Grumbeg, Loch Naver, Sutherland

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – NC 635 384

Archaeology & History

This small cup-marked stone came to light following the work of Mr Angus MacKay of Sutherland, more than 100 years ago.  In his essay in the Scottish Antiquaries journal (1905), he wrote the following:

Grumbeg carving

“A cup-marked stone was found by me in the burial place of Grumbeg, Strathnaver, September 1905, standing upright at the head of a grave, and showing about 6 inches above the ground. It is evidently a fragment of a larger slab: its extreme length is 20 inches, and it is about 15 inches at its broadest part. The upper three circles are 2.5 inches in diameter and 1.5 inches deep, very symmetrically hollowed out, but the fourth and lower circle is shallow and indistinct. As the stones covering the other graves are for the most part what is called rough mountain slabs, it seems to me that this cup-marked fragment was found in its present condition elsewhere, and placed here to conveniently show a lair.”

If such was the case, a good contender might be the denuded chambered cairn close by.


  1. MacKay, Angus, “Notes on a Slab with Incised Crescentic Design, Stone Mould for Casting Bronze Spear-Heads, A Cup-Marked Stone, Holy Water Stoup and other Antiquities in Strathnaver, Sutherlandshire,” in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquity, Scotland, volume 40, 1905-6.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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