Only discovered in 1977, Auchlee Recumbent Stone Circle surrounds a severely damaged ring-cairn situated on a low knoll 220 metres WNW of Auchlee farmhouse. Only five circle stones remain, the recumbent and four orthostats, all prostrate.
In recent years it has been submerged in gorse. On this visit, the gorse was noticeably thinned, so much so that the two large stones of the inner kerb were easily photographed. Even one year ago they were almost totally obscured. However, as the photographs make clear, agriculture continues its relentless advance with the ploughing little more than a metre away from the recumbent stone.
The site has no fence as protection, and currently cattle have been rampaging over it, 'ploughing' up the interior and leaving heaps of dung all around. I hesitate to think what the site would be like in wet weather: fortunately, at this visit, there had been little rain for a month, and the ground was firm.
More information on this site is available at RCAHMS.
And in 2008 the stones of this circle, often called Auchlee, are still hard to find as they are well hidden amongst ferns and bushes after an often boggy mess has been navigated. I walked up from Old Bourtreebush and Auchquhorties and on my way met the present occupier at Auchlee Farm and asked for permission to walk on his land. As well as granting permission he said that a nearby standing stone, probably a cow back scratcher, had been pulled down and left near the road side. He'd also in previous years given stones to the restoration of a nearby stone circle. The wall surrounding Craighead Badentoy is made from cairn like material. Finally the directions to the ring cairn/RSC wre given.
It's in a terrible state. The other contributors to this section are spot on! What's left of the inner ring cairn is still there as well as the fallen outer stone circle. Sad just very sad!
"The stones of this circle ... are so inconspicuous that most persons would walk past them unheeding."
So said Fred Coles in 1900 so it's hardly surprising that we have difficulty recognising it today!
I don't think I was any more successful than Merrick or Moth. I've posted a couple of pics of what there was to see.
They seem to match Merrick's description and presumably what Moth saw but it is difficult to make much sense of what's there.
From Coles' 1900 description (if you ignore his dimensions which he seems to have a problem with), this could well be an RSC.
He describes three almost concentric circles which are probably the inner and outer faces of the ring cairn and the outer circle of stones. It seems to bear a strong resemblance to nearby Auchquhorthies.
On the slope of the Hill of Auchlee (topped with a thing called Boswell's Monument) there's dense, thick, sharp gorse a metre and a half high. If there are any standing stones still upright then they're in the gorse and not tall enough to stick up above it. We found a slab over two metres long, possibly a recumbent (or sizeable fragment of it) judging by its shape, and another two stander-sized stones a few metres to the north, one of which was broken into three bits. The dots on the OS map mark four blobs and call it a 'Stone Circle' (not a 'rems of'), which is no guarantee of anything, but does suggest the possibility of there being things hidden in the gorse bushes. It's certainly possible; if, say, the Craigievar circle were here we'd not see a thing.