Howe of Alford Wee Stone Circle:startling new discovery

Vale of Alford stone circle

A recently excavated stone circle of nine varied orthostats uncovered during scrub clearance throws into question what we know about Neolithic stone crowns.

There is no recumbent stone included in this circle but one of the taller orthostats has the look of a flanker.


Were such miniature rings created as blueprints from which to work on larger constructions or did they initiate young men in the building of full-size circles?

Could it be that Neolithic people participated in competitions along the lines of Highland Games or It’s a Knock-out or Strongest Man contests?

Given the variety of stones it might be that miniature circles were able to show how different rock colours and textures worked in groupings.

It is possible they were built to amuse the children while adults conducted their ceremonies undisturbed in adjoining full-scale circles.

vale of alford circle

Were Neolithic people believers in pixies and fairies? Could these little circles have been built for the little people to engage in their own rituals? Indeed were they built by the little people and then copied by Neolithic people?

It is likely few other such circles will come to light as they are too easily missed in deep undergrowth and presumably others have been broken up by generations of Scots for garden rockeries.

We shall never know exactly the function of Neolithic rings which dot the landscape of Aberdeenshire but the discovery of the Howe of Alford Wee Stone Circle might help throw light on some of the mysteries surrounding this historical phenomenon. 


2 Comments to “Howe of Alford Wee Stone Circle:startling new discovery”

  1. We don’t know what they were used for. Any opinion is just speculation. I don’t go with them being parts of living quarters as the stones, in proper circles, have symmetry of type, colour etc and the placing of recumbents points to their lunar or solar functions.

    Once you get into them they are so impressive.

    Hope you noticed the date this one went up – 1st April.


  2. I often wonder if we read too much into the circles. If you view the stones as the supports for a wall or a roof then the whole mystical theory falls down. Those folk had to live somewhere after all.

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