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 224 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20

Links Of Dunnet (Broch)

26/09/2015 - Good access from Dunnet Forest car park. Only a short walk across a field to this one. Down as a mound on the maps but excavation has found it to be a broch. Not much to see, just a small grassy mound with the odd stone. Just north of the broch is a hut circle I really liked. A few remaining stones make up a nice little cell within the hut circle, maybe a place to sleep.

Links of Greenland (Cairn(s))

26/09/2015 - Two cairns marked on the OS map just next to the main road and to be honest, not the most exciting. Both small grassy lumps in an area of larger grassy lumps and bumps. Be good to know if they are definite cairns.

Easter Head (Cairn(s))

27/09/2015 – Felt a bit fed up midweek, so as we had the next Monday off, we decided to revisit Dunnet Head for the weekend. I’d been before but after seeing thesweetcheat’s photo on here a few years back I couldn't remember if I’d actually been to the top. Still it’s a fine place and well worth another trip, so off we went.

We took the train up. It’s a nice journey and my neck was aching a little by the time we reached Thurso from looking out for all the old stuff we could see from the window. I gave a little nod to Citizen Cairn'd as we went through Strath of Kildonan. Even saw a few of its cairns as we went by.

Started the walk from Dunnet the next day. A lovely circuit up the road to the Lighthouse then looped back west along the clifftops to Dunnet. About 12 miles and a really fine walk.

The cairn, at the high point of Dunnet Head, has been built over by a viewing area, so it’s not in great shape but the location is amazing. We were lucky with the weather and the view over to Orkney was great. Hoy looking so near. My GPS told me as I sat by the cairn that Ring of Brodgar was only 38km away in a straight line, not that you can see it from here but it felt close.

A fine visit and well worth going to if you are in the area.

We took the train home the following day. It always seems longer on the way back.

Binsey (Cairn(s))

17/09/2015 - Binsey is one of the last humps and bumps of the Lake District going north. Good parking and access from the west, track all the way to the summit. Cairn on top is pretty trashed but must have been a good one when first built. The walk up is fine and not too steep. The view from the top is very good and probably the better reason to go then the cairn. Nice view of the north side of Skiddaw and looking north Dumfries and Galloway looks almost touchable.

Castlerigg (Stone Circle)

14/09/2015 - I don't think I've been as excited for ages as I was when walking to this circle. Having seen so many lovely photos on TMA of Castlerigg before I went, I couldn't wait to see it for myself. A nice walk from Keswick along good footpaths set the scene before getting there. I know I shouldn't have been, but I was still surprised to see it was as lovely in real life as on the screen. A wonderful circle of stones, with a near unparalleled backdrop of hills. The setting is just perfect. Yes, it's busy with people, but they come and they go and we did manage to get the circle to ourselves for a few precious minutes. A megalithic must visit.

Long Meg & Her Daughters (Stone Circle)

12/09/2015 - Not much to add to everyone else's fieldnotes apart from to say I've been here and you know, I thought it was just great. Weather was a bit dull and rainy on the way there but luckily it stopped just as we arrived. I don’t know why but I wasn't that excited about this one beforehand. Really went because it is so well known and I liked the name. A few people there when we arrived but we soon had the circle to ourselves. The longer I spent just dawdling around the stones, the more the place grew on me. Long Meg is a lovely big stone and some of the stones that make up this massive circle are just great. There is one big dobby stone on the west side near to where we parked that I really liked. All in all, a great visit and a fantastic circle.

Arbory Hill (Hillfort)

11/09/2015 - Started from the car park in Abington. A fine walk up the old roman road to visit Castle Hill then onto Tewsgill Hill before making our way across to visit the fort on Arbory Hill. A great place for a walk. As others have mentioned the straight up the hill approach is a steep one, it was tough enough on the knees on the way down. It does give you a good idea of how good a location the fort has. I wouldn't have wanted to have been part of any attacking group from this side. The fort is a good one, great walls, but for me the location is what makes this one special. Well worth a visit.

Ballynoe (Stone Circle)

04/08/2015 – Seeing the photos on TMA of this circle a few months back left such an impression on me. I knew that given the first chance I would try to make my way here to see the stones for myself. If you have access to a car getting there is no problem but it’s not too bad by bus either. There is a bus that runs to Ballynoe but it’s not that frequent. We instead took the 17A bus from Newcastle to Downpatrick. We got off at Ballydugan crossroads on the A25. A couple of miles walk on quietish country roads and we made it to the signposted path to Ballynoe stone circle. The overgrown path off the road to the circle is really lovely and at this time of year it felt like walking through a gateway to another realm. After a few minutes we reached the circle. To folk that have already been I’m sure it will come as no surprise to read that I found Ballynoe stone circle to be as wonderful as I had hoped. A fantastic circle of stones surrounding a cairn with its own kerb. Some lovely outliers as well. Lots to look at and a great location. We sat just outside the circle to have our sandwiches. Just looking across to the stones and the landscape beyond. A perfect few hours spent doing not much of nothing.

Slieve Commedagh (Cairn(s))

03/08/2015 – After visiting the cairns on Slieve Donard it was nice to walk the quiet ground on Slieve Commedagh. Just us and the hill. A small cairn is situated on the summit. Not much to look at maybe but the location and vibe/feeling was just wonderful. Lovely views all round. My sort of place.

Slieve Donard Lesser Cairn (Cairn(s))

03/08/2015 – Really liked this cairn. Good size and the view of the landscape far below is fantastic. Much quieter than the summit of Slieve Donard just a short distance south. Top site.

Summit of Slieve Donard (Cairn(s))

03/08/2015 - We had a few days holiday spare so decided to make the trip to Ireland to visit Slieve Donard. A big hill with a couple of cairns on top sounded good to me. I'd had my eye on this trip since looking across at the Mournes from the Isle of Man a few years back. Good to finally make it.

Starting from Newcastle (great place to stay, ice cream and chippy heaven) it’s a pretty straight forward climb through a lovely wood and then alongside Glen River up to the Mourne Wall. From there the path steepens to the top of Slieve Donard. I’m a bit under the weather at the moment but even on a good day I think I would have found the climb hard going. The last 200 metres gain was tough and I was glad to reach the top. Great Cairn on the summit is quite a size and the view was amazing when the cloud lifted for a brief time. Better still to walk the short distance north to Lesser cairn, great place for a sit and quieter than the top

Fincastle Farm (Standing Stones)

26/06/2015 - I wasn't that keen on this one. I think my mood was a little low from the rain so I didn't give it a fair chance. The location felt a bit odd, not farmland and not really hillside. Heading back over the rise to Strathgarry there was some nice limestone to look at which cheered me up a little.

Dundavie (Cairn(s))

26/06/2015 - Cairn marked on OS map. Not much to see. Small cist just showing through the heather. If you want to get someone interested in prehistory I'd maybe pick elsewhere for their first site :-)

Strathgarry (Stone Circle)

26/06/2015 - Parking area at Balrobbie Farm. Good access onto the hillside (steepish path). We then headed west past Ardtulichan, some lovely cup marked rocks round here. The path marked on the OS map takes you pretty close to the 4 poster. Nice site with great views. Weather by this point was rubbish so we thought we can't get any wetter so decided to walk on over the rise to have a look at the standing stones on the other side. A soggy but fun(ish) walk.

Ardtulichan (Cup Marked Stone)

26/06/2015 - I liked this one. Thanks to George and others for making my soggy walk to Strathgarry 4 poster a bit more interesting :-))

Ardtulichan (Cup Marked Stone)

26/06/2015 - On the way to Strathgarry 4 poster. Nice split rock with cup marks, Great view.

Lettoch (Cup Marked Stone)

26/06/2015 - Possible cup marked rock (NN 91061 64289) above Lettoch. Rock is about 100m to the south and downhill from a hut circle (?) (NN 91065 64401). If you are passing I would be interested in another opinion :-)
Fine area for a walk.

Strathgroy (Cairn(s))

21/06/2015 - After a visit to Glen Clune cairn, a short walk north of here, we had a look for this cairn. Canmore has entries for two different cairns very close to each other, Sithean Na Cluana and Strathgroy. I had a look about for a second cairn but I think both entries refer to the same cairn. This 'fairy knoll' is great. Fantastic location overlooking the River Garry. We did have a close encounter with some cows on the way which involved a stand off, a little bit of fast walking, a brief moment of jogging and quick jump over a wall. As luck would have it we ended up in the correct field. There were cows in this one but these were a bit more laid back. Still we didn't push our luck so the visit to the cairn was short. Well worth a visit just for the vibe and views.

Glen Clune (Cairn(s))

21/06/2015 - Sometimes two stones are enough. It might not look much but I was really taken with this cairn. Location is great with fine views all round. Easy access from a few starting points. We combined it with a walk over Meall Mor, starting from Lettoch. A peaceful place.

Schiehallion (Sacred Hill)

22/06/2015 - About 10 years since I was last on Schiehallion. It was a lovely blue sky day last time. Today was windy, misty and cold. I even sat next to a patch of snow for my sandwiches and cuppa. It didn't feel much like the end of June!

What can I say about Schiehallion that you need to know apart from it's just a great hill with a fantastic view. If you are in the area and like a walk, it's a must visit. Good parking, nice path and great boulder hopping to be had near the top (if you like that sort of thing).

This hill must have been special to people since the first time humans laid eyes on it.

A good day.
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