Connachan (4), Crieff, Perthshire

Cup-and-Ring Stone:  OS Grid Reference – NN 88028 27394

Getting Here

Connachan (4) looking NW

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 past the farm to the Connachan (2) petroglyph, and keep to the track uphill for another 600 yards keeping your eyes peeled for a notable singular rock on your left, about 10 yards into the heather.  It’s pretty easy to see.  If the track’s levelled out, you’ve gone too far!

Archaeology & History

Perhaps the most attractive of the Connachan petroglyphs is this curvaceous stone with its archetypal double-ringed motif.  It seems to have been described firstly by Margaret Stewart (1967), whose description (to me at least) doesn’t quite do it justice; but then, they are somewhat troublesome abstract creations most of the time.  She told it to it be,

“a boulder 4’10” x 3’10 x 2′ in height with 6 cups and a grooved circle, which incorporates two more cup marks on its outline.  The grooved circle encloses a gapped circle with another cup mark at its centre.”

Connachan (4), looking N
Main face of the carving

So, nine cups in all: one with the double-ring around it, and two of the cups touching the outer ring.  The cup-marks are ostensibly as Stewart described them, but there are another two or three which I was unable to capture in the photos, as the daylight wasn’t good when we came here.  They’re shallow but very distinct when you see and feel them in the flesh, so to speak, and are closer to the top- and bottom-centre of the stone in the photos here.  Well worth checking out if you’re in the area!

References:

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

Acknowledgements:  Huge thanks for use of the Ordnance Survey map in this site profile, reproduced with the kind permission of the National Library of Scotland

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

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