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

Monzie Circle

Stone Circle


Monzie's been on 'the list' for a while now.... but always seemed to be a little too far off tour routes to be worth the deviation. Not for just 'a couple of circle stones and some cup marks'. Well, that's all the photos I'd ever seen appeared to show. Should've known better. True, the camera never lies, but it doesn't necessarily always tell the whole truth, either. Indeed not.

However this year Monzie happens to sit more or less across my path. Hell, why not? Worth a quick look. Needless to say the 'quick look' all too soon becomes an all morning and early afternoon hang. The weather is suitably memorable, if bizzare, with a sharp, freezing wind requiring the traveller to donne jacket, only for the sun to periodically peer from beyond a fast moving, broken cloud base to boil him alive. Why, I love Scotland, me.

I find the approach a little off putting, through one of those awful 'mock castle' gatehouses once so favoured by the self proclaimed, higher echelons of society. Follow the Monzie Castle drive for a short duration and... there it is, the 'circle virtually engulfed by nettles and some of the most verdant grass around, to the right. No wonder the cows across the way munch away contentedly and don't give a monkey's about the approach of the visitor.

Much to my surprise, the circumferance of the ring is not that far away from being chock full of orthostats. Ha! Clearly the vegetation is adept at camouflaging the true extent of this fine little monument from the lens of the lazy photographer and some gardening is therefore required. Just to sit down, in fact. There is much more to Monzie than a fine little 'circle, however, the most enigmatic feature of the site being a large, recumbent slab a little beyond the SW arc, this bearing numerous cup and ring marks. A much needed session of 'de-forestation' later, the rock art is more or less visible... and one wonders how long the coins placed within the cup marks have been in situ? Furthermore, the orthostat at the SE corner of the 'circle also bears rock art...... unfathomable, haunting, timeless.

Yeah, this is some place, it really is, the art adding immeasurably to the vibe here. Just to complete the picture, there's also a large standing stone visible further along the drive, perhaps too distant to be classed an 'outlier'? Maybe... guess that depends whether it acts as a sighting point for any astronomical event, or not. Dunno. Whatever, don't be a muppet like I was. Come to Monzie as soon as you get the chance.
15th June 2010ce
Edited 15th June 2010ce

Comments (2)

I like Monzie as well, superb stuff Mr G. To be fair I thought the outer stone was an alignment of sorts but what to............I don't have a clue. I just know, like you, I like the place. drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
15th June 2010ce
Thanks Db. Good to see Tiompan putting some proper 'wet' shots of the art on, too. GLADMAN Posted by GLADMAN
15th June 2010ce
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