Dunruchan ‘B’ Standing Stone, Muthill, Perthshire

Standing Stone: OS Grid Reference – NN 79164 17375

Also Known as:

  1. Aodann Mhor
  2. Canmore ID 24790
  3. Cornoch
  4. Shillinghill

Getting Here

The smallest of Dunruchan’s majestic standing stones

Take the same directions to reach the Dunruchan A standing stone, taking the small track up across from the Craigneich standing stone. As you walk up the field from the roadside, don’t go thru the gate, but just walk straight uphill, following the fence through boggy & overgrown vegetation. When you get to where the hill starts to level out and the fence cuts across in front of you, notice the small standing stone on the other side of the fence, about 100 yards up. That’s it!

Archaeology & History

Fred Coles’ 1911 drawing

This, the smallest of the six Dunruchan standing stones, is what Fred Coles (1911) ascribed as “the North-West Stone,” or Dunruchan B. In size alone it has a very different character to the others on the hillside immediately above and almost seems out of character when compared to the rest. Standing amidst typical moorland vegetation, this pointed upright is more than five feet tall, and from here its huge companions can be seen rising from the Earth to both east and south. Coles’ description on this stone told:

“This block of conglomerate, not half the height of (Dunruchan A)…occupies a rather lower position 385 yards to the west. Its basal girth is 8 feet 10 inches and its height 5 feet 1 inch, the south being the smoothest of its four sides. It is not now quite vertical, having a lean to the south. Like the great North-east Stone, this one tapers to a rather fine point… From this Stone the other four in the group as well as that at Craigneich are visible. ”

Dunruchan B, looking NW

Dunruchan B, looking south

However, we couldn’t make out all the standing stones in this complex like Coles reported. The huge leaning monolith of Dunruchan C is the closest of the others from here and, perhaps, would be the reason the cluster have been added to the lists of megalithic stone rows by Burl (1993) and Thom (1990), as a spacious curved row geometrically links them together – but I’ve gotta say, I’m sceptical about this as a deliberate megalithic alignment. However, I’ve no doubt that Alfred Watkins and his fellow ley hunters would add this to their inventory of Perthshire ley lines.

Folklore

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.”

References:

  1. Burl, Aubrey, From Carnac to Callanish, Yale University Press 1993.
  2. Cole, Fred, “Report on Stone Circles in Perthshire, Principally Strathearn,” in Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries, Scotland, volume 45, 1911.
  3. Finlayson, Andrew, The Stones of Strathearn, One Tree Island: Comrie 2010.
  4. Hunter, John, Chronicles of Strathearn, David Phillips: Crieff 1896.
  5. Thom, A., Thom, A.S. & Burl, Aubrey, Stone Rows and Standing Stones – 2 volumes, BAR: Oxford 1990.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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About megalithix

Occultist, prehistorian and independent archaeological researcher, specializing in prehistoric rock art, Neolithic, Bronze Age & Iron Age sites, and the animistic cosmologies of pre-Christian & traditional cultures.
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