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

Broomend of Crichie

Circle henge


A site of this magnitude is deserving of more than the hour I have available after an afternoon at the wondrous Rothiemay. Having said that, however, an hour is purposely all the time I've allotted, since, despite the exquisite lighting conditions I cannot deny that I find myself somewhat 'on edge', uneasy even, at the way the Port Elphinstone locals treat their ancient heritage. Rubbish lies all around, violating henge bank and ditch to such a degree that I soon realise a skip would be needed to make any impact. Yeah, the vibe is all wrong, much like the henge at The Bull Ring before TMA's Blingo recently did something about that fine site. So perhaps an hour is currently about right....

Despite such negativity, come here you must. For although one of the trio of uprights within the fine, upstanding henge earthworks, is a Pictish 'newcomer' (ha!), the aesthetic effect is first class, particularly when viewed under a dramatic blue sky featuring the optimum cloud cover. The henge is located to the approx south-west of the confluence of the Rivers Urie and Don, the significance of this perhaps the defining criterion way back then. Nowadays a petrol station, industrial area and housing estates form an inappropriate backdrop, masking the influence of Bennachie. [Drewbhoy's suggestion that Port Elphinstone might have been the 'harbour' mentioned by Tacitus in relation to Mons Graupius is intriguing]. Of the avenue and RSC which apparently once formed part of the ritual complex here, all I can see is a single standing stone to the south.... so much has been irretrievably lost.

However an awful lot still remains.... much more than I anticipated, to be fair. As people walk their dogs, I instead take myself for a walk... much to my surprise beginning to access a vibe I thought did not - could not - exist. Things need to change here... a local stalwart needed to break the mould and rise above the overwhelming feeling of 'who gives a monkey's?' Someone to reawaken local communual pride in this megalithic treasure which is still just about hanging on in there. Then perhaps there will still be hope for Broomend of Crichie? I truly hope so.

Consider this... much effort has been undertaken to build a - by all accounts - pointless cairn overlooking a nearby Kemnay housing estate. Why? To paraphrase John Lydon... why do we persist in believing illusions, when so much is for real? Could not some sponsorship be forthcoming from local business to safeguard the future of this wonderful little henge. Before it's too late?

Note: If you're reading this and want to accept the challenge... but don't know where to start...why not contact Blingo - via the Forum - and see what can be done?
25th June 2011ce
Edited 26th June 2011ce

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