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Main Details

Primary ReferenceNO79SW0008
NRHE Card No.NO79SW8
NRHE Numlink 36748
HES SM No. 979
Site Form Standing Structure
Site Condition Incomplete
Details Remains of a Recumbent Stone Circle surrounding a ring cairn. The stone circle originally consisted of the recumbent, flanker and 8 other stones, but of those 8 one stone is missing on the north west arc and another on the west has been reduced to a stump. The ring cairn measures 12m in diameter by 0.3m in height and there is a hole 4.3m in diameter by 0.4m in depth in the centre. This stone circle differs from classic examples in having the recumbent and flankers set on the egde of the inner cairn, whilst the remaining stones sit in an oval outer arc c,18m by 14.6m. It is thought that this circle was built late in the sequence of Recumbent Stone Circles. The name of the stone circle was given in 1904 when the site was excavated (it refers to the 9 remaining stones including the flankers but not the recumbent). When F.R. Coles of the National Museum excavated the site in 1904 he spent twelve days with some of the landowner's workmen clearing the undergrowth and turning over the loose stones. In making a plan of all the visible features before work began, dividing the circle into sections and sieving soil that was trowelled out of the central space he exercised more care than most of his fellow archaeologists of the time. Excluding the recumbent stone and its pillars, Coles' plan shows there to be seven stones and the position of the presumably missing eighth stone. Between all these and curving into each pillar was a double row of smallish earthfast stones. The whole area within the circle was extremely stony and was doubtless a low cairn. At the centre of the circle he found a funnel-shaped pit formed of six slabs with one missing, full of burnt bone. To the North of the pit was charcoal and urn fragments. Bone was also found in four other spots around the pit. Between these and the outmost ring were three rings of stones. Archaeological assessment of potential damage from wind blown trees to the east of the circle was carried out by Clyde Archaeology in December 2019. A single trench was excavated covering the two tree bowls and an area to the southwest next to the outer edge of the circle, also providing an opportunity to re-examine an area thought to have been excavated by Coles in the early 1900s. The windblow had resulted in minimal disturbance to buried archaeological remains. A small truncated cairn was recorded to the east of the standing stones. The origins of a large cairn like deposit of earth and stone remain unclear: the material could relates to the ephemeral remains of a larger cairn within the stone circle or be the result of backfill and reinstatement from the 1904 excavation.
Last Update23/02/2021
Updated Bycpalmer
Date of Compilation26/03/1980

Easting: 372330.98805914, Northing: 791219.076699575

Google Map for NO79SW0008

National Grid Reference: NO 7233 9121

Event Details

Event DateEvent TypeOASIS ID
1904 Excavation
2019 Excavation clydearc1-389583

Excavations and Surveys

Date MDate YTypeDurationDirector / OrganisationAuspicesFundExtent
91904 Excavation 21COLES  0
122019 Excavation  Clyde ArchaeologyFLSFLS 

Artefact and Ecofact

Date MDate YArtefact TypeFinderRecovery MethodConditionStorage LocationAccess No.
01904 URN FRAGMENTS FRC Excavation National Museum of Scotland EP 25


Ecofact Notes

Monument Types

Monument Type 1Monument Type 2Monument Type 3OrderProbability