Tomnaverie Stone Circle – Why it’s Paul Anderson’s favourite view
This year the ASPC calendar consists of a unique collection of images which represent personal significance for people in the North East. Each month, we’ll take a look at the reason why that month’s view is so special, and highlight the beautiful image by photographer Ray Smith.
December’s calendar shot is the beautiful view of Tomnaverie Stone Circle, chosen by Paul Anderson, a musician from Aboyne. He says: “The Howe o’Cromar has been home for my whole life and my family have deep roots in the area. My favourite spot is Tomnaverie Stone Circle which affords some of the best views of the Howe and the Eastern Cairngorms. I frequently head up to the Circle to take in the view, think and write music. I find it endlessly inspiring. There’s no single reason why I love the place but rather a combination of peace and tranquillity, beauty, mystery and a tangible link between the present and our ancient past.”
Tomnaverie Stone Circle stands on a hilltop, just less than a mile south-east of the picturesque village of Tarland. If you were to leave from the village itself, the whole walk would only take around an hour and half – there and back!
This style of stone circle is known as recumbent, meaning it incorporates a large monolith lying on its side. In the case of Tomanverie, the recumbent monolith is flanked by two upright stones. This particular arrangement has been echoed about 100 times in various sites in the North East of Scotland, but has yet to be observed elsewhere.
It is thought that the impressive stone structure was created as far back as 2,500 BC and to have been originally used as a sort of funeral pyre. However, there is evidence to suggest that it has been utilised for a variety of different purposes; from astronomical observation, to simply framing a spectacular landscape feature. The latter seems an obvious choice today, as today the spot offers a lovely view of Lochnagar.
While the hill itself isn’t particularly high, it’s undisturbed surroundings mean that those who venture to the top are treated to a breathtaking panoramic view of the area – the perfect Aboyne adventure for a crisp and clear December morning.