NJ4803 : Tomnaverie Stone Circle

near to Tarland, Aberdeenshire, Great Britain

Tomnaverie Stone Circle
Tomnaverie Stone Circle
This is the south-east arc of the circle, seen from the large recumbent stone. The distant hills, beyond the farmland of the Howe of Tarland, are Craiglich (476 metres) on the left and Mortlich (381 metres) on the right.
Recumbent Stone Circles
Recumbent stone circles are almost unique to the farmlands of north-eastern Scotland. They are so called because in a south-western or south-eastern sector of the circle they include a long low stone wedged in position so that its upper surface is horizontal.

Depending on which information board you read, they date from the late 3rd millennium BC, or from between 4000 and 5000 years ago, which of course amounts to much the same thing. The recumbents are aligned to the rising or setting points of the Moon and may have been used for lunar observation.

The recumbent is flanked by the two tallest stones of the circle, and inside it there are usually two lower stones laid at right angles to the ends of the recumbent. It has been suggested, according to one information board, that the practice of placing the recumbent is related to the practice of blocking the entrance to chambered tombs, and that these two small stones are symbolic of such entrances. Another information board says that the purpose of the low stones is unknown.

The rest of the stones in the circle, technically referred to as orthostats, are usually graded in height, the tallest being closest to the recumbent, and each one lower than its neighbour until the lowest stone, diametrically opposite the recumbent.
Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Anne Burgess and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
year taken
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
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NJ4803, 51 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Thursday, 2 June, 2011   (more nearby)
Thursday, 2 June, 2011
Geographical Context
Lowlands  Historic sites and artefacts  Farm, Fishery, Market Gardening 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NJ 4866 0346 [10m precision]
WGS84: 57:7.1518N 2:50.9680W
Photographer Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NJ 4863 0347
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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