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

Easter Aquhorthies

Stone Circle


This is the first Recumbent Stone Circle we visited, and with hindsight it's a good choice. Many of them have either lost a lot of the stones or the surroundings or the view, but this one has the lot.

The warm vibe of the site contrasted sharply with the icy evening wind, and in my crippled state I'm always a tad tired and slow, so the cold prevented us abiding by our impulse to stay for ages.

The monstrously sized recumbent stone is imposing to the uninitiated eye, but rather than the stones themselves, my attention was constantly drawn to the dominating shape of Mither Tap mountain. All around us on three sides were gentle fertile rolling downs, but the Mither gave such a startling contrast, all grey, huge and distant in a landscape otherwise green, close and intimate. This, Annwen noted, was the real genius of the siting here; to create a 'false horizon' when looking at the recumbent stone it needed to be looking up the hill and just before the crest, rather like driving up a hill can give the illusion that there's nothing beyond it and you're heading to a cliff edge. And Mither Tap is the only mountain to be clear beyond this place. Walk 100 metres west, even, and peaks next to Mither Tap are visible, but from East Aquhorthies stones it's the one and only.

Circles elsewhere tend to feel like the centre of a landscape. This one feels like it's at the very edge.
Posted by Merrick
7th August 2000ce

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