MHG7094 - Cup marked boulder - Camas Luinie


A cup marked boulder exhibiting around 70 cup marks at Camus Luinie.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NG92NW 1 9449 2909.

At a place called Camaslunie there are two cup-marked boulders. On one of the stones are no less than fifty cups. <1>

Only one of these cupmarked stones was located at NG 9449 2909. It is a well-weathered granite boulder, measuring 1.9m x. 1.0m x 0.7m high, and bearing 70 cup marks. Towards the base of the stone are traces of grooving, probably natural, and certainly not the usual cup and ring markings.
Surveyed at 1/2500.
Visited by OS (N K B) 28 September 1966.

John Wombell, a local researcher, reports that the boulder is a fine grained mica schist and not granite as previously recorded. The grooving is entirely natural. The boulder is 50% covered in a fine green lichen that is well into the cups, making recording difficult. It is very finely decorated and the cups are generally well-preserved. The cups are mostly on the upper surface of the boulder facing SE, but unusually there are 2 or 3 cups low down on vertical surfaces facing SW and SE. A number of cups are "shelf cut". The boulder sits on a small spur on a generally SE facing hill slope. The boulder has been incorporated into the south side of a substantial sub rectangular/sub circular platform.
The second cup marked stone recorded in 1923 has also been located by Mr Wombell - see MHG53427. <2><3>

This panel was recorded as part of the ScRAP (Scotland’s Rock Art project) by members of NoSAS in April 2019. This stone is situated at the mouth of Glen Elchaig almost 1km before the small settlement of Camas Luinie which is at the end of at 10km dead end, which runs from Ardelve on Loch Duich, northeast along the north shore of Loch Long to its terminus at Camas Luinie. It is to the west of the road a small distance up the hillside on a small flatter section of a roughly oval deer-fenced area of about 250m x 150m. There is an obvious line of telegraph poles traversing across this area, which is largely heather moorland with some scattered small boulders. A path leads from a gate at the roadside up the gentle rise through the woods and a rather indistinct then path peels of this to the right the short distance up the heather slope to a flatter area where the stone is immediately seen. The location commands superb views of the lower glen to the north and southeast, but especially east up Glen Elchaig towards the satellite hills of Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan.

The stone is a rounded slab of well-weathered mica schist, which was covered in dry moss prior to gentle cleaning. The boulder is likely to be a glacial erratic as the schist is a foreign rock in this locality. The boulder is orientated west to east on its longer axis and is extensively covered in cupmarks over its south facing side, which slopes gently at first from the top about 10 degrees and then increasingly until it is over 70 degrees at its south end. It then shelves, and slopes inwards to the ground for about 35cm where, unusually, about 5-6 cups are also found. In all 91 cup marks were counted in the field, although these grade from very obvious to barely discernible and thus increasingly dubious. The cups range from the largest at about 8cm x 2cm to the smallest at about 3.5cm x <1cm. The majority are 5-6cm in diameter and about 2 to <1cm in depth. The top of the stone is smoother and flatter that the rest of it and about 6 very shallow cupmarks can be made out on the east half of this area. This may be because the topmost area is more exposed to the effects of weathering and the cups here represent a residue of many more original marks. The south side below this, in contrast, is heavily covered with a dense cluster of cupmarks. This runs into another smoother area lacking in cupmarks within the southeast quadrant of the stone's surface. Here, the cup marked area terminates abruptly at a distinct edge which appears to mark the point beyond which the surface of The southeast quadrant has gradually spalled off. This weathered edge cuts though several distinct cupmarks. It appears as though the entire stone may well have been originally covered in densely packed cupmarks and those now clustering on the south and west end of the rock represent the survivors after many centuries of weathering and exfoliation. <4>

NGR adjusted based on 2009 vertical aerial photographs. <5>

Sources/Archives (5)



Grid reference Centred NG 94494 29095 (10m by 9m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG92NW
Geographical Area SKYE AND LOCHALSH
Civil Parish KINTAIL

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Related Investigations/Events (1)

External Links (2)

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