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

Fieldnotes by baza

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Showing 1-20 of 45 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20

Cantraybruich (Chambered Cairn)

Not much left to see here, just an arc of stones which probably formed part of the western side of the kerb of a cairn, with a pile of stones nearby.

Culnakirk (Cup and Ring Marks / Rock Art)

Back in 1887, five cup marks were seen on this stone; by 1997 only two were visible. When I visited in 2010 none could be seen as most of the stone was covered in grass.

Clachmhor (Cup Marked Stone)

I drove down the lane to Culnakirk steading in search of this panel and encountered a fairly new house named 'Clachmhor' on my left. The owner was pottering about in his yard so I asked him about the whereabouts of the stone. He amiably pointed over a fieldgate leading from his driveway to a large block just a few yards away.

Stonea Camp (Hillfort)

Here's a novelty: at just two metres above sea level, the lowest hillfort in Britain.
If you're in the area, I recommend you go and take a look. You wont see massive earthworks, but you will find well-defined banks and ditches within the flat, Fenland landscape.
Drive along the B1093 between Wimblington and Manea and you'll see a signpost pointing down a farm track, passing Stitches Farm, to Stonea Camp.
There are information boards to read scattered amongst the defences as you wonder if Boudicca walked on this site 2,000 years ago.

South Creake (Plateau Fort)

The Norfolk Archaeological Trust bought this hillfort in 2003 to save it from any further damage by the plough.
Nowadays it is grazed by sheep and has a dedicated carpark.
Apart from that, I agree with the previous visitors; sadly, it has been almost completely flattened.

Knollbury Camp (Hillfort)

Only after visiting the stones in Oxfordshire for some years did I finally bother to pull off the A361 down the quiet lane which passes Knollbury.

I'm glad I did.

I like this place.

Its steep-sided banks are easily seen from the road which runs parallel to the north-west side. In fact, the road is so close that the ground underneath it is scheduled as part of the monument.

Don't stop the car until you come to the bottom corner; park up and go through the gate. You can see two openings in the south-eastern side; only one is original and that's been enlarged.

Knollbury is classified as a hillfort, like many other similar univallate enclosures in Oxon. This one lies on a gentle slope, nowhere near the top of a hill.

The walls are steep-sided because they are made from stone. Walk along the outside of the north-eastern side and you will see.

Nowadays, when I'm in the area, I like to come back to Knollbury.

It's my kind of place.

Birzebugga Cart Ruts (Ancient Trackway)

When I visited the nearby Borg in-Nadur temple I must have walked past these without knowing they were there.
There's only a short length of ruts to see, but what makes them of particular interest is that they run straight into the sea.

La Hougue de Vinde

La Hougue de Vinde is a cist-in-circle, a type of monument peculiar to the Channel Islands.

We liked this place - and it seemed to like us. It's been robbed - the cist has long since gone; damaged, overgrown and neglected; not easy to find in the trees. Branches overhang and encroach into the inner space. A saw is needed here. There's a geocache. Yet, despite all the setbacks, we were pleased to be there in its stillness to share its existence.

We kissed in a circle.

Cherry Farm (Standing Stone / Menhir)

This menhir is just a couple of hundred yards from the airport entrance.

Directions

At the roundabout outside the airport go south (turn right) towards St Brelade along the B36. Turn 1st left (sign for Mermaid Tavern) then immediately left again. The stone is in the field on the right just after the hire car compound.

Jersey

The island of Jersey is well endowed with megalithic sites. Here, you're never far from something of interest. However, if you want to see all of the major sites you'll need some form of transport.

I flew in to St Helier airport and collected a hire car from there. The hire car company gave me a map; it was crap. Be sure to get the free map from the airport with "Jersey recommended" on the front. You may need good eyesight or a magnifying glass to see it, but it has got all of the main sites marked and named on it.

I drove directly to La Hougue Bie. There's a small museum there, so, even though I had done some research, I thought they may have a guide to the other sites on the island. There were two useful and complementary free leaflets. "Where to find the dolmens of Jersey" and "The spiritual landscape". On Jersey, they call all of their prehistoric burial chambers "dolmens".

Entrance to La Hougue Bie (the only megalithic site at which you have to pay) is £6.50 in 2008.

Most of the roads are narrow and parking is difficult everywhere unless you can find a car park. Luckily, there was always a nearby car park or a handy, flat field boundary whenever I needed to stop.

Round Loaf (Artificial Mound)

IronMan is correct in stating that this is off the beaten track; Anglezarke Moor is open access land and there are no continuous footpaths. It can be heavy going on the way here.

In answer to Stroller's query, and further to Charles's reply, there's been no known excavation of Round Loaf. Some flints have been found on the surface over the years. There's no point in visiting Bolton (or Manchester) museum as they have nothing from local, human prehistory on display whatsoever.

Whitelow (Cairn(s))

Although Whitelow cairn is more easily approached from the Bury Old Road to the east, I chose to walk up Whitelow Road from the north west.
Driving up the A56 from Bury, where I'd visited the museum to see the urns excavated from the cairn, at the traffic lights where the left turn takes you into Ramsbottom, I turned right into Whitelow Road, immediately parking up as the road is only suitable for off-road vehicles.
The road rises gently and skirts the southern side of Whitelow Hill, where I had to jump over a drystone wall to climb up to the cairn, which forms the top of the hill.
If it wasn't for the copious amounts of stone which formed an outer wall, it wouldnt be possible to see where the hill ends and the cairn begins.
The view is only to the west because of higher ground on the other sides.

Culbone Hill (Stone Row / Alignment)

This 1,200 feet long stone row runs east-west within private woodland near to the A39 west of Porlock. There is a permissive path to the nearby Culbone Stone which stands 130 feet south of the western end of the row, but there are signs requesting visitors not to stray from the path. There are thought to be twenty one stones remaining; I managed to find thirteen in the sometimes dense undergrowth of the wood. None of the stones stand more than three feet above the ground.

Longstone Barrow (Round Barrow(s))

This round barrow lies 300m to the south-east of the Longstone and is probably the largest on Exmoor at 34m wide by 2.7m high.

The Longstone (Exmoor) (Standing Stone / Menhir)

It's a three kilometres walk from the lay-by at Goat Hill Bridge on the B3358 to the Longstone, the tallest menhir on Exmoor. Formed from a slab of local slate, it measures 3m high by 1.25m wide and 0.25m thick at its base. There is a much smaller, companion stone sharing its hole, known locally as a trigger stone, which is 0.7m high.

Thor's Cave (Cave / Rock Shelter)

It's a walk of about one mile to Thor's Cave, either down a dry valley from the village of Wetton or along a cyclepath which runs alongside the River Manifold.

I chose to approach the cave from the cyclepath, crossing the river on a footbridge below the cave. The riverbed is usually dry here, apart from in very wet weather, as the river disappears into swallowholes in the limestone bedrock and travels underground through this part of the valley.

Thor's Cave is a popular calling point for visitors to the Dovedale area and the path up to the cave has been provided with many steps. The entrance to the cave can be very slippy on the usually wet floor, made smooth by the passage of many feet. An internal fissure allows light into the cave and a torch is required to explore its inner reaches.

Occupied from the end of the ice age, a Bronze Age burial has been found within.

Creswell Crags (Cave / Rock Shelter)

Two days have past and I am still in awe and wonderment at the sights I saw at the weekend. I took the opportunity to book up to see the cave art within Church Hole Cave - and what an opportunity it turned out to be! For over half an hour I stood on the temporary viewing platform which had been erected to coincide with the cave art conference which took place nearby. I had an image of an animal, drawn by a human in the Palaeolithic, within six inches of my nose! My head was within inches of other animals and images which have yet to be fully interpreted! I feel privileged; no - I AM privileged - to have been allowed in to Church Hole Cave and to be shown the first prehistoric cave art to have been re-discovered in Britain.

Churchill Standing Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

This stone stands on the B4450, halfway between Churchill and Chipping Norton, in the northern roadside hedge. Usually, it's difficult to find, being swamped by the hedge; however, on my latest visit the hedge had recently been cut, freeing the stone from its green prison. To my dismay, the stone had been trimmed, too, with loose flakes lying on the top.

Gatcombe Lodge (Long Barrow)

14th September 2003:
On a trip down to the Cotswolds today, I visited the Longstone of Minchinhampton. As Gatcombe Lodge long barrow is only a couple of hundred yards away, I thought I might as well go and have a look at that, too.

Gatcombe Lodge long barrow happens to be on the Gatcombe Park estate (Princess Anne`s home). There`s a footpath which runs close to the barrow and I only meant to walk past and have a look. Anyway, I couldn`t resist. I went through a gate and onto the barrow. An estate worker spotted me as he went past in a Discovery; he blocked the entranceway and phoned the police.

A Land Rover duly arrived with two police officers, who did a full security check on me and my motor. They could see that I was an unlikely terrorist, with my sandals, shorts and Stonehenge Tshirt. When the all-clear came through, I was allowed to go with a rollocking.

The barrow itself is overgrown with stones from the chambers scattered over it.

Buckholt Wood (Long Barrow)

On a recent visit to the Nympsfield long barrow, I noticed this one marked on the OS map, so decided to pay it a visit.

Shortly after turning onto the minor road leading to the village of Nympsfield from the B4066, I drove into a National Trust car park on the left which serves Woodchester Park (you have to pay to park here, although I didn't notice until I was leaving).

The footpath from the car park leads you down into a wooded valley. Where the path turns to the right, along the valley, I carried straight on up the other side, through the trees and out onto the end of a gliding club's airstrip.

The barrow lies at the western end of this grass airstrip. It's been ploughed over, in the past, and is now no more than 2 metres high, with no visible stones.
Showing 1-20 of 45 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20
baza lives in the West Pennine Moors in Lancashire.

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