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‘Ancient’ stone circle in Aberdeenshire was actually built in the 1990s

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The former owner of a farm housing a stone circle thought to be thousands of years old has admitted that he actually built it himself in the 1990s.

Its current owner had brought the site in Leochel-Cushnie to the attention of Aberdeenshire Council, and it was subsequently deemed a notable archaeology discovery by Historic Environment Scotland.

But much to its dismay, the council has now had to reveal the true nature of the “recumbent stone circle” after the man who used to run the farm got in touch.

The council had continued to research the arrangement, hoping to uncover secrets of millennia gone by, but now know that it heralds from the era of the Spice Girls rather than the Bronze Age.

A stone circle thought to be thousands of years old that has turned out to be a lot more modern, after a former farm owner admitted to building the replica in the 1990s
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The revelation has been described as ‘disappointing’ by the local council

Neil Ackerman, historic environment record assistant at the council, said: “It is obviously disappointing to learn of this development, but it also adds an interesting element to its story.

“That it so closely copies a regional monument type shows the local knowledge, appreciation and engagement with the archaeology of the region by the local community.

“I hope the stones continue to be used and enjoyed – while not ancient, it is still in a fantastic location and makes for a great feature in the landscape.”

Recumbent stone circles often date back between 3,500 and 4,500 years and are unique to northeast Scotland.

Mr Ackerman said they were “notoriously difficult to date”.

He continued: “For this reason, we include any modern replicas of ancient monuments in our records in case they are later misidentified.

“We always welcome reports of any new, modern reconstructions of ancient monuments, especially those built with the skill of this stone circle and that reference existing monument types.”

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