Faskally Cottages

Stone Circle - Perthshire

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NN 93017 58764 (GPS 26min).  Diameter 5.5m (Meas. excludes "outlier")
Visited September 2001 No magnetic anomalies

The Faskally Cottages circle stands NW of Pitlochry in the garden of a row of cottages only a stone's throw from the busy A924. The circle is very close to the bank of the Tummel River, but as this has been dammed it was probably further away when the circle was built. The circle has had other names in the past, Craighulen Cottage and East Lodge Cottages, but it is listed on Canmore and in Burl's gazetteers as "Faskally Cottages". 
Seven stones remain at the site today and their relative positions pose a problem in deciding on a classification for this monument. The most striking stone at the site is a massive square-sectioned block standing 1.5m high, this stone has been split (presumably a victim to 4000 years of frosty winters),  from top to bottom in two planes and the separated pieces have splayed apart like a partially opened flower. The remaining six stones form a semi-circular arc to the south of the large block, with the largest standing 1.25m high at the west. The present positions of these six stones would fall on the circumference of a circle about 5.5m in diameter, but the large block stands at least 1.2m outside of this projected ring. The stones of the northern arc are missing and those at the NE are small and may have been displaced, but even using only the remaining four and the large stone would have to produce a very egg-shaped arrangement. 
If large scale repositioning of stones is ruled out, then we think that the most likely situation is that the large stone was a NW outlier to a plain circle. If the heights of the surviving circle stones are original (excluding the obvious stump at the SW), then this arrangement would also allow for the circle stones being height graded to the SW. The problem with this idea is that only place we have seen massive outliers positioned very close to small circles was in Ireland with circles such as Uragh. We could find no accounts of an excavation of the site which may have revealed stone-holes to solve this riddle, so for now the stones of Faskally Cottages retain their secrets.
During our visit we met the present owner of the circle, Mr. Ian Townsend, who showed us antiquarian and modern accounts of the circle and it's position at the geographical centre of Scotland. He also gave us a photo he had taken of the circle in springtime, it's interior carpeted with newly-emerged flowers, you can see this shot on our picture page. 

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