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

Ring of Bookan



Second time I reached the Ring of Bookan. Knowing now where it was as I went up the hill past where Bookan tomb lay to the top there was its outline to my left, a long low mound with a cleft in the middle in which a rectangular stone is prominent. The first time I saw it was as an unimpressive but still high mound, two fields away from the road and with a big hollow interior in which I saw a large standing stone and some less distinct stuff besides. This time it was clear that it is in the first field and there is no central empty space.

Walking towards it I was pleasantly surprised by the size and excellent condition of the surrounding ditch, which put me in mind of Maes Howe (though later this ditch called to mind Stackrue Broch down the other side of the hill : perhaps this like The Howe not only goes forward to Viking times but back to to the Neolithic - the subterranean passage could have been put through a tomb entrance as with the souterrain there). The stones I had seen were on a platform-like area across the mound. There seems to be an area of grass on the central mound indicative of an henge-type entrance long gone.

Down on the hillside portion there are exposed the friable stones of whatever structure underlies the mound's exterior - this is so fragmented that I can't help wondering if the builders used some pre-existing natural for a starting point at least. From here you can see the decent-sized mound of Skae Frue (alias Wasbuster barrow HY282144) below.

It is not obvious to me whether the 'platform' is archaeology or excavation. There is quite a lot going on there, possibly more than one structure even going by what is immediately obvious/visible, and you could use up a whole film trying to make sense of it. The archaeologists are unsure whether this is a henge or a tomb but I feel it could have been both (if some tombs were based-on, or incorporated, standing stones then this brings them closer to multi-period henge development - there is a divergence from a common origin let's say).
wideford Posted by wideford
23rd February 2004ce
Edited 26th June 2007ce

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