15/01/2012 - Cold again this morning, roads a bit icy. Parked in same passing place as Drew (NJ 8824 4510) and a short stroll to circle. Just two stones left, recumbent and one flanker. Both fantastic, white quartz. This one more than any of the other RSCs I would love to have seen complete. Winter sun looked good on the stones. Look out for OS benchmark on recumbent. No access problems.
Leave New Deer on the B9170 Methlick road heading south-west. Take road to Knaven and stop at the first passing place. Turn right and go up the side of the field. The two remaining white quartz stones can be found on the brow of the hill looking south, the recumbent and a flanker. The whole walk is no more than a 3/4 mile. Just along from the passing place at the road junction take a look at the quartz stone used as a gate marker. One of the stones from the circle?
Could the outcrop be the quarry in the following story? Ever hopeful. Bear with me.
A man in the parish of New Deer was returning home at night. On reaching an old quarry much overgrown with broom he heard a great noise coining from among the broom. He listened, and his ear caught the words "Mak' it red cheekit an red lippit like the smith o' Bonnykelly's wife." He knew at once what was going on, and what was to be done, and he ran with all his speed to the smith's house and "sained" the mother and her baby--an act which the nurse had neglected to do. No sooner was the saining finished than a heavy thud, as if something had fallen, was heard outside the house opposite to the spot where stood the bed on which the mother and her baby lay. On examination a piece of bog-fir was found lying at the bottom of the wall. It was the "image" the fairies were to substitute for the smith's wife.
There are two quartz boulders here known as the 'Rocking Stones'. One is 3x1.8x0.7m and the other 2.5x1.3x0.7m. They are thought to be the remains of a recumbent stone circle. Aubrey Burl suggests that the stones were taken from outcrops half a mile to the SW.
It is possible that there was another circle north of New Deer at NJ 881483, where the Hill of Culsh monument now stands.
(info from the RCAHMS website).
If you're in the area you might also like to scout about for Maun's Stone, which was said to be the giant's putting stone. In 1871 it was described as "A large roundish stone with several holes (? cup marks) in it, built on an old fence, forming a side of the public road from New Deer to Brockley." When the area was checked in the 1970s it wasn't found. But who knows.