MHG2682 - Cup marked stone, Clachmhor


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Type and Period (1)

  • CUP MARKED STONE (Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 1501 BC)

Protected Status

Full Description

'Clachmhor' lies close to the east side of the farm of Culnakirk. It is a large flat block of grey gneiss about 16' long, 9' broad and 1' thick, lying N. And S. The southern half of the stone bears 113 cup- marks up to 4 1/4" diameter and 1 1/8" in depth, many united (usually in pairs) by grooves.
There are distinct indications that this stone was once surrounded by a circle of boulders or standing stones. Several of these still remain, 2 or 3 feet in width, 15 to 17 feet apart, on the north and east sides, and from 35 to 40 feet from 'Clachmaor'. On the south- west side, the circle has been obliterated by a rough cart track. Which passes over its site.
W Jolly 1882 <1>

This stone at NH 49923109 is as described by Jolly, but no trace of any standing stones could be found.
Surveyed at 1/2500.
Visited by OS (R D) 3 December 1964

This site was visited during a walkover survey in August 2008. It was found to match the dimensions recorded in 1882, however only 37 cup-marks were noted during this survey. The stone is situated within an annual embankment, 2.2m at the thickest point, with an internal ditch. There is an apparent opening to the SE, in front of the stone's triangular apex which also faces SSE. These earthworks presumably mark the position of the supposed encircling stone ring.
It is recommended that this stone is marked out and avoided during the proposed works for a new overhead power line. <2>

Douglas Scott submitted photographs of this stone in May 2011. <3> He notes that the main concentration of cupmarks at the pointy end of the Clachmhor are in line with the entrance of the surrounding bank and this is where the southern moon rises about every 18-19 years during the moon's major standstill. There are also two lines of cupmarks forming a right angle or V shape. Each of these lines generally indicate where the midwinter sun rises and sets. Although the cupmarks are very worn, Douglas Scott counted 86. <4>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NH 4991 3109 (10m by 10m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NH43SE
Geographical Area INVERNESS

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