Ancient Stones
A Guide to Standing Stones & Stone Circles in the South of Scotland.

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003 Girdlestanes, Eskdalemuir.

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The Girdlestanes are situated on the left bank of the River White Esk a few miles south of Eskdalemuir in Dumfries & Galloway region and is composed of 22 stones of varying heights and shapes, the highest reaching about 1.65m. Around one third of the circle has been lost by erosion from the White Esk but the remaining circle has a diameter of around 39.00m. Some of the missing boulders may be seen in the river bed a few metres downstream from the circle. The circle is set on a raised bank some 7.00m in thickness, although it is not known if this is an original feature or a later addition resulting from field clearance. A preliminary geophysical survey of this site carried out in November 1993, indicated several pits within the enclosure, with additional pits along the line of the stone circle. The survey also suggested a narrow bank of stony material, about 8m outside the stone circle.

The stones are located off the B709 running south from Eskdalemuir to Langholm, about 100m from the Hart Manor Hotel. Cross the style and proceed to the Loupin' Stones, then follow the fence downstream to the Girdlestanes.

There is a small parking area just south of the above hotel, with enough space for 2 or 3 cars. The stones are visible from here. A style has to be crossed to reach the stones.

What struck me about this stone circle was the splendid setting, surrounded by green rolling hills and next the slow flowing River White Esk. The circle is surrounded by a row of hawthorn bushes and at the time of my visit many of the trees to the south had been decorated with short strips of coloured ribbon and lace. Some of the larger stones have also been climbed on as some of the moss had been disturbed.

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Quick Info
Type: Stone Circle
Nearest Town: Langholm
Nearest Village: Eskdalemuir
Landranger Sheet 79
O.S. Explorer Sheet 323
Grid Reference: NY 2535 9615
GPS Reference: GIRDLE

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