#32 BARNASHAIG   Thom A3/4, Ruggles: AR37 NR7298 8640

Thom had visited the site and his diagram is shown. The stone is about 2.5m x 1.0m x 1.0m and is situated in a broad shallow basin.  Of itself the stone, an irregular block, gives no indicated direction.

As the photographs below show, there is only a small region of apparently significant horizon visible. (One understands what Thom means by his statement, but it is misleading).

Initial observations indicated that the arrowed feature was a possible foresight:-

The shoulder marked is the only feature in the region. The moon at extreme maximum north would be some 3'  arc 'low''  As already indicated any alignment would presumably have to be to the NE as that is the only direction in which a distant horizon is visible.  The stone is an approx. square block.  By itself it gives no indication of direction.  The other features on the ground shown in Thom's diagram were examined.

From immediately behind Thom's 'Ring A' we find that the stone and the shoulder are closely aligned:-

Observations gave:-

The declination found of the shoulder from behind 'Ring A' is 29° 28'.8 (see below)


The 'ring'  appears more as a rough square of boulders.  It does not appear to be natural, and the local estate manager did not consider a field clearance in the area likely.  The declination of the proposed foresight feature (29° 28'.8) is 1'.3 greater than the theoretical value.   Further observations from a rising slope behind Ring 'A' together with separate calculations suggested that if the observing position were about 1 - 1.5m higher, then the declination of the shoulder would be very close to the theoretical value of 29° 27'.5.   Therefore it is hypothesised that 'Ring A' is indeed the observing position and furthermore that it is in fact the remains of a low mound which formed an observing platform.

The moon at maximum standstill with + Δ is always at the 'quarters'.   1st quarter (March) or 3rd quarter (September).  With a rising moon, 1st quarter would be in daylight, 3rd quarter in the dark.  If we assume that the 3rd quarter in the dark was observed in preference, then since the moment of first visibility is when the moon is at the alignment point, observation would be difficult.


The uppermost corner of the 3rd quarter moon close to the shoulder would be the first part of the moon seen.  There would be no warning.

Now there is, just behind 'Ring A' and extending to the right (SE), a slightly raised area about 1.2m wide by 6m long.  Again this does not appear to be natural.

An observer near X would have seen the rising 3rd quarter moon about 10 - 15 seconds earlier than an alignment observer on the 'platform'.

The ground behind and to the right rises gently.  It would have been easy to have observers here to give several minutes additional warning, the final warning being from the observer at X

These suggestions would explain in an entirely logical way the features found on the ground.

Archaeological excavation might assist.

( Note:- Regarding the other features mentioned by Thom, the 'stone lying' 3'x1'x1', could not be found.  'Ring B' appeared to be some scattered boulders.)