ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Scotland - Kirkton of Bourtie-Stone Circles

Updated on September 28, 2010
Gary's first shot of the Kirton of Bourtie... as his enthusiasm rises there will be many many more!
Gary's first shot of the Kirton of Bourtie... as his enthusiasm rises there will be many many more!

When we stayed with Marion and Kiji in Inverurie, a small village in a small hamlet in Aberdeenshire we were first introduced to Stone Circles.

Not having the foggiest idea of what a stone circle really was, we were not prepared for the magic, the history or wonderment we would feel as we wandered throughout the countryside seeking out these amazing treasures.

Our first encounter was a glimpse of a 5000 year old Pictish stone circle through the living room window of their 17th century stone home. At that moment we were filled with magical wonderment... and through Marion's passion, stories and love we were hooked on stone circles.

The Kirkton of Bourtie turns out to be a massive recumbent stone circle. When I first heard these words I had no idea of what this meant.

The Recumbent with one flanker.  Can you see the little pass way?
The Recumbent with one flanker. Can you see the little pass way?
What a beautiful place to be.
What a beautiful place to be.

I have now learned that over 100 recumbent stone circles have been located. They are mostly found in the northeast region of Scotland and are particularly concentrated in farming areas on rolling hills. They tend to be often located on the shoulder of the hill with a good southern horizon view.

The circles are usually made up of pairs of stones graded in height with the tallest pair located in the southwest quadrant flanking a much larger stone lying on its side... the recumbent.

The recumbent and flankers are much larger and seem to have been chosen carefully as they are of a different composition and color than the rest of the stones found in the circle.

The surprising thing is that all of the stones were brought in from different locations long distances away from the circle site. While it would have been possible for a small number of workers - perhaps a dozen - to transport the smaller stones. It could have taken close to a hundred people to drag the Kirton of Bourtie recumbent stone the 6 - 20 miles. This I find truly amazing.

While the Kirkton of Bourtie is the longest known recumbent measuring at 17 feet and weighing 30 tons there is one at the Old Keig which weighs over 50 tons.

It appears that the three major stones were laid out first and then the circle was attached. Many believe that the sites were used as ceremonial centers for communal activities associated with the land and fertility. Marion showed us a "pass" way near the recumbent and one of it's flanker. It is believed that a baby could be literally passed from this life to another through this pass way. Marion thought it was used to bless or heal babies during ceremony...

One of the funniest things I noticed about experience the circle is the playfulness and joy I felt around these stones. Gary had a passion to capture the magic and it seemed that I had a desire to interact with them. Spontaneously I began to soot a series of photos which I call "Shadow in Stone". I will leave you with a sampling to enjoy.

The sun rose and along with it giddy abandonment!
The sun rose and along with it giddy abandonment!
Such great fun.
Such great fun.

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)