Lonely Stones of the North

One thing about ancient civilizations is that the people that made things out of stone get remembered a lot better than the people that used only wood or earth fixtures. The people that lived in Scotland 2000-3000 years ago were believers in stone as is evidenced by the hundreds and hundreds of stone sites that remain. This feature of Scotland’s landscape was complete news to me when we moved here. Yes I had heard of Stonehenge of course, but did you know that there are hundreds of other stone circles scattered throughout the island? Me neither.

Aberdeenshire is literally thick with these things, just take a look at this Megalithic map. We have gone hunting for these things for fun (we are easily entertained) and here are some of our ‘finds’ from last fall. But we are amateurs compared to this guy, The Northern Antiquarian , who I follow with envy.

Cullerlie Stone Circle

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This was probably the best ‘presented’ circle we visited, having been well kept at least of late. The center circles were burial cists where ashes were deposited. The outer ring possibly aligning with seasonal moon or sun activity.

Then there are the sites where one must use one’s imagination! Like this one:

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Campstone Hill ring #1 (2,3,4 not pictured)

Campstone Hill Ring Cairns

We set out on a not well marked hike to find Roman ruins, ring cairns and a standing stone-all in one hike! And we did! A bit of bush-wacking and muddy sheep pasture later we found a Roman trench thought to be the site of a Roman versus Caledonian battle around  86AD!!! Crazy!

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Roman trench (also the home of enormous rabbit warren!)

Then on the the final leg of our hike we found these friends, who I shared my apple with. IMG_20151010_164049

And lastly, going on a bit further,  the Auquhollie Standing Stone

Auquhollie Stone with more recent turbines and towers

Auquhollie Stone with more recent turbines and towers

Cut marks in edge are the ancient Irish language of Ogham

Cut marks in edge are the ancient Irish language of Ogham

It may look innocent enough but the marks on the side are an ancient Irish language, Ogham. I know, crazy! Never had heard of it…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More tromping about to come on the ancient stone hunt!

What’s the oldest ancient site you’ve ever visited?

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4 thoughts on “Lonely Stones of the North

  1. I had never heard of Ogham, I followed your link and am really fascinated. I love these old stones and reading your blog post has been as though I trecked with you! Thank you for sharing. I travelled with my son to find Stone Henge. It was late so we parked up in our Campervan. The following morning we woke early thinking it must be around here somewhere….. And very gradually it appeared out of the mist! Awesome!
    We found some interesting stone circles on The Outer Hebridese! Great memories! thanks!💚❤️💛💙💜

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