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

Fieldnotes by ocifant

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Showing 1-20 of 135 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20

Tremenhere Menhir (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Visited today, and in comparison with Hamish's photo, the stone is currently surrounded by a three feet wide moat of mud at least ten inches deep! I hope the stone is well bedded in.

It's obviously being used as a rubbing stone by the horses in the field - their hoof prints were much in evidence in the mud, hence the depth estimation.

Hopefully LAN will be able to do something about this when the drier weather comes. I'll be raising it with them later this week.

Sherington Barrow (Round Barrow(s))

Visited this simple bowl barrow yesterday. It stands in the corner of a field above a road junction, and has a large oak tree now growing from it.

There is very little evidence of the surrounding ditch, and very little left of the barrow itself, though English Heritage report it as never having been excavated (see Misc link).

Easily seen from the road (through a hedge/fence), I didn't see any obvious way into the field from the road.

Devil's Quoits (Henge)

Many thanks to Jane for taking over to see the henge earlier today. As previously stated, this lies in the middle of landfill, on private land. However, we weren't challenged at all and spent some time looking around the henge and watching the birds all around.

I was extremely surprised at the extent of the site - for some reason I'd only expected an arc of stones at the edge of a gravel pit!

Although only partially restored, it's possible to relate to the previous splendour of this place, even amongst all the rubbish. The rabbits have made a real mess of the restored part of the ditch, and there are copious deposits of bones (no feathers) all across the site. I expect the bones have been dropped by the many crows and kites around. However, it looks as if some progress is being made as a large number of pits have been dug, including an outlier close to the circle, presumably ready to receive the stones strewn in the centre of the site. The pits are not evenly spaced, suggesting that they have been based upon previous digs noting the original positions of the stones. I look forward to eventually seeing the porject completed!

Westmoorgate Stone Circle

Visited this early yesterday morning, just before the rain set in. At least, I believe I visited it! As Mr Hamhead says, it's quite featureless out here apart from the copious stones, and climbing up the incline even the field boundary below disappeared from sight.

Parking is possible just to the east of the farm itself. Continue on foot up the lane, turn right and stick to the wall. At the third field boundary (where the gorse peeks over the wall), strike away from the wall at 90 degrees and head up the hill. Look for a clear area amongst a couple of arcs of stones before the crest of the hill , and you're there!

The Rollright Stones (Stone Circle)

I went with some friends up to the Rollrights today.

I'm sad to report that following the recent fire damage there, some follow-up damage and a further attack have occurred.

1. The King Stone notice, where previously cracked, has now been broken off completely.
2. The King's Men stone which was previously burnt by the tire attack has been significantly chipped on the top.
3. The warden's hut has again been attacked. Cavity Wall foam was sprayed into the collection box, and also into the locks. This subsequently solidified, breaking the locks and rendering the collection box unusable. An oil fire used by the wardens was lit and placed next to a wooden cabinet and a gas cylinder within the hut, with the obvious intention of causing an explosion. In dousing the fire, the fire service had to substantuially damage the floor of the hut, which is currently unusable by the wardens for overnight stays (and which stank of smoke). These attacks apparently occured on the 9th December according to the warden on duty.

The police are now apparently willing up increase the charge from one of Arson, to Arson with Intent. However, they have no real leads. The only solution may be to install CCTV cameras at the site, which no one really wants to do.

Boskednan Southern Cairn (Cairn(s))

Viisted this last week with Mr Hamhead and Scubi63. I wasn't previously aware of this site, but took some photos on a glorious autumn morning and stitched the pano photo together.

The Rollright Stones (Stone Circle)

I'd heard of the recent fire attack at the stones, so decided to pop up and take a look at the damage for myself.

I'd arrived early, so as to avoid the tourists, and had the circle to myself for all of 5 minutes. I nearly cried when I saw the aftermath of the damage, both in the circle and to the King Stone sign.

At least 4 inches of wood ash surrounded the base of the stone at the right of the entrance to the circle, and the entire top was blackened, presumably where the tyre was hung and filled with wood. Looking at the ashes, it was plain that the wood used had been brought deliberately for the attack, rather than just using saplings etc from the adjoining brush, as the wood that hadn't been fully burnt was worked, like short strips of 10mmx2mm. This wasn't a spur of the moment thing, but had obviously been carefully planned.

Across the way, the cast iron sign by the King Stone had also been attacked, looking like it had been set to with a gemmy bar, as the iron was split and buckled.

Luckily, it looks as if the Whispering Knights were left alone.

I've tried to understand the mindset of people who would do such a pointless thing. I've failed. Maybe it was because there was only £7 in the collection box that they also raided?

Apparently the police aren't particularly interested in following this one through, presumably because there's so little to go on. Which means the perps may be encouraged to come back and have another go? I sincerely hope not. Very sad.

Rainsborough Camp (Hillfort)

Visited here today on a gloriously sunny Bank Holiday weekend.

Access is fairly straighforward. On the road just sough of the camp, it's possible to pull in by a marked bridleway. Follow the bridleway two fields north, then turn right. The camp is laid out in front of you, enclosed by a fence and gate.

Beware if sheep are in the enclosure (as they were today), as the gate does not meet properly, and it's not possibile to secure it shut - remember the country code?

The camp itself is as JackSprat says, quite impressive in its size. The bank and ditch are still very well defined for the most part.

A most worthwhile stop on what was a pleasant BH drive.

Mulfra Quoit (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

On holiday in Penwith last week, I'd agreed to meet Mr Hamhead for lunch in the Tinners Arms as he was also in the area. Suitable refreshed after a pint and a meal, we set off for our agreed target, Mulfra Quoit. I'd last visited the quoit some 3 years ago, and took the steep approach from Try Farm on that occasion. Today though, we took the much easier (but longer) approach from the north. After a couple of comedy pictures, we discussed the apparent moulding on the underside of the capstone, whether the quoit was ever 'whole', and the alignments with Chysauster and Castle an Dinas (and the time difference between the ages of the sites).

Some of the gorse had been burnt off near the quoit, and investigation to the south uncovered some old field boundary walls, and a possible hut circle. As the weather was closing in from the south, we made our way back to the car, and the heavens opened as if to say "Get orff my hill!". We got.

The Merry Maidens (Stone Circle)

There is supposedly a second circle in the vicinity, known as 'Tregurnow circle', located roughly at SW 437 245. However, I was there last week, and could see no sign of it on the ground (last reported sighting was in the 1970s.)

Lots of interesting stones in the field boundary wall a few yards away, but that's not unusual around these parts.

Boswens Croft (Standing Stone / Menhir)

OK, I've tried a couple of times to get here - each time giving up within 100 yards or so of the prize.

My first attempt was along the defined path toward the radio station. Sadly, this got me close, but the barbed wire fencing and waist high gorse combined to thwart me.

Today I tried a different approach. Following the track east from the road, then heading south along what, according to the MAGIC map, is a pathway leading very close to the stone. Unfortunately, the same barbed wire fence continues rght round the area, and the path no longer exists. I did pop over a gate and got into the field though, and the pathway 'sort of' exists, but within a couple of hundred yards of the stone is gobbled up by the encroaching gorse, and as the horseflies were having a good feed on my arm and not wishing to encounter any adders in the gorse, I backed off again.

Back at the car, a local lady was talking to Mikki, explaining that the farmers received a lot of money to fence off the area (despite it being Right to Roam land!), and this had detered the horseriders. Subsequently, the path had become unused and is gradually disappearing. I may well raise this issue with CASPN when I see them tomorrow.

Hervan Menhir (Standing Stone / Menhir)

I've passed this loads of times on the way to the Lizard without realising it was there!

Travel south on the A3083 toward the Lizard, and turn right at the Lizard Cyder Barn. There are only two houses in the road, before you come to the gate of the Predannack Airfield (part of RNAS Culdrose). The stone is on the left.

Beersheba (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Just got back from a stroll up here again, and thought I'd add an additional Access note.

The approach from the north is much more straightforward. It's just about possible to park near the entrance to Beersheba itself, then it's just a case of hopping over 2 cornish stiles to the field containing the stone. Still not wheelchair accessible, but it's a lot easier than trekking up that narrow path from Bowl Rock!

Madron Holy Well (Sacred Well)

Remedial work at Madron is 'well' under way. The area around the baptistry has been relandscaped, and a gated wall has been built up. The stonework at the cloutie tree has been improved (though the well is some way off, this is where most people think the well is), and the path from the car park has been widened, cleared and laid, making the whole site wheelchair accessible at last (see photos).

The car park is still being relaid and landscaped, and work should be completed in a few weeks time.

It still rains every time I come here though, so some things don't change!

St. Eval Church Stones (Stone Circle)

Grubbing around today, I found a couple of stones in the surrounding hedge (see photos). The vicar arrived at the same time, but knew nothing about a possible circle. As a service was due to start, I didn't get a chance to get a good look around the church itself, which apparently has some Green Man roof bosses.

Treburrick Menhir (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Found a reference to this in Meyn Mamvro, so thought I'd check it out. It's best to approach this from Engollan, as the road from the main coast road B3276 is gated.

Access to the stone is straightforward: park by the farmhouse, cross the road and walk along the footpath to within 50 yards of the stone. I had to duck under an electrified fence, and the field had plenty of evidence of ruminant activity.

The stone, which stands around 5 feet, looks a bit precarious, as the packing stones are exposed and there is an evident lean, but the stone itself has a wonderful shape and colouring.

There is a nice view of the Atlantic along the valley to the nearby coast, but otherwise, not much in the way of obvious sight alignments.

St. Eval Airfield Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

I was up here today, having a poke around. As can be seen from the photo, the stone is now almost invisible in the undergrowth. I'd like to have seen the stone properly, it looks a monster.

Parking is easy, as there's a pull-in right next to the junction.

Bearah Common (Long Cairn)

Just for the record, it's still raining up there! The horizontal stuff that soaks you right through...

The bracken was only just sprouting, so I had no problem in finding it, though for some reason I had some doubts until a passing(!) farmer confirmed that this was indeed what I was looking for.

I can only re-iterate Mr Hamhead's directions - it's actually a relatively easy walk up the hill, with a couple of streams to cross, but the upright stone is quite distinctive and easily spotted from below.

Castallack Carn (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Found it! The 1:7500 print I took from MAGIC helped! Basically, go up the path by the side of the house, and continue until you get to another gate. Go through this gate. On the right is a smallish enclosed field. The hut circles (as far as I could see) are in the next field beyond this. Stay on the path.

The hedge on the right eventually opens up to an area of bracken and gorse. There was a trodden path through this that I followed, that led directkly to a large upright stone, hidden in the far hedge.

Take care, as the disused quarry starts in the adjoining 'field', and may be the various stones that purejoy found.

Tremayne (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Easily visible from the road, I'm surprised I've not noticed this one before. Parking in the farm driveway is possible without blocking access, so I risked it for a quick grab shot, as no-one was around though the weather was closing in.
Showing 1-20 of 135 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20
North London based, any trip to see sites of any real significance means a drive of at least an hour or two each way.

I'm usually accompanied on trips by my partner and soulmate Mikki, who is disabled and unable to walk far. I'm indebted to her for her patience and understanding.

Favourite place? Cornwall without a doubt. West Penwith in particular, Trencrom Hill as a prime example. The peninsular is so rich in sites and has an amazing atmosphere. Every trip there is like going home... Avebury currently comes a close second, but is starting to go the way of Stonehenge (see below) and Glastonbury for me - over-used and over-rated.

Most overrated? Stonehenge - I can't understand the excitement that this totally spoiled site induces in people. I first went there in the 1960's with school and have been back several times since. Each was an anti-climax.

My TMA Content: