Wednesday 8/8/01 5:55pm
This ring is set in a well-tended garden next to some wee cottages ("Greengates"). I just got out of the car and was peering over the fence at the stones when the owner of the cottages appeared- a Mr. Ian Townsend- who stays at the end of Pitlochry as it happens!)- he asked if I was interested in the stone circle- indeed I was :). Mr. Townsned was a really nice guy who says it's fascinating to have such a circle in is garden, but admitted there wasn't as many visitors to the stones as there used to be which I thought was a bit of a shame. He's just come back from his cottage at the very end of the row with a cracking picture of the site which he took (and for me to keep) which shows the circle in spring time with snowdrops and crocuses in the middle of it. We chatted about other Perthshire sites including Croftmoraig, Lundin etc.- he told me he had met Dr. Margaret Stewart- the excavator of Lundin (amongst others) who had visited Faskally before she died. He also has a copy of the 1908 excavation report from the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquities bound in brown card for visitors to the site to read whilst having a look at the stones. The report has a great opening paragraph-
"In a narrow strip of ground between the Highland Railway on the east and the great main road to the north on the west, is a garden, shielded from observation by a tall hedge on the roadside, and in it there are yet standing in situ the seven stones of this Circle. Never surely, was the pre-historic past brought so closely into contact with the steam power and motor traffic of the twentieth century. In addition to these more or less disturbing conditions, we are told that, during the most recent government survey, the men of the theodolite arrived at the conclusion that this little circle is really the centre of Scotland".
There are six upright stones, well I use the term upright in the loosest possible sense of the word as one of the stones can only be about 20 to 30 cm tall! But the largest stone has a beautiful sloped top from west to east and has split into three huge chunks. Two other large stones with three small make up this circle of six, 21 foot in diameter, with the large stone to the north four foot outside the circle according to the 1908 survey. Was the north stone always the prominent one in this circle? Okay- so maybe this site doesn't have the quiet atmosphere of the nearby Clachan-an-Diridh, but it is a charming place and well worth a visit- I'm sure Mr. Townsend would be very happy to speak to other interested folk about the circle in his garden. From here it was a glorious early August evenings drive back to the Kavan across the moors with a soundtrack of Ganger.
PS- Chris- this is definately a real site! (well- according to the excavation report etc). I found it
in Burls "Stone Circles of the British Isles" as 'Faskally Cottages'.
Travelling through Pitlochry to the North on the A924, look out for the "Greengates" sign for cottages to let on the right hand side of the road.
Posted by Martin
27th August 2001ce