The Drumtroddan Standing Stones are reached via a track that leaves the B7021 some two miles east of Port William. It is possible to park without causing an obstruction beside the road and you then walk the few hundred yards gently uphill to the enclosure surrounding the stones themselves.
The first thing that is obvious from the site of the stones is that whoever took the time and trouble to erect them liked a good view. The site chosen is magnificent, commanding huge views right across the Machars and as far as the Galloway Hills to the north-east.
There are three stones at Drumtroddan, two of which are still standing while the other has at some time fallen over (though see the update at the foot of this page). The best estimates are that the stones were erected between 2,000BC and 1,000BC, and it is not known whether the people who erected the stones were connected with those who, at a probably much earlier date, carved the Dumtroddan Cup and Ring Markings on rocks some 400 yards to the north-west.
The two stones that still stand at Drumtroddan are positioned some 43ft apart. The largest, and more south-westerly, measures some 10ft by 4ft by 1ft and is leaning at a significant angle from the vertical. The second standing stone measures about 10ft by 3ft by 1ft and still stands roughly vertically.
It looks as if the third stone originally stood on a line between the other two some 7ft from the more south-westerly. It has have fallen over sideways. Early records suggest that there were originally four stones on the site, but if so all trace of the fourth has disappeared.
The fact that the stones were originally erected on a straight line aligned roughly north-east to south-west gives rise to an obvious question, why? Moving stones of this size to this site and erecting them would be a major undertaking even today. The effort involved in an age when tools were primitive and most of daily life revolved around the need to ensure you and your family were fed is remarkable. There is no way that the erection of stones like this could have been a recreational pastime.
There must have been a reason, and in the absence of any better ideas, thoughts immediately start to drift towards the possible religious significance of the stones or their site: or some other, perhaps astronomical, role. But the truth is that there really is no obvious reason for these stones to have been positioned here, save perhaps as some sort of prehistoric art installation.
Update: We've been contacted by Peter Rickard, who visited the stones on 5 July 2011 and found that the largest of the stones described as standing in this feature had fallen over. See his image on this page.