Little Balmae, Kirkcudbright, Kirkcudbrightshire

Stone Circle (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – NX 691 447

Archaeology & History

In an area littered with neolithic and Bronze Age remains, the great Fred Coles (1895) reported a stone circle that was destroyed sometime roughly between 1890 and 1911.  When he visited the place with his colleague, Mr E.A. Hornel in 1887, the megalithic ring had already been tampered with.  It was, he said,

“found to consist of five granite boulders, all of them large, in situ, and the ridgy grassy hollows of five others—removed, no one can say when.  In the centre of this nearly true circle, 90 feet in diameter, is a slight mound, possibly artificial.”

In 1911, when the Royal Commission lads visited the area, they could find no stone circle and reported how “no information could be obtained concerning it” from the local farmer.  This might have been because he destroyed it.  Some land-owners do such things, as we know; but in this case we may never know.

The site was listed without comment in the Master’s magnum opus (Burl 2000), but he gave it the “uncertain status” category; whilst John Barnatt (1989) questioned whether this was a destroyed stone circle or merely a natural setting that Cole had misinterpreted.

References:

  1. Barnatt, John, Stone Circles of Britain – volume 2, BAR: Oxford 1989.
  2. Burl, Aubrey, The Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany, Yale University Press 2000.
  3. Coles, Fred R., “The Stone Circles of the Stewarty of Kirkcudbright,” in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries Scotland, volume 29, 1895.
  4. Royal Commission Ancient & Historical Monuments, Scotland, Inventory of Monuments and Constructions in Galloway – volume 2: County of the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright, HMSO: Edinburgh 1914.

Links:

  1. Canmore notes on Little Balmae

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

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