Cup-Marked Stone: OS Grid Reference – NN 53159 36409
Also Known as:
- Canmore ID 24170
- Duncroisk 1 carving (Canmore)
- Garnet Stone
Pretty easy to find this. Go up Glen Lochay for 3 miles or so, on the road past the brilliant Stag Cottage carvings for a couple of hundred yards where you’ll see an old run-down army-looking building and past that is a curious large wooden and wire construction. Go up the farm-track next to this, past Duncroisk Farm, taking the footpath through the gates that go up to the side and behind the farm. You’ll see a rounded grassy knoll ahead of you. Head straight for it!
Archaeology & Folklore
This carving would appear to have been described for the first time by Mr Cormack (1952) in his longer essay on the cross-marked stones nearby. He said briefly:
“On the top of a small rock-strewn knoll about 300 yards behind Duncroisk farmhouse is a recumbent boulder, at one corner of which is a group of five fairly deep cup-marks of 2- to 3-inch diameter.”
Little else has been said of the site and even Ron Morris (1981) only gave the carving a brief mention in his survey, saying in passing how “east of a prominent rocky knoll, on whose summit is a cup-marked boulder…”, as he journeyed further uphill to explore the fascinating Duncroisk 4 carving with its scant cup-marks, human figurine and other curious insignia. And although this carving is probably only worthwhile for the real fanatics amongst you, I like the place — sad fella that I am!
There are five very distinct cup-marks etched onto a small, almost triangular section of the rock, sat close to a couple of other larger stones on top of the grassy knoll overlooking the glen, not far from some iron age walling. The cups are etched onto the topmost (northern) section of the rock, which is defined by a natural crack running across the surface, almost splitting one part of the stone from the other. The five cups are in no discernible linear formation. A possible sixth cup-mark and extended line may have been started on the other side of the crack on the stone, but its execution was stopped for some reason. This is by no means certain though.
Of some note is the larger stone immediately adjacent on top of this knoll, which — as Paul Hornby pointed out — is encrusted full of small garnets all over its surface. This may or may not have some significance to the cup-marked stone here. According to Mr Hornby, the nearby cup-and-ring stone at Duncroisk Burn also has garnets in it.
- Cormack, E.A., “Cross-Markings and Cup-Markings at Duncroisk, Glen Lochay,” in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, Scotland, volume 84, 1952.
- Morris, Ronald W.B., The Prehistoric Rock Art of Southern Scotland, BAR 86: Oxford 1981.
- Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Stirling District, Central Region, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 1979.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian