The Auchagallon Stone Circle lies on rising ground above Machrie Bay. Although only at a height of just over 100ft above sea level it enjoys spectacular views south across Machrie Moor and along the coast of the Isle of Arran: and west across the Kilbrannan Sound to the
Access to Auchagallon is up a signposted farm track close to the junction between the A841 and a minor road which links to the String Road to Brodick. A short climb up the zigzagging track brings you to the circle itself, which you pass on your right before accessing via a gate in the north side of the protective surrounding fence.
The Auchagallon Stone Circle has not been excavated in modern times, and as a result is something of an enigma. It may not even be a stone circle at all, though in large measure this is a matter of definition. The point of doubt is whether the monument's primary aim when first built was to serve as a home for a circle of stones, which were later used to contain a burial mound or cairn, or whether the stones were actually an incidental feature, designed by those who originally put them here to serve as a kerb surrounding a burial cairn.
There are other monuments on Arran about which similar doubts exist, most notably the cairn/circle sitting alongside the Moss Farm Road as it makes its way to the six stone circles at Machrie Moor, and which, in a straight line, is not much more than a mile away from Auchagallon.
But whatever we should properly call it, it is clear that the Auchagallon Stone Circle dates back to around 2,000BC. It comprises 15 upright sandstone slabs which encircle a large cairn. The diameter of the circle is 14.3m or 47ft, and the stones surrounding it are graded, with those on the westerly, downhill side being larger than those on the easterly, uphill side.
An excavation of the centre of the cairn in the 1800s uncovered a cist, a stone box usually used to contain a burial. No further details of what was found during this excavation are known, and no-one has been back to look since. Until they do, nothing will be known for sure. In the meantime, however, there can be few more scenic spots in which to soak in the views and the atmosphere and make your own mind up about the original purpose of this mysterious place.