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

Fieldnotes by nickbrand

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Showing 1-20 of 213 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20

Colmeallie (Stone Circle)

Update re access: the new owners (non-local) who moved in a couple of years ago have now put up signs down the road stating "No unauthorised vehicles beyond this point", which I'm not sure is strictly kosher. Certainly access on foot is still covered under the Right to Roam legislation. I'm not recommending anyone breaking the law but these clowns are going to have to learn that the days of colonialism are over - and that the people of Scotland (and elsewhere) have the right to access sites which have been visited from time immemorial. Some local action is planned on this, stay tuned.

The Thief's Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Driven past this a number of times recently (currently working nearby), and will endeavour to bring a camera with me soon and get some photos.

The Clach a'Mheirlich or 'Thief's Stone' (Pictish Symbol Stone Class 1) stands in a field by the Alness to Invergordon road. On the front is an incised step symbol and on the left side what appear to be the traces of a crescent symbol with a pair of pincers below.

Park in the 'Public slipway' car park. The stone is about 20m into the field across the road.

Cultoquhey (Chambered Cairn)

Accessed via the drive to Cultoquhey Hotel, this one took a bit of finding. The owners are Italian, and seem to cater exclusively for Italian guests to Scotland. They seemed interested however, and especially so when after they referred to it as "The Roman Stones" I took great delight in pointing out that these were ancient when the original Romans paid their brief visit to Scotland!

There's not much to see, and I didn't attempt any photographs. There's definitely a slight mound present, but it's so overgrown with trees, ferns, nettles, moss and bl**dy rhododendrons that access is limited and viewing anything is next to impossible.

This one would really benefit from a proper archaeological survey, stripping all the undergrowth (and overgrowth!) away.

Strowan Cairn (Cairn(s))

This one was a bit of a drive-by as I was in a hurry to head for another site. It'll keep for a return visit when hopefully I can access the field and have a better look around.

Rottenreoch (Long Cairn)

Couldn't actually reach this today as the field's in crop at present. Made do with a couple of pictures from a nearby slope, and will have to come back in the winter. Looks to be about 150 feet long, fairly low, and with two great oak trees growing from it.

Fowlis Wester Cairn (Cairn(s))

As BigSweetie has said, there's a lot going on here. Many of the stones are field clearance, but the cist covers and several recumbent stones (along with the single upright remaining) show that there was a veritable hive of neolithic activity here at one time.

According to a local lady I spoke to, the land belongs to the Abercairney Estate and was at one time used as a burial ground. The estate has been held by the Moray family since the end of the 13th century.

Concraig (Standing Stone / Menhir)

The field was in crop today so had to make do with what can be seen from the side of the field. Easy enough to access, as the farmer was quite happy to point out the route through one field to the next, in which the stone stands. About 2m tall, but with quite a pronounced lean.

Bandrum (Standing Stones)

Easy enough to find - ask at the Saline Golf Club - "See the trees up there? There's a dyke under them, follow it right then left, stone's at the end." They apparently get a few people a year asking about it.

I wonder if they felt as depressed as I did when I got there. Great situation, if it hadn't been misty the views would have been stupendous. But what a way to treat a stone...

It's the first one I've ever seen with its very own corrugated shed extension. Trust me, the pictures don't show the full horror. It's also wrapped up in barbed wire, presumably to stop an escape if it was so inclined.

The area's known as Temple, but no known Hospitaller or Templar connections as far as I'm aware, so it probably refers to 'druidical remains'. The stone is pretty big, but there are a couple of lumps of stone nearby which look suspiciously as if they might have been companions at one time or another. One of them's built into the dyke now, and looks happier than its big pal...

Balholmie (Standing Stone / Menhir)

I called here today to photograph the Pictish symbol stone built into a rockery at the house. Spoke to the lady there and was told there was another stone there too. Different bit of the garden, bit it was OK to go and take a look. I'm glad I did.

I don't think this stone is in its original position, it's too well landscaped. Think it may well have been acquired at the same time the Pictish stone was removed from Whitefield Farm. But it is a standing stone, as the three well-defined cup marks point out. A nice surprise as I don't see any reference to it in Canmore. The lady of the house didn't know where it had come from, unfortunately.

Brownies Knowe (Stone Circle)

Not too hard to find. Park below the kirk at St Martins and take the left of the three tracks ahead of you. About quarter of a mile in you pass the gate to the Abbey on the right, then another field gate on the right. About a hundred yards past this on the left a gently sloping track leads down to an old stone bridge. Cross and follow the path up to the left, then cross to the fence and follow it to the right. After a couple of right hand turns following this you'll see a wee clearing - and there's the circle.

Pretty disrupted, about 6 stones of a possible ten left, and all recumbent. Nice atmosphere though, and there's a bonus - a cup marked rock about 50 feet SW of the circle.

Worth a look!

St Martins (Standing Stones)

These stones are just lying at the side of the track. Canmore has the north stone standing erect but it looked pretty toppled to me. Not a very inspiring site I'm afraid. The Witch's Stone is just up the road a bit, and a couple of deer ran out across the field as I took the photos.

Williamston (Cairn(s))

Close by to the site of an old stone circle (now vanished), this appears marked on old maps as "Stone Cists found". It was rather a damp day and the field had just been ploughed so contented myself with a long range shot. A lot of stones round the base (field clearance?) so will definitely have a look at this one again.

Blackfaulds Stone Circle

A cold March day but the undergrowth is mostly dead. A much improved view of this site from my previous visit.

East Whitefield (Stone Circle)

I had a look here today, but wasn't much impressed with the boulders. No sign of cup marks on any, and I remember reading in Canmore that a cup marked stone from here had been removed and built into a house (since demolished) and lost. They look like bog-standard field clearance, to be honest.

Macbeth's Law (Artificial Mound)

Cold but bright day today when I visited. The farmer's quite happy to give permission. This mound is associated with MacBeth (the real one, not the Shakespearean invention) but there's no evidence linking him with his mound other than folk lore. As far as I'm aware this hasn't been excavated so I have no idea whether it's a burial mound or not. Far too small for a castle motte however. Pretty impressive tree on the top!

Balnabroich (Stone Circle)

Taking the Big Red Beast (TM) out for her final field trip before trading her in for a newer model, I wound up back here in an attempt to track down the alleged circle. A beautiful cold but very bright day, not a cloud in the sky. And this place is most definitely worth a good look. I didn't find a circle, but I found damn near everything else...

There's the remains of a large cairn at the top of the site. Immediately below it are two perfect hut circles, which could easily be mistaken for stone circles by someone who didn't know what they were. They're certainly two of the best I've seen. And the field leading to these is absolutely covered with the remains of small cairns, one of which (though fairly disrupted) had the familiar look and feel of a kerbed cairn. What a place! I spent nearly two happy hours here pottering about, and I suspect I'll be back. This place is just begging for another look!

There's a rough track up to Stylemouth farm, where you can park easily enough off the track. Then it's about a ten minute walk up through a few gates, muddy in places. Unfortunately there wasn't anyone home when I called as I'd like to have had a word with the farmer about this place. Maybe next time.

Glendelvine House (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Visited here today. There's a small tumulus situated just off the main drive up to the big house, and the stone stands just in front of this. It's around 5 feet tall and quite solid. The owner of the house mentioned that it had been excavated 'in the past' and that some cremated remains were found under it.

Na Carraigean (Stone Circle)

Revisited Sunday 21st November with BigSweetie, George and ActionMan. Some idiots had been using the central depression (from a previous land-owner's dig) as a fireplace... Fortunately the stones are far enough away from this not to have suffered any apparent damage. Shame though that even as remote a site as this can be damaged. A very cold day, with horizontal sleet, made sure we didn't linger too long.

Murthly Castle (Standing Stone / Menhir)

This is a pretty big stone, around seven and a half feet tall. Ask permission at the castle first (posh house...) and watch out for the electric fence!

Dane's Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Field was empty and only grass growing yesterday, so took some pictures of the stone from round about it, rather than just from the fence. Interesting texture on the stone.
Showing 1-20 of 213 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20
I work offshore in the North Sea as a rig medic. 55+ years old. Nationalist to the core. Have been interested in ancient sites as long as I can remember, due to my Dad's interest in history. Traced my ancestry back to the 1650's. Run a website about the little Fife town I was born and brought up in, Burntisland. Run a website on Stone Circles in Angus and Perthshire. Learning Gaelic, but not very fluent so far. Spend a lot of time walking in the hills. Member of the Scottish Megaraks. Sanity often questioned....

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