Esslie The Greater

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Nearest Town: Banchory, Aberdeenshire

OS Grid Reference: NO 71 79 16

Directions: Leave Banchory on the A93 towards Aberdeen. Take the right turn for the A957 to Stonehaven.Once you’ve climbed out of the valley into open countryside, look for the unclassified right turn in the hamlet of Blairdryne. Don’t worry if you miss it, as you can take the next one. This road is a loop around Garroll Wood, and includes the sites of Esslie the Lesser and the Nine Stanes. Parking on quiet lane, free.

Site Notes: A beautiful recumbent circle, set in wide-open countryside. Unrestored, but in good condition this is a large circle with a fine recumbent stone and flanker pair. The remains of several burial cairns can be found within. With your back to the circle, you can just make out Esslie the Lesser in the next field. Facing the road, a short drive around to the right will take you to the Nine Stanes, another fine recumbent circle. An area to spend the whole day in!

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A distant view of the circle

A distant view of the circle

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All text and photography © Chris Lodge 2009-12