MHG63143 - Cup marked Stones - Allt Thorrisdail (2)


A cup marked stone at Allt Thorrisdail.

Type and Period (1)

  • CUP MARKED STONE (Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC? to 551 BC?)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Thumbnail photo by Dr N G Lindsay.
A M Fox, Highland Council, 13.09.01

NC66SE 7 6657 6181.

(Area NC 664 612) Two cup-marked stones lie 3/4 mile SW of Torrisdale (NC 67 61) adjacent to the track across the moorland which joins the road from Borgie Bridge to Tongue. The more westerly is the larger and is a boulder about 8ft high and 14ft long. On its south side are two groups of about twelve cup-marks from 2ins to 3ins in diameter. The smaller stone lies about 10ft to the east and measures about 6ft long and 4ft high. On its NW face there are about twenty-six small cup-marks and definite traces of others. The south face is scored with deep lines crossing each other but no evident design.
RCAHMS 1911, visited 1909.

These rocks are at NC 6657 6181 on a spur in the foot of an east facing hillside. They lie 2m apart and are almost certainly the two separated pieces of a fractured boulder erratic. The larger, westerly block measures an irregular 3.0m broad by 4.5m long by 3.0m high, and bears on the upper surface at least twenty cup-marks; one measures 8cms diameteer by 4cms deep, but mainly the depressions are small and in some instances elongated. Several sets of initials have been cut into this face of the block. The smaller stone measures 1.5 broad by 2m long by 1.5m high and tapers narrowly to the top. It bears on its westerly sloping side up to twenty-five cup-marks except for one, 7cms diameter by 5cms deep, the hollows are small and unimpressive. On the opposing side of the stone is a single , small cup-mark.
Surveyed at 1:10 000. Visited by OS (J M) 15 August 1978.

This panel was recorded as part of the ScRAP (Scotlands Rock Art project) by members of NoSAS in October 2019. This is the larger of a pair of panels readily visible on slightly raised ground at the west end of the broad east-west strath of the Allt Torrisdail. It is close to the bend where the Allt Torrisdail changes course from north to east. The open strath is boggy moorland bounded at the north and south by rocky outcrops. This panel is mentioned on Canmore 5795, along with Allt Thorrisdail 1.

The panel is a large boulder of schist, 4.2m x 3.0m x 2.8m high, of varying composition and including bands of needle-like crystals (amphibolite?). There are about 30 cup marks, many badly weathered. Two are high on the rock. About 21 (including two elongated ones) are on the main carved surface, sloping to the southeast, and about 8 others are on two ledges lower down. There is one cup under an overhang in the rock at its southwest side. There is a channel from one of the larger cups where water has flowed down, and a small area of indistinct graffiti. The surface of the boulder is weathered and rounded and it is likely that some, at least, of the cups are natural, or have been enhanced by weathering.<1>

NGR adjusted based on 2009 vertical aerial photographs. <2>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NC 6657 6181 (9m by 9m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NC66SE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish TONGUE

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Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (2)

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