Ardtalla, Islay, Argyll

Standing Stone:  OS Grid Reference – NR 4657 5456

Also Known as:

  1. Canmore ID 38056

Getting Here

Takes a bitta getting to this one, right at the far end of the road, leading to nowhere – so those of us who like Scotland for its vast expanses of ‘middle o’ nowhere’ should like it! From Port Ellen, travel along the A846 eastwards, all the way to the where it ends in Ardbeg. But the smaller track road continues up the coast. Keep going – and keep going all the way up; past the ‘stone circle’ of Ardilistry, past the standing stone of Trudernish, right to the very end where the track leads you to the farmhouse of Ardtalla. Once here, you’ll see the stone about 20 yards west of the farm.

Archaeology & History

This old stone is only 4-foot-tall, leaning slightly, but—as I recall from many years back—”it’s cute!” (sad aren’t I?!)  All the way up here to see a small monolith!  Even the Royal Commission (1984) lads didn’t have much to say about it, merely:

“This standing stone is situated 18m NW of the SW gable of Ardtalla farmhouse.  Leaning slightly to the SSE, it measures 0.48m by 0.48m at the base and 1.25m in height.”

But if you like walking, the rest of the route up the coast is excellent. Stick yer tent in the small woodland by the fort a mile or two further north, then bring your attention to the legendary Beinn na Cailleach, if the heathen within you stirs…


  1. Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, Argyll – volume 5: Islay, Jura, Colonsay and Oronsay, HMSO: Edinburgh 1984.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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