Balgorkar Stone Circle and Castle Fraser

On the way to Balgorkar Stone Circle

This post details a day in 2014 when we set off to find Balgorkar Stone Circle and visited two castles and another circle too.

We headed off to look for the stones. But first there was a quick stop at Fraserburgh beach where the haar (Scottish word for mist that rolls in off the sea) hung low and filtered the sunlight in a silvery way. A seagull flew by as I took the photo.

Balgorkar Stone Circle

Inland we travelled, to bright sunshine and summer colours and the stones of Castle Fraser.

To the left in the picture below (click to see larger image) are two standing stones and to the right, in the distance by the trees, is Balgorkar Stone Circle (also known as Castle Fraser Stone Circle). The stones were visible from the road, so quite easily found.

standing stones and a Balgorkar stone circle

Up the side of the field we walked.

Balgorkar Stone Circle in Aberdeenshire

I thought we’d have to just view the stones from there, but no, some naughty person had trampled a pathway through the crop, so we did no further damage by walking it.

illicit path to Balgorkar stone circle

The recumbent and flankers, dark against the field:

Balgorkar stone circle

Castle Fraser

Next we visited Castle Fraser where I was meant to be doing research for writing on heraldry, historic dates and architecture. This took the form of running about taking photos:

Castle Fraser

I loved the rooftop and later wrote about it here.


Kildrummy Castle

Then, after picnicking, with only half the day gone, we decided to head to ruinous Kildrummy Castle, a few miles further on.

more serendipity at Kildrummy Castle - Ailish Sinclair, author

There in the reception was an old friend who I hadn’t seen for years. There was hugging and much talking. Other people got fed up waiting to be served… We kept saying it was amazing. My friend is currently doing a PhD in history, so some of our conversation became spontaneous research.

We finally moved on to look around:

great hall

I do appreciate the use of the adverb ‘treacherously’ there; without it we might think Osbourne the Blacksmith to have merely made a mistake or had an unfortunate accident such as tripping with a pot of molten metal or dropping a freshly forged sword.


Broomend of Crichie Stone Circle

The day ended with a visit to Broomend of Crichie stone circle, Pictish stone placed in the middle.

Broomend of Crichie

This blog post is ending in a rather unrelated way, with some ballet. It’s beautiful and romantic and only two minutes long. It’s Scottish Ballet performing at the opening of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

Historical Fiction featuring a castle and a stone circle!

Sisters at the Edge of the World

Set in 1st century Scotland, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD includes the battle of Mons Graupius between the Romans and the Caledonian tribes. The book features a neurodivergent main character and some rather complicated romance!

“Ethereal and spellbinding…” Historical Novel Society

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Read the article Roman Aberdeenshire features in author’s new book from Grampian Online.

The Mermaid and the Bear by Ailish Sinclair, and a harp

Taking place mainly in a castle, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story.

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From the Press and Journal: New book by Fraserburgh author highlights horrific extent of witch trials in Scotland 

Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the kidnapped children and young people of Aberdeen. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith from the castle and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s derring-dos on the high seas… And there’s chocolate!

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“Filled with excitement and suspense…” Historical Novel Society Editor’s Pick

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30 Replies to “Balgorkar Stone Circle and Castle Fraser”

  1. Beautiful. I wish I could go there right this minute.
    The Great Hall reminds me of a paper I once wrote on clerical court culture in early modern England. Lots of Great Halls there too. I wonder in how far Scottish architecture was different at that time.

  2. Darklittle: Yes, I want to go back too! Great halls were a bit of a must, I think in these huge buildings.

    Robin: I thought the choreography used the space well.

    1. It’s a pre-historic structure, there are lots of them up here. Because of their age not a lot is known of their history, I love them 🙂

  3. Gorgeous photo essay! Now you’ve got me daydreaming about running away from Texas to seek our my Scottish roots… *sigh*

    ~Tui, @TuiSnider dropping by via #Archive Day on Twitter! 🙂

  4. Beautiful! I love the castle. I love visiting castles and imagining how things must have been back then, and how much efforts were put to make that castle in the first place. I mean, just look at it! None of our modern buildings are as strong as such historical buildings, throughout the world. It’s amazing.

  5. Amazing to walk amongst the ghosts of yester-year – all that history and amazing architecture! If I lived there, I’d never get anything done – I’d just wander from place to place soaking it all in. THANK YOU for sharing – I enjoyed this so much.

  6. Thank you! I loved my only visit to Scotland in 2018 (finding ancestral homes and even a distant relative), hopefully the world will return to some sort of normal soon and I can come again. Lovely photos. And blacksmiths are known to be unreliable 🙂

  7. Awesome, beautiful images! I don’t know the adjective I can use to describe the pictures, and your writing is easy and fluid. Thanks for sharing and I’ll be checking out your book too. I appreciate your visit and following my website. Thanks ! 🙂 🙂

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