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

The Cloch

Stone Circle


On the summit of the nearest hill to the sea, except one, bordering with the parish of Cyrus, and commanding an extensive prospect, stands a rough stone, in the circumference of a stony circle, commonly called the Cloach stone. It is more than a foot thick, measure 8 feet along the ground, and rises nearly 6 above its surface, in an inclined direction towards the north.

As there is no place in the neighbourhood, except one at the South corner of the parish, close by the shore, where stones of the same quality are found, it appears to have been brought from thence, not without considerable difficulty, the intervening space being a pretty steep ascent of more than a mile. It would seem therefore to have been erected for some useful purpose, perhaps with a view to perpetuate some memorable event.

Tradition says, a battle was fought near this place, and the number of flint heads of arrows, found on the side of the hill where it stands, affords some reason to credit this report. Between this and the coast, a great quantity of human bones has been dug up, in the course of improving the land, for nearly the space of a mile along the rising ground above Johnshaven. The bottom and sides of the graves, containing these bones, were all lined with rough stones.
The writer then admits that although lots of bodies could result from a battle, no-one would probably dig them all careful graves. From volume 15 of the Statistical Account of Scotland (1793).

The Canmore record has this as a recumbent stone circle (and that sounds like an impressive recumbent stone, and it's flanked by upright pillar stones) but also seems to waver also with categorising it as a special sort of cairn: "one of a group in the area which have well-built kerbs and an associated large stone."
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
13th August 2010ce
Edited 13th August 2010ce

Comments (2)

Cheers Rhiannon, this and the Glenbervie Knock Hill are on my list. That area south of Stonehaven has loads of stuff especially on Millplough Hill, another RSC. (the Court Stane looks over to this area) drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
13th August 2010ce
I'm so glad you get out to these places. Only in Aberdeenshire would such a massive stone not even be on tma yet - you've got far too much to choose from up there, you Lucky Beggars. Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
19th August 2010ce
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