Balquhain is located in Aberdeenshire
Balquhain stone circle shown within Aberdeenshire
LocationAberdeenshire, Scotland
Coordinates57°18′24″N 2°26′29″W / 57.3066°N 2.4415°W / 57.3066; -2.4415
Architectural style(s)British pre-Roman Architecture
Official nameMains of Balquhain,stone circle 715m NE of
Designated4 March 1977
Reference no.SM3961
Balquhain Stone Circle

Balquhain, also known as Balquhain Stone Circle, is a recumbent stone circle 3 miles (4.8 km) from Inverurie in Scotland. It is a scheduled ancient monument.

Description and measurements

It is located in farmland at an altitude of c. 100 metres (330 ft) on a terraced hillside leading up to a prominent summit called Mither Tap. The circle originally consisted of 12 stones. Four remain standing, with another four fallen, the final four presumed to have been moved.

The recumbent altar stone is 3.8 metres (12 ft) wide, 1.7 metres (5.6 ft) high and 1.05 metres (3.4 ft) deep, it has been estimated to weigh over ten tonnes. It is made of a type of white grained granite that has been suggested to have been brought some distance to the location. The eastern flanker stone is 2 metres (6.6 ft) wide and made of dark grey basalt with a round top. The western flanker stone is 2.25 metres (7.4 ft) wide and made of reddish quartzite bearing inclusions of white quartz and having a pointed top. The stone east of the east flanker is made of red granite. There is also an outlying stone 6 metres (20 ft) to the southeast of the circle that is 3.1 metres (10 ft) high and made of white quartz with roseate seams.

The circle has been estimated to have been between 18.3 metres (60 ft) to 21.3 metres (70 ft) in diameter. Alexander Thom suggested the circle had been 20.7 metres (68 ft) and Fred Coles of only 19.5 metres (64 ft). The circle also displays suggested rock art including cup marks and a noticeable rounded bump on the recumbent stone that resembles the outline of the prominent hill behind it.

Astronomical alignments

It was discovered in the 1980s that Balquhain had lunar associations. The eastern flanker is aligned to the most southerly moonrise at 172 degrees, whilst the western flanker is aligned to the minor moonset at 232 degrees. The major moonset is aligned over the central hump of the recumbent stone at 190 degrees.

This page was last updated at 2023-10-31 22:39 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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