Esslie the Greater

Recumbent Stone Circle - Kincardineshire

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NO 71711 91579 (GPS 27min) Diameter 23.0m (meas.)
Visited August 1987/ July 1999 No magnetic anomalies

Although large and reasonably well preserved, the recumbent circle at Esslie is frustratingly difficult to view as a whole. The circle is built on a platform and the ground around it falls off, also the internal space of the circle is filled with the ring cairn material, so that the circle stones and recumbent are only fully exposed on their outer faces, the rear sides being half buried.
The recumbent and both flankers are erect, and the recumbent is aligned on the major southern moonrise. Several circle stones have survived erect, as has an arc of kerbs at the south, indicating the original 6.3m diameter internal space of the ring cairn. As mentioned above, the outer edges of the ring cairn seem to have "spread" out to the backs of the circle stones, but it was originally 18m in diameter. The circle was dug in 1873 when a cyst and some "dark stains" were found.

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