Temple Wood, Kilmartin, Argyll, Scotland

Temple Wood (or Half Moon Wood) is an ancient site located in Kilmartin Glen, near Kintyre, Argyll, Scotland. The site includes two circles (north and south). The southern circle contains a ring of 13 standing stones about 12 metres (40 feet) in diameter. In the past it may have had 22 stones. In the centre is a burial cist surrounded by a circle of stones about 3 metres (10 feet) in diameter. Other later burials are associated with the circle. According to the Historic Scotland information marker at the site, the southern circle’s first incarnation may have been constructed around 3000 BC.

Temple Wood Stone Circle’s use began some time before 3000 BC and continued into the Bronze Age, ending about 1000 BC. In that time it was used as a place for ritual ceremonies and funerary activity.

Today its most immediately visible feature is 13 standing stones. One is marked with a spiral, a motif closely paralleled in Irish passage-grave art.

The northern circle is smaller and consists of rounded river stones (which also fill the southern circle). In its centre is a single stone; another stone is found on the edge of the circle. This circle may have originated as a timber circle. The name of the site originates in the 19th century (coinciding with the planting of trees around the circles) and has no relevance to the purpose of the site. It is located just south of the southern Nether Largie cairn. It is a designated scheduled monument.


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