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

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020 Twelve Apostles Stone Circle, Dumfries

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Despite the name, only eleven stones of a probable eighteen stones still remain at this location with the highest reaching just under 2.00 metres in height. The circle has a diameter of about 86 metres making it the largest stone circle on mainland Scotland and the fifth (or seventh, depending what you read!) largest in the British Isles. There are various natural "cup-marks" created by weathering on several of the stones, some of which are in rows. A bronze figure, identified as the figure of St Norbert, was dug up at the stone circle and is now housed in the Dumfries Museum. Four of the stones are of local original with the remainder being quarried from a few miles distant. Quartz seems to be a feature at this location with pebbles being common within the circle and numerous veins of quartz running through some of the stones.

From the A75 Dumfries By-Pass take the junction leading onto the A76. Just after passing the village of Newbridge, turn left onto the B729 then first on the left again. The circle is in the field to your left. An information board can be seen at the road junction.

There is parking along the narrow road to the south of the site although care should be taken not to impede local traffic. A style gives access to the stone circle. Note that livestock may be found in the field where the circle stands.

There are one of two items of folklore relating to the Twelve Apostles Stone Circle, although my information is somewhat lacking in detail at present. However, I've included it here anyway. The first concerns the apparent discrepancy between the 12 stones of the circles name and the 11 actual stones seen on location. One tale has it that the missing stone was removed because it was the apostle "Judas". Another relates to early map making when an errant ink spot was mistaken for the twelfth stone!

I did find the location somewhat lacking in any atmosphere what-so-ever. Perhaps this was down to the hazy weather at the time of my visit or perhaps I was expecting more.

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Quick Info
Type: Stone Circle
Nearest Town: Dumfries
Nearest Village: Newbridge
Landranger Sheet 84
O.S. Explorer Sheet 313
Grid Reference: NX 9470 7940
GPS Reference: 12APOS

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