As the booklet says there is a haunting quality about this place and it's true. I found probably 7 kerb cairns in this area which is surrounded by high dunes seemingly removed from the real world. Indeed it seems that the dunes are here to protect the ancient power and monuments. I went looking for the ring cairn and once again found everything else except the original reason for the visit. Thank goodness, it means another visit because in amongst the dunes are cairns and probably more kerbs appearing from nowhere.
Three kerb cairns can be found near to each other. The first cairn to be seen is in reasonable condition, the other two are visible but have some of their structure still covered in sand. But sand and heather can move so one day they might be completely apparent.
Walk fom these kerbs thru a small gap in the sands/dunes and a big boulder will come into view. Beside it are two stones that form the start of another kerb.
From there keep going almost in straight line and another three kerb cairns of varying size come into view. Canmore has the exact OS references so I'll put up their link as their descriptions will do this better justice than me. From here I doubled back, the wind was picking up and the rain was coming on plus I'd no waterproofs.
I parked just north of Newburgh and the River Ythan at the Greenhill parking area, on the A975. Signposts and booklets show the nature reserve , old church and visitor centre at Stevenson but no indications to the kerbs. So here goes.
Go thru the tree lined avenue, from the car park, for about 1/4 mile, then turn left. Follow this road until the gate, beside a rail carriage and caravan. a further 1/2 mile. Walk about 200 meters and look for a trampled path winding thru the dunes. This goes past several turf covered cairns and climbs the highest dunes. I turned left and walked along the ridge and eventually spied the first of the kerbs. This would be about another mile.
Now I know there must be more and I can't wait to get back as this must be a place of hugh historical interest. This must be a dream come true for the archeo types.
"Near the salmon fishing station at Rockend are the remains of a medieval settlement. You can see the ruins of Forvie's 12th century kirk, which was built on the site of a previous chapel that possibly dated back to the 8th century. The whole settlement had disappeared under sand by the 15th century.
According to local legend, the village was overwhelmed when three sisters placed a curse on it. They're said to have been cast adrift in a leaky boat to deny them their inheritance. In a fit of rage they screamed: "Let nocht bee funde in Furvye's glebes/Bot thystl, bente and sande" When the sisters evenually reached dry land the curse whipped up a storm that continued for nine days and nights. By the time it ended the sand had buried the village."
Forvie National Nature Reserve Booklet
Scottish Natural Heritage
(and a good job they do, unlike the mob at Balmedie dunes!)
The dune system you now see at Forvie acts as as a blanket covering an older landscape shaped by our ancestors. People lived on Forvie from the earliest times because it provided many sources of food. The earliest evidence of settlement dates from 8000 years ago and consists of small fragments of flint scattered during tool-making.
Later evidence comes from the people who began farming and burying their dead, about 5000 years ago.
Little circular foundations, most now buried by sand, were part of this use. It continued with kerb cairns, which local people built about 3000 years ago, to cover their cremation burial sites. Three of these cairns lie on land that had previously been farmed.
Tom Weir's Scotland gives the site a little mention in the chapter "The Ythan Estuary."
"But the shifting sand uncovered as well as destroyed. When it blew away it revealed a record of 3,000 years of human history, in ring cairns, kitchen middens, stone implements, fragments of pottery, and stone circles, dating back to the Bronze and Early Iron Age."
Just down the coast, towards Aberdeen near Balmedie, Donald Trump is trying to build his infamous golf course on a nature reserve and sand dunes. Perhaps the North Sea winds will blow this greedy bampot away.......if only!!