Machrie Moor Stone Circles.

Start. Lay-by south of Machtie Bridge.

Notes.The landscape of Machrie Moor has been shaped by 10,000 years of human activity, although few of the earlier remains are visible, I could go on for hours about standing stones, probably bore the pants off you, so here's a rough time line.

10,000 years ago people fished, hunted and collected shells to use as primitive tools.

6,000 years ago people cleared the land, planted crops and herded animals, they lived in small round houses and buried their dead in monumental chamber tombs.

4,500 years ago society had changed there were now ritual monuments such as timber circles, burial rites increasingly emphasized the importance of the individual rather than the community.

Between 4,000 and 2,600 years ago during the Bronze Age, potent symbols of power, jet necklaces, bronze daggers were conspicuously buried with the dead in cists (box or small chamber lined with stone slabs and covered with capstones) often under large cairns, meantime people continued to farm, as the climate warmed peat began to form, (so you thought global warming was something we invented, unfortunately Bronze Age Man new about it all to well) it appears at the end of the Bronze Age farming had became so bad the settlements on Machrie Moor were abandoned.

We started the walk just south of Machrie Bridge, there's room to park next to Machriewater Farm Lane, the walk starts on the opposite side of the road, just follow the well defined track.


Moss Farm Road Stone Circle, this monument dates back 4,000 years, and presents archeologists with a mystery, is it a stone circle with a later burial cairn built inside it, or simply a burial cairn with a prominent stone kerb?

Bronze Age graves next to the Moss Farm Road.

This circle comprises of two rings of granite boulders, a ruined cist was found in the centre of the circle back in the 19th century.

This circle is much smaller possibly 7ft in diameter.

Close up of a 16ft high slab of sandstone pointing to the skies.

One of the largest standing stones on Machrie Moor, with a not so large human giving the scene perspective.

From the standing stones views to Machrie Glen.

In my opinion these are the most spectacular standing stones on Machrie Moor.

From the standing stones views to the east with Beinn Bhreac under cloud.

And to the west over Kilbrannan Sound to the coast of Kintyre.

Note the two flat stones in the foreground, an attempt has been made to fashion millstones from one of the fallen stones, the work has been abandoned with the stones still laying where they were left.

One of the six stone circles on Machrie Moor, these represent only a small phase of the activity on the moor, other features lie sealed by the peat under our feet.

Excavations in 1985-6 demonstrated that elaborate timber circles (erected about 4,500 years ago) preceded two of the stone circles by 500 years, subsequently people were buried in the circles.

One of three standing stones overlooking chambered cairns, with stunning views to the hills of Kintyre.

This grave may not date back 4,000 years but what a place to be remembered.

back to top

back to list