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

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Barbury Castle (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

Sometimes Facebook throws up a delight. For a while now I've been linked up with a Facebook page called 'Swindon - Past and Present'. A Swindon archaeologist by the name of Bernard Phillips has been posting some very interesting items about sites of archaeological interest in and around Swindon. Just read this about Barbury Castle:

"South of Wroughton, stands the Boroughs largest and most impressive Iron Age hillfort - Barbury Castle. Like Liddington Castle it was built around 750BC. Its double defensive ditches and ramparts enclose an area 11.5 acres (4.65 hectares). A geophysical survey in 1996 and an earthwork survey in 1998 by the Royal Commission for Historical Monuments recorded forty hut circles and hundreds of pits within it. Chance discoveries include a blacksmiths hoard that comprised knives, sickles, awls, spearheads, an anvil and a chariot fitting, and pits containing pottery and skeletons. The combined evidence points to this hillfort being dominant in the region serving domestic, agricultural, trading, military and religious functions throughout the Iron Age."

London Stone (Standing Stone / Menhir) — News

London Stone to go on show in museum


An ancient and obscured piece of limestone has long guarded Cannon Street. It's called simply London Stone (never 'the' London Stone). It might be a Roman milestone or druidic monument. Nobody knows. Very few people ever notice the venerable rock, which has long languished in a woefully unworthy niche opposite the station.
From this Friday, the mysterious artefact will finally get some attention when it goes on show as part of the the Museum of London's War, Plague & Fire gallery.
London Stone was once much larger and more prominently positioned. The monument is mentioned in Shakespeare, and was first referenced in the 12th century. It is undoubtedly much older, and has been incorporated in the foundation myths of our city.
Display at the museum will finally bring London Stone back into public awareness after its long slumber. It will remain at the museum while work is carried out to rebuild its existing home.
The stone is shifting to the museum for temporary display, while its existing home is knocked down and rebuilt.
See London Stone at the Museum of London from Friday 13 May 2016. Entrance is free.

http://londonist.com/2016/05/london-stone-to-go-on-show-at-the-museum-of-london?utm_content=bufferf9f1f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Scotland (Country) — News

Nan Shepherd to appear on Scottish bank note


Great news! Scientist Mary Somerville too.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-36111759

Robert Macfarlane, writer and Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, welcomed the choice of Ms Shepherd for the £5 note.
He said: "It is thrilling to see Nan Shepherd celebrated and commemorated in this way.
"Nan was a blazingly brilliant writer, a true original whose novels, poems and non-fiction broke new ground in Scottish literature, and her influence lives on powerfully today."

Wiltshire — News

5,000 years of history unearthed on MOD land in Bulford


http://www.insidewiltshire.co.uk/5000-years-of-history-unearthed-at-site-for-new-army-homes/

“The archaeological work that uncovered these exciting remains was undertaken as part of the normal planning process and we are pleased that, as a result, it has been agreed some of the most significant archaeology will be preserved within the planned open space. The remains date from the prehistoric to the modern periods and add new chapters to the story of Bulford. These finds are a great example of the fantastic range of archaeology that lies unseen under our county waiting to be rediscovered, and how sustainable development can help to tell us more about our past.”

A further phase of excavation is planned to examine the two prehistoric monuments beside which the Saxon cemetery was established. These appear to consist of Early Bronze Age round barrows that may have earlier, Neolithic origins. They are likely to be granted scheduled monument protection by Historic England and will be preserved in situ in a part of the site that will remain undeveloped. Neolithic pits outside the monuments contained decorated ‘Grooved Ware’ pottery, stone and flint axes, a finely made disc-shaped flint knife, a chalk bowl, and the bones of red deer, roe deer and aurochs (extinct wild cattle).

Stonehenge and its Environs — News

Booze banned from summer solstice celebrations


http://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/14411283.Booze_banned_from_summer_solstice_at_Stonehenge_and___15_parking_charge_confirmed/?ref=fbshr

BOOZE will be banned from summer solstice celebrations at Stonehenge, English Heritage has confirmed.
And drivers will have to fork out £15 to park at the Stones, in a bid to reduce the number of cars at the event.
When the plans were unveiled in February it led to a "pay to pray policy" accusation from senior druid King Arthur Pendragon.
Bosses at Stonehenge say the reason behind introducing a £15 parking charge is encourage more people to car share and use public transport.
They also believe that banning alcohol will "reduce the risk to those attending and to the monument itself". Drinking will not be allowed anywhere in the monument field.

Part of the reasons for the changes is the increase in numbers to Stonehenge for the summer solstice. In 2000, approximately 10,000 people attended while in 2014, the figure was close to 40,000. That same year, the stones were vandalised during both the summer and winter solstice celebrations.

Money raised from the new charges would go towards supporting £60,000 a year cost of maintaining the visitor centre car park. Kate Davies, Stonehenge’s General Manager, said: “Over the last 15 years we have seen a huge increase in the number of people celebrating the summer solstice at Stonehenge. We have limited parking facilities and we believe the parking charge will encourage more people to car share or travel by bus.

“We’ve also seen more drunken and disrespectful behaviour. Something has to be done or we risk losing what makes solstice at Stonehenge so special.
“These changes will help us to better look after both those attending the solstice and the ancient monument itself.
“Since we proposed these changes, we’ve had a lot of support from the public and from across all the different groups who help to organise the solstice celebrations.”

English Heritage also said it was mindful of how alcohol was used by some druids during ceremonial practice and would be consulting with the community on how moderate use of ritual alcohol.

Tintagel (Cliff Fort) — News

'Merlin' carved into the rocks at Tintagel


English Heritage has commissioned a carving into the rocks at Tintagel. As this is the News Section I will refrain from expressing a personal view.

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/about-us/search-news/merlin-carving-tintagel

Wiltshire — Links

Malmesbury, built on an Iron Age hill fort


Malmesbury, a Saxon town in north Wiltshire famous for its historic Abbey and it connection with the first king of all England, Athelstan. I was in the Athelstan Museum earlier today and was fascinated to learn Malmesbury is built on the site of an early Iron Age hill fort. Was looking at a 3D model of town in the museum and it is almost surrounded by two rivers. A town where prehistory becomes the history of England - life before the Normans. Also known as the "Queen of Hilltop Towns".

Wiltshire — News

Bronze Age burial near Stonehenge discovered after being dug up by badger


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-35523757

"A Bronze Age cremation burial has been discovered near Stonehenge after being accidentally dug up by a badger. Objects found in a burial mound at Netheravon, Wiltshire, include a bronze saw, an archer's wrist guard, a copper chisel and cremated human remains.
Experts believe the burial may have been that of an archer or a person who made archery equipment.
The artefacts date back to 2,200-2,000BC, senior archaeologist Richard Osgood, of the MOD, said."

These will be displayed in the Wiltshire Museum at Devizes later in the year.

Beltany (Stone Circle) — Links

Beltany Stone circle


"A Druidical temple somewhat resembling that at Stonehenge in size and structure…The place is called Baltony, a name not uncommon in some districts of Ireland. It is supposed to be a corruption of Baal tinné, the ‘fire of Baal,’ — intimating a spot where that Deity was particularly worshiped in Ireland…Among the rigid Presbyterians of the North, such remains of antiquity are lightly regarded because they are deemed remnants of superstition and idolatry, although some respect has been paid to them by its respected proprietors."

Mr. & Mrs. Hall, Ireland: Its Scenery, Character, etc., 18411

Stonehenge (Stone Circle) — News

English Heritage to consider banning alcohol ...


English Heritage look set to ban alcohol and charge for parking at future Summer and Winter Solstice Gatherings.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-35500528

Revellers at Stonehenge could face a ban on alcohol and parking charges at this year's solstice celebrations. English Heritage, which manages the ancient site, wants to introduce "significant changes" in response to "repeated and consistent" feedback. Stonehenge manager Kate Davies, said an alcohol ban would "help everyone to have a better experience of solstice".

But senior druid, King Arthur Pendragon, said English Heritage was "looking for confrontation".
In December, large crowds gathered at the ancient monument in Wiltshire to watch the sunrise and mark the winter solstice.

And an estimated 23,000 people descended on the site to celebrate the summer solstice last June.
Despite it being illegal to damage the monument, last year the Heritage Journal wanted revellers banned from getting close to the stones in a bid to prevent the "annual vandalism".

Silbury Hill (Artificial Mound) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Silbury Hill</b>Posted by tjj

West Kennett (Long Barrow) — News

West Kennett Long Barrow re-opened.


A beautiful winter's day, the fairground ride of Christmas over - sigh of relief for another year. So today ventured out to Avebury to walk over to West Kennett Long Barrow. Having heard it was open to the public again, wanted to see the improvements. The ground levels inside the barrow have been raised slightly and covered with a sandy gravel. The unsightly sky-light has been sealed and replaced with two port holes in the middle and at the end of the barrow. I bumped into an old friend over there (as you do) who told me the plan was for water to drain out through a small gap in the entrance stones.
Just at the moment the walk up to the barrow is very muddy as a vehicle has churned the rubber meshing.

Hambledon (Hillfort) — News

Out of control hunt damages hill fort and long barrow


The National Trust has written to the Portman Hunt amid claims its horses and hounds damaged Hambledon Hill, one of the finest examples of an iron age hill fort in Dorset. It is claimed the hunt left the recognised bridleway and came across the hill during a half term hunt last month.

National Trust volunteer Jerry Broadway, who believes this is the second time the hunt has damaged the hill fort, added: "After leaving the bridleway the hunt scattered livestock which were panicked by the hounds who were completely out of control.

"On this occasion extensive damage was done by the horses to the hill generally, and most worryingly the Neolithic Longbarrow which is over 3,000 years old. They have now twice been guilty of blatant and wilful damage to a scheduled ancient monument. What, I wonder will it take to make them actually take real notice?"

Meanwhile, National Trust West & North Dorset general manager Helen Mann confirmed complaints had been received that a hunt crossed Hambledon Hill. She said: "It appears that the hunt, while crossing the hill on a bridleway, left the track to round up some dogs which had got out of control.

"Hambledon Hill is a remarkable and important site for both wildlife and archaeology and we have written to the hunt to remind them that they must stay on the bridleway when crossing the hill. Any horses being ridden off the bridleway risk damage and erosion to the fragile Iron Age ramparts which give the hill its distinctive appearance."

Hambledon Hill was acquired by the National Trust last year. Built over 2,000 years ago, the massive earthwork defences lay over one of the most significant early Neolithic landscapes in Western Europe, dating back almost 6,000 years, and is a place half of British butterfly species call home.

The Portman Hunt was unavailable for comment.

http://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/14021300._Out_of_control__hunt_did__extensive_damage__to_3_000_year_old_hill_fort__says_National_Trust/

West Kennett (Long Barrow) — Images

<b>West Kennett</b>Posted by tjj

West Kennett (Long Barrow) — News

WKLB closed for conservation work


West Kennett Long Barrow is currently closed for conservation work. The entrance is fenced off while a small team of what looked like three people work on the drainage and 1950s concrete skylight. I was over there earlier today and spoke to someone who said he was an archaeology-engineer. The work, being carried out with care and precision, has been jointly commissioned by NT and EH.
A very strong plastic webbing 'road' has been laid up to the barrow and a portacabin is up there behind the fencing.

Isle of Skye — News

Mesolithic hazel nut shells found


http://archaeology.org/news/3822-151022-mesolithic-skye-nutshells

Hazelnut shells have been uncovered at a Mesolithic site on the Isle of Skye by archaeologists from the University of the Highlands and Islands, members of the Staffin Community Trust, schoolchildren, and volunteers. “We have found lots of fragments of charred hazelnut shells in the lower soil samples. They are the ideal thing to date as they have a short life span and were a Mesolithic favorite,” archaeologist Dan Lee told BBC News. The team also recovered flints and a piece of bone that may have been used as a toggle or a bead.

Longstone Barrow (Round Barrow(s)) — Images

<b>Longstone Barrow</b>Posted by tjj

The Longstone (Exmoor) (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>The Longstone (Exmoor)</b>Posted by tjj<b>The Longstone (Exmoor)</b>Posted by tjj

The Longstone (Exmoor) (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Just had a short break in north Devon, walking on Exmoor; along the coastal path from Lynton; and the green paths around some of timeless, unspoilt villages. I was aware before going that apart from Bronze Age barrows there was no exceptionally impressive prehistoric archaeology on Exmoor – we did manage to find the Long Stone and associated barrows, Longstone Barrow and Chapman Barrows. The Long Stone stands in very boggy land about half way between them. A local man who worked in the Exmoor Visitor’s Centre down in Lynmouth told us he understood there was as much of the stone beneath the surface as there was above – the stone stands approximately three metres high (nine feet) and slim in width.
We started our walk by walking uphill towards the Pinkery Exploration Centre from Goat Hill Gate where there is a small road side parking area. The path up to Pinkery Pond was by and large a good one – once at the top it became considerably cooler and windier in the autumn sunshine. We then followed the fence line path to Wood Barrow Gate where we had to climb over a tricky barbed wire fence as the actual path was on the other side of the fence. At this point our progress was watched by a herd of Highland cattle as this was true moorland. The ground very boggy – good walking boots essential (I was very glad I changed my mind about going up there in light walking shoes). We stopped for a bit at the Long Stone Barrow to have a drink and a snack before going over to the Long Stone, which is quite well camouflaged against the moorland grass. It’s an intriguing stone and we couldn’t help speculating about why it was there, I imagine its purpose is closely related to the large barrows on either side of it. As we retraced our steps back to Pinkery Pond we saw a pair of red deer in the distance, one of them definitely a stag. Walking downhill into the warm afternoon sunshine following the course of a moorland stream made our walk an enjoyable experience indeed.

Killaclohane (Portal Tomb) — News

Ancient burial discovered during restoration/excavation work


http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/ancient-burial-site-discovered-in-kerry-697015.html

Excavations of what is thought to be the oldest surviving structure in Kerry have uncovered a burial site which dates back almost 6,000 years.

The dolmen or portal tomb at Killaclohane, Milltown is the oldest such structure still intact anywhere in Kerry according to the county archaeologist, Michael Connolly.
The tomb, on a site between Milltown and Castlemaine, dates from around 3,800 BC and had never been excavated before.

A team of archaeologists recently undertook conservation works to ensure that the capstone on the tomb – which had slipped off its supporting portal stones – would not fall completely and irreparably damage the two upright pillars.

Excavations of what is thought to be the oldest surviving structure in Kerry have uncovered a burial site which dates back almost 6,000 years.

According to archaeologist Michael Connolly "during the excavations, the cremated remains of at least two people were discovered along with a number of arrowheads, scrapers, neolithic pottery and a flint javelin head".

The precise dating of those objects may take several months but they are believed to be from the early Neolithic period. The discovery suggests that one of the earliest settlements in the county was in the Milltown area when people began to farm and develop ties to the land. Connolly has described the discovery as "very important".

Cadbury Castle (South Cadbury) (Hillfort) — Images

<b>Cadbury Castle (South Cadbury)</b>Posted by tjj<b>Cadbury Castle (South Cadbury)</b>Posted by tjj

Cadbury Castle (South Cadbury) (Hillfort) — Fieldnotes

Visited Cadbury Castle a couple of days ago while driving back from the Somerset/Dorset area. The sun was sinking as we climbed up the steep stony track from the village of South Cadbury. When we reached the top everything was bathed in the glow of the setting sun. Fabulous views of the surrounding landscape, quite easy to imagine this may have been the site of a the mythical city of Camelot. Back down in the small car park, I tried to read the information board - the light was failing by now so I photographed it and have reproduced the text below. A fascinating potted history of England from the time of the Neolithic up to the 15th Century.
(Information based on the work of Leslie Alcock and the excavations at Cadbury Castle 1966-70).

From the Neolithic Age (3,000BC) to early 11th Century, the fortress of Cadbury Castle was in turn military stronghold, centre of trade and culture, and probably focus of a religious cult; by the early 16th Century folklore identified it with Camelot of Arthurian legend.

Iron Age Town – A modest Bronze Age settlement on the summit grew into a large and spectacular hill fort town, a centre of craft, trade and religious worship. The place was probably a ‘capital’ of the Durotriges whose territory included central and southern Somerset and Dorset. Dwellings within ramparts were wood, wattle and thatch. At first left alone by the Roman government, the town was forcibly cleared around 70AD by the Romans, an action which left some of the inhabitants dead and which removed others to settlements in the surrounding countryside.

The Dark Ages and Camelot – People returned to the site towards the end of the Roman period and by 500AD there was a massive refortification on the hill top. Defences of timber and dry stone walling replaced the earlier banks and posts of the new south-west gate were embedded in solid rock. Within the defences stood a large, aisled timber hall. The scale of the work and precious pottery found from the eastern Mediterranean imply a wealthy, sophisticated and highly organised military society.
The only surviving written record of the 5th Century shows Britain divided into tribal ‘kingdoms’ and later Celtic tradition tells of a series of battles against invading Saxons under the command of a figure called Arthur. Cadbury, strategically placed to defend south-west Britain, could well have been the base from which Arthur led his troops to the final victory of Mons Badonis, whether that was fought in Dorset, near Bath, or in north Wiltshire. Cadbury was first linked to Arthur by Leland in 1542:
“At the very south ende of the Chirch of South-Cadbryri standeth Camallate, sumtyme a famose toun or castelle … The people can telle nothing ther but they have hard say that Arthure much resortid to Camalat” (sic)

Saxons and Vikings – The threat of Viking invasion during the reign of Ethelred II (the “Unready”) brought the hill top into use again as an emergency administrative and commercial centre in place of Ilchester. Coind were minted at Cadanbyric between 1009 and 1019 in the safety of new defences, and a church may have been begun but the ramparts were again destroyed. Soon after the mint returned to Ilchester."

County Westmeath — News

Destruction of 3,000 year old bog road


http://irisharchaeology.ie/2015/08/the-destruction-of-a-3000-year-old-bog-roadway-in-co-westmeath/

"While Irish heritage is being celebrated and promoted this week, the destruction of a major archaeological monument, a major timber-built road of European significance at Mayne Bog, Coole, County Westmeath is continuing.

Although the National Monuments Service (NMS, the responsibility of Minister Heather Humphreys) has known since 2005 about the existence of the monument, they have failed to act to preserve it.

The road or Togher was discovered in 2005 and was reported by a concerned local resident, rather than the landowner or the industrial peat company Westland Horticulture who are extracting compost from the site.

The National Monuments Service subsequently instigated the excavation of a few meters of the 657m long roadway, which established that:

The monument was a substantial transversely laid plank built roadway. It was no mere trackway, it measured from 4.3m to 6m in width. The recorded length of the road was 675m, but it was seen to extend beyond both recorded limits.

A carbon 14 date of 1200-820 BC was obtained from the timbers, making it a remarkable structure of Bronze Age date, 1000 years older than the celebrated Corlea Bog roadway in neighbouring County Longford.

The excavators recommended further archaeological work but this was never acted upon. What did happen was that peat extraction work continued unabated. What is worse is that the monument was never even properly listed or given any legal protection ..."
(Contd.)

Marden Henge (and Hatfield Barrow) — News

4000 yr old skeleton of a child found


Jim Leary's team at Marden Henge have found a Bronze Age burial of a child. Gender not known yet but child wearing amber beads.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-33643447

Devil's Den (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Devil's Den</b>Posted by tjj

Bryn Celli Ddu (Chambered Cairn) — News

News from Rupert Soskin: stone pillar is blueschist


I don't know whether Rupert Soskin posts here any more (if he does come on to discuss this I will delete this entry). I've just read this on the Facebook "Standing with Stones" page and, having not long since visited Bryn Celli Ddu, found it Very Interesting indeed.

Below is Rupert's FB post:

"Hi folks, Rupert here.
I thought it important to share this as many of you have expressed an interest. I was contacted last night on Twitter by Ffion Reynolds who had been to Bryn Celli Ddu with a geologist who identified the 'tree' pillar as blueschist - i.e rock, not fossil.
Now, the interesting thing about blueschist is that it is a metamorphic rock which only forms in extremely particular circumstances, best explained by this quote from the United States Geological Survey's website:
...................................
For many years geologists have been able to relate individual facies to the pressure and temperature conditions of metamorphism.
But they had no satisfactory explanation for the geologic processes that form metamorphic rocks, that is, until the theory of plate tectonics emerged.
One good example is this relatively rare metamorphic rock called "blue schist."
Experimental work had shown that the minerals in blue schist form only under very unusual metamorphic conditions.
These conditions are a pressure range equivalent to a depth of 15 to 30 kilometers in the crust and a very cool temperature, only 200 to 400 degrees centigrade.
That's the approximate cooking temperature of a kitchen oven or toaster.
At a depth of 15 to 30 kilometers, however, the temperature is normally about twice as hot, 500 to 750 degrees centigrade.
So the only way that rocks can be metamorphosed to blue schist facies , is to be quickly shoved down to those extreme depths and then rapidly brought back up before the rocks have time to heat up completely.
And that's exactly what happens where two tectonic plates are colliding in a subduction zone.
In fact, blue schist bearing rocks normally occur in long linear zones that mark ancient plate subduction boundaries.
..................................
One of the principal reasons I clung to the fossil theory was the cylindrical tree-trunk shape which had clearly not been cut, despite all previous descriptions of it being 'carefully worked'.
The formation of blueschist could allow a seam of cooling rock to literally roll up between the tectonic plates rather like a piece of seaside rock.
This leaves us with two, rather lovely points:
One: The builders of Bryn Celli Ddu would know no difference, it was still a magical stone tree.
And Two: Metamorphic rock does not form in conveniently sized pieces. There must be more."

Wiltshire — News

Exploring ancient life in the Vale of Pewsey


http://phys.org/news/2015-06-exploring-ancient-life-vale-pewsey.html

The Vale of Pewsey is not only rich in Neolithic archaeology. It is home to a variety of other fascinating historical monuments from various periods in history, including Roman settlements, a deserted medieval village and post-medieval water meadows. A suite of other investigations along the River Avon will explore the vital role of the Vale's environment throughout history.
Dr Leary continued: "One of the many wonderful opportunities this excavation presents is to reveal the secret of the Vale itself. Communities throughout time settled and thrived there - a key aim of the dig is to further our understanding of how the use of the landscape evolved - from prehistory to history."
Duncan Wilson, Historic England Chief Executive, added: "Bigger than Avebury, ten times the size of Stonehenge and half way between the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Sites, comparatively little is known about this fascinating and ancient landscape. The work will help Historic England focus on identifying sites for protection and improved management, as well as adding a new dimension to our understanding of this important archaeological environment."
The Vale of Pewsey excavation also marks the start of the new University of Reading Archaeology Field School. Previously run at the world-famous Roman town site of Silchester, the Field School will see archaeology students and enthusiasts from Reading and across the globe join the excavation.

The six week dig runs from 15th June to 25th July. Visitors are welcome to see the excavation in progress every day, except Fridays, between 10:00am and 5pm. Groups must book in advance

Great Orme Mine (Ancient Mine / Quarry) — Fieldnotes

Not sure what I can add to previous fieldnotes so this is just a record of my visit last week 2/6/2015.

Spent the morning walking up to Aber Falls which are truly spectacular. After lunch in Abergwyngregyn we made our way to Llandudno and the Great Orme. By now it was a bright afternoon but very windy - I mention this because the wind on the Great Orme headland was too fierce to stay out in for more than a short while.

However, the Great Orme mine was sheltered from the wind and needless to say non-existent underground. This was somewhere I've wanted to visit for a long time so was able to put my usual claustrophobia aside. Before going into the mine you have to select a hard hat and are invited to watch a short introductory video - which proved to be helpful, informing us that the ancient mines were unearthed in 1987. We were joined by a couple from West Yorkshire and let them lead the way down into the narrow 3,500 year old passages leading to a massive, prehistoric cavern which is lit by coloured lights. The passages eventually come back out into the 4,000 year old Great Opencast.
To say this place is awesome is no exaggeration - the visitors guide to Llandudno quotes Current Archaeology Magazine "Stonehenge is certainly a world class site but now it is joined by the bronze age mines at Llandudno."

In the Visitors Centre there are displays and artefacts depicting mining, smelting and life in the Bronze Age. The gift shop and second hand book shop are staffed by archaeologists and historians working on the site - all profits go back into the project.

For anyone visiting from Llandudno without a car there is the Great Orme Tramway - which apparently is Britain's only cable-hauled street Tramway. The first stop is Halfway Station and probably where you should get out for the ancient copper mine.

Great Orme Mine (Ancient Mine / Quarry) — Images

<b>Great Orme Mine</b>Posted by tjj<b>Great Orme Mine</b>Posted by tjj

Capel Garmon (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Visited Thursday 5th June, as part of a walk taken from 'Best Walks in North Wales' by Carl Rogers. The famous Victorian 'Fairy Glen' just above the Afon Conwy was at the start of this walk and of course a visit was compulsory on this beautiful warm June day (the best day of the week in weather terms). After visiting the Fairy Glen we crossed the lane to start the very steep zig zag walk up through a wooded area to eventually arrive on a peaceful lane leading to the village of Capel Garmon. Before entering the field to the tomb we had to run the gauntlet of a very barky border collie belonging to a nearby farm.

Capel Garmon burial chamber is described as "... one of the best examples of a Neolithic burial chamber in the locality and also has one of the finest settings - backed by a panorama of Snowdonia's highest peaks."
Very similar to some of the burial chambers to be found in the Cotswolds.
"The remains consist of a triple chamber faced with drystone walling as well as large upright stones using the post and panel technique."
A wonderful site in a stunning location.

Capel Garmon (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Capel Garmon</b>Posted by tjj<b>Capel Garmon</b>Posted by tjj<b>Capel Garmon</b>Posted by tjj

Penrhosfeilw (Standing Stones) — Fieldnotes

Last visit of the day on 31/5/15.

I was starting to feel tired by now when I spotted a sign pointing uphill. My companion (the driver) kindly turned the car around and we went to investigate. These stones pleased me as much as anything I had seen earlier in the day. Early Bronze Age, standing in the middle of a field on top of a very windy hill. Visually aligned with Holyhead Mountain in one direction and Snowdonia in the other. These stones reminded me of the stones at the Ring of Brodgar - their narrow shape and height. No circle though, just two solitary tall standing stones.

Penrhosfeilw (Standing Stones) — Images

<b>Penrhosfeilw</b>Posted by tjj

Barclodiad-y-Gawres (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Visited 31/5/2015

The interpretation board informed us that Barclodiad-y-Gawres means 'Giantess's Apronful'. I cannot add much in the way of field notes as we were not able to arrange a visit inside the tomb and could only look through the metal gate (which gave the tomb a cave like ambiance). A fabulous spot on the headland by a small bay, the entrance of the tomb faces towards the Irish sea and Ireland. The walk up to it was lovely, strewn with sea pinks on the day of our visit.

I understand there are engravings on some of the stones inside the tomb and these can be viewed by prior arrangement. I'm afraid we weren't that organised.

Barclodiad-y-Gawres (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Barclodiad-y-Gawres</b>Posted by tjj<b>Barclodiad-y-Gawres</b>Posted by tjj

Bodowyr (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Fieldnotes

This is a lovely ancient site to visit. Visited on 31st May as part of our little road trip around the south west side of Anglesey. Down a quiet, narrow lane with abundant wild flowers growing along the banks. The day was starting to warm up after a chilly start and it was a real pleasure to walk over to Bodowyr - the dolmen itself stands within protective railings but with the magnificent views towards Snowdonia, the railings melted away.

Wonderful!

Bodowyr (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Bodowyr</b>Posted by tjj

Bryn Celli Ddu (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Bryn Celli Ddu</b>Posted by tjj

Bryn Celli Ddu (Chambered Cairn) — Fieldnotes

This was the first site we visited on Sunday 31/5/2015. Easy access via quite a long path up to the burial chamber - to get to it involves crossing a small bridge and river, there was something about this that reminded me of Stoney Littleton. Anyway, suffice to say it lived up to expectations in spite of being extensively restored. The stone pillar was of course an enigma; the mysterious stone with spirals is in the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff - a day trip I can make from home soon to take a closer look (see photo of information board).

The midsummer solstice solar alignment is well documented on the interpretation board over in the small car park.

Bryn Celli Ddu (Chambered Cairn) — Images

<b>Bryn Celli Ddu</b>Posted by tjj<b>Bryn Celli Ddu</b>Posted by tjj

Plas Newydd Burial Chamber (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Fieldnotes

I felt bit intimidated by the organisation of the National Trust on the Sunday morning we visited Plas Newydd - we didn't particularly want to go into the house a it was shaping up to be a pleasant day weather-wise so viewed the dolmen from the top of the slope is has restricted access to the public. At that time we didn't realise that unless you view Plas Newydd Burial Chamber from fairly close up it is not easy to see how splendid it is, certainly not from the path at the top of the slope where you can only see the top of it.
We went back the next day as the weather had turned wet and windy, it seemed like a good opportunity to have a look around the house. This time we asked to use the little motorised buggy that ferries less mobile people down to the house around the restricted access area. Nothing wrong with our mobility but it was a way of getting closer to the burial chamber. The driver of the buggy told us that the NT doesn't encourage people to get close to it but will allow if you specifically ask. He kindly pulled up in front of the dolmen so I could take a photograph. By this time the rain was lashing down and I had rain on the lens - so my photos are not brilliant but they do show there are actually two dolmens - a large on and a small one. The smaller one is virtually hidden from view if you look from the top of the slope. Obviously, they were there a few thousand years before the house and would have looked out over the Menai Straights towards Snowdonia.

In spite of the rain, we didn't stay long in the house ... that wasn't what I come for.

Plas Newydd Burial Chamber (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>Plas Newydd Burial Chamber</b>Posted by tjj<b>Plas Newydd Burial Chamber</b>Posted by tjj
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Passionate about:
Nature; stone circles and all ancient sites that involve walking through unspoilt countryside/being near the sea; islands around the the British Isles, especially those with ancient monuments.

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