Climbed up from the west side parking at Knockenbog. From there I used the path then climbed the fence and went straight up. For 3/4s of the way it was fairly long tough heather and jabby things but after jumping a ditch the heather becomes fairly short making it much easier to reach the top. At the bottom it was calm. At the top a major gale blew with occasional hail for good company. Still the trig provided cover for a wee sit down and a chance to admire the scenery before clouds and darkness moved in.
The small circle, same as Theolonius, wasn't there the last time I was here but it looks very pretty with it's little outlier. A couple of cairns are at the top, one a climbers cairn and the other a memorial to a youngster from Aberchirder who died tragically young.
6 miles SE of Portsoy and rising to 1412 feet, Knock Hill plays a major part in the landscape of this area of NE Scotland. It is an extict volcano visible for miles around, and can be seen from many sites.
It provides a Northern focal point in the megalithic landscape like Benachie and the other sacred hills further South.
12/01/2013 - We started from the small car park at NJ 5285 5467. There is a path heading north just past the entrance to the farm as the road turns left to Knockbog. Climbing a short way through trees the path then turns east to contour round the hill. This took us to just north of the circle with an easy walk of 100m through the wood south to reach it. Last time here the undergrowth hid the small stones and it was quite hard to make out the circle. Today it had all died back and what a brilliant difference it made. This really is a nice little circle on the edge of a peaceful wood. We headed back to the path and then north along a fence line to climb Knock Hill. If you are going up the hill it's well worth paying this circle a visit as well. Lovely if a bit chilly day.
I don't know if there is any trace left of the stones that dropped through a hole in the Devil's apron near Huntly (see folklore below) but the Cloven stone is still here and a great stone it is. Walked NE from top of Knock Hill to stone.
"In the Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 11, p. 594, occurs the statement : ' No dolmens have been reported from Scotland'. May I place on record the position of one at least ? It stood, some 70 years ago or more (I hope it still stands), at the north or northwestern extremity of Battle Hill which looks down on the town of Huntly on the river Bogie in Aberdeenshire. In walking from Drumblade to the town, about 3 miles off, one usually took a ' short cut ' over Battle Hill. This bypath diverged from the turnpike road leading north to Banff and led to the top of Battle Hill (400 feet),close past the edge of the wood a few yards within which stood this monument. It was a typical dolmen, of which I retain a perfectly clear recollection, with its large granite capstone supported by three massive, rudely shaped pillars. On the aspect towards the bypath, there were some blocks of stone on the ground which may have constituted a fourth pillar or the ruins of a dromos, otherwise the dolmen was in excellent preservation. It stood about 6 to 7 feet high above the ground level, for I remember it took some climbing for me as a small boy to get on top. The dolmen had a special attraction for me perhaps because of what I felt was the inadequacy of the obtainable explanations as to its builders or its purpose. The legends attached to it were : that it was a ruined druid's altar; that the stones were dropped down through a hole in the Devil's apron when on his way to Knock Hill to deposit the cloven-stone there (a large glacial erratic); and that it is the tomb of a great warrior. Now, not far from the point where the bypath leaves the Banff road and on the flat on its eastern side stand two round tumuli, some 40 or 50 yards apart to the best of my recollection (cf. Geological Survey map of Scotland, sheet 86). Report had it that they mark the site of a great battle in ancient times, which gives its name to the hill and wood at whose base they stand, and that they contain the bones of the opposing combatants, one for each side ; but that the dolmen on the hill was raised to the memory of one of the leaders who was killed in the fray. It is possible that the battle (if battle ever took place) may have been fought on the hill, and that the tumuli (if graves they be) were erected on the plain in whose deeper soil (since Battle Hill is composed of thinly covered granite) it would be easier to place them."
This would be a wonderful small and compact circle of seven stones all less than a meter in height if the stones still stood but lovely it still is. The circle is on the eastern side of Knock Hill, a major landmark in Moray, looking over to the Hill Of Cairns and Edingight (home to a cairn).
Leave the A95 after Glenbarry taking the first minor road north, marked Edingight. About 1/2 a mile along this road I pulled over and walked north on a forestry track. Keep looking to the edge of the trees and eventually a blue fence climb will be spotted. Over this and head to the north west corner of the clearing.
Sadly I wasn't the first person here today. Somebody on one of these four wheeled cross country motor bike thingies had made straight for the circle and driven thru the middle of it. Somewhere else, on TMA's pages I'd read about cow damage. At least cow damage isn't deliberate or done thru a lack of knowledge. The promised fence hasn't appeared so incidents like this will, sadly, happen again.
Still on a night like tonight, there is no finer place to be.