Cup-Marked Stone: OS Grid Reference – NN 564 364
Truly troublesome if you aint into walking. Many ways up, but the easiest has to be the zigzagging trackway up from the valley bottom just by The Green a few hundred yards past Lochay Power Station, up the southern edge of Creag na Cailleach. At the end of the trackway, take the stream uphill for a few hundred yards and watch out for the rocky rise to your right (east). Head for it and check out the rocks there. You’ll find it!
Archaeology & History
I’m not sure that anything’s previously been written about this curious single cup-marked boulder. I say ‘curious’, simply because of the location and position of the clear cup-mark on this near-gigantic piece of embedded stone. We walked upon the rocky outcrop south of Creag na Cailleach (above the tree-line where the land levels out) and first saw the cup-marking at the top-end of this huge rock (amidst a number of others) on the large rise a coupla hundred yards west of Allt na Ceardaich. And as the carved cup was on the top-end of the boulder, I was expecting to find much more of the rock with other motifs scattering its body — but was amazed to find that this was the only single cup-marking on an otherwise huge stone. A mixture of bewilderment and disappointment came over me as I shook my head in disbelief that only a single cup had been scribed into an otherwise massive rock.
However, the light was poor with low cloud and it was nearing sunset, so there may have been other aspects to this carving which we missed out on. One other ‘possible’ cup-mark might have been done, but it seemed very dubious even in the poor light. I was all for having another look at it the following day; but wandering halfway up a mountain just to see if this was the only cup-marking on this outcrop was summat my daughter wasn’t into doing! So the site must await another mad cup-and-ring-crazed traveller on another day to get a more detailed inspection! George – are you out there anytime soon!?
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian