Standing Stone: OS Grid Reference – NN 7552 0103
Take the A820 road from Dunblane to Doune. About a mile west of the motorway, keep your eyes peeled for where the small road on your right is signposted to Argaty and Kilbryde. Stop here and walk up the footpath on the left-hand side of the road. A couple of hundred yards up, take the right turn on the track and where the small copse of trees is, go through the gateway, keeping yourself to the left edge of the trees running parallel to the field. About 100 yards or so up, you can’t miss him!
Archaeology & History
Quite a huge fella this one! Standing more than 6 feet high, the monolith is nearly as broad, giving an impression of great size to the old stone. The stone’s nature and date is troublesome: although ostensibly labelled as Bronze Age, alongside the walling which runs down from here we see a great number of other large stones, some of which give the distinct impression of being length of Iron Age walling — but without excavation, its nature remains a puzzle. The monolith stands close to being on top of a rise in the land, which geomancers understand as being important sites of spirit, or places where the dead were rested — but we have no record of any tombs here, so are left with the options of walling or a spirit site.
On its east-face, the stone has a number of what appear to be curious large cup-markings, but they appear to be little more than the effect of weathering and erosion. There’s also a solid piece of long metal sticking out of the same side, which was obviously done by someone in recent centuries — so maybe a local farmer and his mates stood this one up? Or they were planning on using it as a gatepost…
The site is well worth looking at, best in the winter months when access is easier. It has the feel of other sites close by, hidden from the record books, though probably long gone.
Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments Scotland, Stirling – 2 volumes, HMSO: Edinburgh 1963.
Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, Archaeological Sites and Monuments of Stirling District, Central Region, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 1979.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian