Insch is found on the B992 which goes thru the centre of the small Garioch town. Dunnydeer is signposted, the road goes past the chip shop, with the car park about 1 mile away. Two paths reach the circle but one walk, for the fit, can cover both the hill fort and the circle. The climb up to the fort is quite short but also very steep with stunning views at the top. Across the valley is the Hill Of Christ's Kirk another former fort. Bennachie and Tap O Noth, as always it seems, can also be seen.
Follow the path to the tall wooden gates, the circle is another 500 yards. Only the recumbent and the two "shoogily" flankers remain. Follow the path down the tree line to the road. Move east towards Insch back to car park. Obviously this would be easy route to the circle as it is only a gentle slope. A signpost marked Standing Stones shows the way. It is about another mile back to the car park. Total walk 3 miles and there are plenty of nearby RSCs so plenty of leg work to be done.
(notes written on the stone in front of the recumbent, 1 July 00)
The Modern Antiquarian said this was an 'obscure' site, difficult to find, but we walked directly up the side of the field from the road, five minutes, straight to it. Here there's only the recumbent and its wobbly flankers but the great thing about RSCs is that's all you really need to get a real sense of what the circle was; it tells you where the rest of the circle was and what it was facing and what scale it was built on. And not only are these all you really need, but because they're the largest in the circle they're the most likely to still be in situ.
Regarding the missing stones, eighty metres beyond me to the south, just over the brow of the hill, is a big pile of mostly small stones. Field clearance? Cairn? There's rather a lot, perhaps enough to be a very old and collapsed building. Even if it is just the latter, it's distinctly possible that it would've been made of broken up circle stones. Halfway up from the road in the field wall twenty metres east of the standing stones there's a wire-fenced gateway, the gateposts being two smallish granite stones. You have to wonder.
The Dunnydeer recumbent is peaked in exactly the shape of the Hill of Christ's Kirk behind it (like that name doesn't give a hefty clue as to its sacred history!). From inside the circle you'd have Hill of Flinder on the right, Dunnideer on the left and the recumbent matching the horizon! Your whole field of vision would be sacred hills and stones with *you* feeling like the focus! Psychological genius at work here!
Canmore's record says: "Of the three stones that survive, only the recumbent appears to be in its original position, the W flanker having been re-erected in about 1976 by the father of the present owner, Mr Mackie of Dunnydeer, and the E flanker some years previous to that."
The Canmore visitors imply that it's easy to imagine the recumbent 'facing the wrong way' - and that it was in the NE part of the circle. But in fact because the SW face of the stone is smoother than its NE face, it was probably in the SW part of the circle.
Someone's had a go at the West flanker at some point - it has a drill-hole and has probably been deliberately split along its length.