Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Burning the Circle Festival 2017 at Brodick Castle, Isle of Arran


The Burning the Circle Fire Festival will take place on 23 September 2017, offering members of the public the chance to experience an impressive centrepiece of the celebration of Arran's prehistory.

The festival begins at 7.45pm, when, using a combination of experimental archaeology and live performance called BuildNBurn, the organisers hope to learn about prehistory and provide inspiring memories for people.

The festival centres on two replica prehistoric structures – a timber roundhouse, built with volunteers and run by the local team of  National Trust for Scotland (NTS) rangers for educational events, and a circle of wooden posts up on the hill behind the castle with views across Brodick and the Firth of Clyde. These wooden structures are both based on prehistoric archaeology around Machrie Moor, on the west coast of Arran.

During the week leading up to the festival, archaeologists from Northlight Heritage and the University of Glasgow will work with National Trust for Scotland Thistle Camp Volunteers to build further timber structures inspired by prehistoric sites on the Isle of Arran.

Understanding prehistory

One of the BuildNBurn team, Dr Kenneth Brophy, an archaeologist from the University of Glasgow, said: “One of the best ways to understand what it was like to live in prehistory is to get out there and do prehistoric stuff. BuildNBurn is our way of doing this.

"Our third Burning the Circle festival in Arran will be our biggest yet, and we hope those who get involved will learn more about Neolithic and Bronze Age lifeways, but also witness a memorable and spectacular fire festival”.

Burning the Circle event details

The fiery spectacular will be starting around 7.45 pm on 23 September and is free to attend. The theme this year is still shrouded in secrecy, but by the time of the festival the timber circle will have grown and been joined by new structures and posts.

This year, there is a ticketed special package of activities for those who would like to make a weekend of it, starting on the Friday evening with a special gathering at the roundhouse and storytelling. On the Saturday there will be a chance to work closely with leadingprehistoric craft specialists, including Graham Taylor (Potted History) making Grooved Ware pottery, Neil Burridge casting bronze swords (Bronze Age Craft), and James Dilley (Ancient Crafts) knapping flint.

Find out more about the weekend package on Facebook, or book tickets at YAT. Follow the event at @TeamBuildNBurn #BurningTheCircle3

Finally, on the Sunday there will be a chance to go on some walking tours with an archaeological theme. Weekend tickets include a prehistoric buffet on the Saturday, and optional access to our camping site in the grounds of Brodick Castle.

Back to "News" Category

13/09/2017 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

Lost at Sea - new exhibition explores the dangers of life at sea over the years

A new exhibition which takes a look at the dangers of life at sea, as well as the people and inventions which ...

New Highland Games Centre in Braemar to be completed by September 2018

Work is continuing on a new Highland Games Centre at the site of the Braemar Gathering, which will chart the ...

Free lunchtime lectures - Friends of Dundee City Archives

Enjoy a free history lecture on the first Thursday of the month, at Dundee City Archives. ...

What tartan can I wear?

Find out which tartan you can wear and discover which tartan is linked to your family name or the region ...

Other Articles

Moray student awarded scholarship for ground-breaking archaeology research

A Moray student is to undertake new research into the fate of farms which were set up on marginal land after ...

Two Scottish visitor attractions pass 2 million visitors landmark

Two of Scotland's most popular visitor attractions each welcomed more than 2 millions visitors during 2017, ...

The Tempest Database - exploring five centuries of extreme weather in Scotland

A new website which allows users to browse five centuries of weather data for Scotland and the rest of the UK ...

When is Tartan Day?

Find out when Tartan Day is, and how this special day is celebrated in Scotland, the original home of tartan, ...