Dunkeld Park, Dunkeld, Perthshire

Standing Stone:  OS Grid Reference – NO 01426 42994

Dunkeld Park monolith
Dunkeld Park monolith

Also Known as:

  1. Canmore ID 27205
  2. Dunkeld House
  3. Pulney Lodge

Getting Here

Take the A923 road through Dunkeld and across the river, making sure that where the road veers sharply to the right as you go out of town, you go the left as the road bends round.  100 yards along, past the trees on your left, fields open up. A few hundred yards along on the left, you’ll note the small standing stone about 50 yards in the field below the wall, getting close to some trees again. That’s the spot!

Archaeology & History

Standing stone, looking NE
Standing stone, looking NE

The stone is given only a passing mention in the Royal Commission’s (1994) poor work on the region, describing neither its height nor form and erroneously relating it to what is probably a much earlier series of pit alignments in the same field.  Thankfully we had a better description from the early 20th century antiquarian Fred Cole (1908) who visited and drew the site and who told us:

“This Stone is marked on the Ordnance Map in a field behind the Lodge, at a height above sea-level of 300 feet, and styled “sepulchral.”  In size and character it much resembles the Kilmoraich monolith, and seems to have stood solitary for ages.  It is a roughly oblong slab of schist, set with its longer axis nearly east and west, the north face measuring 4 feet and the south 4 feet 9 inches, and the basal girth about 10 feet 7 inches.  It is 4 feet 9 inches in height.  The grandly-timbered policies of the ducal estate enclose this site on all sides.  In the illustration…the Stone is drawn as seen from the east.”

Fred Cole's 1908 drawing
Fred Cole’s 1908 drawing
Dunkeld Stone looking north
Dunkeld Stone looking north

Close to the walling on the WNW just a few yards away, we see a cluster of small rounded stones and a couple of larger stones, much overgrown, giving the impression that they were field clearance.  There is a possibility that they may have had something to do with the standing stone in earlier times; the small stones being very worn and perhaps being part of a cairn—although there seems little evidence of this in the on-line aerial surveys.  The stone was also mentioned in Elizabeth Stewart’s Dunkeld (1926), where she wrote:

“In the park near Polney Loch, one mile from Dunkeld, is a Standing Stone, quite noticeable from the Highland road. This monolith is one of those styled sepulchral, and is a rough oblong slab of schist, its basal girth being 10 feet 7 inches, and its height 4 feet 9 inches. Mr. Coles, who describes this stone in the “Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries”, supposes it to have been part of a circle. It is not far from the ancient stronghold on King’s Seat.”

  1. Coles, Fred, “Report on Stone Circles Surveyed in Perthshire – Northeastern Section,” in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, volume 42, 1908.
  2. Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, South-East Perth: An Archaeological Landscape, HMSO: Edinburgh 1994.
  3. Stewart, Elizabeth, Dunkeld: An Ancient City, Munro Press 1926.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

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