Standing Stone: OS Grid Reference – NO 15200 26263
Also Known as:
- Balgarvie (Swarbrick)
- Canmore ID 28135
- Mill of Bonhard
On the main road (A94) through Scone, go east along either Murrayshall Road or Bonhard Road for a short distance until you go out of the town and into the countryside. About ⅓-mile (0.5km) along the country lane, go left at the road junction; and just another ¼-mile on, notice the field-gate on your left. As you’ll see, the standing stone is just over 100 yards away in that field.
Archaeology & History
In a region littered with megaliths, this fine upright single stone stands, quite deliberately, at a point in the field where you have excellent 360° views, which to the north looks way into the orgasm of the Scottish mountains. History and tradition seem to tell it has always been a loner, without companions, but no archaeological excavation has taken place here to my knowledge; and the apparent proximity of some type of prehistoric ring-ditch 30 yards away may be related to the stone. But we don’t for sure…
Despite being shown on the first OS-map of the region in 1867 and despite being a large monolith more than 6 feet tall, very little seems to have been said of it. The Royal Commission (1994) merely listed it, without comment, other than to say “it bears no markings.” Yet when Paul Hornby and I visited the place recently, a large single cup-mark is plain to see on the north-face of the stone.
Although the stone is alone in this field, once you start exploring the hills a short distance to the south and the farmed fields heading north and east, masses of prehistoric sites begin to appear. It’s well worth checking out!
- Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland, South-East Perth: An Archaeological Landscape, HMSO: Edinburgh 1994.
- Swarbrick, Olaf, A Gazetteer of Prehistoric Standing Stones in Great Britain, BAR: Oxford 2012.
Acknowledgements: Huge thanks as always to Paul Hornby for getting us to this site. Plus, accreditation of early OS-map usage is reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.
© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian