Isle of Albion
Photographed: Monday 22nd April 2013
Site rating:

Easter Aquhorthies is a recumbent stone circle, dating from somewhere around 3000BC. It has a diameter of approximately 20 metres, and consists of nine standing stones, along with a large recumbent stone and two flankers. The recumbent stone is roughly 3.8 metres long, and weighs around 9 tons. The remaining stones rise to a maximum height of around 2.25 metres, diminishing in size away from the recumbent stone.

The recumbent stone is fashioned from red granite, while the flankers are fashioned from grey granite. The remaining stones are fashioned from pinkish porphyry (with one exception - which is fashioned from red jasper).

The entire circle is surrounded by a low band and dry stone wall. The bank is not part of the original design, although its exact date is unclear.

Easter Aquhorthies is one of Aberdeenshire's better-known stone circles. It's not particularly accessible compared to similarly well known English monuments, but this just adds to its character.

The embankment around the circle contains it like a bowl, and this creates the impression of entering a ritually demarked area. It also acts as a slight windbreak, which can be helpful given the exposed setting situated on the side of a hill. The views from the circle are pleasant, looking down over the gentle rolling hills of the Aberdeenshire farmland below - a truly beautiful and tranquil location.

It is agreed that the name "Easter Aquhorthies" derives from Gaelic, but the specific meaning remains a matter of debate. Some believe that the the name derives from "auch" meaning "field", and "ortha" meaning "prayer", but it is also possible that the origin is "achadh choirthe" - "field of the pillar stone".