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 151 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20

Hill Of Old Merdrum (Cup Marked Stone)

12/04/2014 - About 300m NE of the cupmarked outcrop, this boulder is clear of the trees and has a nice view all round. Good number of cupmarks. I liked this one.

Hill of Old Merdrum (Cup Marked Stone)

12/04/2014 - Nice rock outcrop with at least fourteen cupmarks on upper surface according to Canmore. We made out about seven in the gloom. It's a nice rock but what an effort to find it. Hidden right in the middle of a wood. Hard work and would be tricky without a GPS.

Mortlich (Hillfort)

05/04/2014 - Fort situated on summit of Mortlich hill overlooking Deeside. I couldn't make out any features of the fort as the heather is quite deep on the top. Still it's a nice walk with easy access from Aboyne Loch.

Wester Echt (Stone Circle)

14/03/2014 - Hadn't really planned to visit here today but we were close by and the sun was trying to break through the clouds so I thought we would say hello to the stones. Parked opposite the track to Old Wester Echt. We walked north and then down the track to New Wester Echt. The circle is in the field south of the farm. Three stones remain of what was probably an impressive circle when complete. They are all pretty tall and quite different to each other which I liked. Good view north to Bennachie and south over the long gone recumbent. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Braehead (Stone Circle)

13/03/2014 - Parked next to the church in Leslie and walked up the road to just past Braehead farm. Easy access to the field and a short climb uphill to the circle. Just the recumbent left but what a stone. I loved the grooves around it. Great view and location. Well worth a visit.

Corrie (Cairn(s))

13/03/2014 - The last few days have been sunny whilst I was stuck in work. I've got a couple of days off now and of course the clouds have moved in, often seems to be the way. Still at least the rain held off. There is a tea room (Old Post Office) at Chapel of Garioch we have been meaning to visit so I thought we better have a walk first to justify the cake eating.

We parked opposite the church in Tullynessle, south of Corrie Cairn. Walked north up the road to just past the houses at Roadside and then climbed up the field to the circle. No access problems.

First time here and I was really taken with it. Just the recumbent and one other stone left but the footprint of the cairn is good. Location wise, it is fantastic. Nice little cup marks on top of the recumbent as well. The place must have been quite a sight to see when the circle was complete. I think this is one of my favourite RSC sites I have been to, just for it's place in the landscape.

Back to the car the same way then on to the tea room via Braehead stone circle for my cake, yum :)

Millstone Hill East (Cairn(s))

31/12/2013 - Last day of the year and I fancied a bit of a mad adventure to end on so I turned again to the fieldnotes of drewbhoy for inspiration and picked this cairn to try and find. It turned out as tricky as it looked. Starting from the same place as Drew,we headed north first, then looped west to climb Millstone Hill and back east through the woods to find the cairn. Trees are well spaced, so no problem there but under foot it's pretty hard going. Got there in the end. Cairn is very overgrown and not that exciting. The stone with Ogham inscription is worth the trip on it's own though. I really liked it. Back to the car via the ring cairn, which was again hard work and a bit tricky to find. Nice way to finish the year and made it back before the rain started, which is always a good thing.

Corrybeg (Stone Circle)

29/12/2013 – I read about this possible stone circle in a recently published book, “Minerals and Ancient Monuments in Royal Deeside” by Ian Cameron. It’s a good area for a walk so I thought I’d go have a look for it. Situated quite high on the hill, so it’s a bit of a pull up but no problems access wise. The possible circle comprises of two large boulders and a small stone. I don’t know what to make of the site really. It’s a great location for a circle and the vibe standing in the middle was good. I would be interested in other people’s thoughts if they visit (Drew, Les etc?). The smaller stone is said to have possible cupmarks but I had no luck in seeing anything.

Worth mentioning the author, Ian Cameron, who writes about this circle and its link to the hill Lochnagar, SW of the circle. In a section about Corrybeg, he writes that from the circle, the sun is seen to set in the middle ridge of Lochnagar on the shortest day of the year. Lochnagar acting as a distant recumbent setting and so the various recumbent stone circles in the north east of Scotland are all recreating the skyline of Lochnagar! Make of that what you will. It’s a lovely little book and reads well.

Corrybeg cairn can be found a further 100m up the hill

Corrybeg (Cairn(s))

29/12/2013 – Fine weather today so we headed inland to have a look for this cairn at Corrybeg. It’s on the OS 1st edition map but not the modern OS and Aberdeenshire SMR listed it as destroyed, so I didn’t expect much. Good access via uphill track from Abergairn. Upon getting to the spot we were pleased to find the cairn still there. Situated near the 430m contour on the hill, on a slight rise, in a lightly wooded area, the cairn is very overgrown with heather. Quite a good footprint but not very high. Near the centre there appears to be the remains of a possible cist. The whole cairn is surrounded by some really decent kerb stones. The area and view is quite outstanding round here. A great day out.

Mulloch Cairn (Cairn(s))

17/11/2013 – Mulloch, I said I’d never go back yet here I was standing next to the cairn again. It’s a great cairn but the view from it is even better. Morven just looks fantastic and glazing over Loch Kinord to the far hills is wonderful. Well worth the effort and it is an effort! One word – broom. It’s everywhere. We came from the SW last time but today was from the NE. There is a vague path if you can find it. We left the top to head SW down the hill. I was really pleased to see a lot of the broom had been burnt back on this side of the hill. Only problem now is that it had given a chance for the gorse to grow. A painful descent but some things are worth a little pain and this cairn is one of them.

Mulloch (Kerbed Cairn)

17/11/2013 - Not the most exciting cairn and very tricky to find in the undergrowth. But saying that, there’s a few good walks to be had around here. We started at the picnic spot on the A93 next to the airfield. A lovely loop over Criag Ferrar to Blue Cairn then up over Craig Dhu to Scar Hill, dropping down directly west to the Scar Hill cairn and then south west to this kerb cairn. We continued on past Mulloch cairn to the track west that leads to St James. A path on the old Deeside railway line took us back to the start. About 7 miles in total, 5 miles of which is just ambling through open woodland with no real track to follow. We visited 5 cairns, a couple of hill tops and a trigpoint - my sort of day out (a coffee shop at the end would have made it perfect!). The kerb cairn is quite hidden in the trees and broom. The grid ref (NJ 4723 0082) takes you to within about 20 meters but it still took a while to find. Some nice kerb stones can be seen. The centre is dug out where the cist used to be. Worth going just for the walk.

Blue Cairn (Balnagowan) (Long Cairn)

17/11/2013 - I've been saving this one for the right day. Sunday felt good when I woke up. Cold and clear skies. Parked at the picnic spot by the Deeside Gliding Club by the A93. We headed north over Craig Ferrar to Blue Cairn. Bit hard work to the trig but the walk after that to the cairn is very nice in open woodland. A couple of fences to cross but nothing too much to worry about. Once at Balnagowan Wood cairn, my eye caught sight of Blue Cairn through the trees for the first time. A giant sleeping stone dragon. We approached quietly so not to wake it. The size is quite something with a lovely colour to the stones. Amazing atmosphere to the place. Quiet and peaceful. Special site in one of my favourite areas of Aberdeenshire.

Frendraught (Stone Circle)

10/11/2013 - We took the alternative path as suggested in Les's fieldnotes (thanks). Starting from Forgue, it's a nice mile or so walk through a wood to the circle. The trees look so lovely at this time of year and we even had some sunshine. The circle is not too hard to find just off the path. The recumbent looked quite sad with bits of it lying all around. It must have been quite fantastic in its day though. Flankers and a couple of other stones are still there, if a little hidden in the undergrowth. I liked this circle. Not a must see but a fine way to spend a morning.

Hill of Barra (Hillfort)

27/10/2013 - Standing on top of Hill of Barra, looking out over the impressive ramparts to Bennachie and its own hillfort on Mither Tap, I gave myself a telling off for not coming here sooner. Really nice walls surrounding large summit area. The views all round are fantastic. The view down the corridor between Bennachie and Hill of Foudland to Dunnideer and Tap O' Noth being particularly good. Started from Oldmeldrum and walked over Hill of Barra to Kirkton of Bourtie stone circle and back. Signposts all the way. Great stuff.

Inschfield (Stone Circle)

06/10/2013 - Not been to this one before, though viewed it from afar many times. We made a bit of a hash of getting to it. Starting from the car park for Dunnideer hillfort there is a circular walk of about 3 miles which goes near the circle so I thought it would be good to include with visits also to the circles of Stonehead and Dunnideer and finishing back at the fort. The walk is signposted and starts a little down the road towards Insch. The path does go quite near the circle but two wire fences and a ditch have to be crossed so it's not ideal. Best really just to visit from the road east of the circle. Still it was a fine walk.

I really liked my visit to this circle, more really for its setting in the landscape than the actual stones. Just a broken recumbent, flanker and one other stone left. Great view all round to the usual suspects - Bennachie, Dunnideer etc. Worth a visit.

Ben Newe (Sacred Well)

13/07/2013 - It's been a while since our last time on Ben Newe. A lovely hill in the heart of Strathdon. Always very quiet. I guess not many folk apart from locals would have heard of it. Small carparks on east and west sides of hill, we started from the east. Good paths through trees lead to the top, very nice at this time of year. Worth the climb just for the view up Glen Buchat.

The well is found on the north side of the summit tor. A few coins could be just made out through the murky water.

Go on a warm summer day with a book or just your thoughts. It's a place that should not be rushed.

Ward Hill (Round Barrow(s))

20/06/2013 - After visiting Skara Brae and Maeshowe we were in the need for a leg stretch. The walk up Ward Hill is a pretty gentle 3 hour walk there and back. A nice way to send an afternoon above the stones and chambered cairns below.

There's parking at the 113 spot on the OS map, on the minor road west of Orphir. A track heads over Gruf Hill to Ward Hill. It gets a little vague in places but not too bad. A couple of fences to cross but these are not a problem. The last bit of climb is steepish but short.

Very good views from the tumulus on the top of Ward Hill.

It's worth walking the short distance north to Mid Hill (true top of Mainland Orkney, a few maps give it as Ward Hill). The view down to the land containing the great monuments of Stenness is fantastic. We did this walk towards the end of our week's holiday and it was great to have a near aerial view of the sites below and their place in the landscape

The Dwarfie Stane (Chambered Tomb)

19/06/2013 - I don't know what I can add to the brilliant fieldnotes on here already but I feel I have to write something. This has to be one of the best sites I have ever been to in my life. The effort to get here is worth it, felt a bit like our own little pilgrimage.

We took the early ferry from Stromness to Moaness on Hoy. It was a beautiful morning as we walked the 3 miles or so along quiet roads to the Dwarfie Stane. The setting is lovely for the stone and we stood for awhile, just gazing at it and the surrounding landscape before entering. The feeling of calm inside is hard to describe. We sat and said little to each other. Time passed and we moved on.

Goes without saying, a must visit.

We looped back over Ward Hill with its incredible view over Orkney, back to the ferry.

A special day in my life.

Knitchen Hill (Cairn(s))

17/06/2013 - We decided to leave the car at Tingwall and just go over to Rousay as foot passengers. This meant that some of the further away sites where out of reach but there were still lots to see and do within walking distance of the ferry terminal.

After leaving the ferry we made our way to Cubbie Roo’s Burden Chambered Cairn then retraced our steps 100m west along the road to a path (RSPB sign) that gives access to the hill. A stroll uphill soon found us at Knitchen Hill cairn. Not the most exciting of cairns but the view is good from it. From there we walked over Blotchnie Fiold to pick up a track at High Brae of Camps. Folllowing this south down hill brought us to Knowe of Yarso Chambered Cairn (loved this one). Back to the road we walked east to Blackhammer cairn (it's OK) and then Taversoe Tuick Chambered Tomb (another brilliant one). Back to the jetty with plenty of time before the ferry was due.

A lovely day trip. Easy walking, nice views and five great cairns.

Wideford Hill (Chambered Cairn)

16/06/2013 - Standing in front of Wideford cairn I could not believe just how wonderful and beautiful it is. Something built by humans to be so completely in tune with the surrounding landscape. We had walked over from Fairy Knowe, across the tops of Keelylang Hill, Burrey Brae and Wideford Hill itself. The cairn getting slowly ever closer on a lovely warm day. After spending some time exploring inside, we sat down on the grass outside the cairn, just gazing out over the Bay of Firth. Life doesn't get much better than this.
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