|(notes from inside the circle, 2 July 00)
Intrigued by the OS map marking a circle not even credited in the Modern Antiquarian's list of 'non-gazetteer sites', we wilfully sought this one out. On the OS map the track up from Towmill looks best, but it's actually overgrown in grass a metre and a half high, and anyway it's uphill from there. So we came to the next turnoff to the north. It was marked Druidstone Croft. Druidstones! At last we had a name for this circle! We looked it up in the Modern Antiquarian index and it gets a quick mention in a list of sites unvisited in 1994. Very mysterious.
A household called Rashiewells is nearest the road, and the entrance to the field with the stones is straight in front (*not* down the track to the right). Through the entrance to the field we found that a generous gap of fifteen or twenty metres had been left between the edge of the crop and the edge of the field. We walked along this, soon cresting the hill and seeing the two small copses in the field, the nearest of which was around the stones. We walked down a tractor wheel-run to the trees and stones. Behind them is an abandoned house with some trees beside it.
The OS map optimistically shows four blobs for this stone circle. There are two stones standing, one is at the north-west, two and a half metres tall, a metre across each side and grey. The other's opposite, a tiny metre-high thing, and at the south-west there's a jumble of large rubble, surely the remains of the recumbent and/or flankers. Five trees grow in the circle among knee-deep grass.
Despite the two standing stones this feels like a truly ruined circle, the destruction here has a feeling of absoluteness, somehow. The dead tree in the circle and the abandoned house beyond the don't generate the creepy vibe you'd expect, in fact there's seemingly nothing of such potency here.
That said, the sense of place is amazing. To the south-east Corrie Hill slopes down to allow a clear line of sight on Cothiemuir Wood and beyond to a far horizon of the Corrennie Moor peaks. The south-west aspect looks over Brindy Hill and, behind and left, the two peaks of The Barmkyn. To go straight over the absent recumbent would take you through the lea of The Barmkyn peaks and directly down to the recumbent of Old Keig! Druidstones circle is in sight of Cothiemuir Wood, yet this is on a slope and the circle at Cothiemuir Wood is on a summit. If Druidstones were on a summit then The Barmkyn would no longer be the far horizon. I'm thinking this really suggests The Barmkyn as a sacred hill.
The positioning of this circle is superb, and for me this is a must-visit.
Posted by Merrick
7th August 2000ce