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Fieldnotes by thelonious

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Showing 1-20 of 185 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20

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.

Sumburgh Head (Promontory Fort)

23/09/2014 - A coastal path leads from Jarlshof to Sumburgh Head. Site of an Iron Age fort. Nice Stevenson Lighthouse sits on the possible site of a now long gone broch. Worth a visit just for the view.

Jarlshof (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

23/09/2014 - After a lovely morning on St Ninian's Isle we made our way south to Jarlshof. I hadn't been that excited about it beforehand but within a few minutes of being there Jarlshof soon worked a little magic on us. The site has so much history it's hard to get your head round whilst there. The timeline is amazing of all the buildings for such a relatively small site. The audio guide is great and very helpful. Being allowed to enter the buildings and walk round was a big bonus. If anything on Shetland is a must visit, for me this is it. I was so excited by the end I flipped into proper tourist mode and bought a Jarlshof tea towel in the gift shop on the way out.

Beorgs of Housetter Cairn (Chambered Cairn)

22/09/2014 - After visiting Trowie Knowe Chambered Cairn and Beorgs of Housetter Standing Stones we decided to have a go at finding this chambered cairn. Not the easiest site to get to. Grid ref on Canmore (HU 3603 8544) is pretty spot on. The cairn is situated near the top of a rocky slope, on about the 100m contour line (70 meters above the cairn and stones below). Stick to the grassy bits as you climb, left of the cairn as you look up and it's not too bad. This small heel shaped cairn is lovely. Made up of pink granite with a great facade and chamber. We sat by the cairn for ages just gazing out at the grand view. Worth the effort and one of the highlights of our trip.

Burraland Broch

21/09/2014 - Still a little excited by the boat trip to Mousa we decided to have a walk along the coast SE from Sandsayre pier to Burraland broch. Easy walking along a track for about one and a half miles. The views out to sea and of course Mousa are very good. Nice walk if you like sea birds. Diving gannets and nosey bonxies seem to fill the air above the Mousa Sound. The broch has a great position at the end of a little headland. Still a decent amount of wall left but a lot of stone has collapsed into the middle. A nice walk to a nice broch, there are worse ways to spend a couple of hours.

Mousa Broch

21/09/2014 - Sunday afternoon boat trip to Mousa. The boat left Sandsayre pier (small visitor centre and toilets) for the short and luckily calm crossing to Mousa. You get about two and a half hours on the island which is plenty as there is a nice signposted walk of about one hour, leaving plenty of time to explore the broch. We walked clockwise so got to the broch towards the end of the loop. I liked this as I had a better idea of the time left before the boat back to the Mainland. After seeing so many brochs in ruined states, seeing Mousa broch up close in all it's glory is quite something. A bit like a ancient cooling tower to be honest from the back. Looking up from inside and climbing the steps to the top was great. I liked the stones used, a million different colours and shades.

Knowe of Wilga (Chambered Cairn)

21/09/2014 - Waiting for the afternoon boat to Mousa we had a few hours spare so a quick look on the OS map showed this chambered cairn which looked promising as it was close by and even if there was not much there the view out to sea should be good. Parking in the layby at the turn off from the main road to Sandwick, we took the track heading up the hill, south of the cairn. Once enough height was gained we had a short stroll over to the cairn. It's worth approaching the site from the slopes above via the White Stane (large quartz boulder) as the first view we got of the chambered cairn with the sea behind was breathtaking. It sits on top of a small knoll, looking out east to a vast sea and sky. The cairn is in a ruined state but still plenty of stones to look at where the chamber is. On the south side there looks to be a curved path/wall leading up to the cairn on top. Very interesting place and the views to Mousa and along the coast of Mainland Shetland are fantastic. Top site.

Islesburgh (Chambered Cairn)

22/09/2014 - When I saw Ravenfeather's photos and read the fieldnotes a few months back, I knew if I got a chance to go to Shetland this was one of the sites I would love to visit. This small and perfect heel shaped chambered chain is just lovely. As good as I had hoped and should be a must visit for anyone going to Shetland. I wish the sun had shone but it was still great just to be there. Top site and a very happy thelonious that day.

Stanydale Temple (Stone Circle)

24/09/2014 - Visited after Scord of Brouster at the end of a long day out. The sun had done a runner and I was tired, so was not much in the mood to look around. The Neolithic house soon cheered me up a little, great bonus on the way to Stanydale Temple. I liked the windbreak on the front of the house. Then just a short walk on to Stanydale Temple. The building is impressive. I think I liked the outside walls more then inside the 'temple'. The concave facade is fantastic and reminded me of a few of the chambered cairns I have seen this week. Great site with lots to see. I need to go back when it's sunny and I'm more awake.

Scord of Brouster (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

24/09/2014 - I agree with Carl, this site is well worth a visit. Looking down from the info board the site doesn't look much but strolling around the Neolithic farm I felt a nice vibe. Very interesting houses surrounded by walled fields. The location is fantastic as well.

Sandness Hill (Cairn(s))

24/09/2014 - Hill can be climbed from a few directions. We started from Huxter, following the coastal path west, past the Loch of Huxter Broch and then climbing the hill to the cairn via Ramna Vord. Access is good with stiles where needed to cross fences and walls. The cairn on the summit of Sandness Hill is nice. Low with a good sized footprint. The view from the top is excellent. The other tops SW of the summit have a few cairns on them that could be a fair age as well. Good cairn and a good walk.

Loch of Huxter (Broch)

24/09/2014 - From the parking area at Huxter follow the signs to the watermills. These norse watermills are well worth a visit. From here it's only a short distance to the broch. The broch is not in great condition and has been adapted into a sheep fold at some point in the past. Its location is lovely though, next to Loch of Huxter and great views out to sea. Couple of Whooper swans on there loch whilst we were there which was nice to see.

Ronas Hill (Chambered Cairn)

22/09/2014 - The summit of Ronas Hill, the highest point on Shetland, is home to a quite fantastic chambered cairn. Starting from Collafirth Hill, the walk to the summit of Ronas Hill takes about an hour not including the stops to look at the amazing view all round. It was misty this morning on the hill but the early morning sun shone through now and then. The hill is covered in the most brilliant pink granite boulders. The chambered cairn at the summit is made from these boulders and the pink colour of the cairn is striking in the sunlight. Still in good condition with its passage and chamber intact. It's a hands and knees job to get down the short passage but the chamber is a nice size. The sun lit up the passage from the SE for a time whilst we were there. This one is a must visit. The walk alone is great on the hill but the cairn and its location in the landscape is incredible.

Hill of Cruester, Bressay (Standing Stone / Menhir)

20/09/2014 - A really fine standing stone. Visible from all around, it stands in peaceful loneliness on a small rise. I was very taken with it.

Jeffries Corse (Cairn(s))

09/08/2014 - Just a short walk from Dundreich cairn, Jeffries Corse cairn is said to have been large at one time but the grassed covered cairn is now about 4ft in height. Not much to see but the view is very good from it.

Dundreich (Cairn(s))

09/08/2014 - A visit to Blackhope Scar combined with the two cairns of Dundreich and Jeffries Corse make for a fine walk in this area. We parked north at Gladhouse Reservoir and headed along the track beside River South Esk. Up the track at The Kipps and followed fence line to Blackhope Scar. Then using the wind turbine tracks on Bowbeat Hill we made our way to the cairn on Dundreich. The cairn is grassed over and only a couple of feet high now. Worth going just for the view across to the Pentland Hills. A lovely location for a cairn. Worth mentioning is Northshield Rings to the west. I didn't visit them but from the hill they did look pretty impressive.

Camp Hill (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork)

08/08/2014 - We approached this settlement/fort from Scald Law to the north. Easy access and nice view of the site from the hill. Oval fort with ring-ditch houses inside. Nice site. Canmore (link below) has more details and some nice ariel photos.

Black Meldon Fort (Hillfort)

11/08/2014 - I visited White Meldon a few years back and had been wanting to get back to have a look at Black Meldon fort since. Started from the road that runs between the Meldons. Short but steepish climb to the top. Nice stones of the wall remain and a cairn (old?) on top. Well worth a visit. Weather today was pretty wild on top with the wind and rain.

Cnoc Odhar (Chambered Cairn)

11/07/2014 - Sometimes places just get you when you visit. This was one of those for me. The stones that remain from those that made up the chamber are just great. The location of the cairn, overlooking Loch Fleet and the coastline is fantastic. The sun and the big blue sky made the whole place look and feel brilliant. We came from the cairn to the NW but it can be accessed from the road SE, tricky parking though. Well worth a visit.

Creag An Amalaidh (Long Cairn)

11/07/2014 - We had a few days off work and the call to go North was too strong to resist, especially after looking at Gladman's recent trip photos. We have stopped many times for a cup of coffee and a leg stretch at The Mound, the crossing over River Fleet as in runs into Loch Fleet, on our way up North. It's such a fine location with good parking, picnic tables and great views. Brilliant place to watch osprey fishing, if you are lucky, in the summer months. I've been wanting for a while to climb the little hill, Creag An Amalaidh, here but we have never had had enough time before. We were staying close by for a few days so decided to finally get round to having a walk here. Added bonus was the hill also had a cairn to the SW and a chambered cairn within walking distance to the SE.

We chose to climb up from the east, just next to Cambusmore Lodge. A little steep in parts but not bad going to the summit, keeping the crags to our left as we climbed. The summit is topped by the Princess Cairn. Canmore list this as CAIRN, FORT (POSSIBLE). The cairn looked quite small and not mega old to my untrained eyes. Also I couldn't make out any details of a fort. Just a lot of what looked like old peat cuttings. View from the top is well worth going for though.

Heading SW downhill, we made our way to Creag An Amalaidh cairn. The cairn when first viewed from above looks fantastic in the landscape. Getting ever bigger as we approached from above it. 70ft in length, the cairn is pretty big with good sized stones. Quite disturbed but still has a good shape. I really liked this one a lot. Great way to start off our little trip. After having a nosey about for a while we made our way SE to Cnoc Odhar chambered cairn.
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