It was a glorious day when I arrived at Loch Earn, parking in the layby by the side of the loch, just beyond St Fillans. As I assembled my bike I watched as sailors, jet skiers and kids on “banana boats” made the most of the warm weather.
I cycled back through St Fillans, stopping at the bridge over the River Earn to take a photo along the loch.
I was heading back along the main road to Comrie to look at some standing stones. On the way is the hillfort of Dundurn.
Dundurn was a strategically-important site, guarding one of the main routes from the west into the Pictish kingdom, and seems to have been the eastern equivalent of Dunadd. Dundurn is also associated with St Fillan.
After a few miles of pedalling in the hot sun, passing the stone circle of Wester Tullybannocher, I arrived in Comrie. Crossing the Dalginross Bridge over the Earn, I left the village heading west then south into Roman territory.
There was a Roman fort and camp here on the banks of the Water of Ruchill, giving rise to the name Roman Stone for a standing stone and cup-marked rock at the entrance to West Cowden Farm.
Re-tracing my steps I cycled back towards Comrie, but instead of going back into the village I headed east and back out of the village towards the Muirend cemetery. Nestled against the graveyard wall is the Dalginross stone circle.
This beautifully-situated circle – only one of whose stones still stands – has great views north towards the hills above Comrie.
I turned around and headed back up into Comrie, crossing the River Earn then the River Lednock on my way to the golf course. I’d marked a cross on my map some time ago – something I do when I come across a reference to an ancient site that isn’t already marked – but had no idea what I was looking for. When I got to the spot, on the edge of the golf course and just above a football pitch, I was confronted with what appeared to be an enclosure of some kind.
I immediately thought it must be a cursus since I knew there was one in the Comrie area, although when I got home and checked my list of cursus monuments I realised I was thinking of Craggish, some distance away. I still haven’t found my original reference to whatever this site is. It consists of two parallel banks about 1m high, situated approximately 10m apart. They must run for 100m at least.
If anyone does know what this site is, please e-mail me! After spending a while here convincing myself it was a cursus, I dropped back down on to the main road and cycled back through Comrie, turning off at Bridge of Ross to take the minor road that follows the River Earn. Just after passing Dalchonzie hydro-electric power station a wasp hit my chest and disappeared into my t-shirt, stinging me on the ribs as it passed through.
I screeched to a halt and performed a bizarre dance to the amusement of the passengers of a passing car, making sure the wasp had gone from my shirt. I passed the excellent Dalchonzie Fruit Farm, where the wasp had no doubt got high on their wickedly sweet strawberries, and rejoined the main road past Dundurn to Loch Earn once again.