Access for wheelchairs/buggies isn't all that bad (if you can avoid the presents left by the sheep) until you're nearly at the good bit. Then it's ruined by an awkward gate thing, which in our case involved some lifting over a wire topped fence. You don't half get a lot of old rocks for the effort though.
I was slightly saddened to see that a crude symbol had been hastily scratched into the lichen on one of the stones, it didn't look deep enough to have done much damage to the actual stone itself.
Couldn't figure out what was going on with the things that look like abandoned millstones. We spent a good couple of hours mooching about, but still felt like we needed twice that amount of time, there's just so much to see.
Ooohh, we got really wet!!! but then the sun came out and it was incredibly warm and sunny....and then it rained again!! Be prepared for these moors, the weather, like the landscape, changes constantly.
I am pleased we saw these amazing stones in the misty and wet atmosphere though - the setting seems just right for such extremes of nature. Maybe that's why our ancestors felt it necessary to provide such extreme monuments?
Too much to take in on one visit. we parked at the little gateway across the road from the signpost and made our way out across the moor. on the way we saw what seemed to be 2 out-lying stones, one on either side of the path and a partially destroyed cairn with a broken cist embedded in the earth on one side of the path. already excited by this I really couldn't take in the scale of it all once we hit the "big" stones.
The plan is to return next year now that I have had familiarised myself with it all a little - and pray for more sunshine!
there is just too much to get your heed about here. good fun to try though.
all that is said is true , this place was revered ,maybe to fault by those who farmed here.
very wet and lost in the concentrics. Rain sluices down , twas spooky, dark.
for what its worth, my favourite one is the smallish boulder circle, that has , 12 stones of six men & six ladies. perfect balance and and off centre alignement , just past the last tall circle ( with the three big feather reds. weather beds), tis on the right with a smaller flooded ( rain permitting) circle to the left.
according to the upright authority of the bill boards that sought to aggregate and categorise the unmeasurable... it was circle number 3 or 4 or was it 1 , 2 5,or 6. I canna remember.
I condemned the arbitrary linear classification then hopelessly failed to understand what it really all meant on its own terms,
Truth is we impose our own patterns on the invisible and in doing so find usable meaning.
Strange attractor , bamboozles dinsosaur on the isle of witches
I think Furry Dan and I must have just missed each other at Machrie Moor last September.
I was on honeymoon there, and visited on 17.09.01, a beautifully hot day. We had abandoned a visit to it a couple of days before in the rain, and I agree that you would need wellies to negotiate the boggy path if it has been raining recently.
It really is a special place, and it's worth hanging around so that you can have it to yourself for a while. The views of the surrounding mountains are fantastic. Even though it is near the road, you can't see it from the stones (or vice versa) and you feel quite cut off from modern life
I will try to scan in some photos that we took, we used up nearly a whole film so be warned! black and white pictures came out really well.
We travelled on the 324 bus from Blackwaterfoot, the driver knew exactly which spot to drop us at. It was then a 10 min walk across the fields to the stones. This is thus not an accessible spot for those with mobility problems, but worth the walk for those that don't have that restriction.
Afterwards we walked north along the main road for approximately 1 mile, and had tea and cakes at the Machrie Golf Course tea rooms - a church hall type place, rather than the posh club house we'd expected, they weren't bothered by our muddy boots. We then flagged down the bus back to Blackwaterfoot. Buses run approximately every 2 hours.
Just returned from a blisteringly hot(!), September visit to Arran. Our first visit to the moor was greeted with torrential rain, followed swiftly by bright sun. But a return visit rewarded us with bright sunshine, a cloudless sky, and suprisingly, an empty moor!
Take time here, there are so many monuments that your first visit will be one of confusion. Too many stones to take in, all connected by a handy track. Allow at least an afternoon, or even a day. Time seemed to just disappear.
The natural amphitheatre of the moor is spectacular, the sandstone of the main upright megaliths working beautifully and quite oddly (my first red sandstone experience) with the mountains. There are many other circles dotted about, all on their own would be fantastic monuments.But combined with a Stenness-esque centre-piece, it's all almost too much to take in.
So, I reckon, maybe make a preliminary visit, get your bearings, then return for a long, long visit, the rewards are surely great.....
(p.s. if it's raining take your wellies!)
An interesting group of stone circles may be seen in the Mauchrie Moor, near the farm of Tormore, in Arran. Tradition relates that Fionn-gal and his heroes were hunting the boar in the woods on the neighbouring glens, when a fleet of Norse galleys was seen approaching the shore. Scarcely had the marauders succeeded in effecting a landing in the Mauchrie Bay, when they were attacked by Fion-gal and his followers, and driven back to the ships. A few of the Vikings whose retreat had been cut off were chased over the Island, overtaken and slain near the old fort of Dunfiun - Fion-gal's fort. The Fingalian heroes who fell in the conflict were buried in the moor where they fought and died, and the huge stone columns, now half-concealed amid the tall heath, were raised in circles around their graves to the mournful song of the bards.*
From p50 of 'The Antiquities of Arran' by John McArthur (1861).