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

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Murder Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

'This is a fairly large standing stone for this bit of the world. About 3' wide, over 1' deep and 4' tall. It comes to a point, is flat both sides and made of millstone. The flat sides face east/west.

This is a gorgeous spot. Stood on its own hillock, nestled amidst a multitude of low rounded hills, a number of valleys convene to form an idyllic enclosed landscape'

- 16 May 2004

Whaley Bridge Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

'The stone stands just shy of the top of a ridge known as Hawkhurst Head, on its easterly side. Flat-on facing the north east. It is a wide, low stone, of millstone, somewhat casually coming to a point about 3.5' tall. Jagged, and with a large shelf in one side.

A great view of the Goyt valley on that eastern side. Not visible from beside the stone but just a few metres back, beyond the wall that straddles the ridge, the great view continues. Grass covered hills, some trees. The stone itself stands in grass, kept short by sheep.

You can see the Dipping Stone on a nearby ridge to the west.

Just down slope to the north-west is a round raised earth structure, built into the slope, perhaps 4' tall, flat topped. about 10 paces across. Potentially its related to the standing stone'

- 16 May 2004

The 'OS Ref' for this site should be amended because 988814 puts the stone some way south of the ridge, which is misleading because it is actually on the other side of the ridge and closer to 988814

Greycroft Stone Circle — Fieldnotes

'I've steadfastly never been anywhere near Sellafield for health reasons and I let that guard down to go to Greycroft stone circle beside it. We walked across the edge of a golf course to get to it. Just short of it I took a photo so as to capture the cows in the centre of the circle before we scared them off then we continued walking to the fence to climb over. This golfer comes over saying "excuse me, did I see you taking a photograph!" (the power station wasn't even in the shot!); "its illegal to take photos of nuclear installations"; "I work for Sellafield" (he had it emblazoned on his top. he's so up for a fight, you can see it in the way he walks and talks); "I'm going to report you".

Its such a lovely circle. Large stones, magnificent mountains behind. But a cow feeder in the middle; a herd of cows congregated in the thick muddy interior, not moving.
And Sellafield NPS beside it and all the outrage that provokes in me, of all places that sat, polluting us in such an insipid way.
We leave so angered. What a horrid experience. A lovely stone circle so clothed in reasons not to be there.'

- October 2003

Elva Plain (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

'Reminiscant of Gamelands. A fairly large circle/oval of rounded stones layn in grass. A clump of stones together have possibly been moved from elsewhere. 10 stones or sets of stones; an additional 3 have just their stump level with the ground. Most stones aren't large but 2 are much larger than the others.
180 degrees of vista is fantastic hills: some angular lakeland drama (Skiddaw); the rest of the view this lovely Cumbrian moorland of rounded peaks and troughs.
Very open on those sides; a place to sit and look.
The 3 stones buried in the grass are likely as big as those above ground.'

- October 2003

Ringstone Edge Cairn Circle (Ring Cairn) — Fieldnotes

'Ruinous remains of what on the map is called a 'cairn circle'. 35 paces across; various clumps of stones dotted around it, one fallen stone about 3.5' long; one pile of stones larger than anything else at its southern end; a distinctively sized stone at its centre; enother, oblong, fallen stone travelling clockwise from there about 2' long; another small but distinctive clump a little further round again; a clump of stones at the centre. The whole thing is perhaps embanked.'

- 28 February 2004

Hampton Down (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

'9 mis-shapen stones (one of which much smaller than the rest) made of this mixture with flint nodules embedded throughout. An unimpressive rebuilt oval, all stones layn on the ground. Completely surrounded intimately tightly by fences; so just stuck in a corner. Ginette says she'll have a word with someone about that. Ginette also suspects the slightly raised area that extendes out from the circle is a causewayed enclosure.'

- 8th November 2003

Rempstone Stone Circle — Fieldnotes

'A long elipse of fairly large stones right beside the road that feels in some disarray on account of the uneven earth and there being a wood growing throughout but its easy to make out eight stones stood and fallen, cloaked in green moss. Five of them are close together at one end, the stone at the apex being perhaps the largest of them all.

The cup marks people speak of in the stone closest to the road appear to have been made by the sea. The carving also mentioned on TMA is an OS symbol.'

- twenty something of December 2003

Mayne Stone Circle — Fieldnotes

'A large-ish, long, bulbous, fallen stone. Huge round holes carved out of it by the sea. On a rising piece of land.

At the left hand side of the A352 at a turn-off for Little Mayne Farm, where there's room to park and a gate to climb over.'

- twentysomething of December 2003

The Harpstone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

'7' tall, couple of feet wide and deep standing stone. A flat face with a globular sea-worn back to it. On sloped ground heading down toward a stream/river. Situated in a wide hedge surrounding a stream running down the hill betwixt barbed wire and electric fence.
A lovely stone. Big. Nooks and crannies to explore with the fingers. Just inside the hedge itself but its enough of a hedge that you can walk around the stone.'

- twentysomethingth of December 2004

Poxwell Cairn Circle (Ring Cairn) — Fieldnotes

'A ridge of land with precariously steep sides. Valleys either side and other ridges parallel. An elongated slightly raised earth area with a ring of stones atop. Most just above the height of the grass but just-about a complete circle/oval. One side taller, hairy (with lychen) stones, the tallest perhaps 2' tall rising to a tip. All appear to be craggy flint stone.
At one end of the raised area, just below the rising earth, 3 large stones, as tho an entrance-way.
Along the middle of the ridge, perhaps 40' from the circle, potential and faint remains of a long narrow earthwork, perhaps only the remains of a hedge or wall, but two large stones (one broken in two, it seems) some distance apart. Around the further one (the broken one) a number of small stones.
A good view thru a gap in adjacent ridges to the sea. We can't see anything more thru the mist today, tho that began to clear just as we left, everything so much crisper after I'd taken my photographs and we're moving on.

Travelling north on the A353 toward Poxwell, there's parking space beside the footpath on the right hand side of the road. Walk a little way up the path and the sites just off to the left away from the path up over the lip of the ridge'

- twenty somethingth of December 2003

One of the best sites of all those I visited in Dorset

Troswick (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

'Thin (just under 1') slab of a stone. Close to the edge of the sea, just up the bank from the beach.
Potentially stands a few feet downhill from a large ring of stones but its difficult to tell if it is a ring in reality or my imagination as there's quite a few stones over this land.
You'd see it from its side on if looking from out at sea (not as visible as if it were facing seaward). If this is to be seen from the sea, there's a much better promintary position just to the south, up the rise with the gorse, toward the road where there'd also be much less hills at its background so that it would appear on the skyline.
You can see it from the road. There's a road you can take down to the farm very close by.'

- 2 April 2002

Lumbister, Yell (Stone Row / Alignment) — Fieldnotes

'The stones which intersect are much larger than the others; some are topped with white quartz crystals, others are of white (red) granite. The whole alignment is on an area of grass, everywhere else around here is gorse. There are odd stones occasionally throughout, perhaps dispelling the little cairns as field clearance. Sheep graze the grass, perhaps thats why there was a house built just up from & overlooking the alignment. Three of the lines stud the hillside prominantly, the other three only obvious when you walk toward them.'

- 26 March 2002

Gutcher, Yell (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

'Weathered & lychened. Land side flat (west), sea side angular (east). Not very tall. On the bank of the sound.
From the approach road to the ferry, you can see it on your right across the fields.'

- 26th March 2002

Easthouse (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

'A sturdy, concentric standing stone. Tall (7') and wide (4'), 2' deep. Very flat faced on one side, flat on the other but for a ripple. Extremely clean square corners. A slight lean; slightly tapered from top to bottom; a slice taken out of the perfect oblong from one corner down and across creating a chisseled shape when looked at from one side.
Right beside the road (dead-end road along White Ness, off A971), on the left hand side.
A collection of stones clumped together around its base, two large (one of which very(?) large and irregular, the other square but irregular), a few medium sized stones and a pile of small stones at the base of the standing stone. Perhaps these have been moved to make way for the road but they seem too odd a shape.
From here you can see just the tip of the other stone around Wormadale Hill on the other side of the voe, but only if you know to look for it. Its on the side of Whiteness voe, as other stones have been, but this time not on the bank but way off on the flat top of the rise (White Ness) up from the voe. You can see out toward the sea, and hills, and back along the valley (the standing stone is aligned with this valley, ever-so-slightly off) but its kindof an obscurred view, with little rises preventing it from being the best place for a good view.'

- 20th March 2002

The Giant's Stones of Hamnavoe (Stone Row / Alignment) — Fieldnotes

'A fairly average location, except for the view of the sea. One 5' stone, triangular shaped from halfway up; some distance away a typical straight stone of 7' (they're not the 6' and 8' that Copey reckons), flat faced one side, rugged the other, two boulders helping it stay upright at its base.'

- 9th March 2002

The Beorgs of Housetter (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

'Stones helped erect by setting stones at their base. Few remains of oval cairn right behind them, an enormous broad stone flat on the ground completely covering its centre, flat on both ends too. The largest is a brilliant big stone, whose face is flat and back is a fur of green lychen. A crack runs its length, back and forth. perfectly upright.
The stones sit within and overlook a bowl that opens out into the sea at one end, a rocky face right behind the stones.
I'd been driving past and to my left seen some upright stones, got out and there was a long old wall and beside it slight remains of some structure. driving-on just a little way later I spied these stones not so obvious with the hill as their backdrop. The sheep are really friendly here and come over to say hello.
The chambered cairn close by, closer to the road, made of red stone, is fallen in but most of its stones remain. from near to that cairn, between the standing stones and it, there's clear remains of a stone sided road (which doesn't reach as far as the standing stones and runs close to the chambered cairn). Telephone wires run nearly exactly overhead of the standing stones, which are directly in line with the poles. Also between the standing stones and the cairn are two stones of prime standing stone material layn upon the ground.
I think I can still make out the remains of the wall from further back. If the red stone remains, further back from the stones and cairn, is the cairn marked on the map then its a lot larger and constructed of smaller stones than others I've seen. I didn't think it was a cairn atall but thought maybe it was when I got back to the car cos of where the map puts it. I think the map mistakenly puts the one beside the standing stones half way up the cliff face.
Copey reckons the smaller stone is 6.5' tall but its more like 4.5'.'

-9th March 2002

Clifton Standing Stones — Fieldnotes

To elaborate on Fitzcoraldo's comment that "There is one large stone that may be earthfast and a number of other stones"... at this second collection of stones that are seemingly in alignment with the standing stones, beside the large elongated stone layn in the ground, one of those other stones, though small, much smaller than the other stnding stones, is actually steadfast in the ground and standing.

Also, the OS map associates 'The Hag' with something in this area, though I can't tell what.

Branas Uchaf (Chambered Tomb) — Fieldnotes

"Only a few remnants. yet spectacular looking from the road as its the dominant feature in the field. a circular stone earth mound covered by grass with the stones exposed on the top: four flat pieces, three of which are standing, one of which is quite large; a few large stones and smaller ones scattered around. An oak tree and three Hawthorn(?) trees grow around it.

Directions: there's a lay-by off the road that runs along-side the field and a style to get over the fence"
1 June 2003

Tyfos (Kerbed Cairn) — Fieldnotes

"Remains of a circle of large stones layn flat, surrounded by or on raised earth. Most stones are half submerged in grass and there are large gaps in the circle. The ground rises within the circle in which stones poke out a little thru the grass, indicating some remains.

There's a small long cairn shape close to one side of the circle and an overgrown patch in the otherwise closely mown farm garden that could be worth asking about. I don't see the outlier in the farm garden hedge mentioned on TMA but I do see a blatant gap and between there and the circle is a long stone layn flat, a stone trough (for holding water for animals) carved out of it.

The point at which Moel-Ty-Uchaf stone circle stands is clearly visible but not the stones themselevs which stand a little way back from the edge.

Directions: There's a gate into the field off the road or you can pull into the farm and ask there to go in thru their gate."
1 June 2003

Nympsfield Long Barrow — Images (click to view fullsize)

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Park Gate Stone Circle — Fieldnotes

A circular bank about 40' across made from earth and stone; standing stones within; remains of some other structure within that.

The (sand stone?) standing stones are of varying sizes, three larger and the rest smaller of similar size. of those three, one remains upright (and potentially has cup marks), another (the tallest and slimmest of all) at a 45 degree angle (which also potentially has cup marks) and the other flat. Some stones stand, others are being buried by grass and moss. Much of the outer bank is covered by grass.
The structure within the circle itself has an earth and stone bank (an almost rectangular oval) and a circle of stones within that. there are two slender stones layn flat amongst this, one about 3' tall, the other about 2'.
A flat grassy area, a peak of land looking out for half the skyline at low hills, and behind the land soon rises a little more.
A lime green lizard slithers around in the gaps between stones.

About 6' outside the circle are three stones just sticking out from the grass, tracing a line in from roughly the northeast. about 12' and 15' out to the south are two outlying stones about 9" and 1.5' tall and about 12' apart on an east-west axis.'

1 June 2002

Clickimin Broch — Miscellaneous

Note that (as the reporter points out in 'fieldnotes') the site at Clickimin doesn't relate to the pre-historic / neolithic period this web site really concerns itself with. Nevertheless it is worth seeing if you're there.

(It's spelt 'Broch' not 'Brock')

Lawrence Field (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

There's speculation on other web sites as to whether the remains at Lawrence Field are actually of Neolithic origin. Their focus seems to rest on the one standing stone on the southern footpath being the single remaining standing stone of a possible circle. On my visit I walked west of that stone and thought that another collection of stones could potentially be the circle, especially as the accompanying structures seemed to tie in with the OS map reference to a 'settlement'. I'm writing up my field notes here so as to help people who're figuring out the truth from the speculation at Lawrence Field; there are many potential standing stones there that can easily lead you into false assumptions; I don't offer my speculations as any kind of claim to truth, as I could easily have been deceived by a random placing of stones, but this is what seemed plausible to me when I was there:

'This is potentially the stone circle in Lawrence Field. 5 stones in an oval (13 paces across), a couple at the centre (flat on the ground; a hollow area beneath them, special stones placed in there recently). All the circle stones are very low; 2 thin and side-on; one completely flat on the ground (but I'm presuming from its shape it was another flat stone standing side-on to the circle). A stone wall, mostly covered by earth/gorse, passes beside it. Which doesn't leave a lot to see of the stones and there isn't a particularly marvellous view of the landscape; but you can see a natural tower of stones poised atop an edge on one skyline [Mother Cap Stone]. I can imagine wanting to see that from your circle.

Off to the west, remains of a round structure whose walling seems too well preserved to be Neolithic. However there are two small cairn-like structures beneath a lot of gorse/earth and remains of two walls, one of which often uses upright stones.

Directly south of the presumed circle, toward the river, remains of three structures in a southward row. One appears to be a long cairn. A second is a similar elongated oval shape, but a little wider, and its a walled enclosed area. A third is a small round structure, buried under gorse.

Directions:
To get here I took the path going south from opposite the 'Surprise View' car park on the A5187 (not far from Fox Houses, near to Sheffield) and half way to the trees found a smaller path heading west.

There's a lot of potential standing stones in Lawrence Field to confuse you.'

1 May 2002

Wet Withens (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

A circle of 10 short stones, most of them not initially visible from some angles. Surrounded immediately by a low earth/pebble bank. Covered by gorse except for a path around, paths to the centre and the centre. a recessed circle at the centre and some small stones, making a fire place, though who knows how old this is. 180 degrees of fine view; weather systems traipsing over peaks & troughs; deep greys, light blues, bright whites; warm sunny days suddenly ripped apart; boxed in, poured upon. The most upright stone has a flat face facing inward and a ledge cleanly carved out of it about an index fingers' length deep, as though a seat but its too small to be. Letters carved in that face (FR**), an enormously deep 'FU' in olde English type in its top; 3, maybe 4 cup marks in its outer face. There are other stones with a 'U', 'FU' and 'FU100*'. most stones have fallen or are in the process of doing so.

A few feet away is the ruins of the large Eyam Moor Barrow. Made of stones, of which there are many left; hinting at inner structure but its hard to tell. An obtrusive Ministry of Works sign uprooted from beside and placed at one end amongst the stones of the barrow itself.

1 May 2002

Wormadale Hill (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

'strong, solid, rock against the clear air alone, within the wind, the land stretched far and long to view, islands and the sea. bejeweled in quartz and lichen
- 8 March 2002

this tilting stone looks down upon Tingwall airport. its probably just possible to see the other standing stone across the valley and voe from here as you can just see the tip of this stone from there if you know what you're looking for

directions: near Whiteness, off-of the road toward Tingwall and Lerwick. adjacent to the hotel, leave the road and walk toward the top of the hill'

Hill of Cruester, Bressay (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

'tall flat slab. slap! at the top of its hillock visible from so many places, so many seas, islands and so far away. in this way, better placed than most for visibility, and singularly purposeful at being tall and seen as its so thin and straight. cock shaped. how does a stone of such bold and simple shape come about?'

- 22 March 2002

directions: visible from parts of Lerwick and from the ferry over. from 'A Guide to Prehistoric and Viking Shetland' by Noel Fojut: "Heogan road, then road past Keldabister, left onto track and follow this N"

Yamna Field, Gluss (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

A maniacal huge lump of red granite (1.6m high), almost nothing in common with other Shetland stones save for its one smooth face, angled toward the sky like a transmitter (facing west), a splodgy mess of lumpyness. It is propped up by a couple of stones and I presume other than this this stone hasn't been moved anywhere by people, its just too huge and unshapely. You can prominantly see Ronas Hill from here and its cairn, but this stones' flat face isn't facing it. It is stood atop a rounded pinnacle that is itself halfway up a steep hillside and bcos it has this hill at its back and despite its size looking at it from below, like from the road, you have to know where it is to see it. There's a stone beside it, flat faced, thin and oblong that is perhaps a fallen accompanying standing stone.

Directions: where the A970 and A9075 meet (the Hillswick junction), cross the smaller of the two sandy lochs beside that junction (three swans upon that loch) at its southern end (the other sides a boggy nightmare) and walk up the hill.

Pettigarth's Field (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Fieldnotes

- cairn (with chamber and cist):
narrow line of coast, you can see both sides from up here.
a string of islands in the sea
white margins, wavering, surround them.
wind, wind, wind.

sitting on a ledge of a perculiarly steep short slope
a burial cairn; below & unmistakeable, across plateau
at the edge of the noisy sea, ruins:
a congregation of stones amid brown-yellow grasses.


- Benie Hoose:
a thrilling site. a Stanydale('temple')-like structure. really well preserved. not only the building with alcoves (as at Stanydale) but a rounded structure at its front. far more extensive than any other Shetland building I've seen other than at Stanydale. appears to have a kindof alter, a flat ledge above the main room (upon which there's a slaughtered sheep). small standing stone just uphill from it, possibly aligned with other way down close to the Stones of Yoxie.
either a stream (more an assemblage of water) rises at its centre, or its water gathering bcos this is excavated from the peat and the land around is higher.
by a trick of the shape of the land you can't see this building from the burial cairn above


- Stones of Yoxie
a) remains of a building (on surprisingly level ground, but perhaps thats the architects' doing), not quite of traditional Shetland clover leaf plan; comprising an entrance room; long passage; two, maybe three chambers, one leading to another
b) short standing stone on two sides (one of which I'd presumed aligned with the Benie Hoose but maybe it isn't)
c) small round cairns on two sides
d) a line of stones to one side
e) further on, a wall, that twists around then heads directly to the cliff edge

180 degrees of broiling sea and nothing else; islands; sky; moorland

further away back to the southwest there's two more stone alignments, one about 50' and the other twice as long parallel and not straight with the cliff edge then heading straight down right to the cliff edge; and there are scant remains indicating it may have begun at one cliff edge, travelled up then around in an arc and down again to the cliff edge.
a little further on again there's another very short alignment using much larger stones.
and on again a possible short standing stone, with quite a tilt, beside other stones, fairly close to the cliff edge

- 3 April 2002

The Busta Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

'what a highlight, this stone is absolutely enormous. roughly 5' by 6' square and 10' tall. balanced by a pile of small rocks at its base. broad and oddly shaped; gargantuan compared with the other stones in this area. it seems not to fit in with those other themes going on on this island [except for the standing stone at Yamna Field, Gluss].
overlooking Busta Voe, the town of Brae, out toward the open sea (which you can't see), looking upon so many peaks.
a smaller pyramidal stone, a couple of feet tall, just downhill from it'

-12 March 2002

Stanydale Temple (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Stanydale's magnitude, awe inspiring. when we visited a few days ago we froze in snow and wind, today the sound of the winds merely a pleasant backdrop as I lie in the grass in here, the clearest blue sky overhead and a bright afternoion sun. the walls are built from stocky boulders, and smooth, mostly; they walls feel so rigid; and upto about 15' thick. they were certainly meant to remain. so many stones must have been moved to make this place. I marvel at the thought of the same building perhaps being used for two thousand years.
(its a shame the entrance has been bastardised with a wooden gate).
collections of standing stones, one lot at each side, aligned, only one of which is in a circular shape.

apart from, like, StoneHenge and Avebury, one of the grandest sites I've been to (but I haven't been to many)

-Stanydale 'temple', 15 March 2002

Bordastubble Stones (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

overwhelmingly huge. stunningly huge. arched outward, and inward; a head, or transmitter. I believe this is Britain's most northerly standing stone; a beacon. not vertical, but angled backward, facing upward. an overweight belly. a couple of large stones around its back. surrounded in part by a low raised earth structure (skirt?); another of which, almost complete, only a few yards over. the stone is visible from the sea, in what, for this island, is a tight valley, which peters into nothing, rising quickly, into an open plain of strange landscape, huge boulders layn about upon the gorse. the largest of which, stood on end. facing northeast-southwest (beside the road). pointing toward another such stone a little further down (or across) that possibly stood, now fallen (you can see space underneath part of it).
beautiful blue and green stones lie all around, the rubble left from building the road.

on closer inspection, the rabble of stones on the plain, mostly aren't a rabble atall but a large circle marked out and curves and a trail of them leading off to the lake; an exciting trail to follow and map out. there are other circular shapes on the sides of rising land around. maybe they're just fields.
massacred sheep everywhere.

-27 March 2002

Clivocast (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

'like a tree trunk. stone like like old wood. and huge cracks from bottom to top add to its weight of years. this huge trunk reaches nearly straight to the sky. views of 270degrees of seas, inlets, isles. whether intended as such or not this stone is alter-like. faces east-west; flat side east. (pity its right beside the road).
all the stone that seems to have come out of the ground here has the same wood effect, and judging from the stone used in the walls around, appears to split readily into small versions of the elongated standing stone.
The other stone, a couple of fields down and across to the right (assuming the one I found was the right one), is only a wee slip of a stone, about 2.5 feet tall. stands between furrows in a cultivated field, seemingly fallow at the moment, on a small untouched patch, surrounded by smaller stones and other odd detritus. by its size, barely believable as a standing stone.
there possible remains of building footings further down the same field as the larger standing stone, of unknown age.'

- 26 March 2002
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