These stones stand some ten miles north of Glasgow, outside the village of Blanefield, near Duntreath Castle.
On a low hill, between the Blane Water and the track of the West Highland Way--and in a most picturesque setting--are six stones in a close row running approximately south-west to north-east. Only one of the stones is still standing. Two of the stones have no socket and are presumed to have been placed there recently during field clearance.
The stones were generally presumed to be a ruined four-stone row. The area around the stones was excavated in 1972 by Euan MacKie and reported in issue 36 of Current Archaeology. In an editorial note, Andrew Selkirk suggested that they may have been part of the facade of a long cairn. Aubrey Burl in Carnac to Callanish seemed inclined to agree with this suggestion. From a fairly sentimental point-of-view, I can well understand some major local neolithic figure saying: "Nice spot! You can bury me here." Radiocarbon dating of charcoal found during the 1972 excavation suggested a date around 3400BC or 3500BC.
The stone that is still standing is approximately five feet tall.
7/27 Looking from what would have been the main body of the (presumed) cairn to the north west and to the hill of Dumgoyach. I wonder if the cairn would have had the same profile as the hill from this direction?
16/27 Looking due north. The heavily wooded hill of Dumgoyach is on the left and the Blane Water flows down the valley from the right.
17/27 Looking east. If this is the remains of the facade of a long cairn, this picture would have been taken from the "courtyard" with the body of the cairn behind the megaltihs and running to the distant right. In the distance are Black Craig and the Strathblane Hills.
18/27 Another view to the east.
19/27 Looking to the west. In the distance are Dumgoyach Brae (far left), Auchineden Hill (centre left) and Quinloch Muir (centre right). On the summit of Quinloch Muir are the vitrified stone walls of an Iron Age hill fort.
20/27 Looking south.
22/27 Looking from what would have been the main body of the (presumed) cairn to the north west and to the hill of Dumgoyach. I wonder if the cairn would have had the same profile as the hill from this direction?