The Mains of Hatton stone circle has in the past tended to be hard to spot. It lies near the crest of a hill and cannot normally be seen from the road. Last year I recall spending a considerable time following tractor tracks through waist high crops trying to find it.
This should be a problem no more. A giant Wind Turbine (which wasn't there last summer) has now sprung up on the south side of the road, on Cushnie Farm, thoughtfully(?) positioned exactly opposite the Circle. Indeed, standing under the turbine, it was just possible to see the tops of the fenceposts surrounding the circle.
The circle itself is a poor remnant that has been much disturbed, but the recumbent and pillars still raise a defiant profile in the February sunshine.
On our visit in July 2009 as well as the fence to keep animals out a circle of grass had recently been cut around the inside to emphasise the circle dimensions. A close inspection round the turf of the cut area revealed several large half- buried stones that may have been part of the original circle - see the pics in the 'extreme stonefeelers' link below. The recumbant was piled around with large stones. So the original stones may still be on the site plus additions from field clearance.
Despite the visible evidence that someone attempts to look after this monument it had also been poorly used by others. Lots of old agricultural fencing and plastic sheeting had been thrown over the recumbant and elsewhere. Shame on the culprit.
The remains of this circle are found beside the Auchterless to Fortrie road before the crossroads at Charlesfield, on the north side overlooking Mains Of Hatton farm. Several stones are here but as folklore correctly points out farmers have moved things around. Sometimes the circle sits alone in a field but more recently a pig farm uses the land. They, the pigs, surround the site which can often be very muddy. Two years ago the site achieved some fame as planning for wind turbines was knocked back because of the sites historical significance.
"Many years ago some of the stones of Mains of Hatton Circle, Auchterless, were removed to form gateposts, but the spirits, it is said, resented human interference with the circle, and it was only with great trouble that horses could ever be induced to pass through the gate. So little was the farmer prepared to encounter the spiritual enmity thus clearly indicated, that he decided to replace, on their original site, the stones which had been taken away; but it was remarked that while two horses with difficulty dragged each stone
downhill to the gate, one only found it easy work to pull a stone uphill from the gate to the circle".
Folklore of the Aberdeen Stone Circles and Standing Stones by James Ritchie
Proceedings of The Society of Antquities of Scotland. Vol LX.20
May 10 1926