Connachan (2), Crieff, Perthshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – NN 88421 27057

Getting Here

Connochan (2) carving

A couple of miles east of Crieff, take the A822 road from the Gilmerton junction and head up towards the Sma’ Glen.  After literally 1¾ miles (2.8km), on the right-side of the road, you can park-up right opposite the dirt-track that leads up to Connachan Farm a half-mile away. Keep walking up the track, past the farm and the cottages, and about 300 yards further along, right by the track-side, you’ll see a large stone.  Y’ can’t really miss it!

Archaeology & History

This carving was seemingly rediscovered by J.H. Maxwell of Crieff in the 1960s, but not in the position it presently occupies by the trackside.  A large body of field clearance rocks lies scattered 60 yards to the west, which is where it was reportedly first seen; which means that, even then, it wasn’t in its original spot.  But at least we can be assured that it came from somewhere very close to its present location, by the trackside.

Close-up of cups & lines
The carving, looking SW

It’s not overly impressive in terms of its design, comprising almost entirely of cup-markings: at least thirty, perhaps as many as thirty-four.  When we visited here recently, Nature wasn’t overly concerned about giving us decent daylight, so we couldn’t see the carving clearly, but it did seem that a carved broken “ring” swerves around at least one of the cups near the middle of the stone.  You can make it out in the photos here (centre-left).  There are what seems to be several other carved lines on different parts of the stone but, again, without decent daylight, we could neither get decent photos, nor do a decent sketch of them.  The Scottish Rock Art Project, who got themselves nigh on a million quid to survey all our carvings up here, neither sketched, photographed or visited this or the others in this Connachan petroglyph cluster, so we’re none the wiser as to its original form.  If you happen to visit this carving when the daylight is being nice, see if you can catch us a good photo or two and stick ’em on our Facebook group.

References:

  1. Stewart, Margaret E.C., “Connachan, Crieff – Cup Marks and Hut Circle,” in Discovery & Excavation, Scotland, 1967.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

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