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

Hill of Barra



I decide to approach from Oldmeldrum - although, in retrospect, Drew's Bourtie route is probably a better alternative. Not that the northern ascent is dodgy.... oh no, far from it, a initial walk through woodland leading to a well marked stroll across the green hillside. It's just the vibe at the start will no doubt be better. I park in Millburn Lane (near the roundabout) and walk up the 'private road' to Redhouse Farm, just before which a signed footpath leads through the aforementioned woodland to the left. Stiles will keep you on track thereafter across the fields. A point to note, however, is the 'Hill of Barra Closed to Public for Lambing' sign. However it is late May and, since locals are out and about walking dogs, I decide to join them and go ahead with my plans. Needless to say the only sheep I see are in the distance, but there you are... a restriction of such duration a trifle OTT, perhaps, particularly bearing in mind this is an ancient monument, and a rather fine one at that?

So... as I approach the summit of Hill of Barra I'm suddenly confronted by a fine, tri-vallate enclosure. Not what I was expecting, to be honest, but all the more welcome for that. The inner rampart is actually very susbstantial, the defences extending around all the circumference save the western flank - simply no need there since Nature has thought fit to create a natural, craggy defence line.

As for the views... Oldmeldrum and its industrial estates need to be factored into that to the north; the rest of the points of the compass need no such caveats. Yeah, the hill is a fine viewpoint, indeed. What's more the stone circles of Kirkton of Bourtie and (the utterly wondrous) Sheildon can be seen in their landscape settings either side of the former's nearby farm. It is a nice touch. Tap O'Noth is also conspicuous.... but then of course it would be, wouldn't it?

The vibe is one of peace rising above a hive of activity to the north, an oasis of calm so near to, yet completely detached from, the modern world. Consequently I choose the southern arc for lunch and drift off for a while. Gazing across to the Bourtie RSC a wave of timelessness washes over me. It can't last, of course.... time waits for no Gladman.... but at least I'm off to find the Deer Park 'circle. Not exactly a drag, it has to be said.
9th June 2012ce
Edited 10th June 2012ce

Comments (1)

Should have given us a shout, I live no more than 15 miles from that site. Walked both sides and I'd say the Bourtie side is the nicer walk as you can do both stone circles and as I did, Hill Of Selbie as well, (and the Piper's stone) during the walk. Take your time, it does stop if you ask it to :-) drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
9th June 2012ce
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