Fortingall

Ordnance Survey Map Reference NN745469

The 3 groups of stones looking SSE

The SW group

The southernmost group

Looking towards the other groups from the southern one

The NE group


On the road from Aberfeldy to Fortingall, look out for Balnacraig farm on your right - the circles are onthe left just after here, in the field with the "No Dogs" sign on the gate. There are sometimes cattle in the field, and the eastern circle is sometimes separated from its two neighbours by a low electric fence. Don't enter if there are bullocks in the field! It's safe enough to park on the verge of this quiet road.

Closest to the road are a group of four stones (NE) and a group of three stones (SW), whilst further into the field, closer to the river, is another group of three (S). All are water-worn, smooth, rounded boulders. In 1970, the two settings closest to the road (NE & SW) were excavated by archaeologists from Leicester University including Aubrey Burl. It was found that both had been four-poster variants, each comprising of four large stones at the corners of a rectangle, with four smaller stones mid-way between the larger ones. In both cases, the missing five stones had been pushed over and buried deeply in prepared pits at some point in the nineteenth century. The date is known as one of the stones was found to have a Victorian beer bottle under it.

Excavation showed that the SW circle originally had a floor of tiny pebbles within it, and stones of quartz were found by the SSW stone. To the SW of the circle part of an Iron Age jet ring was found. At the centre of the NE circle, a burnt patch containing pieces of charcoal and cremated bone was found. These circles are unique in that they are the only known '8-posters' to have been researched.

Date visited 9th November 2003

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