Cup-Marked Stone: OS Grid Reference – NN 72183 44970
Also known as:
- Boar Stone
Pretty easy to find unless the vegetation takes over! From Fearnan take the road to Fortingall. Just as you’re going out of Fearnan, in the walling by the very last house on the right-hand side of the road is this large earthfast boulder. Y’ can’t miss it!
Archaeology & History
I first visited the Clach an Tuirc – or the Boar’s Stone – in 1981 when I stayed at Fearnan for a few weeks and, after clambering on top, looked down on the several simple cupmarks. Forty years later, I returned with a camera!
First highlighted on the 1862 OS-map, Fred Coles (1910) made a brief note of the petroglyph in one of his megalithic surveys, but only noticed a single cup, saying:
“Near Cromraor, close to the cottage at Clash na Tuirc, stands the large boulder bearing that name, the Boar Stone. Its highest point is about six feet above the road, and bears one very distinct cup-mark.”
But there are several cup-markings on top of the stone, just as William Gillies (1938) described.
Not far from here tradition tells of a legendary figure who is known today only as the Lady of Lawers (whom tradition asserts to have been a member of the Stewart family, from Appin, Argyll – they of the daemonic Red Book of Appin). She made various prophecies, one of which said “that when Clach an Tuirc, the Boar’s Stone at Fearnan, would topple over, a strange heir would come to Balloch.” Though as the stone still aint toppled, we’re still waiting… (let’s just hope this doesn’t augur more of those selfish tories into our mountains who bring with them their mantras of “gerrof mah land”)
- Coles, Fred, “Report on Stone Circles Surveyed in Perthshire (Aberfeldy District),” in Proceedings Society Antiquaries, Scotland, volume 44, 1910.
- Gillies, William A., In Famed Breadalbane, Munro Press: Perth 1938.
- MacMillan, Hugh, ‘Notice of Two Boulders having Rain-Filled Cavities on the Shores of Loch Tay, Formerly Associated with the Cure of Disease,’ in PSAS 18, 1884. ???
- Yellowlees, Walter, Cupmarked Stones in Strathtay, Scotland Magazine: Edinburgh 2004.
Acknowledgements: Huge thanks for use of the 1st edition OS-map in this site profile, Reproduced with the kind permission of the National Library of Scotland.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian