Ballochraggan 01, Port of Mentieth, Perthshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – NN 55900 01005

Also Known as:

  1. Canmore ID 78352

Getting Here

Park by the entrance to Ballochraggan, which is set back off the A81 between Aberfoyle and Port of Mentieth.  Walk up the track, and just before you reach the cottage, notice the large boulder on your left, about 50 yards away. That’s it.

Archaeology & History

The Ballochraggan 1 Stone
The Ballochraggan 1 Stone

This large dolmen-capstone-like boulder in front of the old cottage, was reported by Maarten von Hoek (1989) to possess about 10 faint cup-markings, with a large one near the centre of its upper surface. When Paul Hornby and I visited the site yesterday, several ‘cups’ were visible, but these were purely geological in nature; and even the large cup in the middle seemed somewhat dubious.  The markings are the product of conglomerate rock, where smaller softer types of stone that are embedded in the boulder fall away, leaving cupmark-like indentations and other hollows. There are a lot of conglomerate rocks in these hills and it is essential that all students make themselves aware of the difference between the geological ‘cups’ and those forged by humans.  In many cases this can be difficult, so apply the rule: if in doubt, kick it out—and err on the side of caution.

Some carvings in this region (and elsewhere in the country) possess conglomerate marks that have been enhanced and possess additional rings and carved lines.  On this particular stone, such marks do not seem to exist.  A dodgy example indeed…..


  1. von Hoek, Maarten, ‘‘Menteith (Port of Menteith parish): Rock Art Sites’, in Discovery & Excavation Scotland, 1989.

Acknowledgements Huge appreciation to Paul Hornby for his photo and assessments.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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