Giant’s Knowe, Culloch, Muthill, Perthshire

Cairn (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – NN 7848 1762

Also Known as:

  1. Canmore ID 24797
  2. Crock-nafion
  3. Fingalian’s Knowe

Archaeology & History

Landscape of the Giant's Knowe (image credit, Marion Woolley)
Landscape of the Giant’s Knowe (image credit, Marion Woolley)

Amidst the colourful and nurturing landscape close to the gigantic Dunruchan standing stones and just along the road from the solitary Craigneich stone, in the field across the road above Straid farmhouse could once be seen a fascinating-sounding prehistoric site that has sadly been destroyed.  Some of the remains of this old monument can be found in the field-clearance of stones just over the fence, above the top of the field (many fields round here have scatterings of large stone clearings at the field edges), but we have no detailed accounts of the site.  It was mentioned in early notes by the Ordnance Survey to have been,

“A large circular heap of small stone and gravel entirely removed in 1831. An urn filled with ashes and several stone coffins were found under it.”

The local historian John Shearer (1883) later told us that,

“A small mound of earth on the farm of Strayd, called Crock-nafion or the Giant’s Knowe, or the Fingalian’s Knowe, was cleared away several years ago.  An urn containing burnt bones was discovered.”

Any additional information about this site and its folklore, would be greatly appreciated.


To the west along Glen Artney whence our view takes us from here, old legend told that the valley was once the abode of a great giant who lived in a cave in one of the mountains thereby.  In mythic lore, giants were the creation deities of hills, mountains and other geological forms, whose narratives were overturned and demonized by the incoming christian cult many centuries ago.  It is likely that this once great tomb was deemed as the burial-place of our local giant – which would make this prehistoric site neolithic in age. But — logical though it is — this idea is pure speculation…


  1. Hunter, John, Chronicles of Strathearn, David Philips: Crieff 1896.
  2. Shearer, John, Antiquities of Strathearn, David Philips: Crieff, 1883.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

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