Stone circles are among the most spectacular surviving ancient structures you could ever hope to visit. Silhouetted on a skyline, they dominate the landscape for miles around, presenting a range of architectural devices that draw the visitor to confront a massive horizontal slab placed between two pillars on a southern arc. These recumbent slabs - altar stones in popular folklore - are doorways to another world, to the people who farmed the landscape some 4,000 years ago.
While some circles have suffered grievously - plundered of their stones and ploughed up in the 18th and 19th centuries - their enigmatic legacies continue to excite the imagination, and nowhere more so than in the north-east of Scotland, which holds one of the most dense concentrations to be found anywhere in the British Isles.
Illustrated by unique plans and photographs, Great Crowns of Stone draws on the work of antiquarians and over ten years of the most recent archaeological research to examine the facts, myths and mysteries surrounding some of Scotland's most evocative ancient monuments.