This beautiful tree sits at the foot of Dunnideer vitrified hill fort near Insch in Aberdeenshire. It’s a short but steep climb to the top of the hill. When you see the remains of the medieval castle and prehistoric fort you know you’re nearly there.
The Vitrified Hill Fort
The vitrified forts of Northern Scotland are a bit of a mystery. About 2000 years ago the stones of many of these defensive buildings reached a high enough temperature to melt. Theories as to how this happened are varied. Battles? Ancient building techniques? Aliens? I’ve written a dramatic stone melting event into SISTERS (no aliens involved) but don’t pretend to have the answer to this piece of prehistory.
The views from the hill make all exertion of the climb worthwhile. Click the pano for a larger version:
View from the other side:
Nestled, and almost completely hidden, under a tree at the bottom of the hill are the remains of Dunnideer Recumbent Stone Circle.
A few miles further west is Leith Hall with its wonderful walled garden.
Stone guardian at the gate:
I love the Moon Gate, and in retrospect wish I had gone through it and taken a photo from the other side too. Oh well, next time…
Set in 1st century Northern Scotland, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD is a story of chosen sisters, fierce warriors, divided loyalties and, ultimately, love. It features a neurodivergent main character, the battle of Mons Graupius between the Romans and the Caledonian tribes, and some rather complicated romance!
Set in an Aberdeenshire castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR features the Scottish witchcraft accusations, a handsome Laird, an ancient stone circle and a love story.
FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the 18th century kidnapped children of Aberdeen and is set in both Scotland and Colonial Pennsylvania.
Paperbacks and kindle: Amazon UK or Amazon Worldwide
“Filled with excitement and suspense…” Historical Novel Society
33 Replies to “Dunnideer Vitrified Hill Fort and Leith Hall Garden”
Hi Ailish – is the light always that beautiful in Scotland? I have a question, about the lion’s head – do you have any idea when it’s from?
All best wishes
Well, maybe not when raining! I’m not sure of the date of the lions, there’s one on each gatepost of the walled garden. The House is 17th century but the garden came later in the 19th and 20th, with much work being done in the early 20th. It looks like there’s water wear on the sandstone lions so they could be quite old?
The stone circle is intriguing
Very little of it left, sadly. Just what you see here.
Sigh. Scotland is sooooo old. I want to live there!
I love the old stuff too 🙂
Love that gate in the last picture, makes you think of a gate into the Shire or a hidden garden in Hobbiton
It really does, doesn’t it? It’s a Chinese style Moongate.
What a fascinating place, and I love the tree (first pic). Any idea what it is? A juniper perhaps?
I don’t know what type of tree it is, must have a closer inspection next time!
This is such a beautiful place! I really like that gate.. next time go through it!!
A place for wandering and dreaming. Thank you for sharing it.
I’m glad you enjoyed it Petrea, thank you 🙂
these put the lie on Scotland’s poor summer!
Plenty of rain and midgies too, some days 🙂
How absolutely beautiful and so inspiring. I could almost feel stories popping into my head. My family came from Islay many, many years ago and I’d love to get to Scotland and check it out. Meanwhile, a friend of mine is filling the gap and has the flag on her car etc. You don’t get too many people prouder than a Scot! xx Rowena
I hope you get the chance to visit Scotland Rowena. I went to Islay in February – post here 🙂
Such beautiful photos! And a lovely post – makes me want to visit 🙂
Glad you enjoyed 🙂
Great shots like always. Great eye for beauty.
Thank you Gabriela 🙂
Those are lovely shots. Thank you for sharing them on Archive Day.
I’m glad you like them 🙂
As always, inspiring. You have an eye and a gift.
Would you be adverse if I cited some of your posts in my own and linked them back here?
That’s fine 🙂
The moon gate is lovely. There is something really special about walled gardens, they always feel a little bit hidden.
Yes, they feel safe, like a sanctuary.
Love the panorama, there are just so many lovely places to discover in Scotland.
Beautiful photo! Thank you for sharing!
Glad you like!