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Fieldnotes by Moth

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Showing 1-20 of 280 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20

Ile Grande (Allee-Couverte)

Access: Easy to find from the map on TMA, and signposted once you get fairly close. There's a layby right next to it & it's only a few paces across grass.

Visited Thursday 12 April 2012
Lovely, lovely, lovely - especially in the sun today instead of the pissing rain a few years ago!

The site seems to have been tidied up a bit & a shrub/tree that had been growing through the east-side seems to have been removed (though I only noticed this when I saw the photos from last time).

Nice glimpses of the sea through the trees.

Prajou Menhir (Allee-Couverte)

Access: Good - very short walk on grass, only yards from a parking space.

Visited Thursday 12 April 2012
Even more wonderful on a sunny day than when it's peeing down!!!

Just to clarify, this is on the west of the road coming from the mainland, just before you approach the causeway/bridge to Ile Grande. There is a small lay-by/parking space south of it.

It's probably easier to spot on the way back if you go across to see Ile Grande allée couverte, which is why Jane described it the way she did.

Either way, keep your eye open on the west side of the road for a gap in field edge less than 100m on the mainland side of the causeway/bridge. When we were there last week, there was a little sign in the entrance to the field.

In line with the allée couverte & right next to it, there's also a curious long mound that makes you think it's a still couverte allée.... It even has a standing stone sticking out, but I haven't (yet) seen it referred to in any books etc.

Dolmen du Font Mejanne No 3 (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Access: See Dolmens du Font Mejanne page.

Visited Tuesday 11 September 2007
Similar to Dolmen du Font Mejanne No 1 & Dolmen du Font Mejanne No 2, but with a suspicion a rocky cairn.

The same angling and shaping of the sideslabs, creating the same portal tomb-type feeling. Being the highest up the valley of the 3, its setting is even more beautiful.

Dolmen du Font Mejanne No 2 (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Access: See Dolmens du Font Mejanne page.

Visited Tuesday 11 September 2007
Similar to Dolmen du Font Mejanne No 1 but somewhat bigger, and to me, more nicely proportioned.

The sides are also similarly angled and shaped, seemingly to form a narrower entrance, creating an effect a bit like a portal tomb.

Dolmen du Font Mejanne No 1 (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Access: See Dolmens du Font Mejanne page.

Visited Tuesday 11 September 2007
A quite large & rather boxy straightforward dolmen that somehow 'fits' perfectly into its landscape.

The sides are angled, seemingly to form a narrower entrance, creating an effect a bit like a portal tomb.

Dolmens du Font Mejanne (Complex)

Access: Quite difficult. Not that easy to spot in the valley - we kept seeing bits that looked like the photos of the area they're in.... But once you spot them you really know you're in the right place! Also not that easy to park but we found somewhere on the left (west) - a little past the dolmens that we could see across the valley.

Also not easy to find the right place to scramble down into the valley & across the little (when we were there, anyway!) river & up the other side.

There are apparently 4 dolmens here but we only found 3, and there are a plethora nearby to the north. Details are in Bruno Marc's Dolmens du l'Ardeche, but it seems that these 3 are the pick of the crop - all the others that Bruno has included photos of are (at least) fairly trashed.

Dolmen du Ranc d'Aven No 2 (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Access: See Dolmens du Ranc d'Aven for general comments on finding the site. Only couple of hundred yards walk, but a bit of a scramble down into, across and up the other side of what seemed like dry river beds. Would probably be harder if the river(s) were flowing!

Visited Tuesday 11 September 2007
A nice little rock cairn with bare vestages of a cist or dolmen in the centre. Not altogether 'whelming', but in a gorgeous valley - and worth it for Dolmen du Ranc d'Aven No 3 apart from anything else!

Dolmen du Ranc d'Aven No 3 (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Access: See Dolmens du Ranc d'Aven for general comments on finding the site.

As with Dolmen du Ranc d'Aven No 2, only a couple of hundred yards, but a bit of a scramble down into, across and up the other side of what seemed like dry river beds. Would probably be harder if the river(s) were flowing!

Visited Tuesday 11 September 2007
Another nice rock cairn with a fairly trashed small dolmen in the centre. In this setting - kinda lovely!

Dolmens du Ranc d'Aven (Complex)

Access: The complex is reasonably easy to find using Googlemaps, on the north of a bend of the D208 between St Alban d'Auriolles and Chandolas. Turn onto the gravel road & park.

The cairns of 'Dolmens' 2 & 3 are to the left of the gravel road and fairly visible around 200-300m from the D208. If you view the site on Googlemaps, note that the path to Dolmen 1 is more obvious on the map than it was 'on the ground' when we were there. And the path goes up a very steep slope!!!

I'd say the path is only about 20-30m from the D208 at most, though this is from memory of 2 years ago! Look out for faint brown paint marks on the rocks.

Dolmen du Chanet No 1 (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Location slightly doubtful: Very difficult to find on Googlemaps.

Access: Difficult to find on the ground too, quite strenuous to walk to, and very strenuous to get back from! The dolmen is between the D290 and the Ardeche river, about halfway down the steep spectacular gorge.

We parked at a large layby/viewpoint on a bend of the D290 and then I walked north along the D290. The road curves slightly left and then fairly gently but distinctly right again. I scrambled over the armco crash barrier too early & had to come back up after meeting inpenetrable vegetation - don't make the same mistake!

After a few hundred metres walking - I think it was just as the road stops swinging gently right - there is a gravelly path to the left, angled back the way you've just come. Take it. (There may also be a fairly small layby here which you could park at.)

The path meanders reasonably steeply (and at times quite steeply) down through the woods. There are a few sidepaths, but as I remember, I kept to the main path. Just as I was about to give up, there was a (blessed) noticeboard for the dolmen!!!

Visited Monday 10 September 2007
Wow!! What a place. The dolmen is set at the top of a little gravelly platform overlooking the gorge & river. It's basic, in a nice state of (dis)repair & in itself worth seeing, but the setting is fantastic.

Good job too!!! It was a sweltering day & it had been a hard descent, especially with such a sketchy idea of where I was going & where the monument is! I spent some time photographing & taking the place in, but was very aware that Jane was back at the car and I'd been some time. All too soon I had no choice to take the gruelling climb back up, dripping buckets of sweat back up to the road and back along it.

It was sooooo worth it though!

Menhir de la Caucalière (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Approximate coordinates only

I was unable find (or even look for) this for extremely frustrating reasons, see my notes for Dolmen de la Caucalière.

Dolmen de la Caucalière (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Approximate coordinates only

I didn't find this but I didn't really get a chance with some ill-luck. Bruno Marc's description in Dolmens et Menhirs en Languedoc et Roussillon says it's about 400m to the west of Flouirac farm with private access. (There's also the Menhir de la Caucalière near it.)

When I arrived at the farm there was nobody about to ask even after knocking at the door. So I was was just going to write a note to put on the windscreen of my car & set off anyway, when an elderly woman called from the upstairs window. She spoke unusually perfect English but what she said, I didn't want to hear. She claimed that there was no dolmen other than Dolmen de Flouirac back down on the road!

I'm not sure if this was a blatant lie, but there wasn't much I could do. It did occur to me to drive back down to the road, park, and then sneak back on foot. But I didn't really have time & wasn't comfortable enough with that degree of subterfuge.

I've been unable to find any photos or confirmation that the site still exists, though a quick Google search shows it is mentioned on some geocaching websites - suggesting it's still there....

Dispirited by 2 failures in a row & pressed for time, I went back down to the road & after another vague scan for Dolmen de Flouirac, I started the long drive back to Arles.

Dolmen de Flouirac (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Approximate coordinates only

I couldn't spot this one from the road, but had a long journey back to our cottage near Arles ahead of me and a couple of other more promising (I thought) dolmens to try to find. I've seen photos of it & it's a nice little thing! (Curses - especially as I couldn't find the others I'd got planned!)

Apparently it's very close to the road but difficult to spot as it's masked by bushes.

Dolmen du Barral (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Location slightly doubtful: I've placed this where I remember it, which fits in with Bruno Marc's description in Dolmens et Menhirs en Languedoc et Roussillon (which is how I found it) so I'd have thought it must be right. It also looks about right on Googlemaps. However, it may be worth knowing that http://www.t4t35.fr puts it at the other end of the village on the other side (south) of the road.

Access: Visible from the road across a field just past the last buildings of the little village of Le Barral. Bruno Marc & I reckon it's on the eastern edge of the village, to the north of the road. Seems to be on private property with no obvious access.

Visited Saturday 8 September 2007
A ruined but easily recognisable little dolmen built into a field wall. I didn't try to approach it (see above) but just used a big lens....

Menhir des Combes (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Access: Easy - a short 100-200m walk along the tarmaced road from the wide farmtrack junction to the west where I parked for Menhir d'Avernat. Not sure if there's anywhere closer.

Visited Saturday 8 September 2007
Another nice large characterful menhir, perfectly matching its partner Menhir d'Avernat on the other side of the road to the west.

Menhir d'Avernat (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Access: Easy - right by the road & with a wide farmtrack junction to park in.

Visited Saturday 8 September 2007
A nice large characterful menhir. Look out for its partner Menhir des Combes on the other side of the road to the east.

Cromlech de Lacam de la Rigalderie (Cromlech (France and Brittany))

Access: Fairly easy - it's pretty close to the road & unlike Cromlech de Lacam de Peyrarines, there are gates (I think!) It is on a bit of a slope, but it's fairly gentle.

Visited Saturday 8 September 2007
I couldn't believe it! Nearly as amazing & bonkers as Cromlech de Lacam de Peyrarines that I'd just come from! Another of the most spectacular sites I've ever been to and a bit more photogenic than Lacam de Peyrarines as it's on a slope.

Like Peyrarines, it's HUGE although quite a lot of stones are fallen or missing, especially on the east side (& the south I think, and others are hidden by bushes).

I (rightly in the end) figured the day could only go downhill from here, as I sat eating my lunch in the tiny bit of shade behind the largest stone to shelter from the blazing sun.

Cromlech de Lacam de Peyrarines (Cromlech (France and Brittany))

Access: Should be easy - it's right next to the road. However, there was no easy access to the field (that I could find) other than hopping over the fence. I'm also sure I got some weird looks from passing locals. Perhaps it's supposed to be no access, so you ain't seen me, right?

Visited Saturday 8 September 2007
Amazing! Bonkers! One of the most spectacular sites I've ever been to. It's HUGE and although some stones are fallen or missing, there are still far more than I could be bothered to count!

Spent ages trying, fairly unsuccessfully, to just get my head around the place & trying to photograph it. And I was virtually trotting around it as a result of a growing feeling that I wasn't really supposed to be there (I could just be paranoid!)

One thing I learnt - if you ask me, it's impossible to do the site as a whole justice in a photograph, except mebbe from the air.

Dolmen de Planas (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech)

Access: Easy - right next to road. Not sure if there any gates to go through - sorry, it was 2 years ago....

Visited Saturday 8 September 2007
Oo, nice! A dolmen still in its mound with a nice (exposed) entrance passage.

Allegedly, between here & Menhir de Serre de la Gleisa there is a ruined cromlech. I suspect there's nothing to see, as Bruno Marc doesn't mention it in Dolmens et Menhirs en Languedoc et Roussillon, but I could be wrong.

Menhir de Serre de la Gleisa (Standing Stone / Menhir)

Access: Not sure, I only looked at it from the road as I had an ambitious itinerary. (Too ambitious as it turned out, in more ways than one.) Looks a little bit of an uphill tromp to me, for 'just' a menhir.

Visited Saturday 8 September 2007
Looks like a nice big (for the area, at least) menhir, but unfortunately I couldn't afford the time for a closer look. So I whipped out the big lens - which means it's a longer walk from the road than it might look in the photos....
Showing 1-20 of 280 fieldnotes. Most recent first | Next 20
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MORE THAN YOU COULD EVER WANT TO KNOW ABOUT MOTH

How?
Though I'd been interested in both for a long while, I finally got into stones & Cope relatively late in life and at around the same time (mid 90s). I guess my girlfriend at the time has to take the blame. She bought me 'Peggy Suicide' and she used to get those nice megalithic postcards from Mr Julian.

Why?
At first, looking at stones seemed just like a good excuse for stomping around in beautiful countryside. Little did I know how much more it would become. And that they're not always in beautiful countryside....

Where?
At the time I was living in Tufnell Park in London so started off with a lot of southern stones 'n' bumps, particularly on holidays to Devon, the Lands End peninsula and the west country in general. Since then holidays have become increasingly megalithacentric!

A couple of years later I moved back to Leeds where I lived for much of my adult life (I'm originally from Kent) prompting numerous visits to stones 'n' bumps in places like Derbyshire, Cumbria, N Wales and of course Yorkshire. I now live near Oxford (see 'Life?').

Strangely enough however, my most visited and probably favourite 'stony areas' are Aberdeenshire and Perthshire, though I've been to quite a few all over Scotland. This is again thanks to a (different) ex-girlfriend who comes from Montrose and is the mother of my glorious son Callan, who at the time of writing is 8 years old.

As you may have guessed, Callan is named after Callanish - at the time of his birth this was a long intended but unmade pilgrimage for me. But more of that in my debut weblog!

('Calan' from 'Calanais' just didn't seem to work. And for the older ones here, no, his name has nothing to do with Edward Woodward!)

Life?
Currently living just to the north-west of Oxford with the gorgeous Jane (we got married in October 2004) and Seafer (Jane's dangerous 'n' stripey cat).

I travel up to Leeds every few weeks to spend time with Callan.

I'm an editor, but am currently working as a civil servant. Boo!

Fun?
In a varying order
Travel
Stones, vigorous country walking (and the countryside, obviously)
Various music, especially heavy rock and funk
Real ale & real ale pubs
Single malts
Bourbon (of the whisky persuasion - not the biccies)
Red wine
Cheese
Roast tatties and chips (not usually together)
Chocolate
Most other food that never had a face
Wildlife
F1 racing (weird one, that)
Talking bollocks
Sarcasm
Laughing
Having a good moan

Vital statistics?
Height 5'8"
Chest N/K (large t-shirt size)
Waist 30"
Inside leg 32"
Aged 46 but fighting
Hair Long brown

- Moth
updated 10 November 2009

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