Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Barrow, Broch and a Cow

Well hopefully this should be my last post onboard and my last visit to my archives for a few weeks. I say hopefully, but today we're experiencing a little too much movement and lunchtime's helicopter couldn't land and was turned back to Aberdeen and isn't expected back until Thursday due to the weather. Thursday is when I want to go home and that will only be once todays chopper has been - fingers crossed. In the meantime some old stuff - really old.

The first time I went down to see Kes, we popped over to Avebury for a wee look at the West Kennet longbarrow. It is undoubtably the oldest man made structure I've been in. It was started in around 3600BC and was used for around 2500 years. It was at one time filled to the roof with bits of pottery and and all sorts of odds and ends that gave archaeologist a field day (probably a field year or two) but you can now go in quite a long way to a burial chamber or one of the side chambers - it's really quite a magical place.

The entrance is protected by slabs of sarcen stone.


Not quite so old, but perhaps the second oldest structure I've been in is the Broch that I saw with Bev a year or so earlier while on a tour of the highlands. It's close to Loch Duich on which Eilean Donan castle stands and since it's ridiculously picturesque, a quick shot of the castle first.


It seems that the history of brochs is open to a certain amount of argument as to whether they were a fortified building or built to impress. I don't know and I certainly didn't come here to argue. The earliest ones date from 500 to 200BC and they were built up until about the 1st century AD. They are made from two drystone walls one inside the other with cupboard space and stair cases inside the cavity. Our one, and I think most did, had a second floor when it was in use. This one is not the easiest to find, being a couple of miles up a rough road and another 10 minutes or so on foot to reach but it is well worth it - there are other easier to reach brochs and in much better condition than this one here.



and a cow


16 comments:

Zia Wolf-Sun said...

Great post Sandy! And that "cow"!! lol...just wonderful ;) Lovely photos. This theme sets them off so well. Fascinating place...Wolfie wanna wander those tunnels! It has an awesome feel to it even in the photos :)And the stones at the entrance...

Rocket Man said...

Amazing! When you started talking about the mounds of broken pottery my mind flashed back to Mt. Trashmore back home in Virginia Beach. It was once the city landfill, now topped with clay topsoil and sod and used for a city park. I immediately wondered what archaeologists in the year 5010 will make of it as they sort through piles of plastic milk jugs and discarded diapers.

Sandy's witterings said...

Ah Wolfie, these places certainly have a feel and I'm glad if i caught a bit of it. With the broch not captured is the plague of any scottish place in the vicinity of water and visited towards the end of the day - the midge! (if only there was only one).
Chip, today's rubbish is tomorrow's Archaeology for sure - let's hope they don't find any bodies under Mt Trashmore!

Poppy Daydreams said...

I've only visited West Kennet the once so far... but the visit has stayed most vividly in my mind. The almost majestic walk up the hill to the barrow and the stately way the barrow looks down on all it see's...
The barrow just oozes with feelings.

Sandy's witterings said...

I've been there twice - the second time was interesting. Kim and Andrea (who Billy may bump into while vanning around the country) were doing a spiritual walk around Avebury and the area - Kim was playing a native American flute and I was having a drum (not my usual weapon) in one of the chambers just for a bit of atmosphere for the tour - and it's got plenty atmosphere without the extra.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Castles. Barrows. Brochs. Native American Flutes and Drums. Love it. Really, really do. Fabulous! :)

cieldequimper said...

Och, you are making me insanely wanting to go NOW. It's been years since I've visited Avebury. So much better than Stonehenge (ooops, sorry, my opinion). Thanks for your visit on my blog and your comment about Quimper.

cieldequimper said...

P.S.: I need to find my old photos of Highland cows. The best one I think I took at Rannoch Moor in winter.

Poppy said...

Great photos as ever Sandi, and I love those cows..... :)

Sandy's witterings said...

Thank you all for leaving comments, they're always greatly appreciated. I've been away from computers for a couple of days so a tardy reply and now I must go and have a catch up on other folks blogs.
Oh, lots of people prefer Avebury to Stonehenge - for a start, there isn't a pub in the middle of the Stonehenge circle.

LD said...

This was far and away the most fascinating thing I've seen all day. Riveting to think how old that place is. The cow looks a bit Neanderthal as well.

Sandy's witterings said...

Welcome LD. I wonder how many of our buildings will be about in 2000+ years - perhaps the cow as well.

Jim said...

Thanks Sandy, very interesting.Just travelled through Scotland and visited many of these old bruchs and souterrains and stone circles.I'll be back to read more as the old civilisations these are but remnants of, I find fascinating.

Rachel Hoyt said...

That is an amazing cow / bull photo! I am glad I found you (via networked blogs). I am joining your following and hope you'll check out my blog as well.

Rhyme Me A Smile

I call it a wacky news, silly video, rhyming poetry fusion.

Sandy's witterings said...

Thanks for your visit Rachel. I've been across to your little corner of the web - keep rhyming.

Rachel Hoyt said...

Sandy, you are oh so right. I can't believe I left an unrhyming comment last night. From now on I promise to make all my notes rhyme. It was silly to do it only some of the time. :o)

Rhyme Me A Smile