A Stone Circle Near Johnstone / Kilbarchan

A couple of years ago I went for a cycle around the local area and was surprised to come across a stone circle just off the cycle path and basically in the middle of nowhere. As it was, that particular trip was cut short with a broken chain however a couple of times since I have tried to find the stone circle but was never quite certain of the original route I had taken that took me past it. That is until today!

image: Google Maps

The problem with trying to find this particular stone circle is that it doesn’t appear to be listed anywhere.

I have searched websites that list stone circles / standing stones across the UK but this one, to all intents and purposes doesn’t appear to exist… unless, that is, you make use of Google Maps where I was soon able to zoom in on an area between the town of Johnstone and the village of Kilbarchan.

This morning I took the bike out and decided to go in search of the mysterious stones.

Guess who?

For anyone interested in visiting the stone circle the best way to find it is along the cycle route from Paisley to Kilbarchan. Cycling from Paisley along National Cycle Route 7 you take the ‘off road’ path whilst cycling through Elderslie. This then takes you along the former Glasgow to Carlisle railway line.

Approx a mile from where you left the road you will come to a fork in the cycle path. The turning off to the right takes you along Route 75 (Johnstone to Gourock). You want to continue along route 7 which is the turning off to the left. Half a mile further on you will see a Morrison’s store on your left. Shortly after you will have to cut across the road (B789) and back onto the cycle path on the opposite side. If you continue for another half a mile you find the stone circle on your left.

When you see the circle for yourself you will realise that the majority of the stones all still appear to be standing. There is one large rectangular stone lying on the ground in the centre of the circle but it doesn’t appear out of place in that position. I’m not entirely certain how many stones there are – some are nothing more than a foot high which in the undergrowth makes them difficult to see. At a guess there are probably 20 or so stones!

The most noticeable of the stones is the primary stone at the front of the circle. It stands just seven foot high and has a number of engravings etched into its surface. To the rear of the circle is another similarly sized stone which also has similar markings although these are not so clearly defined as the stone has a blackened surface in some areas.

Another interesting stone is on the left of the circle. There is a square cut into the surface… not sure what the purpose of this was although in recent years someone has drawn the outline of their hand! In addition there are two stones on opposite sides of the circle from each other which both appear to have a groove running down one side as if something should be slotted into it although there was no signs of what this might have been!

Surprisingly there are hundreds of similar stone circles and standing stone sites across the UK and its always nice to find something like this practically on your doorstep. If you are in the area then the site is well worth a visit. If anyone can throw anymore light on the stones then please feel free to leave a comment.

Various engravings / symbols on the primary stone

Upright stones... notice the one with a groove down the side
More line and circle engravings

More engravings
It isn't my hand print!

7 thoughts on “A Stone Circle Near Johnstone / Kilbarchan

  1. I just came across these stones today. I expected to find them marked on my OS map when I got home to look, but there is nothing! I did think that the lines cut on the central flat stone were probably quite recent – surely doe with a machine rather than by hand?

  2. Hi Alistair
    I’m very sorry to disappoint you but this stone circle was created during the construction of the nearby A737.
    Kind regards.

  3. The standing stones were delivered by dump truck it was part of the landscaping for the Bypass. from Johnstone to Kilbarchan

    1. Aye mate bother mate was there so did t dump trucks car e that perfect square out if the bank of the stone my generation s are stone masons born and bread not one of us could do that lol not even with a grinder no marks at all or chisel marks explain that cause I can’t

  4. It was a tripping encounter after eating a big bundle of magic mushrooms. A long reach drill was drilled into a section of rock and a dynamite charge was prodded into the seven foot long hole. We were told to stand clear and the charge was ignited. The police turned up eventually and we were arrested for dancing naked around the stones. One of the tipper lorries which transported the stones has since been sold at a local auction. Once we were cautioned at johnstone police station we walked to the osprey bar in spateston to get drunk

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *