I missed out on Rothiemay during a short tour of north-RSC land a few years back. One of those sites that, in retrospect, I wished I had pushed a little harder to see... since the massive recumbent, according to Burl, features 'an astonishment of megalithic art, over a hundred cupmarks and several cup and ring marks' upon its inner face. As usual, he's not wrong.... in respect of the 'astonishment' part, that is. I'll take his word for it concerning the mathematics...
Aside from the massive, 20 ton recumbent, sadly now minus flankers, four approx 6ft circle stones still stand to give the impression of stone settings, rather than that of a bone-fide stone circle. Nevertheless they are impressive uprights, that located that to the east of the recumbent also cupmarked. However the substantial recumbent is the reason you should come to Rothiemay.... I give up counting the profusion of rock art which graces this mighty basalt block when I run out of fingers... hey, what else is a guy of my generation to do without a calculator?
The entrance to the lush pasture in which the Rothiemay ring stands now features a 'Rothiemay Standing Stones' sign. So access is not an issue.... assuming you're good at opening very stiff field gates, that is. I'm not, but I can still climb. A bit. The River Deveron flows to the south beyond stables, the equine inhabitants galloping around under a striking blue sky filled with fast moving clouds serving to diffuse the sharp light. As I sit, buffeted by the wind, I ponder how great this stone circle would look if more had survived to actually ponder over. On second thoughts, though, there's quite enough here to occupy a few hours of anyone's time with exquisite thoughts.... verily, my cup marks runneth over.
I was really looking forward to seeing this one as the sheer blocky bulk of the heavily cupmarked recumbent really appealed to me in papery TMA. But I didn't dare enter the field though as there was a herd of cattle present complete with bull. Moth dared, but he runs faster than me. So I sat on the non-prehistoric stone gatepost to observe. Its flankers are gone but there are still four beautiful evenly placed stones of the circle still standing.
As I sat observing, the farmer drove up and stopped. "Just looking at your stone circle" I said. "That's fine" he said, "but I don't think anyone really owns a stone circle, do they. It's just on my land."
without OS map impossible - with it still really difficult - well for us it was! with releif we finally found the place - I guess we felt a bit dissappointed but looking at the photos now I am glad we made the effort.
"Cup marks on the Rothiemay recumbent stone represented the Pole Star, the constellation of the Great Bear (Ursa Major) and the brightest stars such as Artacus, Bootes, Aldebaran, Capella, Vega and Altair."
Revd. G. F. Browne.
On Some Antiquities in the Neighbourhood of Dunecht House.