On a beautiful cloudless day, with snow-capped Lochnagar prominent in the distance, I set out to visit the possible Corrybeg Stone Circle.
Rather than follow the estate track up the hill, I took a footpath that led from the cluster of ruined buildings at the edge of the woods northwest of the Abergairn farm buildings and followed a boundary fence uphill into the trees. After about 450 metres, another fence joins this one from the right at the 430 metre contour. To reach the circle, follow this fence to the right and downhill somewhat, for about 100 metres, all the while looking to your left through the trees. The large south stone of the circle soon comes into view, situated on a slight rise, just above eye level, perhaps 20 metres from the fence.
Thelonious has said it all. It's a stupendous location. Sadly, Lochnagar cannot be seen well from the circle, but walk a mere 10 metres east of the south stone and there she is, resplendent on this day under an unbroken mantle of gleaming snow.
This is a somewhat puzzling site as there is so little information to indicate definitively that it is a stone circle. The strongest point in its favour is the fact that the large north stone appears to be firmly resting on chock stones along its entire length, a situation that hardly seems natural.
Regardless, for anyone looking for a short day out, and including a round of Craig of Prony (532 m) and a visit to Abergairn Castle (a ruined tower house), this site is well worth a visit.
29/12/2013 – I read about this possible stone circle in a recently published book, “Minerals and Ancient Monuments in Royal Deeside” by Ian Cameron. It’s a good area for a walk so I thought I’d go have a look for it. Situated quite high on the hill, so it’s a bit of a pull up but no problems access wise. The possible circle comprises of two large boulders and a small stone. I don’t know what to make of the site really. It’s a great location for a circle and the vibe standing in the middle was good. I would be interested in other people’s thoughts if they visit (Drew, Les etc?). The smaller stone is said to have possible cupmarks but I had no luck in seeing anything.
Worth mentioning the author, Ian Cameron, who writes about this circle and its link to the hill Lochnagar, SW of the circle. In a section about Corrybeg, he writes that from the circle, the sun is seen to set in the middle ridge of Lochnagar on the shortest day of the year. Lochnagar acting as a distant recumbent setting and so the various recumbent stone circles in the north east of Scotland are all recreating the skyline of Lochnagar! Make of that what you will. It’s a lovely little book and reads well.
Corrybeg cairn can be found a further 100m up the hill