Blimey - They've let this place go a bit! 14 October 2010
This place has a few names. Lamlash Road Circle on Canmore. Blairmore Circle locally. Lamlash Stone Circle on TMA. They were the first stones I ever visited on Arran over thirty years ago. Regardless of what the circle is called, this group of stones occupies a superb location, albeit rendered rather impotent, being hemmed in by hundreds of acres of Sitka Spruce on both sides of the road (thoughh to be fair, some of the forestry is at last being cleared). As I approached the outlier, I set up a Barn Owl which had been using the stone as a perch to vomit up its pellets. It lifted off silently and drifted into the trees towards Clauchlands leaving its last pellet on the outlier, steaming slightly in the cold of the morning.
The four surviving stones are perched on a slight knoll, at the highest point on the road between Lamlash and Brodick. The stones were barely poking their heads up out of the mass of heather and bracken. The site used to be regularly cleared of the heather and bracken though this hasn't happened for a for a while!. A few years back a fire caused some cracking and damage to the outlier. A rock cut cist was found in the centre of the three main stones but isn't exposed nowadays. There are other large stones half hidden under the peat on and around the mound. There is little to be seen or made sense of here now. This site should be an almighty place. It should look North to Goatfell, Cir Mhor and the jagged ridges of North Arran. Instead it is hemmed in by scrubby Birch, Willow and the massive Spruce plantations of the 1930's and 1940's. To the South, Holy Island, Blairmore Standing Stones and the robbed out Dunan Beag and Dunan Mor cairns are now invisible, swamped by forestry.
Through the forestry track another mile to the coast leads you to the hillfort at Clauchlands (not listed on TMA). The forest trek takes you through some of the best Pitchstone areas on Arran and you can grab yourself a little souvenir pebble of the shiny glassy stone our ancestors loved so much. A beautiful circular walk takes you back to Brodick by the very best pitchstone outcrops at Corriegills.
I believe that one day these stones at Lamlash Road could be sympathetically restored to something rather special. The site's original majesty was in its location. With the forestry removal currently underway on this magical island there is a real opportunity to re-instate the views and carefully excavate the peaty knoll and its immediate surroundings for the surviving stones fallen comrades. But I wont hold my breath.
Yes, it is right by the road and we did know this, but.....we still seemed to manage to walk straight past it. Sometimes I think we should concentrate a wee bit more.
We parked at the car park and set off up the left hand track but missed the little footpath to the circle and so had to double-back on ourselves. By the time we saw it, we were so pleased that we trotted straight into a very boggy bit and sank up to our calves. Take care.
This is a strange place; overgrown and boggy and yet with the traffic whizzing by it feels very odd. We had been to Giant's Graves and East Bennan earlier and this felt like a bit of a letdown after such amazing sites.
Clearly visible on the east side of the A841 and marked merely 'stones' on the OS map, this circle's five metres across, with an outlier stone about 20 metres south-east on an east-west axis.
Three grey stones about five foot high and stout, with a smaller fallen one and several tiny stones lying around, seemingly recent additions.
Goat Fell glowers down from the north and although we're on a slightly raised bit of land here we're still sunk just below sight of the immense bulk of Holy Island.
Directions: 100m south of the circle there's a dirt road turn-off. Park here. From this point there's a footpath up to Donan Beag and Donan Mor chambered cairns, a kilometre south-east of here in the woods.