This beautiful tree sits at the foot of Dunnideer Vitrified Hillfort 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 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:
Dunnideer Stone Circle
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. Passing through moon gates is meant to bring good luck. Oh well, next time…
My Latest Novel
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!
“Ethereal and spellbinding….” Historical Novel Society
Read the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.
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