"There is little here to excite the megalithic heart, on the dreariness of the moor of Ardoch". wrote Aubrey Burl in his guide to stone circles. I'm somewhat inclined to agree having now been there myself. But don't let that stop you from calling in, I didn't.
I parked to the east of the circles. There is no where good to park on the road, I opened the gate, drove through and on to the moor, not far, just by the gate. It was hot and sweaty, walking two draggy dogs and with Eric on his bike we headed for the big stone we could see on the horizon. The still standing menhir is over six feet tall, hard by it is a stone circle with a small kerb cairn inside it. Someone has added stones to it, making it look less like a stone circle and more like the footing of a sheep fold.
Just to the west is another menhir, this time fallen, just a few meters from the lazing stone is another stone circle. This one is less fiddled with, though three stones at least are missing and all the stones are down. It still looks like a good little stone circle, re-erection might be worth it here.
All the time we were here a Curlew hassled us, trying to keep us away from it's nest site.
Which we were keen to do.
So....... Not a brilliant site, but one to see if your inclined to make a list of places to see.
The 2 circles here, sit high on moorland on the Braes of Fowlis above the hamlet of Fowlis Wester.
We headed for a strange looking dark, brick ruin and found the circles.
The stones in both circles have either fallen/pushed or were originally boulder like, but the circles remain obvious and tight. The 9 stoned eastern circle, once had 12 stones and has a rocked cairn mound in the centre.
There is also an outlying monolith close to the circles, which stands upright and strong, contrasting with the low lying circles.
According to the Ancient Scotland website (see links) Aubrey Burl visited this area and wasn't too impressed - the writer suggested our Aub was having a bad day.
It is a strange site. The only thing you see on approach is the monolith and you only get the whole site when it is under your nose.
I felt it was well worth coming here, and we wanted to hang about longer, but the sun was down and I was probably hungry.
Grinsell notes that just west of the stone circles used to be the Moor of Ardoch Sithean. A sithean is a fairy knowe, or cairn. Clearly the fairies didn't hold much fear for the people who destroyed it.
(mentioned in Grinsell's 'Folklore of Prehistoric Sites in Britain')
"Fowlis appears to have been a favourite seat of the Druids. Several of their clachans have been demolished, but there are still four large Druidic stones, standing west from the village, one of which is a cromleach, or altar-stone, in which there is an artificial cavity, where the blood and oil of the sacrifices flowed. On the summit of the hill, due north from the same place, there is a Druidic circle of stones, and a double concentric circle. This is believed to have been the temple of an arch Druid, which when erected was probably in the midst of a forest in which were the oak, and consecrated grove, the favourite objects of their superstition. The circle consists of sixteen stones, between which and the double circle there is a large stone incumbent, where the arch Druid stood, and addressed himself to those around him. The outer precinct of the concentric circle is 18 yards in circumference, in which are forty stones. Three yards north from it, there is a large standing stone, which is probably monumental of some illustrious dead, as they were then interred around those places, where they worshipped the Supreme Being. To the west of this temple, there is a Si'un, which signifies in Gaelic a mount of peace, near which is a fairy hillock, where urns have been found, and which was believed to have been inhabited by an inferior kind of genii, called fairies. On the Si'uns, the Druids held assizes, when it was customary to kindle a large bonfire, called Samhin, or the fire of peace. On Hallow eve, a Druidical festival, these fires are still lighted up, in this district, and retain the same name."