Cup-and-Ring Stone: OS Grid Reference – NN 81307 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 wallside for another 400 yards or so, where you’ll see a small crag of rocks 100 yards down the slope on your right. That’s your target!
Archaeology & History
One of at least six rocks next to each other that possess cup-and-rings, this is the most notable of the bunch inasmuch as it’s the one that stands out above all the others. At first sight it doesn’t look impressive: a shallow scatter of nine or ten cup-marks can be seen when the light’s alright, but that’s about it. This is what George Currie (2005) noticed when he first came across it in 2004, describing it simply as “a boulder with 10 cups” a few yards away from one of it’s fellow petroglyphs (CR19, or the Craig Hill cluster-2 carving). But there’s much more to it than that. Unfortunately when we visited here, we weren’t blessed with good daylight, so were unable to get a decent appraisal of the entire design and have most probably missed some elements.
On the top sloping surface are six or seven cup-marks; another two or three are on a secondary lower level of the stone. Of those on the top, at least two of them have surrounding rings: one with a carved line coming out to the southeast; the other having a more extravagent appearance, surrounded by what looks like a secondary outer “oval”, or eye-shaped design. It’s ununsual. Other lines intersect these cup-and-rings, but it was difficult to say with any certainty whether they were Nature’s handiwork, or had been modified by humans. Below these on a slightly lower level are two or three single cup-marks, one of which, close to the edge of the rock, appears to have an incomplete ring round it—but this might have just been a trick of the light. Another visit is required for a better appraisal…
- Currie, George, “Craig Hill (Dull parish): Cup-and-Ring Marked Rocks,”in Discovery & Excavation Scotland, NS Volume 6, 2005.
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