Sea Views at Battle Moss, Loch of Yarrows

The Battle Moss, Loch of Yarrows stone alignment includes at least eight rows of edge set slabs (Scale 1m).

Plan of the Battle Moss stone alignment (Source: Ruggles, C.L.N.)

Sea Views

Sea views from the Battle Moss stone alignment are confined to the north east. According to the views extend as far as the Orkney Isles. The stone alignment is situated on a ridge which means that the eastern rows are higher than those to the west and the southern part of the alignment is higher than the north.  These variations in height mean that the views towards the sea vary considerably. Indeed as you walk up (south) any of the individual rows the size of the sea view diminishes and the western rows have less of a sea view than the eastern ones. This means that the amount of sea visible from the row varies depending on where you are standing. The alignment as a whole is on the very edge of visibility to the sea and a mere 15m to the west of the row views to the sea no longer exist. The row therefore appears to have been sited to maximise changes in the views of the sea along the different rows. This combined with the documented visual links with other broadly contemporary sites within the landscape point to an incredibly careful selection of site, which ensured that a considerable number of visual relationships could be experienced at this place. This implies that the row was an incredibly significant focal point which tied together different elements of the built, natural and ritual environments. From this one area it would have been possible to visually interact with the most important places in their world.

battle-moss-sea-viewThe viewshed from Battle Moss stone alignment. (Source: 


Looking towards the sea from the stone alignment. The slither of visible sea indicates that the row is at the very limit of visibility.  


Muckle Skerry forms a partial closure over a dip in the near land horizon. The character of this view will vary according to the viewpoint on the alignment. Indeed at some points a complete closure will be possible. Such precise visual links are likely to have been of particular interest to the row builders and would have almost certainly influenced their choice of site. 


Loch Hempriggs in the foreground has been partly formed by flooding of old peat cuttings. However it is likely that this area was water filled in the early prehistoric period and may therefore have provided another visual focus for the stone row builders.


The high ground on which Noss Head lighthouse stands separates two discrete blocks of sea. At some points on the row the two blocks will be entirely separated whilst at others a thin slither of sea will join them together. This visual treat may have been a factor in the selection and form of the alignment or may have been an added bonus.

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