I'd just come straight from Cairnholy and sped here before it got too dark, but even in the dark it would still ooze perfection . I sat for too long almost forgetting my wife and dog in the car .(easily done) the sky was awesome, plenty of stones to sit and watch the sky looking pretty. If you like stone circles (and iv'e an inkling you do ) then you'll have to come here .
Access for wheelchairs/buggies isn't too bad. There are no kissing gates, and the two gates that you must go through are quite straightforward.
There's few hundred metres of fairly rough ground though, not too boggy, but a bit bumpy. Wheeled contrivances would need about 4-5 inches clearance below the axle.
The size difference between the central stone and those surrounding it prompted my daughter to inform me that this was a school for rocks, and that the one in the middle was the teacher, and the small ones in a circle around it were the children, she wouldn't elucidate as to what the lesson was about.
On my oldish (1970s?) OS map of this area, 2 circles are shown either side of Englishman's Burn. We found Glenquickan but couldn't find the 2nd, although a friendly walker we happened upon assured us that he had come across it some years earlier. Strangely enough, when I looked at the most up-to-date map, no trace of that 2nd circle to be found....
Anyway, loved this site and found it almost too perfect to be true. It felt like a Disney circle, almost perfectly round, with lovely stones surrounding a large central stone. From the roadside, you can just make out the central stone, which appears to be a singular standing stone - makes it all the more impressive as you approach and see the circle come into view.
Set in the most beautiful of landscapes (if you can ignore the masts and satellite dishes on the hill above.....) and the most amazing toadstools I have ever seen - all they needed was a pixie sat astride!!
As with so many of these tiny sites, none of the locals we asked had any idea where it was , or even that it was there at all! Managed to locate it eventually, by process of elimination (ie. there aren't that many roads going out of Creetown) but when we found it..WOW! What a beautiful, peaceful place. As already mentioned, it isn't easy to get to, especially as recent problems in the countryside may have made farmers with cloven-hoofed livestock a bit edgy, but we went ages before the outbreak and as far as I know, it didn't get across that far anyway. Ho hum. The picture in Mr Cope's book is quite deceptive, making it look a lot bigger, but the real thing is small and perfectly formed...could have stayed all day...nothing but birds crying above...no traffic noises, being so high up above the village and main road.
I started the day at Cairnholy chambered tombs, which were eerie in their gaunt, skeletal sort of way. I then went to Glenquickan via wandering around a field for ages amongst narky sheep trying to find a cup and ring marked rock. I found many rocks, but no cup and ring marked ones. Anyway, I then drove along the old military road (crap name, but a superb road!) into the wilds of the moors. The site's very phallic centre stone is visible over a tall drystone wall, and there's even a nice place to park by a gurgling stream. Aubrey Burl is right about the fences - a bit of a diversion to get to the site, but it's only a couple of minutes stroll through a herd of sociable sheep with offspring of various sizes. The first impression is that the wire fence actually touches the monument - takes a bit of the polish off it, but after a bit it just doesn't matter. Glenquickan is so perfectly situated and formed, with another burn trickling behind it. A large transmitter arial looms over from the east, but again it doesn't matter. This is such a peaceful, powerful site and rewards a visit beyond description.
An entry from Ancient Stones, an online database that covers most of the standing stones, stone circles and other stones found in South East Scotland. Each entry includes details, directions, photograph, folklore, parking and field notes on each location.
Understandably, Canmore won't pin the first of these stories to this particular cist. But it might well be the culprit? The second, 'Cairnywanie', with its similarly noble skeleton, was at NX512584, but has all but disappeared.
About the year 1809, Mr McLean of Mark, while improving a field in the moor of Glenquicken, in Kirkmabreck parish, found it necessary to remove a very large cairn, which is said by tradition to have been the tomb of a king of Scotland, which is not in the genuine series, Aldus McGaldus, McGillus or McGill. When the cairn had been removed, the workmen came to a stone coffin of very rude workmanship; and on removing the lid, they found the skeleton of a man, of uncommon size; the bones were in such a state of decomposition that the ribs and vertebrae crumbled into dust, on attempting to lift them. The remaining bones being more compact, were taken out; when it was discovered that one of the arms had been almost separated from the shoulder by the stroke of a stone axe, and that a fragment of the axe still remained in the bone. The axe had been of green stone, a species of stone never found in this part of Scotland. There was also found with this skeleton a ball of flint, about three inches diameter, which was perfectly round, and highly polished, and the head of an arrow, that was also of flint; but not a particle of any metallic substance was found.
Mr Denniston of Creetown's Letter to Mr. Train, of Newton Stewart, dated the 22d of October, 1819.
About the year 1778, in removing a quantity of stones for building dikes from a large tumulus in Glenquicken Moor, there was found a stone coffin, containing a human skeleton, which was greatly above the ordinary size. There was also found in this sepulchral monument an urn containing ashes, and an earthen pitcher. The urn seems to evince the antiquity of this tumulus, when the British practised funeral cremation. This tumulus is called Cairnywanie. Thus we have an account of two skeletons of very large size, found in Glenquicken Moor at different times. These facts seem to confirm the tradition that a battle had taken place here at some very remote period.
Have to agree with Moey....the views back down onto the Glenquickan circle are great.
Beware of trying to shorten the journey back to the car park next to the bridge, the ground is very boggy....try it and you might get to sample the delights of trenchfoot.
The cist and its graffiti covered cap stone are worth seeing.....and it's only a short walk from the circle.