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Discover Loanhead of Daviot Stone Circle


Loanhead of Daviot stone circle from the east

Loanhead Stone Circle is one of the fantastic prehistoric examples of a monument type known as a recumbent stone circle. These monuments are believed to be 4000-5000 years old, found only in northeast Scotland. A ring of upright stones defines them, with a huge stone slab lying on its side between two upright pillar stones – commonly in the circle’s southwest arc.

A lovely hike through deciduous woodland leads to Loanhead of Daviot. The trail emerges onto the plateau of a small hill after passing through the woods with views rolling out across the terrain to the north and west. It has its allure and the setting is particularly lovely when the sun shines and a soft breeze blows.

The Two Circles at Loanhead of Daviot from South

The monument at Loanhead of Daviot in Aberdeenshire, which consists of a massive recumbent stone flanked by two stones and eight other stones in a 67-foot-diameter circle is situated on a broad ledge near the peak of a moderate ridge with commanding views to the south. A rectangular mortuary pit is located amid the low Bronze Age cairn within the circle and some belief it to be the oldest portion of the site. It also has a 20-meter-diameter recumbent stone circle and an enclosed cremation cemetery. The recumbent placement is in the circle’s south-southwest corner; however, the recumbent stone is inclined slightly to the south

View of Recumbent and Flankers of Loanhead of Daviot Stone Circle

There is a modest earthwork enclosure, built-in 1500 BC, located near the stone circle and cairn. This enclosure seems to have been used as a form of the burial ground, with cremated remains of over 30 people discovered, and it remained in use until well into the Bronze Age, around 500 BC.  

The excavations of recumbent stone in 1934-1935 showed it to be a complex prehistoric funerary and ritual monument with a long and varied history of use and reuse, which likely began in the late Neolithic period.


A cremation cemetery is marked by a low wall of stones

Loanhead is simply an exquisite site to visit. If you’re interested in ancient sites, the stone circle with its massive recumbent stone and the cremation cemetery make this a must-see. The Stone Circle is 7 miles away from The Elgin and a 12 min car drive from the hotel. It is an impressive recumbent circle near Inverurie, certainly an enjoyable spot to visit and worth the effort if you are in the area.

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