The stone circle at Strichen

A view of the stone circle at Strichen

The village of Strichen lies about 7 miles north west of Old Deer. On the outskirts of the village is a fine example of a recumbent stone circle of the type characteristic of Buchan. At first sight the circle seems to be even better preserved than the one at Aikey Brae, but appearances are misleading. The circle was almost completely destroyed by 1773 according to McKean, quoting from a report in The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, LL. D. by James Boswell. All that remained were the recumbent stone and its two flanking stones. According to Aberdeenshire Council's Sites and Monuments Record the circle was destroyed in the 1830s by a tenant farmer who was ordered by the laird to replace the circle. The replacement was done incorrectly, the re-erection taking place on the wrong side of the recumbent stone. In 1960 all the stones were removed and an archaeological survey was undertaken to establish the original positions of the stones, and McKean (1990) records that the stones were re-erected a second time, in 1981.

The circle stands in rolling open country, and despite the history of destruction and re-erection retains the atmosphere of an ancient stone circle.

The long profile of Mormon Hill lies towards the north-east, and the white horse of Mormond, cut into the side of the hill in the 1770s is clearly visible from the stone circle, and at the summit of the ridge there is the ruin of a hunting lodge buit in 1779 (McKean, 1990).

Close by the circle, and visible in some of the photographs is the ruin of a doocot, and a little way beyond, the amazing spectacle of the ruins of Strichen House, built in the early 19th century and ruined in the early twentieth.

(Revision date: Tuesday 21st February 2012)