|There are two ways to approach this site, either from the road that runs north out of Daviot, or from the New Craig Farm to the east. We chose the latter in order to ask permission. Unfortunately we didn't know that New Craig Farm was running a farm-scale GM test, and our visit resulted in us being interrogated and searched by the police, but that's a whole different story.
Approaching from the Daviot road side, you crest the hill and are presented with the mighty recumbent and flankers, now set into a field wall. The picture in Modern Antiquarian of the broken recumbent set in the wall really doesn't do the place justice, indeed no photograph could. When you're there it is the most magical place, I've *never* buzzed so strongly at a standing stones site! It faces, as RSCs do, south-west, but from here that's straight to the Mither Tap, 'the mother's tit', the mountain that's a clear focus for so many of these sites.
And then it also looks south to the mighty Loanhead circle, and then looking out west we saw our first sight of Dunnideer, instantly recognisable from its Glastonbury Tor-style ruined tower on the summit. These things alone would've amazed us, but from here Dunnideer and its two sister hills, Hill of Christ's Kirk and Hill of Flinder, formed a triple-pyramid design. Turning back to Mither Tap, the Bennachie Hills behind it formed a startlingly similar triple pyramid! Whoah, with Loanhead to the south and the rich rolling land behind this was the most amazing place! Most circles elsewhere feel like they're at the centre of the landscape, but this place feels like it's at the centre of *everything*!
Out to the west beyond Dunnideer, beyond our vision on this misty evening, are the mountains of Tap O'Noth and Hill O'Noth, the looming big mountains that start the landscape's climb out of rolling fertility and into Cairngorm hostility.
And here on the site, behind the massive recumbent and flankers among this mad faerie copse are two large stones, one standing and one on its side, but it's difficult to see either as part of the circle. The latter is the one called the New Craig Flyer in the Modern Antiquarian, and Cope says it predates the standing stones as the original focus here. It has a big dip in it, which Cope suggests was imitated in the dip of the recumbent stone (which initially looked to us like a chunk had been broken off and was missing).
The circle has gone, the recumbent is cracked and built into a wall, but all the same, this place feels like the control panel of the whole landscape.
(visited 30 June 00)
Posted by Merrick
7th August 2000ce