Leckie Broch Carving (01), Gargunnock, Stirlingshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – NS 69259 93985  —  NEW FIND

Getting Here

Cup-marked stone in south wall of broch
Cup-marked stone in south wall of broch

Take the A811 road between Stirling and Kippen and go up into Gargunnock, From the village centre, go along the Leckie Road (not the Main Street!) for half-a-mile, then turn left up the tiny road. ¾-mile (1.15km) along, a small bridge crosses the Leckie Burn (a.k.a. St Colm’s Burn).  Walk up the footpath into the woods for 100 yards or so and cross the waters.  When you see the large overgrown rocky rise of the Leckie Broch covered in pesky rhododendrons, walk up its left-side and, as it levels out, note the walling on your left.  It’s just a few yards along.

Archaeology & History

This cup-marked stone is only for the mad petroglyphic puritans amongst you! Rediscovered by Nina Harris on February 5, 2017, it can be seen when you look at the main southern wall of this rhododendron-infested broch, near the middle of one of the large cut-and-squared stones built into the upright face.  The carving has at least two cup-markings on its vertical face—which are clearly visible on the photo.  One is quite deep, whilst the other is quite faint.  At either end of the stone are what may have been two other cups that were started but never finished, or just natural-occurring holes in the stone (I’m more of the opinion that they’re just natural, but would love to be wrong!).  A possible third cup-mark can be seen along the top-edge of the stone.

There is no mention of this carving in Dr Mackie’s various writings on the Leckie Broch, which he excavated in the 1970s; only the recognised cup-and-ring stone (Leckie 02) on its northeast edge.  The intriguing element (which can also be applied to the Leckie-2 carving) is that the Leckie Broch was constructed in the 1st century AD—and these cup-markings were probably carved around that time, much later than many others.  It is likely that other unrecorded carvings will be hiding away nearby.


  1. MacKie, Euan, “The Leckie Broch, Stirlingshire,”, in Glasgow Archaeological Journal, volume 9, 1982.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian 

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