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Publication Account

Date 1996

Event ID 1016522

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account


A classic hilltop circle cut into the southern rim of little Park house Hill (at 120m OD), the most intact recumbent stone circle in Buchan. It was noted, in 1858, to be 'one of the very few [circles] that the utilitarian hand of improvement has spared' (J B Pratt, Buchan). The remaining pillars of the stone ring rest on a bank of small stones and earth c 14.4m in diameter, with kerbs formed by slab-like stones on the inner and outer faces. It was a considerable feat to haul all the great stones of the ring, including the massive, whale-like recumbent (weighing 21.5 tons), into position on this bank. Such banks are a particular feature of recumbent stone circles in Buchan.

An arc of monoliths runs out from the fallen west flanker; the southern and central ones were perhaps selected for their distinctly phallic shape. These stones are exceptionally tall: the east flanker stands 2.23m high and its fallen partner on the west is 2.86m long. Clear signs that the seven stones of the ring were graded in height can still be seen.

Most of the stones are of granite, but the fallen west flanker and the recumbent are of whinstone. The latter, 4.6m long, is rather uneven over its upper surface, yet overall quite level; it is beaked at the west end for ease of levering into position (cf Midmar, no. 96), but very straight at the east.

The circle's interior is slightly dished, perhaps the effects of 'excavations' conducted under the direction of Charles Elphinstone Dalrymple 'during a long summer day' many years before 1881. Remarkably little was recovered in this rather inexpert operation. In any event, the view over the recumbent to the low, open ridges of southern Buchan is enhanced.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Aberdeen and North-East Scotland’, (1996).

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