A car park on a minor road half a mile west of Strichen gives access to the Formartine and Buchan Way, which follows the line of the old railway through the village. The same car park also gives access to the Strichen Stone Circle.
To reach it, you follow a path that leads down by the side of the old railway and under a bridge that once carried the railway over a stream. You then head along clear and well graded paths between fields for the quarter of a mile or so to the hilltop field containing the circle. Here access is potentially more problematic, especially if you have a close encounter with the bull who was on the far side of the field when we last visited.
Strichen Stone Circle has had a chequered history. Today's visitor finds a ring of standing stones measuring some 15m in diameter, rising from a continuous circle of much smaller stones. The surrounding fence, presumably intended to keep livestock out, is broken in places, and there is ample evidence around the stones of grazing animals. The current state if the circle is something of a shame, especially as it only survives at all thanks to the considerable efforts of the local community.
Strichen Stone Circle was visited in 1773 by James Boswell and Samuel Johnson because the latter was keen to see "a Druids' temple" and Boswell had been here before, 15 years previously. However, in 1773 they found that "all that remains is two stones set up on end, with a long one laid upon them, as was usual and one stone at a little distance from them". In 1830 a tenant farmer pulled down even these remaining stones, though he was ordered to put them back by the laird. The circle he re-created seems to have had little in common with the original erected here around 4,000 years ago: it was even in a slightly different place.
The farmer's re-erected circle was itself removed by bulldozer in 1965. In 1979 the local community council launched an initiative to restore the circle. A major archaeological excavation commenced and over the following four years the sequence of events was established, the original stones recovered, and the circle rebuilt by local volunteers in its original location.
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Grid Ref: NJ 937 545