Torbreck's a site that every person with a passion for the heritage of the landscape that we - nowadays, anyway - call 'Scotland' will want to visit sooner or later. So it is written, so it must pass.
The inhabitants of the town of Torbreck would appear to be doing their utmost to link up with their neighbours in metropolitan Inverness to the immediate north, judging by the profusion of new housing in the vicinity. This takes me somewhat by surprise following a fortnight or so in a predominately rural environment... and to my mind such a state of affairs is a pity... but I guess people have to live somewhere and we cannot reside in the past with an ever expanding population. Somewhat disorientated, I therefore ask a passing jogger if he knows where the stone circle is... need I relate the answer? The what? So, back to the map it is, then. I guess most visitors will approach from the B862, so, after passing initial woodland (Cullaird Wood), look for a track leaving the road on the right, itself to the right of stables (said buildings currently featuring a large representation of a male appendage... whether equestrian or homo-sapien, I couldn't say), just past power lines. Anyway, follow the track beyond buildings towards a further treeline and the stone circle will be readily apparent, set beside a timber yard away to the left as you approach.
I'm reminded in no small measure of the wonderful South Ythsie (Aberdeenshire), set upon a small mound within a field under crop. OK, perhaps the setting is not as fine as that beauty, but the Torbreck monument is arguably an even more exquisite example of a stone circle... yeah, I don't think there can be any credible doubt regarding classification. Burl reckons the nine substantial uprights - the tallest rising a few inches above the mightily impressed traveller - form a stone circle 'with clava affinities'. Aubrey makes this sound a bit like some pervy affliction, but hey, I like to think I'm open minded. The local collie comes to check me out and - perhaps - to make sure I'm not up to any 'clava related debauchery'. Apparently not, since the dog appeared quite satisfied to hang out with me at this excellent artificial amphitheatre of ancient stones. The wind is up, the clouds consequently race across the heavens. Yeah, I guess there are worse pastimes than watching their inexorable passage within the exquisite sculpture that is Torbreck stone circle.
Visited 13.3.2011, in sleety snow. The previous day had seen a very heavy snowfall across the area and the walk here from Inverness along pavements and quiet lanes was a bit of a slog through wet snow. A track leads SW off the minor Torbreck road, along which a number of houses are built (but not shown on the 1:25000 OS map). After climbing steadily up the lane, the circle came into view to the left as I approached the house called, appropriately, Stone End. A friendly chap playing out in the snow with his lad advised me to follow the line of a (fallen) fence to get to the circle.
By this point, the sleet got a bit more persistent and photography was hampered by lens splodges. Weather notwithstanding, This is a brilliant circle, graded to the SW, the tallest stone over 6 feet high. Although the stones are closely spaced, there's nothing to indicate that this was a ring cairn (so far as the snow in the circle revealed).
I didn't stay as long as I would have liked, the sleet didn't encourage lingering, so I headed back towards town. What a beauty this is though.
We visited the Torbreck stone circle in September of 2007. The site is now adjacent to a small farm and house, and there was a tee-pee and fire pit directly next to the circle that indicated very recent activity there (along with soda bottles thrown inside the circle itself). We followed another stone hunter's instructions that led us through Cullaird Wood to get there, but there's a dirt road that runs right along side the circle and farm, and this is an easier trek (it's the dotted road that comes off the yellow road through Torbreck on the OS map). We had a visit with the local dog, Bobby, who was more than friendly.
The stone circle is wonderful, and standing among the stones was awesome, but the other activity in the area was disturbing and disorienting, and we didn't linger overlong (it took us longer to actually find the site than we wanted to stay).
"A stone circle of 9 almost evenly spaced monoliths (maximum height 1.2m) with an overall diameter of 7.8m. A quantity of small stones lies upon the site, but these appear to be the result of field clearance. The site lies within a cultivated field. There are no traces of an outer circle."