Standing Stone: OS Grid Reference – NN 78997 16819
Also Known as:
- Aodann Mhor
- Canmore ID 24790
Follow the directions to reach the standing stone of Dunruchan D, and there on the moor immediately to your south, 100 yards or so away, it stands before you!
Archaeology & History
This is the southernmost of the impressive standing stones on the plain below Dunruchan Hill. Notably more ’rounded’ at the top than most of its associates—giving a more distinct ‘female’ nature to the stone than its companions—we find again, scattered around the base of this 7-foot tall monolith, a number of smaller rocks that gives the impression an old cairn was once here. Certainly there are a scatter of several other cairns nearby and we get the distinct impression with all of the Dunruchan stones, that a prehistoric cemetery was once in evidence here.
Although this is the last of the known standing stones in this area, there is every probability of other prehistoric remains hidden amidst the heathlands—perhaps even more large standing stones that have fallen and are overgrown with vegetation. When Fred Cole came here one time with the great rock art writer, Sir James Simpson, one such fallen standing stone was reported a short distance tot he east, but it has yet to be recovered. There may be more.
In Fred Cole’s (1911) report of this particular “south stone”, or Dunruchan E, he wrote:
“This monolith, in respect of position, somewhat resembles the last, because it stands on the west arc of a rudely circular setting of small stones, which, however, are not placed on a mound (as in the case of Stone D), but merely lie on the flat of the moor. Five of these blocks are large enough to be noticeable, and they occupy the positions shown by the outlined stones in the ground-plan (fig. 21), the farthest to the east being 15 feet distant from the inner face of the standing monolith A. The dimensions of this Stone are: height 6 feet 9 inches, basal girth 16 feet 1 inch. In the illustration (fig. 22) I show this Stone with the other great one near set on its platform, and to the right two of the numerous small, low cairns which are scattered about this part of the moor. ”
According to an account in the Ordnance Survey Name Book of 1860, “these stones are believed to mark the graves or commemorate the death of Roman soldiers who fell in a battle fought here between the Romans and the Caledonians.”
- Burl, Aubrey, From Carnac to Callanish, Yale University Press 1993.
- Cole, Fred, “Report on Stone Circles in Perthshire, Principally Strathearn,” in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, Scotland, volume 45, 1911.
- Finlayson, Andrew, The Stones of Strathearn, One Tree Island: Comrie 2010.
- Hunter, John, Chronicles of Strathearn, David Phillips: Crieff 1896.
- Thom, A., Thom, A.S. & Burl, Aubrey, Stone Rows and Standing Stones – 2 volumes, BAR: Oxford 1990.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian