Standing Stone: OS Grid Reference – NN 79108 17137
Also Known as:
- Aodann Mhor
- Canmore ID 24790
Follow the directions to get to the Dunruchan B standing stone, on the slopes south of Craigneich. Once there, on the hillside further above you, you’ll see a large upright stone on the moor about 300 yards to the south, standing just below the rise of a small hillock. That’s it!
Archaeology & History
The second biggest of the Dunruchan monoliths is what Fred Coles (1911) described as “the Middle Stone,” or Dunruchan C. Standing just below the rise of a large natural mound of earth, obstructing any immediate view of the western hills, it too has a long upright shape with a pointed end to the stone, leaning at a considerable angle. The massive stone of Dunruchan A is clearly visible on the grassy cairn-scattered plain 543 yards to the east and the smaller Dunruchan B to the north on the slopes below. Dunruchan C was deemed as one of the central stones in this unlikely megalithic stone row by both Aubrey Burl (1993) and Alexander Thom (1990). Mr Coles’ description of the site told:
“This huge block…rugged and irregular…makes, from the extraordinary angle at which it leans over southwards, a surprisingly picturesque object amid the heather and the various small boulders that lie scattered about in its vicinity. Of oblong basal section, the Stone tapers sharply up to a small narrow edge, which is at present 9 feet 4 inches in vertical height above the grassy ledge surrounding the base. In girth it measures over 17 feet, and the slope of its upper surface is over 12 feet in length. Intervening undulations in the moorland prevent one seeing the two Stones which stand farther down south-wards. The main axis of its base is N. 18° W. by S. 18° E. ”
Once you walk onto the mound above this stone, the landscape opens up all round you. The southernmost monoliths of the Dunruchan complex awake to the south; what seems to have been another significant boulder sits low down a few hundred yards to the west; the faint outline of a large man-made enclosure of some sort is another 100 yards west of that; and the rocky mountains west and north of here captures you with a relaxing exultation, typical of the Scottish hills. This arena is an absolute must for all megalith fanatics!
According to an account in the Ordnance Survey Name Book of 1860, “these stones are believed to mark the graves or commemorate the death of Roman soldiers who fell in a battle fought here between the Romans and the Caledonians.”
Burl, Aubrey, From Carnac to Callanish, Yale University Press 1993.
Cole, Fred, “Report on Stone Circles in Perthshire, Principally Strathearn,” in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, Scotland, volume 45, 1911.
Finlayson, Andrew, The Stones of Strathearn, One Tree Island: Comrie 2010.
Hunter, John, Chronicles of Strathearn, David Phillips: Crieff 1896.
Thom, A., Thom, A.S. & Burl, Aubrey, Stone Rows and Standing Stones – 2 volumes, BAR: Oxford 1990.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian