Stone Circle (destroyed): OS Grid Reference – NX 7079 5018
Archaeology & History
This stone circle was destroyed sometime in the early 1780s by some moron who cared little for our ancient sites. Its destruction was described by Robert Muter in 1794—the earliest known reference to the site—when he told:
“Near the Roman camp there is a Druidical temple, which was destroyed within these eight years, by the hands of an ignorant Goth, who carried off the stones, split them, and applied them to build a contemptible bridge over an insignificant rivulet, called Buckland Burn. The stones were seven in number, of round granite, and of unequal sizes. The smallest at least three feet in diameter.”
In the 1850s, when the Ordnance Survey lads came this way to map and seek out the place-names of the area, the ‘Clownstane’ was one such place they listed. In seeking an explanation of the word, a local man told them the folk memory from seventy years prior:
“Mr. Bell of Balgreddan says the name Clownstane originated from the Stones of a Druid Circle which stood convenient to this place and which was broken up and removed to build a bridge near by.”
Fred Coles (1895) included the site in his survey of the Kirkcudbright circles, simply reiterating how,
“According to Dr Muter, the stones “were seized by some vandal for the building of Buckland Bridge.””
- Coles, Fred R., “The Stone Circles of the Stewarty of Kirkcudbright,” in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries Scotland, volume 29, 1895.
- Muter, Robert, “The Parish of Kirkcudbright,” in Statistical Account of Scotland – volume 11, William Creech: Edinburgh 1794.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian