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


Stone Circle


"Also in this shire (Mernis) are to be seen two large and remarkable Monuments of Antiquity, at a place called Auchinoctie, five miles from Aberdeen. One of these, is two Circles of Stones, the outward Circle consisting of thirteen great ones (besides two that are fallen, and the broad-stone towards the south,) about three yards high above-ground, and between seven and eight paces distant from the another; the Diameter of which is twenty four large paces. The inward Circle is about three paces distant from the other, and the stones thereof three foot high above-ground.
Towards the East from this Monument, at twenty six paces is a large stone, fast in the ground and level with it, wherein is a cavity, partially natural and partially artificial, which (supposing this is a temple) may be imagined to have served for washing the Priests, the Sacrifices, and other things that were esteemed sacred among the Heathens.

The other Monument (which is full as large, than that already described, and distant from it about a bow-shot) consists of three circles, having the same common centre. The stones of the greatest Circle are about three yards above-ground, and those of the two lesser Circles three foot; the inner-most Circle being three paces diameter, and the stones standing close together. One of the stones of the largest Circle on the east side of the Monument, hath upon the top of it (which is narrow, and longer one way than the other) a hollowness about three inches deep, in the bottom whereof, is cut out a trough one inch deep and two inches broad (with another one crossing it) that runs along the whole length of the cavity, and down by the side of the stone a good way: so that what-ever liquor is poured into the cavity upon the top of the stone, doth presently run down the side of it by this trough; and it should seem that upon this stone they poured forth their Libamina or liquid sacrifices. There is also another stone in the same circle, and upon the same side of the Monument (standing nearest to the broad stone on edge, which looks towards the south) with a cavity in the upper end, cut after the fashion of the cavity in the top of the other stone already described, and a natural fissure, by which all the Liquor pouted into the cavity, runs out of it to the ground."

Camden's Britannia 1586
Translation and edition of 1722 by Gibson.
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
18th December 2006ce
Edited 13th August 2008ce

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