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Due to scheduled maintenance work by our external provider, background aerial imagery on Canmore may be unavailable

between 12:00 Friday 15th December and 12:00 Monday 18th December


Clach Na Criche

Stone (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Clach Na Criche

Classification Stone (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Wishing Stone; Fuinary Clach Na Criche

Canmore ID 22439

Site Number NM64NW 1

NGR NM 6044 4669

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2023.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Morvern
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Lochaber
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NM64NW 1 6044 4669.

(NM 6044 4669) Clach na Criche (NR) or Wishing Stone (NAT)

OS 6" map, Argyllshire, 2nd ed., (1900)

A large natural boulder, said to have been placed as a boundary mark between the lands of the Picts and Scots.

Name Book 1872.

A prominent natural rock, still known as Clach na Criche.

Visited by OS (RL) 8 June 1970.


Publication Account (2009)

The website text produced for Clach na Criche webpages on the Forest Heritage Scotland website (

Introduction: Setting the boundaries

Clach na Criche is an impressive boulder located along the mainland coast of the Sound of Mull. Distinctive in shape, looks like a stone wall with a hole in the middle.

This strange shaped stone was created millions of years ago when hot volcanic magma forced its way through the earth's crust and then hardened. Although natural in origin, it has played a part in local history and tradition for a long time.

Clach na Criche means ]'boundary stone' in Gaelic. Since prehistoric times people have used natural features to show the boundaries between one area and another. In later history it was often a way to indicate who owned an area of land. Rivers, mountains and even hedges were used to outline a person's property; anything that was distinctive and permanent in the landscape could be used.

Clach na Criche's distinctive shape would be excellent in this role. In fact, it is locally said that it was used to mark the boundary between the medieval church parishes of Cill Choluimchille and Cill Fhionntain; also known as Kilcolmkill and Killintag. Historical records mention these parishes as early as the 15th century; it appears that they united during the 16th century.

People Story: Wish upon a stone

Many natural places in Scotland have stories and traditions attached to them that make them a part of people's everyday life. Locals believed that Clach na Criche held magical properties to fulfil wishes.

Local folklore tells of a well or spring that existed nearby to the stone. To gain your wish you had to fill your mouth with water and pass through the hole in Clach na Criche three times, without touching the stone with your hands. While doing this you must continue to hold the water in your mouth and think hard of your heart's desire. On completing this ritual, your wish would be granted.

Why not visit and see if your wish comes true?

Another tradition was to pay respects to the dead at Clach na Criche. The Wishing Stone was a stopping place on the twelve mile funeral march from Lochaline to Drimnin graveyard.

]"peace to thy stone and a stone to thy cairn"

Traditional Gaelic Benediction

The mourners would walk down to the beach and each take a stone to build a cairn, a pile of stones. This would serve as a monument to remember their loved one who had just died. The tradition continues today. On visiting the stone you will see numerous small cairns, each marking a funeral.

Local historian Ian Thornber provided this information


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