This is a very interesting site in a great location on the moor up above Fowlis Wester village, looking out over Strathearn to the Ochils beyond.
There has been a lot of debate in the past about what this site actually consists of, but it now seems that this is the consensus – one cairn with a surrounding stone circle, a second cairn, and two standing stones (one now fallen).
“Fowlis Wester, East” is slightly elliptical, measuring 4.9 x 5.7 metres, and is surrounded by a ring of low orthostats (graded to the ESE) which may have numbered 14 (although it is now semi-ruinous and some stones are missing). Within this ring is a kerb-cairn bounded by slabs, one of which (to the SW) bears cup marks. Much of the cairn material has been removed, but during excavation in 1939 a clay floor was discovered, with scattered burnt bone and charcoal near the centre, along with a sandstone disc and large quantities of quartz chips.
A standing stone – “Stone A” – stands 1.8 metres high, at a distance of 9.5m to the NNE of this ring. It stands in a large pit which was found to contain charcoal, burnt bone and quartz chip. To its E side was found a pit filled with white water-worn stones.
“Fowlis Wester, West” is slightly larger than its near neighbour, with a diameter of around 7.3m. The cairn material from the centre has largely disappeared now. In the 1939 excavation an empty shallow pit was found in the southern half of the cairn, and at the centre was burnt bone and charcoal on the surface.
Around 6.2m to the E of this cairn is a fallen standing stone – “Stone B” – which is 2.7m long and would have been of a similar height to “Stone A”.
The two cairns are aligned E-W on either equinoctial sunrise or winter moonrise. “Stone A” may be aligned with the peak of Creag na Criche.
The whole complex is situated on the E-facing slope of the moor and not at the summit, suggesting that it was meant to be visible from below the hill – where the Crofthead Farm and The Thorn cup marks are.
OS Map for Fowlis Wester
OS Explorer map 368/OL47
Buy from Ordnance Survey
Alternative names for Fowlis Wester
Braes of Fowlis; Fowlis Wester, East; Fowlis Wester, West ; Moor Of Ardoch
London and New Haven, 1976
London and New Haven, 2000