A sunny day took us to the wilds south of Troon and Four Lanes, looking for three ancient monuments.
The Nine Maidens Bronze Age stone circle (also known as Wendron stone circle) is close to the B3297 road at SW 683365. There is a lay-by opposite a farmhouse on the crest of the hill. Across the road, in the field to the right are four remaining maidens: three regular stones and one ‘fat’ one with lots of quartz glinting in the bright sunlight. The granite bulk of Carnmenellis looms in the distance.
Searching in the wall alongside, another stone can be found, apparently in situ while the presence of other large stones suggests that the wall has borrowed from the stone circle. Craig Weatherhill suggests that there were once two circles here.
As so often, we wondered about the positioning of the circle. It is quite clearly not on the top of the hill, despite its excellent eastward views.
Nearby is the Giant’s Quoit (Carwynnen Quoit or ‘Giant’s Frying Pan’) at SW 650373. This easy to find as it stands in a field alongside the lane from Troon to Carwynnen. It has been restored several times, lastly in 2014 when the capstone was raised onto the three supporting stones.
There is no sign of any curb stones or marks indicating the original extent of the covering barrow.
What qualified a Neolithic person to have such an elaborate monument which required such effort to create, we wondered.
The field is called ‘Pip’s field’ and in one corner is the grave of someone called Phillipa (labelled ‘Mum’) with bench and protecting screen. A short distance away is another grave to ‘Dad’.
Also marked on the map on the side of Carnmenellis Hill at SW 693363 is something called the Giant’s Cave’ which we failed to find. A website suggests that this was once an underground chamber. A local who we asked said it was ‘simply some large stones where they kept the dynamite for the quarry, but you cannot go there as it is private land.’ As she said this she described them with her hands.
It would be hard to imagine a better description of a quoit.