Sunhoney Stone Circle
Stone circles, intriguing markers of a civilization gone for thousands of years. Little is known of their customs and beliefs.
What remains are the intriguing circular arrangements – a considerable number along the River Dee.
Sunhoney is one of about a hundred in Aberdeenshire, just above the Sunhoney Farmhouse. Its beauty lies in its seemingly untouched state.
used for rituals
Rituals were conducted that included the breaking and scattering of white quartz lumps, perhaps reminiscent of moonlight.
In several cases, RSCs (Recumbent Stone Circles) were converted into burial monuments by the building of a ring cairn within the stone circle. Cremation burials were placed in the centre of the cairn. In this respect, in particular, RSCs are closely related to the early Bronze Age Clava Cairns of the inner Moray Firth and Speyside, but it is not yet known whether they are precisely similar in date.
layout and size
Sunhoney is nowhere near as massive as Stonehenge in England but it is not small either, about 25m in diameter, a complete circle including one recumbent stone, two pillar stones and 7 more stones.
Stone circles were used as calendars, astronomical tools to study the stars and establish the seasons, for rituals and also but not often for burials.
Traces of a low ring cairn can be seen in the interior. Charles Elphinstone Dalrymple dug into the ring in 1865 and found deposits of cremated bone and some fire-marked stones in the central space.
Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Grampian’, (1986).
A ritual fire burial, traces found by the son of Sir Robert Dalrymple-Horn-Elphinstone of Horn and Westhall, 1st Bt. Their burial enclosure is in Logie Durno old burial ground, not far away from the Sunhoney.
Thank you Jan. So is yours!