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Field Visit

Date 24 August 1998 - 26 August 1998

Event ID 635163

Category Recording

Type Field Visit


This recumbent stone circle, which is tightly enfolded within a small fenced and walled enclosure, stands on a gentle E-facing slope about 300m NW of East Aquhorthies; held in Guardianship, the enclosure is mowed and regularly maintained, with easy access from a car park nearby. The circle measures 20m from ESE to WNW by 18.5m transversely overall and is one of the few with its full complement of stones, comprising the recumbent setting on the SSW and nine orthostats. The recumbent (2) measures about 4m in length by 1.55m in height, and its spectacular leading face is shot with white bars of quartz (slickensides); an OS benchmark cut just below its relatively even summit roughly midway along this face was considered by Alexander Keiller an act of vandalism that had probably encouraged the graffiti carved into the inner faces of two of the orthostats (9 & 10). Behind the recumbent two large slabs are set on edge at roughly right-angles to it and flush with its ends. The two flankers, standing 2.5m and 2.15m high respectively, are the tallest stones in the ring, both of them aligned with the front of the recumbent and turned slightly to trace the arc of the circle. The western (1), which is not only slightly taller than its eastern neighbour (3) but also more slender, displays three cupmarks near the foot of its outer face, with a possible fourth a little further to the W. The nine evenly-spaced orthostats are graded in height, their tops descending consistently from the flankers on the SSW to a slab little more than 1m high on the NE (7). The visual impression presented by the interior of the circle is heavily influenced by the later enclosure, which has a thick bank behind its external stone face. At least five of the orthostats stand in the tail of this bank, which creates the allusion that the interior is dished. This is far from the case, as can be seen from the section. This clearly shows that there is a low mound about 0.25m high within the interior; it is almost certainly the remains of an internal cairn.

Visited by RCAHMS (ATW and KHJM) 24-6 August 1998

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