Aberdeenshire Professional Photographer,  Royal Deeside, with Photo Library of Aberdeenshire & Scotland, Scottish Aurora Borealis displays and photographs of Ancient Egyptian sites from Cairo to Abu Simbel


Home Page

North East Library
Aurora Borealis
Scottish Selection
Ancient Egyptian
Aberdeen Book
Crooktree Images
Useful Web Links
Scottish Galleries
Aurora Galleries
Egyptian Galleries
Extra Galleries

The photographs in this Gallery are views of the excavation of the Tomnaverie Recumbent Stone Circle near Tarland, to the north of the River Dee, which was undertaken by Reading University. The work on the site was for two seasons during 1999 and 2000 under the leadership of Professor Richard Bradley. The photographs record the restoration work that was undertaken on the 14th April, 2000 with the replacement of the two flankers, the re-setting of the recumbent and the re-establishment of monoliths.

Back to Stones Gallery Page

Tomnaverie Stone Circle tomrs001

17th March 1999 and the day before the Reading University dig was to start and this view was later to be significant as in 2000, after the second season, it shows most distinctly the impact of the subsequent restoration.

Tomnaverie before restoration tomrs002

The site as it has been since at least Victorian times and with disturbances caused by the nearby quarrying of those times, here viewed from the western flanker lying with the despair of a beached dolphin.

Early Excavation Revelations tomrs015

4th April, 1999 a few days after the excavation has started at Tomnaverie and the top soil has been removed with the original cairn clearly visible and the recumbent and flankers lying in a very incorrect manner from the way they would have been built some 4000 years ago or earlier.

Flanker being inserted tomrs003

14th April, 2000 and the big culmination of the two season digs arrives, the restoration of main elements of the site, with the recumbent first be be reinstated within a couple of hours; how long would it have been worked on in the Bronze Age?

Finding its socket tomrs004

The Tomnaverie recumbent is righted again and its altar table once more sits proud in its fashioned position on the original cairn where the kerb had also apparently been altered and realigned many thousands of years ago.

More Recording by Professor tomrs005

As the recumbent is settled into position, Professor Richard Bradley of Reading University photographs some of the finer details of its base and also the discovery of a cup mark, previously hidden from view.


Anxious moments for project director Chris Ball as the next phase starts and the eastern flanker is lifted and swung into position to sit snuggly in its socket hole already identified and matched with the shape of the large stone.

Chris Ball watches progress tomrs007

Modern technology swings the flanker into position and it is gently guided into position above the socket.

Flanker and socket match tomrs008

When the shaped base of the flanker matches its socket profile it is dropped into position and is wedged upright to stand at last as it probably did for nearly 4000 years until the quarrying started a couple of hundred years ago.

Slow but successful progress tomrs009

Mission completed and a mighty sigh of relief from Chris but job not finished yet as the larger of the two flankers has also to be safely placed back into its original position to the west of the recumbent.

Tomnaverie Becomes whole again tomrs010

The western flanker is now flying through the air and is about to have its safe landing into its lifelong socket and a very different journey to its original one, dragged by cattle and and men from who knows where, to its final resting place place on top of this Aberdeenshire hillock near Tarland.

Evidence of early changes tomrs011

This is the socket, a retaining hole, found to have been dug through the original cairn structure and cutting into the original kerb like structure which may have been started as early as 4500years ago as a communities' recognition of some local chieftain and for his ashes' final resting place.

Deeside Stone Circle complete tomrs012

14th April around lunchtime and the successful restoration of this Deeside Recumbent Stone Circle is nearly complete, as the workmen guide the flanker into its final resting place, hopefully for the next 4000 years!

Overhead Tomnaverie after restoration tomrs013

22nd April, 2000 and nearly at the completion of the whole Reading dig, this overhead view gives a good feel to the completed restored site as it will probably never be seen again this century as the policy is to restrict future excavations of sites already so disturbed.

Comparative view of Stone Circle tomrs014

3rd November, 2001 and compare this with the first photo and the results of the restoration are very clearly illustrated. Once the quarry is back filled and the safety fence removed, Tomnaverie will be one of the most beautiful Aberdeenshire Stone Circle sites to behold.



Back to Stones Gallery Page

Contact Information:

Telephone/Fax: 44 01339 882149

Email : JHende7868@aol.com

Address: Crooktree, Kincardine O'Neil, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK AB34 4JD

Send mail to JHende7868@aol.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 2009 Jim Henderson Photography
Last modified: 20/Jan/2018