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Main Details

Primary ReferenceNJ94NE0003
NRHE Card No.NJ94NE4
NRHE Numlink 20571
HES SM No. 2
Site Form Standing Structure
Site Condition Incomplete
Details Remains of a recumbent stone circle, the most intact recumbent stone circle in Buchan, with five erect stones including the recumbent and east flanker, five fallen stones including the west flanker. Also known as Parkhouse. The stones are set upon a circular bank of small stones and earth circa 14.4 m in diameter, 1.92 m in width and 0.76 m in height, and with kerbs formed by slab-like stones on the inner and outer faces. Below the surface, the interior is made up, at least partially, of a mass of small boulders. Most of the stones of the circle are of granite although the fallen west flanker and recumbent are of whinstone. The recumbent is estimated to weigh 21.5 tons. The circle's interior is slightly dished, perhaps the result of excavations by Charles Dalrymple some time before 1881. The circle itself consisted of 10 stones, five of which have fallen over. A historical comment states that: 'Outside the circle within a few feet to the west and south are pits apparently faced with small stones, and at a distance of 45 feet to north east of the circle is a heap of stones, possibly a cairn'. The alleged cairn to the north east is probably stones robbed from the circle and the pits to the west and south minor quarrying or tree holes, those on the west being in an old field bank. Excavation carried out by R. Bradley and C. Ball in 2001 showed that orthostats (standing stones) 8 and 9 had been inserted into the ring-bank on the west which in this sector measures between 1 m and 1.5 m in thickness over its kerbs. Elsewhere the ring-bank is spread up to 2.9 m thick and 0.4 m high, though 44 kerbstones are still visible in their original positions and others lie displaced around the edge of the slightly dished interior. The kerbstones were set in trenches cut into the sub-soil and probably alternated in colour from red to white. The ring-bank was made up of angular rock fragments and may have been divided transversely by other slabs. Apart from the fallen orthostat on the north and a scatter of smaller blocks, the interior is featureless. Radiocarbon dates of circa 1100-1000 BC were obtained from the outer kerb trench.
Last Update02/05/2023
Updated Bycherbert
Date of Compilation14/09/1984

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National Grid Reference: NJ 9587 4708

Event Details

Event DateEvent TypeOASIS ID
2001 Excavation

Excavations and Surveys

Date MDate YTypeDurationDirector / OrganisationAuspicesFundExtent
 2001 Excavation  R Bradley    
 1880  C DALRYMPLE   

Artefact and Ecofact


Samples Radiocarbon dating samples of charcoal (charred pomoideae twig) from the lower filling (Context 2A) of the foundation trench for the outer kerb of the primary monument.
Ecofact Notes

Monument Types

Monument Type 1Monument Type 2Monument Type 3OrderProbability