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Climbing on Standing Stones
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thesweetcheat
thesweetcheat
6130 posts

Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Jan 13, 2012, 14:22
goffik wrote:
I think Carnac is openly accessible outside of peak season. I still think climbing on them is frowned upon though.

G x


I didn't know that Goff, thanks for mentioning.
Spaceship mark
Spaceship mark
1684 posts

Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Jan 13, 2012, 14:25
I've not been now for about two and half years (longest gap ever), but last I heard /some/ of Carnacs main alignements were open in the off season. I've never seen the Kermario alignements open and the three main sites are fully closed from about Easter-late October.
That said, it should never put anyone off visiting as there are literally hundreds of fully accessible, well preseverved and virtually unvisited sites in the area.

One day I'll write my book...
juamei
juamei
2008 posts

Tangent - chambers
Jan 13, 2012, 14:36
I've never been to the welsh upland cairns, are they originally chambered? From the pictures you intrepid mountain walkers post they look like classic large bronze age piles of rocks.
thesweetcheat
thesweetcheat
6130 posts

Re: Tangent - chambers
Jan 13, 2012, 18:24
juamei wrote:
I've never been to the welsh upland cairns, are they originally chambered? From the pictures you intrepid mountain walkers post they look like classic large bronze age piles of rocks.


Yes, that's about it. Some (quite a few) had intergral cist burials, but not "chambers" as such.
Resonox
604 posts

Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Jan 13, 2012, 20:33
thesweetcheat wrote:

No, what I mean is that we don't want places to have to be roped off and signposted to death in order to preserve them. I'm saying Carnac and Stonehenge are surviving, but at a price I think is very high - i.e the loss of being able to properly see the stones up close. One of the main reasons I've never been to Stonehenge is because of the comments made by many others about the lack of atmosphere and sense of place since the inner circle was closed off. And in fact your post highlights the fact that at Carnca the idiots who will climb on the stones will do so regardless of the amount of signs and barriers.

Re: upland cairns. I would hope that anyone who has read my previous comments on ther subject of walker damage to these would know that I would NEVER "create my own access". The comment about climbing "into" them was a recognition of the terrible damage that has been caused by walkers reconfiguring them for shelters, etc. These are not "chambers", they're wrecks. Take the cairn on Moel Siabod, you can't really do anything but go "into" it, as the centre has been completely removed by walkers.

Generally the purpose of climbing "onto" the cairns, rather than being "look at me" as you suggest is both to see how well-preserved or otherwise they are, usually to take some pictures, which itself acts as a record of the current state of preservation. See for example the pictures of the cairns on Western Beacon in Dartmoor, some of the ones that Lubin's previous post is referring to - restored then soon wrecked again by thoughtless walkers. You will note that the most vocal of us on this forum about the damage to upland cairns are generally the ones who actually go and visit them regularly (and report back on here), like myself, Gladman, Postman, Drew, etc. None of us are doing any wrecking by doing so, as far as I can tell, nor are we claiming "special pleading".


You can get up close and personal by arrangement to the roped off alignments at Carnac and around...the climbing is often done...more in the town itself where there is no signage...but usually viligant elderly residents with extremely sharp tongues and scant regard for the Geneva Convention when it comes to walloping trangressors about the ears protect their heritage...I have witnessed more than one chasing away aided by shouting and brandished rolling pin....I was actually in the process of berating a "climber" and his dopey friends in Carnac town for this...the party involved claimed to be Belgian and unable to understand my reproach...but scarpered when this tweed skirt & twin-set clad grande dame chased them off(putting my restrained approach very much to shame). I also should make it clear..it is the drunken "look at me" mobs who clamber and destroy for no other reason than self-gratification, I was aiming my reply to your post about....however I still think if they were to see any of us even innocently recording and creating records, even silently sitting and touching nothing taking in the atmosphere they would probably use the monkey see-monkey do excuse for their own behaviour.
thesweetcheat
thesweetcheat
6130 posts

Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Jan 13, 2012, 21:04
Resonox wrote:
You can get up close and personal by arrangement to the roped off alignments at Carnac and around...the climbing is often done...more in the town itself where there is no signage...but usually viligant elderly residents with extremely sharp tongues and scant regard for the Geneva Convention when it comes to walloping trangressors about the ears protect their heritage...I have witnessed more than one chasing away aided by shouting and brandished rolling pin....I was actually in the process of berating a "climber" and his dopey friends in Carnac town for this...the party involved claimed to be Belgian and unable to understand my reproach...but scarpered when this tweed skirt & twin-set clad grande dame chased them off(putting my restrained approach very much to shame). I also should make it clear..it is the drunken "look at me" mobs who clamber and destroy for no other reason than self-gratification, I was aiming my reply to your post about....however I still think if they were to see any of us even innocently recording and creating records, even silently sitting and touching nothing taking in the atmosphere they would probably use the monkey see-monkey do excuse for their own behaviour.


Fair do's, thanks for the clarification.

Regarding Carnac (or probably more so Stonehenge, as posts above indicate Carnac isn't quite as closed-off as I previously perceived), the main thing that will still kill it for me is the fact that there is a need to apply to see it and that the visit will be under the scrutiny of the locals/EH. It doesn't make for much of an atmosphere in which to really appreciate the place, at least not to my mind. I think I like solitude and unfenced open space too much to really enjoy that. It's one of the reasons I much prefer Wales visits to England, because the constant barrage of "keep off the grass/no right of way/private" etc signs lessens the enjoyment - just reading the signs is dispiriting and rather soul-destroying. I experienced this feeling on Saturday while walking (along pavements) through the suburbs of Bourton on the Water. Everything was covered in notices and signs.

On the "monkey see, monkey do" point, I know what you mean but still can't really see that climbing on top of a trashed mountain top cairn is going to do any harm to it, unless you start messing about with the stones. So if they copy me doing that, I'll live with it. It won't cause any more harm to the ancient monument itself than climbing a set of stone stairs in a medieval castle will, or walking round the ramparts of a hillfort or banks of a henge (in fact, probably considerably less than those last two).

Oddly, I remember getting very annoyed (in a silently disapproving way, inevitably) when I saw someone climbing on top of a trig pillar on one Welsh hilltop. Although only half a century old, these crumbling concrete pillars are much more vulnerable to damage than the granite blocks of a cairn. I can't really explain why I was so irritated by it, it just seemed "wrong".
GLADMAN
928 posts

Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Jan 13, 2012, 21:18
Rupert Soskin wrote:
I think the most efficient solution would be involuntary euthanasia.
I concede that I am probably in a minority though.

Belated happy new year to all


Rupert


A minority of at least two, Mr Soskin.
GLADMAN
928 posts

Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Jan 13, 2012, 21:54
On the subject of 'notices'..... specifically relating to upland cairns...

My general perception of the people responsible for damaging our upland cairns is that they are not morons out to destroy our heritage through mindless, wilful vandalism - but simply those who have not even considered that these cairns may be ancient.... Tim-nice-but-dim rambler sorts, who may well be horrified if the error of their ways was pointed out to them.... 'You mean I'M a criminal?' Cripes! Education, therefore, could well be the answer to saving.... or at least reducing the decline.... of those Bronze Age cairns that still exist in a reasonably recognisable state.

It is debatable whether signage could be effective owing to the extreme environmental conditions.... but highlighting the existance of Bronze Age cairns upon ramblers web-sites, in guide books etc can only be of benefit. The mountain tops of Britain are too 'out of sight, out of mind' to ever be policed. However, since your average 'just want to smash fings' vandal isn't exactly likely to climb mountains to get his kicks, I think we need to appeal to the more educated 'vandals' who do. Let's face it, any properly equipped hillsman (the loners or pairs) will, by definition, be prepared for the worst conditions possible at altitude so will have no thought of using - let alone preparing - a storm shelter. Which leaves the larger, inexperienced groups (seeking safety in numbers) as the likely culprits.
thesweetcheat
thesweetcheat
6130 posts

Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Jan 13, 2012, 22:19
GLADMAN wrote:
It is debatable whether signage could be effective owing to the extreme environmental conditions.... but highlighting the existance of Bronze Age cairns upon ramblers web-sites, in guide books etc can only be of benefit. The mountain tops of Britain are too 'out of sight, out of mind' to ever be policed. However, since your average 'just want to smash fings' vandal isn't exactly likely to climb mountains to get his kicks, I think we need to appeal to the more educated 'vandals' who do. Let's face it, any properly equipped hillsman (the loners or pairs) will, by definition, be prepared for the worst conditions possible at altitude so will have no thought of using - let alone preparing - a storm shelter. Which leaves the larger, inexperienced groups (seeking safety in numbers) as the likely culprits.


Agreed. Perhaps it's worth contacting walking groups (like the Ramblers) and seeing if they would be prepared to add some info to their website. They might also be able to suggest the best way of getting information "out there" to other walkers and walking groups.
Lubin
Lubin
509 posts

Re: Climbing on Standing Stones
Jan 13, 2012, 23:04
thesweetcheat wrote:
GLADMAN wrote:
It is debatable whether signage could be effective owing to the extreme environmental conditions.... but highlighting the existance of Bronze Age cairns upon ramblers web-sites, in guide books etc can only be of benefit. The mountain tops of Britain are too 'out of sight, out of mind' to ever be policed. However, since your average 'just want to smash fings' vandal isn't exactly likely to climb mountains to get his kicks, I think we need to appeal to the more educated 'vandals' who do. Let's face it, any properly equipped hillsman (the loners or pairs) will, by definition, be prepared for the worst conditions possible at altitude so will have no thought of using - let alone preparing - a storm shelter. Which leaves the larger, inexperienced groups (seeking safety in numbers) as the likely culprits.


Agreed. Perhaps it's worth contacting walking groups (like the Ramblers) and seeing if they would be prepared to add some info to their website. They might also be able to suggest the best way of getting information "out there" to other walkers and walking groups.


You make a good point there but I don't really think it is members of "The Ramblers" who are doing the damage. It is more likely , on Dartmoor anyway , to be locals who have just wandered on the moor for a stroll and have no idea what the Cairn is or what they are doing. Another particular thing that has happened on Dartmoor is the Kist in the centre of the Cairn Circle at Sousons being used as a fire place. Again more than likely just someone who has no idea what they are looking at and thinks it will be a good place for a barbecue.
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