Yesterday we decided to take a second look at the area known as Barharrow, an area of land around Barharrow farm, near Borgue. The carvings were first recorded in 1995 by K Naddair and S Willet as part of the research done by The Keltic Research Society. Until 1995 no previous carvings had been recorded, in 2005 i first visited this area trying to find all the 8 previously recorded panels, without much luck, apart from panel number 8, though the marks i found at that time were to my mind completely natural. The fact that i could not find any other carvings, i put down to the panels being covered or that i was not experienced enough to find them. So almost 2 years later , we returned,this time knowing exactly where to look and what to look for…..
This is what Naddair & Willet claim to have found at the 8 locations, and to be fair he does mention the natural cups in his recordings…
Nearly all the outcrops in this area are covered with numerous natural solution holes which have in many instances been incorporated into the petroglyph design.
Bar-Gharabh (1), NX 6210 5282.
On a prominent whaleback outcrop riddled with dozens of natural pits, there are c16 cups, 1 with an arching ring and 12 major runnels interconnecting these.
Bar-Gharabh (2), NX 6203 5275.
On the uppermost edge of a flat, pitted outcrop there are 2 (clearly pecked) keyhole rings, plus 3 adjacent cups, the rest of the rock is left to c40 natural pits.
Bar-Gharabh (3), NX 6233 5280.
A fractured, weathered outcrop bears 1 cup unclosed by 3 rings, 1 large cup enclosed by 2 oval rings; 4 cups enclosed by 1 ring each; 1 large shallow cup; 16 solo cups.
Bar-Gharabh (4), NX 6232 5278.
A small outcrop has 1 cup enclosed by 2 rings (the outer ring bisecting another cup and 1 ring); 4 other cups enclosed by 1 ring each; 6 solo cups.
Bar-Gharabh (5), NX 6225 5270.
A rough outcrop features 1 cup enclosed by 1 ring, clustered around which are a further 14 solo cups (1 having a longish runnel).
Bar-Gharabh (6), NX 6223 5265.
An outcrop nearest a field gate has 1 cup enclosed by 2 rings and 1 cup enclosed by 1 ring both bisected by a long runnel; 9 solo cups (1 possibly natural).
Bar-Gharabh (7), NX 6262 5293.
On the Dawn slope of a prominent outcrop (if approached from the gate in dyke, 80 paces to its NE) is a magnificent 5-6 revolution Deasuil spiral in excellent condition and over 12 inches (30cm) in diameter.
Bar-Gharabh (8), NX 6263 5330.
Only 20 yards from main road (A75) over a steep sided ditch on the conical E tip of a long outcrop are some eroded (though still deep motifs): 1 cup enclosed by 1 ring from which radiates 7 runnels (2 of which arch around to connect with 3 other cups). On an adjacent rock panel are several fainter cups and runnels.
This what Suzanne & myself found when we returned today…
On this visit we were were able to find the panels 1,2,3,4,5 & 6….7 again could not be found, and 8 was found on a previous visit.
I am going to show some photographs of panels 1 and 2, which in my opinion are completely natural. All the panels that were recorded in 1995 by Naddair & Willet are all natural, from the cups to the runnels. This whole area, indeed almost every rock outcrop has cups, all natural. From the 2 visits i have made to this area it is impossible to record these marks as man made, all that i found so far are totally natural.
The photographs below are of panels 1 & 2
As you can see from the photographs taken these marks do look natural, the other panels i located yesterday are exactly the same, infact if you examine almost every outcrop within the 3 fields that contain the recorded carvings, you find natural depressions. I do find it hard to believe that these marks could be recorded as cup marks, but that certainly does seem to be what has happened.
I again could not locate panel 7, the magnificent spiral as Naddair called it, even having the grid refs, the number of paces from the gate, the slope of the rock, and finding the outcrop it should be on, there is nothing there, if it does exist it must be well hidden…again i would perhaps like to check the records for this panel in more detail, and to find out if Naddair & Willet photogaphed the spiral.
Brian & Suzanne