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Carl rightly mentions his surprise at not finding any field notes here already, I don't know what I was thinking, so here I am again, seven years later, god where does the time go, Eric was just four.
As pluses go, dragon repelling proprieties is a pretty
big plus for a standing stone, some stones point the way to somewhere, some stones stand round in circles, but this one is a dragon slayer, how cool is that.
It's really not a far walk from the road, I parked blocking the gate to the stones east, if farmer came I could have it moved in a jiffy.
A very tall stone this one, at least twelve foot tall. A very rectangular stone it is too, specially at the bottom. Rough to the touch, except on the corners where sheep rub it smooth.
I think Craig Rhiwarth is visible from here, and Glan Hafon with it's exceptional cairn, but most eye catching on the near western horizon is the volcano shaped hill with a half decent fort on it's summit.
I had originally decided to leave this barrow for someone else to go and find, but with the nearby little cracker of Glan Hafon cairn with central boulder I couldn't leave it out. Similarly I was going to leave Craig Rhiwarth hill fort off the list, but with another nearby cairn with cist and the loveliest of Welsh scenery i'll be back up this way sooner or later.
It will be a long walk to this out sized barrow no matter which way you come from, I came from the east off Y Clogydd near Glan Hafon, the route passed several old quarry work sites, there are many in the Cwm. A footpath leads straight to it from the road though through the forestry area to the barrows west, if you just wanted to see the barrow.
Rhiannon's Miscellaneous notes point out the barrows dimensions, 19 meters across and 1.5 meters high, and also mentions the quartz covering the barrow once enjoyed, even the boundary stone is there, I think. But sometimes numbers can't do it the justice it deserves, so in plain speak, it's a really big one, twice as high as me, and the footprint as big as a house. Pleasantly huge. The quartz is mostly grass covered now but in places the stone that one can see, be a gleaming white. On the barrows summit a big gnarled lump of quartz stands upright, almost mimicking a two stone row with the probable boundary stone.
You can see the barrow clearly from Glan Hafon cairn, but why cant I see the cairn from here, Craig Ty Glas cairn with cist should be visible across the valley east-ish from here but for the forestry trees. A gap through the hills south west reveals a sadly flat area of Wales leading on to the English border. But south is the massive lump of rock Craig Rhiwarth, cairns from the bronze age crown summits within an Iron age fort and later Hafods (summer highland farm dwellings)were constructed.
The views are worth the long trek alone, take a circular ish walk of five hours to see Glan Hafon cairn - Bedd Crynddyn barrow - Craig Rhiwarth, you'll be glad you did, you'll be knackered, but glad.
A cairn with a difference.
I came across this site whist drifting through Coflein, it can be very addictive, those little blue spots could be anything, you never know what you might come across next. This is what they say about Glan Hafon cairn......Stone built circular kerbed cairn with large, probably natural, boulder in the center.......not overly descriptive is it, but tantalising all the same, even better though are the three photos Coflein thoughtfully supplied, ooh that's different I thought, you don't get many of those to the pound. Just two weeks later and i'm there laying hands on to that very cairn. Splendid.
It's probably quicker and maybe easier to come at it from the north, off the small road that leads to Pistyll Rhaeadr, Wales longest waterfall. But I opted to come at it from the south, passing by on the eastern side the massive bulk of Craig Rhiwarth, it has a fort on top, and if time allowed I'd have a closer look at that too .(I didn't)
There are, the map says, several footpaths leading up the way I want to go, but I could only find one and so after leaving the car in a wide farm entrance with plenty of room for tractors and whatnot I started my upward stroll in lovely last of Autumn Welsh countryside.
After the initial heavy up hill walk the ground levels out and you follow the Nant Sebon up into the steep sided Cwm Glan-Hafon.
After hopping over a stile next to an old farm building the path branches, taking the right fork then leaping the thin Nant Sebon the path then more or less goes straight up the hill following the even thinner Nant Ddial. After much huffing and puffing I'm at the top, there are several boulders scattered across the wide ridge between Glan Hafon and Y Clogydd. I turned left towards Y Clogydd, the cairn I was looking for wasn't there but I did come across what ive now found to be Garned Wen clearance cairns and a funerary cairn. Duly photographed I move back to where the proper more interesting cairn must be.
Without much messing about I locate it fairly quickly, with that big boulder in the middle you'd have to be willfully negligent not to.
This site set me tingling, it is a real blinder.
The cairn is maybe ten meters across and almost a meter high, though really it mostly resembles a small ring cairn, because it dips down in the middle to accommodate the central boulder. I noticed that Coflein says it's probably natural, but then there is the chance, all be it a small one, that the boulder was placed there intentionally. The cairn is mostly smack bang in the middle of the saddle between the two nearby hills, on the edge of the steep hill, looking across the valley to Craig Rhiwarth, which has a more than passing resemblance to the boulder itself. So if the boulder was there first and the cairn thrown up around it, then the boulder was very fortuitously placed.
Then one wonders where the burial was placed, is it in the cairn or under the boulder ? a small recess leads under the capstone, if that is what it is, heck for all we know the bottom of the boulder could be covered in cup marks. I could locate only one or three definite kerb stones. The boulder has a large broken off lump at it's western end.
Also seen from here is Bedd Crynddyn, a large tumulus that I had decided to leave to someone else, until I found another reason to come up here, so that is my next destination.
The view is just gorgeous, blue skies and fluffy white clouds and lots more hills, but mostly it is all about Craig Rhiwarth, from here it presents its eastern end, massive, rocky and daunting, there is no way up that way. Behind the hill fort the Tanat Valley lies in shadows today, far along it east towards Oswestry is the Viper stone, a tall and very good looking standing stone that guards the locals from a marauding dragon.
A very good site, with a view to die for.
Alken and I are out for another highly enjoyable day mountain climbing, low clouds have put us off inner Snowdonia today so we settled, no not settled, used up a contingency plan and headed for Bala, or as my Aussie cousin would say Balaah, and the Arenigs.
The twenty sixth highest mountain in Wales is Arenig Fawr, at 854 meters it is not going to be a pushover.
A some what lonely mountain, at least when compared to the height of the other hills around here. We start the walk from the thin lane north of the mountain, it is at first an easy walk, Eric would have no doubt pointed out it's ease of access by bike, a land rover would be quicker and it could be driven all the way to the edge of Llyn Arenig Fawr. The llyn is quite lovely, we could have sat and watched the wind pushing patterns across it's surface for far too long, but the top beckons, as it always does.
The top is hidden from view though by low clouds, and many false crests. It is here, as we start to gain some height that the Eeriness starts, there is not much wildlife at all, not even any sheep, the odd bird flits by about once every hour. I, we have been up mountains maybe what you'd call "lots of times" but ive never been this tired out, my legs hurt, my chest hurts, it is hard going, and the rest spots are coming all too infrequently. But we slog on. Soon the rest of Wales begins to disappear as we ascend into the clouds. Up on top of a subsidiary peak called Y Castell we have to cross over a wire fence and follow a vague path that looks like it's going the way want to go, the rain is falling and my hood is up, my only view is of the ground a few meters in front of my feet, I look up and notice the bright and vibrant colours of the grasses, pinks, oranges, reds and browns, so rich in hue that you want to bend down and inspect each plant individually. I had to blink my eyes, maybe something was wrong with me, looking at other things helped, my camera, my feet, Alken, no it wasn't my eyes, the floor was really that pretty.
We are up in the clouds proper now, there is no down, only up, with hints of sideways. We pass through a boulder field on the side of the mountain, some as big as a small shed, but all of them are as weather eaten, as gnarled as any ive seen, it is very much a lunar landscape, only with cloud and drizzle.
A couple of times we think were near the top, we even thought we could see the cairn above us, but it was always just a bit further, hiding in the mist, then showing us just enough to know where to go, and would you guess it, it was up.
Eventually the real, honest to god top of the mountain reveals itself, cairn, trig point and all. We've made it, but the usual elation, the wonder of it all has been replaced with cold wet hunger. We sit and consume butties, they've never tasted better.
Another climber approaches the cairn, he says hi, we give him one back and he sits in the other shelter in this cairn, yes it's big enough to accommodate two walkers shelters. He's soon gone though and we have the top to our selves again, cameras out , we do our best to show this place in as good as light as possible, which is hard in this drizzle.
It is a big cairn, despite the shelters and the trig point intruding upon it, and even though it is supposed to sport some kerb stones I saw none that I could comfortably say that is a kerb stone.
The views this way and that would I presume have moved me to some sort of poetic prose, but they were not here today, logic dictates that the rest of Wales and the world is still out there somewhere, but I couldn't swear to it. It's time to go now i'm not quite sorry to say, time to walk through different worlds back to our own, the high world in the clouds gives way to the lunar landscape, then through bright grassy world to the half way world, where here can sometimes be there. Not much sense to be had here today this is an eerie landscape, deathly quiet except for the wind which seems to come suddenly from no where then fade away, looking about us we can see mists being blown in several directions at once.
I wondered what ancient man would have thought of life and death on a mountain side, he could have hardly have thought it less magical than myself.
Stones in the dark.
After a big climb up Arenig Fawr, we had time to spare so we decided a stop off here at Branas Uchaf would be a good end to the day, but it was getting late and would most likely be dark when we get there. But no matter how little we could see, or how hard the camera would have to work, it's usually better to be there than not, if it wasn't then you'd have to say that blind people should never go to some stones, they should.
We parked right next to the fence, ignoring my previous fieldnotes, but it was late, we hadn't come across other drivers on the way here, nor did any come by whilst we were there. Not springing lightly over the stile we ambled over, in the way that only someone whose just climbed a mountain can.
No time at all later and we were on the mound touching stone, which is nothing at all like stroking wood. My camera was the worst at penetrating the darkness, until I pointed it at something nearer then point back at the stones and keep real still. Presently, it's started raining, very lightly, but the only evidence of the sparkly sky water was when the flash went off, I thought I was seeing things at first, had an aneurysm decided to pop now ? here ? as good as place as any to go I thought. But it was just rain.
I enjoyed this little night time visit, it was funny coercing the camera into action, stumbling around in the darkness it reminded me of playing football in the dark when I were a lad. Good times.
I spotted this cairn from the road last time I was up this way a month or two ago, it wasn't on the map so I wasn't too sure if it was what it looked like or if it was wishful thinking seeing cairns where there are none. But upon returning home I found it on the 1,25000 map and it was on the Portal, so it was added to the list, top priority.
Handily there is a small parking place for one just right where you'll jump the fence, if your that way inclined. I very much am so it took no more than ten minutes from car to cairn.
Upon reaching the top of the hill I came across a weird stone construction before I got to the star of the day. It was a dimple in the ground with low stone walling on one edge, I took it to be some old mine working place wotsit. Cows were conducting a standing sit in upon the cairn so I give it a wide birth to begin with, checking out what can be seen from the cairn, I was not much surprised to find good views of the three principal hills in the valley, High Wheeldon, Parkhouse and Chrome hills.
I wondered why the cairn was not on the top of the hill, so I walked up to it, just to see if there was anything there already, like another cairn, but there was only a low tumbled wall. But from up the top of the hill I could see that the view, the hills seen from the cairn could be seen from the hill top as well. I think they put the cairn at the bottom of the ridge, but at the top of the steep part just to bring the position of the cairn closer to the hills and the valley running through below them, as if they just wanted to be together, to be part of the collective, "were with them".
The cairn itself is possibly the biggest cairn in the area. It is wide, about six feet high, and has a low linear spread of loose stone right across it, north to south crossing the center.
peppered around the cairn are half a dozen badger holes, I say badger only because of the size of the holes, I could have crawled into one or two of them. A big tree has grown up on its eastern edge, aiding in pinpointing the cairn from anywhere and giving shelter from rain or a hot sun.
This cairn, Hatch-a-way cairn and the peak of Parkhouse hill are in quite a good alignment.
We parked the car at Nant y Coed nature reserve after a bit of a hit and miss affair to get there. The Afon Llanfairfechan runs through it very prettily and we follow it for a while until we come across a path that goes up, up is where the settlement is so we go that way. We could have come at it from the gentler eastern side but it's a long walk in so we plumped for the direct approach, which is something of a past time for me, seeing what it would be like for any would be attackers.
The path that goes up is in a very nice wooded area, it's very thin and steep on both sides, I do like a daring foot path. Until that is we come across a sign saying No access to Dinas, never a good thing.
We carried on the thin path until it comes out of the wood, jumped a wall, which isn't easy with two small dogs, then made our way up a grassy slope up to the wall that's half way up. From there it is all big stony scree, i'm afraid to say that at this time I became a bad dad, I'm fairly used to such climbs I can walk up it like i'm on stairs, but Eric was scared, Arthur the Jack Russell wouldn't move until he got proper directions from someone who is less frightened than him, then he got upset. So we sat for a while whilst I reassured him, then I took both dogs and once more led the way.
A minute or two later we arrived at the top, and Eric had a go at me when he saw how much easier the eastern way was, but it's ten times further I told him, this seemed to placate him but for the next ten minutes he had a moody look to him.
We sat for those ten minutes in silence taking in the sea and mountain air, surveying the splendid scenery afforded by being high up. This settlement, one cant really call it a fort, occupies a fantastic and very strategic position. From here we can see North all the way to the other side of Angelsey, Holyhead mountain sticking out like a sore thumb. West is hills and scattered over them are cup marked boulders and outcrops, arrow stones, cairns and more hut circles than you can shake a divining rod at, if you should need to. South is the mountains, and Bwlch y Ddeufaen with much stony goodness beyond it's portals,and east is more hills but with Druids circles, cairns, cists and all that is there. You can see it all from Dinas.
The settlement is, very eroded, but still enough remains to be glad one made the effort of getting up here, it's not as good as the brilliant examples of hill top settlements on the lleyn peninsula, but i'm not there, i'm here, and at that moment, here is all we need.
There are maybe ten huts on the hill top itself, and another half dozen at least strewn around the grassy fields east of the iron age village, there's even a couple of barrows. The hill top huts are very close together and right on the edge of the steep drop down to the river, their closeness reminded me of Scara Brae, this would have been one close knit community. After many photos and much surveying the area we have run out of time, we descend the hill on it's south side til we get to a wall, we follow it and it in turn leads us to another wall, I surmise the No access to Dinas sign will not be far away, then Eric says "hey look where we are".
The rest, as they say is history.
Sorry couldn't think of a decent way to end.
Follow directions for Carnedd y Saeson. Park in the car park at the end of the lane, in front of you up the hill is the aforementioned cairn but back down the road and over the left hand wall is another fine cairn. You wont spot it from in the car, the wall's too high, unless your in a land rover or the like.
Getting over the wall isn't that easy, on top of it is a wire fence, but once over everything is just tickety boo.
Id only seen this cairn on Google street view, a very handy tool for looking about, but all's I could see was stones, but that's enough for me, so here I am.
As I approached it looked like a good cairn, wide, quite high with good views, but it soon got better. In the middle of the cairn is a very big long stone, right next to what I took to be the cist. But the stone looks far too big to be a simple cist cover, it looks more like a former standing stone, fallen, then dragged off into the annoying pile of stones.
But I doubt it.
What ever the stone is the cairn is in a striking position, overlooking the river Anafon, and overlooked by mountains, and with a distant view over the Straits to Anglesey this is one of the best cairns on the North coast.
In the next field, actually the same field as there is no divide is another cairn, but I didn't have time to get a good look at it as the big cairn was so engaging, it looks smaller, and less interesting, but i'll have another look next time i'm up here.
Very good !!!
All along the North coast of Wales there are many ancient sites, masses of hill forts, a thousand cairns, even the second biggest man made mound in Britain, but it is the Druids circle that shines out most to me. But a close second is this place, Carnedd y Saeson, very overlooked, mostly ignored, but highly entertaining.
Two concentric circles of small stones, with a large displaced cist capstone in the middle. Marked on the map as just one in a group of nondescript cairns, but this is no spread of loose stones, if it were cleared and tidied of all the choking gorse bushes it would not look out of place on Dartmoor, with it's big cist and surrounding stone circle. So to that end I shall be trying to get up here a bit more often, with my shears and flick saw and see if I cant make it a bit more visitor friendly and to finally see the whole thing. Unless anyone has any reservations.
This stone is a doddle to find, at the meeting of two paths/tracks/roads with Arrow stones and cairns also very close by.
I wonder if Idwal got any feedback from the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust or if he contacted them at all. I'm quite convinced about it, but only quite. There is another stone about twenty yards away, of which Ive included a couple of pictures of it. Both stones seem to have some smaller stones at it's base but without digging impossible to tell if their packing stones
Ok, so this is as far east as we go. If you don't have a compass, and cant take a bearing, just locate granite pillar number 7, from there the arrow stone is the biggest, flattest, most art worthy stone you can see, Eric and me went straight to it.
There seemed to be more incisions on this stone than the two we'd already passed, I hadn't been measuring the length of the incisions so I didn't notice that they were shorter, consequently I didn't have any doubts about it's authenticity.
How ever, I didn't know about the concentric square motif just a short distance down hill, or rather I did but didn't know it was here or I would have looked for and found it.
Oh well, like all good places, just once is never enough.
These two Arrow stones would be as far east as we were going, from here I can see distant Moelfre and the saddle where Cefn Coch the very good cairn is, closer to is Dinas, iron age settlement, somewhere closer to me from there is Garreg Fawr cup marked stone. Swinging right to look east is Bwlch Y ddeufaen the pass through the hills that leads to new vistas and many top ancient sites.
This arrow stone was quite easy to find, it's more or less right under the pylon wires. But when we looked at the stone I prematurely decided this wasn't the stone I was looking for, the grooves on it were much rougher, less defined, too natural looking, glacial I decided, and walked off to find the real one.
So I found the arrow stone without realising it, I even at Eric's behest took a photo anyway, more of Bwlch y Ddeufaen than the arrow stone. Then I got home looked more closer at the map made up with Coflein and found out that this is the one, or this is one of the two.
Not far down the track east from the cairn that is called Cairn NNW of Foel Ganol is this other in someways better cairn, who's name cant escape me. A few hundred yards separate them, and many ruined structures and many many random and stray stones, the whole hillside seems to be liberally covered with stones.
This cairn is perhaps slightly smaller than its western sibling at 7 meters wide and 0.6 meters high, but it enjoys much the same view, which is moorland-Strait-Angelsey, nice.
It sits on a slight ridge in a bowl created by the shape of the near hills, a natural amphitheater from which to fling ones arms wide and howl into the night, or grumble in the drizzle about bloody kids and such.
Coflein says of the cairn that some kerb stones are still visible and the remains of a cist and even a capstone occupy the cairns center, unfortunately the undergrowth is still quite high and with child and dogs always wanting to go go go I didn't have time to give it the attention it deserves, but now I have another reason to return to the area.
Coflein and myself are once more friends again, to seal the friendship they divulged this little nugget of information about this prominent cairn.....Cairn NNW of Foel Ganol at 1000ft above sea level. A circular mound of stones, 45ft in diameter and 3ft high on ground sloping to the N. Irregular hollows in the mound are probably the result of casual digging.
Casual digging ? I ask you.
Not far down the track from Foel Dduarth Arrow stone, and only ten minutes from the national wonder that is Carnedd y Saeson. In fact there are cairns, Arrow stones, possible standing stones, and habitation sites from many periods. This is a place heaving with history. Also there are the views across the Straits to Angelsey, and in the opposite direction the ground goes up and up, which is always nice, and enticing, but i'm saving our upping for somewhere else.
Just a couple hundred yards from Hafod Gelyn cairns is this Arrow stone, there are quite a few round here and this is a good example. Eric, the dogs and I entered the area where I knew it would be, I said to the lad look for a quite a big stone with lines carved onto it. Five seconds later "is this it ?"
It most certainly was, no time wasting here.
When Idwal came here he mustn't have had his glasses on because he saw the letters RRP carved amid the lines, but there is more, it isn't just initials but a whole name R R PENLAND. How rude.
Just what are they though ? Arrow stones ? presumably so called because the stone was used to sharpen arrow heads. But really ?
I haven't heard a single explanation that sits well, are they even properly ancient, who knows, not me, or anyone it seems. Geeeooorge !!!
Very close to Carnedd y Saeson and Foel Dduarth enclosure, but not nearly as good as either of them.
Coflein, bless them, have the cairn at twenty four feet across and two feet high, seemed slightly smaller to me. Overlooked by Foels Ganol and Dduarth the cairn is in a grand place, but the iron giants march along this old road somewhat spoiling the view. The cairn is all grassed over, there is supposed to be two here but I couldn't see t'other one and as Coflein says they are with in a complex field system. Which they most certainly are, history never took a break round here, it just kept on going.
Not really much else can be said except two better cairns and some arrow stones are east from here along the same track.
North of Ratlinghope, is a not even a hamlet called Stitt, there are just two farms, walk east on the road that is prohibited to motorists, pass two lakes, At the big trees ascend gently sloping hill passing the large spread out barrow en route, carry on up the hill, jump one fence and the fort is before you.
I've been to many hill forts, but this one was a bit weird, some say that not all forts are forts but rather defensible enclosures, this could be one of them.
I've heard it said that it's a mere cattle enclosure, but if that were true why would it be on the top of a hill, surely it would make more sense to have it lower down, hidden in a low valley or something instead of advertising your big herd on top of the hill. Or was cattle rustling a big thing in the iron age, i'm guessing it might be. Perhaps it is an unfinished fort ?
Anyway, what ever its use, it is there, it is old, and you can go and have a look. The incomplete ring is as i've said at the top of a hill, the very big
gap faces south, out over the edge of the steepest ascent up to the enclosure, it isn't an entrance it's just a huge wide weird gap. The best possible entrance is on the other side, facing the barrow, north east, but it's not a very convincing entrance.
On the south side is what looks like a hut circle, or more precisely a double hut square, shepherds quarters ? in fact the more i've thought about it the more it cant be a fort, but where did the people live, inside the enclosure with the animals, or elsewhere ? Why show off your animal wealth up there for all to see, or is that point.
No views today, no Stiperstone ridge, no nothing, visibility only goes as far as Cothercott hill and it's barrow, if time permits a quick look could be in order, and it is, was.
Nicely tucked away from the maddening crowd, and the fort hunter, hidden amid a mass of very minor roads north of Ratlinghope. Head for Stitt, or precisely Stitt farms. In Stitt turn east, uphill, in about 600 meters park near the entrance to a lane that prohibits motor vehicles. Walk down this lane, passing two dark tree shaded lakes. When you get to the big trees follow them up the hill untill you reach the barrow, you have reached your destination.
Cothercott barrow is very visible on it's hill top north from here, as is the fort south west from here.
The barrow has spread considerably, but is still over a meter high, it has a large footprint, it is a large barrow, but not a big one.
Some kind of horse jumping equipment was around it and on top of it.
This would be a very nice place on a nicer day, but today is cold wet and grey with added cloud.
Seeing as this barrow was just up the road from Castle hill where i'd just been, and my eye had been constantly drawn upwards I drove up the road to see how close the road gets to it, close enough, close enough for me to be unable to resist a slow jog up the hill, a quick amble, or a moderate wander, just to see what was what like.
I didn't ignore the near by boundary marker type stone, it had a metal plaque on it " Manor of Cothercott something 1791 " but I should have.
Pastscape are over stating the barrows height
It's not two meters high, one, maybe one point five.
Something has been excavating on it's eastern side, exposing either bedrock or a big stone, it's red sandstone.
The views were non existent, the low clouds that had troubled this barrowed summit but not covered it, had now covered it, I was getting wet, a quick amble requires no coat, but perhaps a moderate wander should do.
Short grass, bulky sheep, big barrow, rain.
Just south of Little Stretton turn west onto the B4370, then north west off that road towards Hamperley. Blink and you'll miss it, but miss it we must, head for Priors Holt, it's a dead end road. Pass the house on your right and you have reached your destination. Park and exit the vehicle.
There is now a gate blocking access to the road into the forest. There's hinges and catches and stuff so entry was only momentarily impeded, we follow the track for a couple of minutes following the little stream that is called Nut Batch.
But now comes the rough and tumble, veer off left at your earliest convenience and climb the steep wooded slope. Coming out of the trees follow the tree line up hill, then strike out perpendicularly onto the open grassy hillside, let the mist envelope you, let the rain be a beautiful thing, put your hood up, head down and try to walk in a straight line going north west.
Presently my seemingly random stroll across a blind hillside brings me to a fence with conifers beyond, now turn left (south west), and follow.
Whisper sweet nothings to the cows that watch me go by, whilst dodging number two's almost all the time. The fence now turns a corner, it goes right, at ninety degrees, with a footpath sign, and round the corner a short grassy bump, honey i'm home.
I was really quite surprised I got to it so incident free, it's not far back to the car to be sure, but still, picking a line at random and it takes you straight to where your going is the kind of common place coincidence that you get used to.
Thesweetcheats misc note describes it well enough, 4 meters across, nearly half a meter high, a half buried donut.
There are about twenty points on the donut where stone pokes through, ten in one place, does that make it a ring cairn, distinctions escape me, i'm still too amazed that anything from so long ago still survives in fields, on mountains, and on street corners.
I'd love to be able to tell you about the lovely views, the long vistas and which sties can be seen in which direction , but the mist was all encompassing, my universe was about a hundred yards across, cows positioned on the far southern edge, and for now, centrally, a ring cairn and me, it's a nice ring cairn, grassy.
En route back towards the cows I came across a large irregularly shaped stone, spattered with mud and such, I stood on it and took a photo back over to the nearly invisible ring cairn, I started to think about the stone, then stopped and walked in an unswervingly straight line back down through the trees to the car.
Then when I got home and looked at the 1:25,000 and noted that a small circle was in the stones position, realisation came slowly, then hard, blow me that must be the Botley stone. Bummer. Someone'll have to go back and photograph it now, cause I did'nt
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After visiting over a thousand ancient places and driving between fifteen to twenty thousand miles every year I can only conclude that I'm obsessed with these places, and finding this website seven years ago only compounded that obsession, at least I'm not alone anymore.
My favourite places are:
Ring of Brodgar
Balnauran of Clava
Nine stones close
Bryn Celli Ddu
The Druids circle (penmaenmawr)
Gwal y Filiast
La Roche au Fees
Talati De Dalt
and these are only the ones that immediatly spring to mind, so many stones and not enough lifetimes.