Still wondering why isn't there a field guide to the stone circles of Aberdeenshire, we set off early once again into the heat of Aberdeenshire (ha!) to see what we could find:
At Castle Fraser, the first site of the day and we were to be disappointed. We couldn't actually reach the stones as it was in crop. Bah!
Hideously restored and completely lacking in any atmosphere it felt like a bad example of overly ambitious garden landscaping done by a cowboy builder.
But at least it's still here.
I was more interested in the line of parkland trees leading to the site and the many nesting boxes secured high up each one.
It's quite trashed. Half the circle is gone but the six stone left are enough to enjoy in the cool forest glade. The recumbent is quite small and one of the flankers is down. Why-oh-why not erect it again? Liked this one a lot!Moth was really keen to show me Clune hill. But I felt quite unwell so I sat in the shade as he went off to refamiliarise himself with it.
This place is also known as Mulloch or Garrol Wood stone circle.
This pair of large stone circles (Auchquhorthies & Auld Bourtreebush
) are clearly connected as they are little more than 200ms apart, but are definitely separate sites.
They're both rather a jumble of stones, but there is lots to see and enough large tall stones still standing to help the viewer reconstruct the scale and importance of these sites.
Didn't really enjoy it here, though. It may have been that there was a bull in the field.
Nice sea views!
Very close to Auchquhorthies & Auld Bourtreebush this enjoys the same sightlines and atmosphere. It has four nice stones on a raised platform but there does seem to be something suspiciously wrong about it. Nevertheless, I liked it and access to it is so easy, it's worth a look-see.After calling into Aberdeen (what a nice city!) to find an art materials shop to buy more brushes and a half pan of permanent rose (for all these pink stones I was seeing) we headed out toward the airport.
Despite the tedious 20 minute walk up a stoney track to the site, it was worth the effort. What a name, what a place! It helped that as you walk you could see where you were going, as the stones stick up high out of the hilltop. And then you get there. There's so much to see – both the site itself with lovely stones, a bit of cairn material, some woodland and fab views down to the airport. We spent ages quite alone here and I felt so relaxed that I lay down and went to sleep in the protective hollow in front of the recumbent. Delicious!I'm ashamed to reveal that I can't remember anything about visiting Balquhain, but I must have seen it because in my notebook I wrote: "very exposed, in sight of Mither Tap. In crop so we couldn't get to it."
In the care of historic Scotland this well-tended site was too well restored for my taste, but it was hot nevertheless. I loved the cremation site immediately next to the stone circle and one of the flankers looked like a gigantic penis.
My brain was fried by this time so although we drove to Sheldon I didn't bother to walk up to it. However Kirkton of Bourtie is so close to the road it's worth a butcher's as it's very atmospheric despite being quite a ruined mess. The old Ministry of Works sign is a splendid piece of comedy!
Just a little up the road from Loanhead of Daviot
New Craig stone circle is just a recumbent and flankers. We couldn't get to it as the field in front was inhabited by cattle with bulls. However, even from the road you could see just how huge the recumbent is and how these stones dominate the landscape.