|April 27, 2011
I set off to visit Candle Hill on a brilliant day of cloudless sunshine. If the site were as bad as some of the reports below suggest, then at least the views towards Bennachie and Dunnideer Hill should be worth seeing. I can only say that I was most pleasantly surprised. There seems to have been recent activity removing the worst of the gorse from the hill and the site of the stone circle was reached with ease.
My second surprise was that the circle is almost complete - though all but one of the stones are prostrate. My first sighting was from the north, of the single standing stone, and the prostrate recumbent and flankers beyond. But from the west flanker, four large stones marked out the western arc of the circle. Only the 3rd stone was prominent; the other three were covered with moss and other vegetation and almost completely buried: they stood only a couple of centimetres proud of the ground. Then came the upright stone, and beyond it another large earthfast stone, again, only just breaking the surface. Finally, there was an obvious 'absentee' between this and the east flanker.
So there are nine stones still visible, and in place (eight prostrate), with only one member of an assumed 10-stone circle actually missing.
Because of the large central mound, it is not possible to see all the stones in context. An aerial close-up from a helicopter would be illuminating and show the true nature of the circle.
A good day out, with much more to see than I ever imagined. My photograph is a panorama, showing clearly the recumbent and flankers, the central mound, and the upright northern stone.
Access: There is now a gate in the wall surrounding the hilltop. From the road, make uphill towards the prominent lone Scots Pine tree, follow the wall for a few yards to the right, and you are there. Through the gate, keep following the wall and you will see the large upright stone after 50 yards or so.
Posted by LesHamilton
27th April 2011ce
Edited 5th January 2015ce