Cup-and-Ring Stone: OS Grid Reference – NN 81303 44419
From Kenmore go east up the steep mountain road towards Glen Quaich, or if you’re coming from Amulree, go west along the same glen. After 2½ miles (4km) up the Kenmore route (nearly 9 miles on the Amulree route) you’ll reach a small lochan on your left (you’ve got a very small parking spot a coupla hundred yards before the loch). A gate and stile past the loch takes you east along a track into the moors. More than a mile on, the track splits, but you need to keep to the left and follow the track along the wall-side for another 400 yards or so, where you’ll see a small crag of rocks 100 yards down the slope on your right. Once here, the elongated rock with a “seat” that you can sit in is the stone in question.
Archaeology & History
At first sight this stone doesn’t seem to have anything petroglyphic about it, and—as when we visited the other carvings in this Craig Hill cluster—the weather was grey and overcast, so it was difficult to discern anything at first. But as we walked round and round inspecting the Craig Hill cluster-5 carving, a glance at this adjacent stone seemed to indicate one or two cup-marks within the curious chair-like aspect of the rock, but we couldn’t initially work out whether they were simple geophysical elements or not.
So we poured water onto the stone in the hope that something might show up. And the more we walked round and round, bending down, looking from as many angles as possible, not only did we see what looked like several cups, but one of them had a half-ring that curved round what may or may not be a natural cupmark. You can see it pretty clearly in the attached photos. In other photos that we took, the faint cup-and-half-ring seems to plays its part in a line of three or four other cups; although in order to ascertain whether these elements are man-made or not, we could do with the help of a good geomorphologist.
Acknowledgements: Huge thanks to Prof Paul Hornby for use of his photos in this site profile; and to Myrna Hurley for getting us up there. Cheers doods. 😉
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian