Historic Scotland

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History

Torhouse Stone Circle was probably built around 4000 years ago. It consists of 19 dumpy granite boulders in a 20m-wide circle. They’re graded in height, with the largest stones in the south-east arc of the circle, standing just over 1m tall.

Three boulders lie in a line at the centre of the circle, two upright and one recumbent.  These were recorded in 1684 as ‘King Gauldus’s Tomb’, though their original purpose is now lost to us.

Archaeologists have put forward several theories about flattened stone circles such as Torhouse:

  • they may have been aligned with the rising moon or setting sun in the south-east
  • the flattening of one side may have been an architectural design to emphasise one aspect of the monument

A rich prehistoric landscape

There’s an unusual concentration of ritual and funerary monuments in the Bladnoch Valley. Besides Torhouse Stone Circle, there are:

  • two further standing stones 40m to the south-south-east
  • a row of three stones 130m to the east
  • surviving remains of several burial cairns, and records of others now lost

This array of monuments suggests Torhouse was a regional centre of some importance in prehistoric times.

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