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

Cothiemuir Wood

Stone Circle


(notes from inside the circle, 2 July 00)

Finding this circle is pretty easy despite the lack of any path and its being surrounded with a thick wood of pine trees; it's a crest-of-hill circle, so keep heading uphill from whatever direction you come in, and you'll come to the clearing at the top.

The extraordinary thing about Cothiemuir Wood that makes it an essential visit is the shape of the flankers. They're two opposed wedges, one pointing up and one pointing down, with an elliptical recumbent in between. They look like the buttons for a massive megalithic lift (megaliftic?), as if you could press one or the other to go up or down, and the words 'lift coming' would illuminate on the recumbent. The flankers have clearly been tooled with a lot of graft to get them looking this way. Three other stones stand, others lie around where they fell, and there's an intact stone kist at the centre.

To the north of the stones there's only a few trees before recent felling clears the view. Not quite enough to actually see the landscape, but - again, if the trees weren't here - we would definitely see Druidstones a mile or so away. To the north-east we'd see Corrie Hill (clearly the same root word at Cothie-muir, as well as Correen Hills, Corrstones, etc).

Mercifully, despite the dense planting of these woods, the precinct of this large circle has been left clear. If the trees weren't all round the edge this circle would look west to The Barmkyn, though a south-eastern promontory of The Barmkyn would, I think, make Old Keig circle out of sight. Perhaps my mapreading and calculations are wrong and it'd be mindblowingly in sight.

The Barmkyn is, by implication, a sacred hill; it's also clearly the same name as Barmekin Hill away to the south-east, the hill that bears down on Sunhoney circle. Both hills are more or less the same size and shape. I have no idea what the root word of their names means and would be grateful if anyone could shed some light on this. Is it to do with the fact that both hills had ancient forts on top? Or is that fact a sign, as Julian Cope suggests, of earlier reverence as sacred hills and the name is to do with that?
Posted by Merrick
7th August 2000ce

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