Standing Stone: OS Grid Reference – NO 15200 26263
Also Known as:
- Balgarvie (Swarbrick)
- Canmore ID 28135
- Mill of Bonhard
On the main road (A94) through Scone, go east along either Murrayshall Road or Bonhard Road for a short distance until you go out of the town and into the countryside. About ⅓-mile (0.5km) along the country lane, go left at the road junction; and just another ¼-mile on, notice the field-gate on your left. As you’ll see, the standing stone is just over 100 yards away in that field.
Archaeology & History
In a region littered with megaliths, this fine upright single stone stands, quite deliberately, at a point in the field where you have excellent 360° views, which to the north looks way into the orgasm of the Scottish mountains. History and tradition seem to tell it has always been a loner, without companions, but no archaeological excavation has taken place here to my knowledge; and the apparent proximity of some type of prehistoric ring-ditch 30 yards away may be related to the stone. But we don’t for sure…
Despite being shown on the first OS-map of the region in 1867 and despite being a large monolith more than 6 feet tall, very little seems to have been said of it. It was included in Swarbrick’s (2012) poorly arranged survey; and the Royal Commission (1994) merely listed it, without comment, other than to say “it bears no markings.” Yet when Paul Hornby and I visited the place recently, a large single cup-mark is plain to see on the north-face of the stone.
Although the stone is alone in this field, once you start exploring the hills a short distance to the south and the farmed fields heading north and east, masses of prehistoric sites begin to appear. It’s well worth checking out!
- Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, South-East Perth: An Archaeological Landscape, HMSO: Edinburgh 1994.
- Swarbrick, Olaf, A Gazetteer of Prehistoric Standing Stones in Great Britain, BAR: Oxford 2012.
Acknowledgements: Huge thanks as always to Paul Hornby for getting us to this site. Plus, accreditation of early OS-map usage is reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian