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thesussexidler
58 posts

Some advice needed…
Jul 18, 2021, 10:36
I’d really like to get out & start visiting some UK stones. I can’t afford TMA but would like to get a useful field guide - what would you guys recommend, please?
thesweetcheat
thesweetcheat
6130 posts

Re: Some advice needed…
Jul 18, 2021, 11:45
Hiya,

Assuming you're wanting something lovely and papery:

For a more recent gazetteer for the whole country with some lovely photos (including some by our very own postman), this is very good:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Old-Stones-Megalithic-Britain-Ireland/dp/1786781549/ref=pd_lpo_3?pd_rd_i=1786781549&psc=1

For portable guide to stone circles, this has never been beaten for my money (and is the book that hooked me, along with TMA),despite now being a bit out of date:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Guide-Circles-Britain-Ireland-Brittany/dp/0300063318/ref=pd_sbs_3/261-8758152-8530043?pd_rd_w=V5dYc&pf_rd_p=1469375b-13b4-495f-86c1-e268482be980&pf_rd_r=6G1C9Q24VHG1P5WZ4N9R&pd_rd_r=4f074781-50b0-45ef-8cab-d2430bb2b91c&pd_rd_wg=H2HZ6&pd_rd_i=0300063318&psc=1

Otherwise, I'd generally recommend looking for regional guide books, which often cover particular areas in much more detail.

tsc
thesussexidler
58 posts

Re: Some advice needed…
Jul 18, 2021, 12:03
Thank you so much - I had looked at the first one you mentioned but you never know! Yep - I’d prefer the paper version: I’m a funny age.
Sanctuary
Sanctuary
4684 posts

Re: Some advice needed…
Jul 19, 2021, 14:43
thesussexidler wrote:
I’d really like to get out & start visiting some UK stones. I can’t afford TMA but would like to get a useful field guide - what would you guys recommend, please?


Hello there,
TSC offers good advice as one would expect from him, but may I add to that. When I started out on the long but fascinating road to the stones, I read the books at the time that appeared to be spot on in there content, advice and interpretation. As the years rolled on (I'm 75 now) archaeology become much more understood as dating and the like began to turn earlier beliefs on there head along with many of the claims made by certain authors who quite obviously had either not visited sites or just copied the works of others and views changed. My advice to you would be to yes, of course buy books and maps to show you the way there, but go no further than that until you have visited the site alone and taken it all in without others distracting you. Spend time filming with a video camera and make comments about what you are seeing and observing in front of you at the time, now matter how small. Take measurements and use a compass and gain as much info as you can gather at the time WITHOUT depending on what others had said in their books or articles beforehand. The time for that is when you have studied that site completely and in a position to agree with them or offer your own findings to a respected modern archaeologist - not a troll on a social media site as your interest will be destroyed before you've even started.

All the best
Sanctuary
thesussexidler
58 posts

Re: Some advice needed…
Jul 19, 2021, 17:42
Thanks Sanctuary - that really is very helpful indeed.
Howburn Digger
Howburn Digger
970 posts

Re: Some advice needed…
Jul 20, 2021, 14:24
Julian's book TMA is NOT an extensive gazetteer by any manner of means... lovely tome that it is. However this very website is getting there and has quite an extensive coverage but is by no means complete.
I would suggest a combination of maybe Burl's book already mentioned (and Burls wrote quite a few...) this website and the existing National databases such as Canmore we have in Scotland.

https://canmore.org.uk/site/search/result?SITECOUNTRY=0&view=map

I would also suggest being very sure of where exactly you are headed. Use Bing, Google Maps, directions on websites like TMA etc. It is really easy to miss a path and spend half of a much looked forward to day wandering trying to find a stone in a forest. Prepare for field trips!

But most of all I would suggest that you go and seek what you are interested in be it chambered cairns, standing stones, stone circles, Rock Art etc. If it is a combination that is cool too! But go along to each site with a fresh pair of eyes.. by all means read about it, look at other people's photos etc. But go along with a fresh pair of eyes and an inquiring mind. As a fine archaeologist friend said to me many years ago (which bore great fruit) "If you visit a site thinking you know what you are going to see... then you will never see anything else."
Happy stoning and keep rocking!
thelonious
321 posts

Re: Some advice needed…
Jul 20, 2021, 16:44
and on days you can't get out and about - NLS website is good way to lose a few hours looking for sites on old maps etc :-)

https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/side-by-side/#zoom=16&lat=51.42906&lon=-1.85409&layers=171&right=LIDAR_DSM_1m
thesussexidler
58 posts

Re: Some advice needed…
Jul 20, 2021, 16:52
Thank you - I'll always be rocking!!!
thesussexidler
58 posts

Re: Some advice needed…
Jul 20, 2021, 16:55
Magic - thanks!
GLADMAN
928 posts

Re: Some advice needed…
Jul 20, 2021, 20:51
The best guide to visiting English sites I've come across - by far - is James Dyer's "Discovering Prehistoric England" (ISBN 0-7478-0507-5). Unfortunately, I've not found anything remotely comparable covering Wales, Scotland or Ireland.

I'd therefore recommend browsing online resources such as TMA, Coflein and Canmore and getting to know what's in a particular area before you go.... don't try and cram too much in at once... and avoid honeypot sites at peak times. In my opinion, quality visits really count over quantity.
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