Machars Archaeology

Dumtradden Standing Stones 

If you are in the Machars for a few days then Dumtradden Standing Stones pic and Torhouse Stone Circle are the areas pre-historic highlights, however looking at The Moden Antiquarian website (here) there are many more sites, sites with stanes marked with cup and ring marks. Indeed adjacent to this, 400 yards away are Dumtrodden Cup and Ring marked rocks.

The Dumtradden Standing Stones are easy to find on the B7085, head about two miles inland from Port William, park by the road and take a short walk up a track.

Torhouse Stone Circle 

The stone circle  is in an excellent state of preservation. Its 19 stones are graded in height, with a line of three boulders in the centre. This was recorded in 1684 as ‘King Gauldus’s Tomb’, (Galdus being a mythical Scottish king), who fought the Roman invaders and gave his name to Galloway.

Torhouse is a Bronze Age stone circle consisting of some 19 large granite boulders, ranging in height from 0.60m to 1.45m. There are three large upright stones in the centre of the circle known as King Gauldus's Tomb. This type of stone circle is most commonly found in north-east Scotland and is unusual for this area. But may be considered as similar to some found in Cumbria, particularly, Castlerigg.

Two stones stand 40 metres to the south-southeast of the stone circle, one large and the other small, and there is a stone row of three stones 130 metres to the east. There are also surviving remains of several burial cairns, and history records others long removed to build field dykes

In folklore

In the dyke on the south side of the road is a stone with a deep cavity which according to tradition, "the knowing never pass without depositing therein some pebble or gift to pass in peace".

Also known as the Standing Stones of Torhouse it lies in the Bladnoch Valley. 4m west of Wigtown on the B733. Easy to find beside the road.


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St Ninnian's Chapel and Cave




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