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North Uist, Blashaval, Na Fir Bhreige

Standing Stone(S) (Prehistoric)

Site Name North Uist, Blashaval, Na Fir Bhreige

Classification Standing Stone(S) (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 10347

Site Number NF87SE 14

NGR NF 88736 71734

NGR Description From NF 88736 71734 to NF 88789 71710

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/10347

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Western Isles
  • Parish North Uist
  • Former Region Western Isles Islands Area
  • Former District Western Isles
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NF87SE 14 8875 7176.

(Name : NF 8885 7172) Na Fir Bhreige (NR)

OS 6"map, Inverness-shire, 2nd ed., (1903)

Na Fir Bhreige (the false men) is a row of three standing stones set almost in line upon a ridge which forms the west spur of Blashaval. None now stands more than three feet above the soil, and they are deeply embedded: the one in the middle appears to be the largest.

They are a subject of local tradition.

E Beveridge 1911.

Na Fir Bhreighe, three standing stones, at NF 8871 7177, NF 8875 7176 and NF 8877 7175, are as described by Beveridge.

From east to west their dimensions are 0.6m high x 0.4m x 0.3m, 0.5m high x 0.9m x 0.1m, and 0.7m high x 0.3m x 0.2m. The name is still known locally.

Surveyed at 1/10,560.

Visited by OS (N K B) 18 June 1965.

Activities

Field Visit (4 August 1914)

Standing Stones, Na Fir Bhreige, Blashaval.

Along the summit of a ridge which slopes down gently from Blashaval in a north-westerly direction towards Loch Veiragvat, some 2 ½ miles north-west of Lochmaddy, at an elevation of about 150 feet above sea-level, are three standing stones, Na Fir Bhreige (“the falsemen”), deeply embedded in peat. The stones are placed almost in a straight line running west by north and east by south, the central stone being about 1 foot north of the axial line. The latter stone, which is a broad, thin pillar, the face lying in the line of the other two, shows a height of 1 foot 9 inches above ground and measures 3 feet 1 inch broad and 7 inches thick, while it is sunk at least 3 feet 6 inches under the surface of the peat. The eastern pillar, which is placed some 85 feet higher up the slope, is 2 feet 3 inches high above ground, 1 foot 6 inches wide on its broadest face, and is sunk more than 2 feet in peat. The western pillar lies 109 feet down the hill from the central stone and measures 1 foot 10 inches in height above ground, over 2 feet 6 inches below ground, 12 inches in breadth and 10 inches in thickness.

According to tradition these stones represent three Skye men, who, having deserted their wives, were turned into stone by a witch.

RCAHMS 1928, visited 4 August 1914.

OS map: North Uist xxxv.

Field Visit (25 September 2010)

A row of three small upright stones can be seen extending in a line from ESE to WNW down the more gentle slope at the foot of the steep NW flank of Blashaval. Some 35m to the NE, a modern fence shares roughly this same alignment, raising the possibility that these stones are perhaps no more than markers and of no great antiquity. Nevertheless, the easternmost (NF 88789 71710) measures 0.4m by 0.2m at the base and rises to a flat top 0.55m above the ground; a small quartz boulder 80mm across has been placed recently at its foot on the surface of the peat. The middle stone (NF 88763 71719) is a small slab measuring 0.75m in breadth by up to 0.15m in thickness at its W edge and 0.45m in height, and the westernmost (NF 88736 71734), which is aligned NNW and SSE across the axis of the line, measures 0.3m by 0.2m at the base and 0.5m in height.

Visited by RCAHMS (SPH) 25 September 2010

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