The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

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Aquhorthies (Stone Circle) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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Auchlee (Stone Circle) — Images

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Esslie the Greater (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

Wow, It's taken me soooo long to get up to the Esslie's, I've wanted to come here for years, and now that i'm here i'm really quite giddy and giggly. But the two things I'm taking home with me most is the view to the west-ish, it is a very good view a long view of Aberdeenshires rolling hills, and the other thing is that there is so much going on within the circle, the circle stones, recumbent and flankers are all present and correct but I didn't really know that most RSC's have ring cairns in them. Sunhoney, Midmar Kirk, Easter Aquhorthies, none of them seem to have them, unless they're underground or just gone, so after over twenty years of stone hugging, I'm still learning.

Midmar Kirk (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

No field notes for seven and a half years, I reckon I can think of something to say.
I haven't been here for well over a decade, before even my getting a digital camera, I got the big orange book saw what things were like in Aberdeenshire and came more or less straight away, spurred on by absurdly perfect sites with wonderful names like Sunhoney, Balgorkar and Midmar Kirk, being a massive Star Trek fan I'm drawn to anything with Kirk in it's name. So here I am again, a place so splendid I could be on the bridge of the Enterprise, the kids have elected to stay in the car, my only company is my dog Mia, some birds, mine own thoughts and a host of dead people .
Even without Burls help I can tell that at least one of the stones is in the wrong place, but I don't really care much at all, because the recumbent and flankers are the best in the world, argue with me I dare you, they are just mind blowing, perhaps they're even responsible for my entire state of being, I was normal once you know.
Cope likened it to the top of Batman's cowl, I think, I wont liken it to anything except stone setting precision madness, I like it a lot.
What can I say about the churchyard in which it now finds itself, it's better than a barbed wire encased field that's for sure, it's quiet, peaceful, thought provoking, and lovely, are the grave stones too close? perhaps, but that is possibly inescapable in a place like this.
I keep reminding myself to go and look for the tall slender standing stone, about thirty yards north of the church in the trees, one of the few places better to find a prehistoric site than a churchyard is in some woods, these are nice woods, small, but nice.
Upon my return to home, I look on here and find that someone has described Midmar kirk thus.....How can a stone circle feel, well, 'creepy'? Just superimpose one nihilistic death cult and all its paraphernalia, that's how. Sorry, can't feel 'respect' for something that shows no respect itself. And I must make a comment of my own, Respect? at least the stone circle is still here, that's fairly respectful, isn't it? and calling Christianity nihilistic is a bit like saying that Tim Vine doesn't know any jokes, perhaps he's unsure what nihilistic means, sure, some religions have made mistakes in the past, who hasn't? no one and nothing is perfect. But those recumbent and flankers show an inkling of what perfection may look like.

Old Keig (Stone Circle) — Images

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Midmar Kirk (Stone Circle) — Images

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Esslie the Lesser (Stone Circle) — Images

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Esslie the Greater (Stone Circle) — Images

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Nine Stanes (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

My real target was the pair of Esslie circles, but seeing as it was so close I just had to have a look at this one too, best decision I made all day.
The Nine stanes of Garrol wood are really close to the road, so the kids decided to let me go on up alone, Mia the dog had other ideas so she joined me.
I don't half like stone circles that are hiding out in the trees, it lends a tremendous dose of atmosphere to any site. OK, they are conifer trees, planted by us to some unagreeable end, but they're still better than gorse. Lots of trees have recently been felled opening out the view somewhat, but what is left behind isn't pretty, not at all.
That ugliness is well off set by one of the best stone circles I've ever been to. There are quite a few stone circles that have somehow accrued the name Nine stones, but this is one of those rare occasions when someone who could count named the site. But the name is still so general that I'm surprised there isn't a stone circle somewhere that's called stone circle.
The stones are a lovely reddish granite, the recumbent still has both it's flankers, but one is having a lie down, six remaining circle stones makes nine, well done that man.
From the circle I can see Eric sat on the roof of my car, not ideal but I can stay in touch whist being in this other world, and that's how this place feels to me, another world, this has been a bit of a crap year for me, packed with such nasties as heart attacks, tax credit disputes, overworked underpaid and my old nemesis Sciatica, but whilst I potter about this ideal location it's all a billion miles away from it all.
After sitting on the recumbent with dog sitting quietly in lap for what I can only assume was too long Eric shouted me back to reality, it seemed my Garrol wood experience was over, but the reality that awaited me was a good one, Esslie's the Greater and lesser await my company, two more names that keep rattling round my noggin, beckoning me on, the show aint over til the last names done.

Nine Stanes (Stone Circle) — Images

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Glassel (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

I parked up the road from the Glassel house main entrance, and started off up the track into the forest. Like everyone else we found the route very difficult to traverse, the deep ruts of the track were full of water and about half a dozen trees barred the way, at the end of the track I had no idea where to go, the map was still in the car, very useful, I wracked what's left of my brain and didn't come up with a great deal. A large clearing had tree stumps that looked like stones, I resisted Eric's temptation to go in and have a look, instead we took the dogs along the river, away from the forest track the going was much easier, the path we were following was quite worn, I was feeling hopeful. To our right was the river, to our left was a high bank, I mentioned my worry that the stones might be up the bank but from down here we could walk straight past it without ever spotting it. So I went up for a quick look, and there they were, maps, directions, who needs 'em.

This was another of those sweet little stone circles set within trees, the dappled light flicked across the small clearing, trees creaked in the breeze, Mia the Jack Russell pottered about the site unsupervised, whilst Arthur, same breed, sat with Eric who now and then yelled like a Bigfoot, Oooooooowhoooooooooo! No reply.

This stone circle is even more of a conundrum than Image wood from whence we've just come, in appearance it looked to me more like the Viking long ship stone settings they have in Scandawegia.
Burl calls it a four poster, with a very close outlier, Greywether suggests inlier.
Four stones are very much like a four poster, but then there's two low stones at one side three yards away is another flat stone, and there's that inlier, a variant recumbant stone circle, half way between RSC and 4 poster, is another theory, neither is very convincing, and then there's that old photo with another stone a standing.

One could sit and ponder what it is we have here for quite some time, and still not know. So we sit a while and listen to the birds, photograph the stones and then say goodbye.
Totally unwilling to go back the forest track way, where death by forest track is a definite worry, we follow the wee path by the river, it leads directly to the road right next to where it crosses the river. This is the route you should take, much easier.

Glassel (Stone Circle) — Images

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Previous 50 | Showing 51-100 of 9,311 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
After visiting over a thousand ancient places and driving between fifteen to twenty thousand miles every year I can only conclude that I'm obsessed with these places, and finding this website ten years ago only compounded that obsession, at least I'm not alone anymore.

My favourite places are:

Ring of Brodgar
Callanish
Balnauran of Clava
Torhouskie
Swinside
Nine stones close
Bryn Celli Ddu
The Druids circle (penmaenmawr)
HafodyGors Wen
Gwal y Filiast
Grey Wethers
Boscawen Un
La Roche au Fees
Drombeg
Uragh
Talati De Dalt

and these are only the ones that immediatly spring to mind, so many stones and not enough lifetimes.

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