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Harris, Clach Mhic Leoid

Cairn (Prehistoric)(Possible), Standing Stone (Prehistoric)

Site Name Harris, Clach Mhic Leoid

Classification Cairn (Prehistoric)(Possible), Standing Stone (Prehistoric)

Alternative Name(s) Nisabost; Clach Macleod

Canmore ID 10532

Site Number NG09NW 4

NGR NG 0409 9720

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2021.

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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NG09NW 4 0409 9720

(NG 0408 9727) Clach Mhic Leoid (NR)

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

Clach Mhic Leoid: a very fine standing stone 10' 6" in height, 4' 6" in breadth and from 10-16" in diameter. The base is packed with small boulders to a distance of from 3-4ft, while two slabs (over 3' long) are set on edge, at right angles to the face of the standing stone, and 8'6" distant from it, to the W.

RCAHMS 1928, visited 1914.

Clach Mhic Leoid, a standing stone as described by the RCAHMS. The other two slabs resemble the kerb stones of a cairn, and a large quantity of rubble stones around the standing stone, about 6.0m in diameter, suggest that there may have been a cairn here, but insufficient remains to be certain.

The OS 1:10,000 map places it at 0409 9720

Visited by OS (N K B) 29 June 1969.

NG 039 970. A human cranium was reported as eroding out of a cliff section in the vicinity of Macleod's Stone (NMRS NG09NW 4). A calvarium and part of the maxilla and upper teeth were excavated from a slump or eroded windblown sand. The remains had fallen from the eroding section above the site and come to rest on a terrace below. A small trench was excavated around the remains, but no further bone was found. A small scatter of large stones in the vicinity of the remains may once have been associated with them, although it was clear that the remainder of the skeleton and any archaeological feature had probably eroded into the sea below.

Sponsor: Historic Scotland.

R Barrowman 2001.


Field Visit (4 June 1914)

Standing Stone, "Clach Mhic Leoid"

Overlooking the Sound of Taransay, on the western slope of the peninsula at Nisabost, some 250 yards from the shore and 100 feet above sea-level, about 1 ½ miles north by east of Borve Lodge, is the very fine standing stone, Clach Mhic Leoid, measuring 10 feet 6 inches in height, 4 feet 6 inches in breadth, and from 10 to 16 inches in thickness. Placed almost due east and west (115° mag.), the top which has narrowed to about 3 feet in width inclines about 1 foot 6 inches towards the south. For a distance of from 3 feet to 4 feet round the base the ground is packed with small boulders, and 8 feet 6 inches to the west are two slabs 3 feet long, 2 feet 6 inches high and 9 inches thick, and 2 feet 6 inches long, 1 foot 6 inches high and 6 inches thick respectively, set on edge, but not quite in line, at right angles to the face of the standing stone, with two small stones placed between them. The intervening space between the monolith and these slabs contains many stones. (Fig. 270.)

RCAHMS 1928, visited 4 June 1914

OS map: Harris xii.

Field Visit (8 July 2010)

This spectacular stone stands on the sloping western flank of a headland overlooking the coast. It measures 1.45m in breadth from ESE to WNW at the base by 0.38m in thickness, rising to a roughly square top at a height of 3.3m. The NNE face presents a heavily weathered surface, whereas on the SSW the stone is much more angular, probably as a result of the way it has been split off a larger outcrop. Traces of slight scallops along the western edge of this face possibly indicate where wedges were inserted to prize it up. This face is also riven with veins of quartz and feldspar.

Visited by RCAHMS (SPH) 8 July 2010


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