MHG7775 - Cup marked stone - A Clach Phollach (Achterneed Wood 1)


A cup marked stone, recently re-discovered, which has up to twelve cup marks on its surface.

Type and Period (1)

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

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NH46SE 2 4876 6042.

Situated by roadside about half way up brae to Auchterneed is a Cup Marked stone ' A Chlach Phollach' (Clach Thollach or Clach Pollach (ISSFC 1898)) having on its surface about a dozen cupmarks, 2 inches or so in diameter (D Macdonald, A Polson and J Brown 1931)
W J Watson 1904; N Macrae 1923 <1>-<4>

No trace of this stone could be found.
Visited by OS (R D) 20 January 1965

Situated at NH 4876 6042 beside an old hill road is a large boulder 4m x 2m x 0.7m with its upper surface, sloping SW side and E edge covered by at least 145 cup marks. Some are sharply defined, the majority quite weathered. A number of cups may have formed 'dumb-bells' but they are too obscure for definite identification. Mr Stewart (Info from Mr Stewart, Duran, Bottacks) knows the stone as 'The Fairy Stone'; the name Clach Pollach or Thollach is not known locally, and no other cup-marked stone can be located in area.
Surveyed at 1:2500. Visited by OS (J B) 16 November 1976

John Wombell believes that he has located this stone in a beech wood below the railway line at Achterneed, at NH 4495 6015. It is described as a huge earthfast slab of schist, c.4m long x 1.5m wide, moss and lichen covered, with around 11 very worn cups on it. It may also have an incomplete ring (due to erosion) around one of the cups. <5>

In light of this discovery, a new record has been created for "The Fairy Stone" mentioned above at NH 4876 6042. See MHG52913. <6>

This panel was recorded as part of the ScRAP (Scotland’s Rock Art project) by members of NoSAS in November 2019. The panel is a very large erratic boulder on the steep south facing slope of Druim a'Chuilein, overlooking River Peffery and Knockfarrel on the other side of the valley. The boulder is within an area of mixed woodland, mainly beech trees, just above and north of farmland. To the north is the Kyle of Lochalsh to Dingwall railway, and there is an old quarry about 15m to the south. There is a modern game bird raising pen about 40m to the NNW of the boulder. Achterneed 2 cup marked stone lies about 35m to the northwest. The panel is grouped in the Canmore record for 12488 with a second large cup-marked boulder known as Bottacks (the Fairy Stone). The Fairy Stone lies some distance away, and hence this panel has been renamed Achterneed. It is also likely to be the same stone as the one mentioned in the Highland HER record MHG7775, called A Clach Phollach.

The panel is a roughly rectangular schist boulder measuring 3.30m north-south by 1.80m wide and 0.64m high with a slightly domed top. There are two deep fissures partly across the stone one running from the east side and the second running from the west side with a shallower fissure across the whole boulder at the south end. There are 13 motifs on the boulder in two groups. The south group has 5 cups; 2 of these are conjoined, 1 has a long curved groove, and 1 has been drilled in the past possibly with a view to blasting it when the quarry was in use. There are also a number of faint possible cupmarks. The north group has at least 7 cupmarks, 5 of which are clustered, and 1 cup with an eyebrow groove on its south side. There is also a truncated cupmark on the southeast edge of the rock, possibly damaged by quarrying. <7>

Sources/Archives (7)



Grid reference Centred NH 49225 59701 (22m by 22m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH45NE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish FODDERTY

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