Auld Kirk o’ Tough’s vanished recumbent stone circle

There are remnants of a recumbent stone circle at the old kirk o’ Tough on Red Hill near Alford in Aberdeenshire.

This recumbent stone circle was, as you would expect, south-facing, and very large – estimated at 23 metres (75 feet) in diameter and surrounding a ring-cairn.

Unfortunately little remains of the circle, it having been destroyed many years ago, possibly when land was being improved and farm grazing extended although this hardly describes this particular site. There might have been a desire to rid the area of pre-Christian symbols. Whatever the reason for demolishing circles the stone was often used, as in this case to reinforce a dyke and on one occasion for a doorstep and possibly as land roller.

One upright stone survives and this it is said to serve as a rubbing stone for cattle. It stands at 1.25 metres high.

There are records of the recumbent and its flankers and seven of eight uprights still standing around 1875.

A ringed cupmark along with other unringed is said to have been seen on a stone near this upright.

Unfortunately the recumbent has gone completely.

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