Scottish history interview - Aberdeenshire's stone circles
We asked film-maker Nigel Scott, of Dip In Video, about his video guide The Recumbent Stone Circles of North East Scotland and his interest in Scotland’s stone circles…
What attracted you to the subject of Stone Circles in North East Scotland?
We (Nigel Scott and fellow film-maker and history enthusiast Alan Short) both live in Aberdeen and the close proximity of so many stone circles makes it relatively easy to visit a large number of them.
The density of the circles is a striking feature in Aberdeenshire and encourages you to seek explanations for their construction.
How did the creation of the video come about?
I am a local painter and use photography as the basis of some of my paintings. I also has a keen interest in photography and video and was interested in the visual aspects of the circles. Alan Short is a retired Aberdeenshire history teacher who wanted to find out the current thinking on the subject by archaeologists. The different approaches to the subject complemented each other well.
What research was involved in producing the video?
The creation of the video required repeat visits to many of the circles in Aberdeenshire before focusing on four key ones.
The commentary was based on wide reading about the stone circles but two recent sources, which are referenced in the video are particularly worth mentioning.
• Professor Richard Bradley’s excavations of Tomnaverie stone circle have shed important new light on the purposes of the stone circles.
• The RCAHMS study of Recumbent stone circles by Adam Welfare is a comprehensive study of all Aberdeenshire’s stone circles and up-to date summary of archaeological knowledge about them.
Of course, there are still many things that we don’t know about them, a good reason for people to visit them and reflect on them
What would you say to encourage others to visit stone circles in Scotland
The northern isles, Western isles and mainland Scotland have large numbers of some of the most impressive stone circles in the world and all easily accessible in a small well- connected country.
Visiting many of the sites is a genuinely profound experience that helps to understand a key period in Scotland’s pre-history.
It’s also relatively easy to get to many of them. Aberdeenshire Council’s archaeology unit has a good introduction to many of the best circles.
Watch the video: The Recumbent Stone Circles of North East Scotland