Cup-and-Ring Stone: OS Grid Reference – NN 56106 01711
Also Known as:
- Ballochraggan 8.04
- Canmore ID 78307
- Mentieth 9
- Mentieth 44
Takes some finding this one! We parked up by the entrance to Ballochraggan on the A81 between Aberfoyle and Port of Mentieth. Walk up the track, then up the burnside past the house. Keep to its right-side and head uphill towards the very top of the forestry edge, staying in the grasslands. As you near the very top NE corner of the grassland boscage (NOT into the forest), about 100 yards before it, zigzag about through the gorse and keep your eyes peeled. It’s there!
Archaeology & History
This is a small, flat, smooth piece of stone with a simple carving clearly visible, in a region replete with highly impressive multiple-ringed petroglyphs. Very little has been said of this design and even the Canmore lads tell us only that the carving “includes one cup and ring marking and two cups within an oval ring.” And that’s that! However, other faint lines are evident on the surface of the stone, with the single cup-and-ring appearing to have another partial second-ring encircling a section of it. Outlying this are very shallow worn lines that seem to bear the hallmarks of human interference, but they were difficult to see with any certainty and our camera didn’t pick up additional elements with any real clarity. What seemed to be another cup-and-half-ring (not visible in the photos) was just beneath the edge of the grass where the rock fell back into the Earth.
The most catching element of the design is the very obvious ‘eye’ symbol peering up at us as we look down. Whether this symbol was deliberate or not, we can be sure that the old archaeologist O.G.S. Crawford (1957) would have loved it and added it to his old dreams of eye goddesses!
Other carvings nearby will blow your head off! The recently discovered Mask Stone, right next to this Ballochraggan 12 carving, being just a taster of the things to come.
- Brouwer, Jan & van Veen, Gus, Rock Art in the Menteith Hills, BRAC 2009.
- Crawford, O.G.S., The Eye Goddess, Phoenix House: London 1957.
- Naddair, Kaledon, et al, ‘Menteith (Port of Menteith Parish): Rock Ccarvings’, in Discovery & Excavation Scotland, 19, 1992.
- Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, The archaeological sites and monuments of Stirling District, Central Region, HMSO: Edinburgh 1979.
Acknowledgements: Huge appreciation to Paul Hornby for use of his photos. Cheers mate!
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian