Saturday, August 26, 2006

Photo Friday- Circle

When I was trying to think of what photos I had for the topic, 'circle'- I immediately thought about stone circles.
Despite the popular image [particularly in movies] of stonecircles all looking like Stonehenge- Stonehenge is completely unique.

A great many of the more typical stone circles have smallish stones and are easy to miss in the landscape unless you are looking for them.

This one is Tomnaverie Stone circle [aka Mill Of Wester Coull or Tarland Burn ] - close to Tarland in Aberdeenshire, Scotland

I've seen two meanings given for the name Tomnaverie -either 'Hill of Worship" or 'Mound of theFairies'

It wasn't a great day- overcast and drizzly -however the site itself was impressive. The views were magnisficent- despite the drizzle and I expect it would be unbelieveable on a clear day.

Tomnaverie is a recumbent stone circle of a type found only in the North East of Scotland- the large recumbent stone is flanked by two tall stones that are larger than any of the others used in the circle and the smallest stones are often found on the opposite side of the circle from the recumbent stone.

Sometimes this recumbent stone is said to be an altar by some of the more fanciful guidebooks but it is more likely to be used to frame an observation point for the moon or sun.
My son is the figure in blue sketching.
The site is over 4000 years old and was left with toppled stones when it fell into disuse. The stone circle was restored very sympathetically in 2000.

The remains of an old quarry are invisible behind the fence- the quarry actually threatened the stone circle [and at least one of the stones fell into the quarry and was lost] but it is now disused and the circle is cared for by Historic Scotland
The stone circle surrounded a central ring cairn and some cremated remains were found in the cairn area when the monument was excavated.I wish I had taken more photos with a view to making a panorama later. Its annoying to look back at places I'm unlikely to visit again and regret not taking more photos.

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Nicky said...

Beautiful, moody and evocative photos, Alison. I love stone circles - they're always so full of ancient magic.

Chris said...

Lovely photos, and you're right Tomnaverie is a stunning location-how small minded do you have to be to quarry into it? The restoration is excellent, and I only wish more of these sites were restored.

Stonehenge is ok, but Aberdeenshire is the place to be ;-)