look.

Backlass (Stone Circle)

11/05/2015 - A visit to Backlass stone circle makes for a lovely walk in the wide, open landscape of Caithness. We took the good single track road (plenty of passing places) from the A9 at Mybster to a parking area about 1 km west of Strathmore Lodge. From there it's about a 7 mile round trip to Backlass, nice flatish walk, track all the way. I love this area and the walk alone is worth going for. A real feeling of loneliness in a big landscape where everything looks so far away. The stone circle is in the long deserted township of Backlass. Five stones remain but a few more potentials are in the surrounding stone walls. The weather was good and we sat for a while by the circle and had our sandwiches. It was hard to leave and make the slow walk back to the real world. Great site and day.

Craig Halligarry (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

10/05/2015 - Afternoon walk up Beinn Dubhain from Baile an Or. We took a slight detour on the way down to visit this stone. Well worth the effort. Great cup and ring marks and a lovely view from it.

Carn Laggie (Long Cairn)

10/05/2015 - If you fancy a trip along Strath of Kildonan to visit the many fantastic sites there, this one is a good way to start your day off. Easy access across the golf course just outside Helmsdale. It's a nice location and a decent long cairn.

Shieldon (Stone Circle)

05/04/2015 – After our trip down to Avebury last week, me and my feet were still not talking to each other but the sun was too nice to stay in. Sheldon stone circle is one I’ve not been to before. I’d been saving it and today felt and looked a perfect day to visit. With a lovely blue sky and warmth in the air, we made the short trip to the circle. Sometimes I get a little sad at sites when I think about the stones that have been lost and the neglected and forgotten state the circles are in, not today. Looking from the circle there are farmlands and fields as far as the eye can see, I just felt lucky that what is left is still just so wonderful. Like a little stone oasis. Maybe it was the weather or just how I felt today but the circle has a very calm and sleepy feel to it. We sat for awhile looking and not looking, from the stones to the landscape beyond. Bennachie, as ever, wonderful in the distance. When folk ask why I go to stone circles I never really know what to say. Days like today give me the answer, I now just have to find a way to put that into words. A wonderful circle and visit.

The Wrekin (Hillfort)

28/03/2015 - It must be 20 years since I was on The Wrekin. I remember it being a tough climb up and 20 years on it still felt a steep climb. I was glad to get to the top for a sit even if the wind was pretty chilly. Maybe not the best hillfort in the world but the walk through Hell Gate and Heaven Gate is good. The view from the top is fantastic. Last site we visited on our trip and as I walked back down my feet were telling me it was time to go home.

Earl's Hill and Pontesford Hill (Hillfort)

28/03/2015 - Now this is my sort of hillfort. Same way up as postman. Great way to spend an afternoon. Nice fort near the start, lovely but steep walk over Pontesford Hill then onto the open ground of Earl's Hill. Great fort, like a mini Caer Caradoc which it has a lovely view towards. Bit overcast whilst we were there but the sun did pop out now and again.

Nesscliffe Hill Camp (Hillfort)

28/03/2015 - After a visit to Old Oswestry, we were making good time so we played our hillfort bonus card and went for a quick nosey at Nesscliffe Hill Camp. I liked this one. Little bit of up, nice trees to walk through, good ramparts and a fine view. Worth a visit if you are passing.

Old Oswestry (Hillfort)

28/03/2015 - Rain started to clear as we arrived and there was a lovely rainbow over the ramparts to greet us as we walked through the west entrance and up to the top of the fort. Old Oswestry is one big place. If ramparts are your thing this is the place for you. Nice circuit of the top (clockwise), stopping occasionally to shake my head at the sheer number and size of the ramparts. It's a must see site but I've got to admit not one of my favourites.

British Camp (Hillfort)

27/03/2015 – I drove down to Cornwall a few years back and remember looking across from the M5 and thinking the Malvern Hills looked a great place to visit. Finally made the trip on our little grand tour last week.

British Camp is such a famous site, it was great to get a chance to walk the ramparts. Luckily the weather was good and the views from the hill are very good. The hillfort is amazing, one of my favourites, I think. Would love to have spent more time there but Worcestershire Beacon and St Ann’s Well Cafe were calling. Time ain't my friend sometimes.

Norton Camp (Shropshire) (Hillfort)

25/03/2015 - Starting from Craven Arms train station we did the Three Woods Walk (in reverse and with a quick bob up View Edge) to visit Norton Camp. Link to the route below. If you have the time, it's a great way to visit the hillfort and take in the surrounding area including both hills mentioned in Rhiannon's folklore post. A story about giants always makes a visit better in my eyes.

Norton Camp is well worth a visit. One side looks over the ramparts, down a very steep 100 meters or so drop down to the valley below. A great natural defence. The rest of the hillfort is protected by a double rampart and ditch and they are massive. Must have been some place back in its day. You can walk round the outside of the ramparts (did I mention they were massive?) but the interior is a private field. The hill top is covered in trees and that makes for a lovely walk through. Best of all is that the stones and rocks used to build the ramparts of Norton Camp Iron Age hillfort contain shell fossils everywhere. What was once at the bottom of the sea, ends up in a fort rampart on top of a hill millions of years later, I like that.

Caer Caradoc (Hillfort)

24/03/2015 - Starting from Church Stretton, we took the lanes then fields north east to the start of the steep climb up Caer Caradoc Hill. Took the route straight up via Three Fingers Rock with its impressive view down to the village and beyond. The ramparts cover a fair amount of the top of the hill, with each step along them offering even better views. We had lovely weather at the start and after a brew at the top made our way to have a nosey at The Lawley. Looping back over Hope Bowdler Hill, after the sunny weather up Caer Caradoc, it started to snow. I love the ever changing weather. This really is a fine hill and fort, well worth going to. Top site.

The Sanctuary (Timber Circle)

22/03/2015 – Don’t really want to write individual fieldnotes for the various sites we visited today as other people have already written such lovely things about the places round here. I thought I’d just write about the place that in a way surprised me the most. Looking beforehand at the photos, I wasn’t expecting too much. In isolation, it just looked like a few concrete blocks in a field but can any site round here really be taken in isolation?

We started our walk at Silbury Hill and then onto Swallowhead Springs, West Kennett Long Barrow, River Kennet, The Sanctuary then back along West Kennett Avenue to Avebury stone circle and finishing at Adam and Eve. As megalithic walks go, I think this is the best I’ve ever done (just don’t tell them stones up at Stenness I said that).

My head was a little dizzy with happiness by the time we reached The Sanctuary. After a quick walk round the site, we just plonked ourselves down on the grass for a drink and a sandwich. From where we were sitting, the view over the post marks to the wider landscape beyond was lovely. The weather was nice with the early Spring sun having a little warmth in it now. It was a fine place to stop and rest and take in all we had seen in the morning before heading back to Avebury.

Windmill Hill (Causewayed Enclosure)

21/03/2015 – Early morning start from Aberdeen. After travelling by taxi, plane, coach, bus and Shanks's pony we made it to Windmill Hill. We had decided to make the trip south to see Avebury a few months back and the excitement of finally being here was a little overwhelming. After reading the many fieldnotes on TMA about the various sites around Avebury I knew I wanted to see the landscape for the first time by walking over Windmill Hill. We got off the 49 (great bus) at Winterbourne and made our way west then south to make the short climb to the top of Windmill Hill. The top has a lot of interest but my eyes went straight to Silbury Hill . Familiar from photos, but seeing it for the first time was something quite special. We stood for ages just trying to take it all in. Just such a lovely landscape and the weather was kind to us. Finally we made our way round the top looking at the enclosure and many barrows. What a great site, location and view! Heading south we made our way down to enter Avebury stone circle for our first time. A wonderful day.

Corstorphine Hill (Cup Marked Stone)

21/02/2015 - Nice walk from Haymarket station on Saturday to Corstorphine Hill. We took the track off Corstorphine Road just east of the Zoo. Not every day you pass a field of Zebras on the way to look at some cup marked rocks. It's a fine hill.

Clickimin Broch

27/09/2014 - Last site we visited on a brilliant week in Shetland. Interesting site in the middle of Lerwick. Couldn't find the carved footprints mentioned on the info board. If you visit, it's also worth popping into the Shetland museum nearby - lovely place, full of old stuff nicely presented.
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