NE from the open end of the unusual horseshoe-shaped arrangement of small standing
Near Loch Stemster in Caithness
is an unusual horseshoe-shaped arrangement of small standing stones. The
tallest is only 2 m (6 ft 6 in) high. Some stones may have been taller,
but weathering has caused them to crack and split. Only 36 stones remain
in the setting, although there may have been about 54 originally.
stone circles the flat faces of the stones follow the line of the setting,
but at Achavanich the flat faces are 'side on'. The stone slabs appear
to be set into a low mound of earth and stone, possibly the result of levelling
the central area. Purpose and date of this setting are unknown, but they
are usually assumed to belong to the Bronze Age.
Outside the NE corner of
the setting are some small slabs, possibly the remains of cist burials,
protruding through the turf. Close to SE there's also a cairn, situated
on a knoll. The fact that these later sites were built in the same area
shows that the region remained one of ritual importance over the centuries.