Castle Campbell, Dollar, Clackmannanshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – NS 9613 9928  —  NEW FIND

Getting Here

Cup-markings at Castle Campbell

From Dollar, take the steep road up to Castle Campbell (ask a local if you get lost).  When you’ve got into the building and paid your fiver, walk straight forward as if you’re heading to the front gardens, but stay within the castle by walking left on the inner-front section of the building, all the way along to the dark room in the far corner at the end of the path.  Just before you walk into the end room, look at the ground rock beneath your feet.

Archaeology & History

My first and only visit to the superb half-restored ruins of Castle Campbell was in the company of the author Marion Woolley.  It was a damn good day and the castle here is really worth checking out!  But as Marion and I wandered the grounds and internal remains, my eyes caught sight of what looked like a cluster of cup-markings, never previously recorded, on a section of earthfast rock over which a section of the Castle had been built.

A distinct arc of at least four cup-marks was accompanied with outlying single cups on either side of it.  Beneath the gravel it seemed that more were waiting to be be unearthed—but we left them alone.  As you can see in the photo here, the cup-marks seem typical of those we find in their thousands across northern Britain.  However, the rock hereby is volcanic and conglomerate and may be the result of such natural processes.  I’m truly not sure.  A local archaeologist in Stirling thought the carving looked authentic – but we need to return here and brush off the rest of the gravel to see in greater detail the extent of the cups.  There seemed to be more of them hiding at the edges.

If anyone finds out more about this, or gets some better photos, or ascertains this as a simple geophysical artifact, please lemme know.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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One thought on “Castle Campbell, Dollar, Clackmannanshire”

  1. They look like paw-marks made by an animal – like what you get when someone has just newly cemented an area of their driveway and a large cat or some other animal walks across. Its only a thought. Not sure really. As you say, will need more investigation.

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