Standing Stone: OS Grid Reference – NN 9463 5943
As you go through Pitlochry’s main street, watch out for the right-turn up the A924 road. Go up here for perhaps a mile. You’ll know you’re getting close as you pass the Moulin pub and the seeming avenue of trees opens on either side of the road. A coupla hundred yards up into the trees, there’s the left-turn up the Balnakeilly driveway. Stop! It’s on your left.
Archaeology & History
Knocking on for nine-feet tall, there’s some debate as to the archaic authenticity on this standing stone. Ian Armit and his mate (1998) certainly wondered whether this was an ancient stone or not and, gotta say, when I came up here a coupla weeks back, I got the same impression. It doesn’t have that feel about it which comes from the real olde ones; but this could be due to it having been moved in the not-too-distant past. Though when Alan Reid wrote about it in 1911 he told us that,
“it bears marks of having been…worked slightly into shape by some pointed tool whose traces are plainly seen on several of its angles.”
Not something you’d find on monoliths that are a few thousand years old! But if this stone was moved when the entrance to Balnakeilly drive was done, or the road widened, this could account for such markings. We could do with digging into any archives that may exist about Balnakeilly or the Pitlochry roads to see if there’s any record of this stone to end the debate once and for all. Tis a good site to visit though – check it out!
- Armit, I. & Johnson, M., ‘Balnakeilly (Moulin parish), ‘modern standing stone’,’ in Discovery and Excavation in Scotland, 1998.
- Reid, Alan, ‘Monumental Remains in Pitlochry District,’ in PSAS 46, 1911-12.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian