Am I really the first TMAer to visit Machrie Moor stone circles in a decade? It doesn't seem possible.
Where to start? - at the begining I suppose?
The weather was awful, alternating between light showers and heavy rain, with just the occasional dry patch designed to lure you into a false sense of security! The others stayed in the sign posted car park as I headed up the track to the many delights of Machrie Moor. 'I won't be long' - famous last words!
it takes about half an hour to walk from the car park to the stone circles - depending on how long to stop to look at the other sites along the way.
The first circle you come to is the double circle made up of large boulder-type stones. This is a real 'wow' moment when you first see it. Most of the stones remain and it is very impressive. It looked to me the circle was erected on a low stony mound?
The second circle you see is smaller and made up of four large boulder-type stones which are surrounded by ferns. Bit of gardening required here I think. This is a nice circle in its own right but totally dwarfed by its near neighbors.
The third circle is a mind-blower. It consists of 3 HUGE standing stones, approximately 4m high, and two very strange large flat round stones, like large flat mill stones. What are they about? I have never seen stones like this before at any prehistoric site I have ever visited - and I have been to a few. Are they prehistoric? If so, they must be unique? Very strange indeed. The 3 standing stones are incredible. It reminded me of being back on Orkney - they are that good. When complete this circle must have been awe inspiring.
The fourth circle consists of 12 stones. Alternating between large round boulder-type stones and smaller thin stones. A bit like the Laurel and Hardy of the prehistoric world. This was obviously deliberate and I can't remember visiting any other circle with this arrangement?
The fifth circle consists of 10 small stones. Half of the circle was standing in water - bog-type conditions. This was the only circle it was difficult to walk around due to the 'swamp' - although I gave it a go!
Lastly, circle number six. This circle consists of a couple of very tall standing stones and one monster-sized stone. It is exceptional in its height and beauty. Like most of the stones here it has grooves worn into it by countless rains and is covered with hairy lichen. Near it is several very large fallen prostrate stones. I can't even imagine how good this stone circle must have looked when first erected.
Despite the awful weather, this site blew me away. The setting of the distant hills, the number and quality of the sites here is incredible. This is in the A list of prehistoric sites. I would put it up there with Avebury, Kilmartin, Orkney and Callanish. It is that good. These notes are no doubt doing it a disservice.
Due to the weather and the fact I was conscious of the others waiting patiently n the car I was only able to give Machrie Moor the briefest of visits. It deserves so much more. A full day here would not be unreasonable. When I got back to the car it was pointed out I had been gone two hours! Machrie Moor is that type of place. Save your pennies, sell the family heir looms, do what it takes but catch the ferry to the lovely island of Arran and visit this special place. It really is something special.
Posted by CARL
27th July 2015ce