NJ4803 : Tomnaverie Stone Circle

near to Tarland, Aberdeenshire, Great Britain

Tomnaverie Stone Circle
Tomnaverie Stone Circle
The large stone in the foreground is one of the flanking stones which were erected in a ring outside the original circle. Mortlich (381 metres) at left and Balnagowan Hill (262 metres) and Craig Dhu (298 metres) at right. In the far distance is a glimpse of the Forest of Birse including Clachnaben.
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.
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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 0347 [10m precision]
WGS84: 57:7.1572N 2:50.9681W
Photographer Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NJ 4865 0348
View Direction
Southeast (about 135 degrees)
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