ONE of the oldest antiquities in Tillicoultry is a single stone to be found opposite the cemetery on the north side of the A91.

Centuries ago there once stood Druid stone circle, also known as the Druidical Temple, on the elevated ground known locally as the Bunny Hill at Cunninghar, an old word for a rabbit warren.

The circle was originally discovered at the end of the 18th century and further references were made in local maps, the First Statistical Account, and a first-hand account of the stones being removed in the mid-19th century.

In a Scottish Royal Commission report of 1933, the circle or broad oval, was deemed to measure around 32m (106ft) and 29m (96ft) in diameter with numerous stones standing around 1.7m (5 ½ ft) tall creating the circle but the stones had been removed.

Later measurements cited the circle was between 20m (65 feet) and 35m (114 feet) in diameter. At its centre had been a single large stone. No record of the number of stones survives although local Tillicoultry estate worker James McLaren, in the late 19th century, gave a vivid description when spoke of what happened to the circle.

He stated there had been numerous granite standing stones, but most seemed to be more like boulders. None of them were more than 1m (or around 3ft) above ground, although measured 1.67m (5 ½ ft) in height and were around 1.5m (5ft apart).

The stones on the eastern side of the circle were taken by him and other estate workers then broken up to be used as building stones with the rest being removed intact and used to cover a water pen near Tillicoultry House.

In the 1890s two separate groups of researchers visited the site and parts of the embankment which had surrounded the stone circle were still visible at that time.

Among these was Mr R Robertson, fellow of the Scottish Antiquaries, who visited in 1894 and 1898, and described the ground where the stones once stood as a mix of sand and gravel. This gave rise to the quarrying there, destroying more of what remained, with the site being reduced by half.

One result of the works was the discovery of two Bronze Age pots, and stone marked with ancient rock art which was last documented in 1966 by Ronald WB Morris. It had been moved to near Tillicoultry House cottage but the art had disappeared.

Only a single stone lying down an embankment marks this piece of Tillicoultry’s history.