Weather forecast looked a bit windy so I thought I'd stay low today and have a look for these hut circles on the east slopes of Culblean hill. Parked at the Burn O'Vat Visitor Centre. Started by popping to the Vat. Meltwater pothole, well worth a visit. The place must have been known to the people living in the hut circles which are only about 600-800m away.
Next stop was a great little stone circle (NJ 42667 00004), uphill, halfway between the Vat and the main group of hut circles. 0.85m stone, circled by 8 smaller stones. In the middle of trees now but the view from this circle south would be fantastic.
200m east from the stone circle is a large oval enclosure (NJ 4286 0008). Great view of this today as unlike the rest of the hut circles this was not covered in bracken.
Next I headed 200m NE to what Canmore describes as a rock carving (NJ 4300 0030). Sandstone rock set in granite, with a number of rectilinear grooves and cup marks. I didn't know what to make of it really (See link below to Canmore for more info).
Walking downhill, east from the carving we saw 4 more hut circles but the bracken was terrible. We couldn't see the circles till we fell over the walls.
Gave up on the rest but will be back once everything has died back. Fantastic place. All within about 800m of each other. GPS helps as the whole place is covered in trees. You could easily spend all day here.
--There are many large heaps of stones, commonly called cairns, on a heath or moor near Culblean, in the east end of Tullich: and they are said to cover the graves of those who fell in flight after the battle of Culblean or Kilblane, which, according to Buchanan, B. ix. c. 23, was fought between the adherents of King David Bruce and the followers of Cummin, Earl of Athole, in 1335. But, as none of these barrows have yet been opened, it is not known what may be under them, or whether they may not be of a still earlier date.
From the New Statistical Account of Glenmuick, Tullich, and Glengairn.
There are traces here of the hut circles and field system that were here in prehistoric times. And if you were living here, I feel you might absolutely have popped along to the 'Vat', which is a completely insane-sounding 'water carved bowl' - not just a little bowl but an immense open topped 'cave', only a short jaunt from the huts.
You can see a picture here at the Walk Highlands website.
Also there is a video on YouTube by Aboynejames (it starts about 45s in), which, though immensely wobbly, eventually shows the extraordinary narrow 'door' into the Vat.
In the fore mentioned hill of Culblean, there is amost remarkable hollow rock, which, from its shape, bears the name of the Vatt, and through which a rivulet runs. In going up to visit this natural curiosity, a stranger is much struck with the narrowness of the entry to the Vatt (being less than an ordinary door) and the large spacious area, in which he immediately finds himself enclosed by rocks from 50 to 60 feet high, and from the fissures of which tall and healthy birch trees are growing. There is one particular clift of the rock which the eagle generally occupies as a safe and secure asylum for hatching and nourishing her young, and where her nest is always to be seen. The rivulet falls down at the upper end through broken shattered rocks, and when flooded adds greatly to the picturesque appearance of the whole.
p231 in volume 12 of 'The Statistical Account of Scotland'.
A granite cup found amongst the hut circles of Culblean - it's got such lovely proportions and you can imagine it would fit perfectly in your cupped hands. Wouldn't granite take a huge amount of effort to make so smooth?