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Strontoiller, Clach Na Carraig

Standing Stone (Prehistoric)

Site Name Strontoiller, Clach Na Carraig

Classification Standing Stone (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 23193

Site Number NM92NW 2

NGR NM 90767 28957

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/23193

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

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kilmore And Kilbride
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

NM92NW 2 90767 28957

(NM 9076 2895) Clach na Carraig (NR)

OS 1:10,000 map, (1975)

Spelt variously Clach na Carra (Name Book 1870), Clach Dhiarmaid (W Thomson 1925) Carrach Dhiarmaid (R A Smith 1879), Carragh Dhiarmaid (W Thomson 1925), ie Diarmaid's Pillar (W Thomson 1925), this is a massive granite monolith which stands 3.81 metres high and measures over 3.96 metres in girth. Irregularly rhomboidal in plan, the four faces measure, near ground level, 1.22, 1.07, 0.86 and 0.91 metres respectively, with a slight tapering towards the top. There is no indication that the stone was artificially shaped. It is said to mark the spot where Diarmaid, the Fingalian hero, died and was buried.

OS Name Book 1870; R A Smith 1879; W Thomson 1925.

As described. Name 'Clach na Carraig' confirmed locally.

Surveyed at 1:2500 scale.

Visited by OS (D W R), 1 September 1971.

Activities

Publication Account (1985)

The stone is one of the most impressive single monoliths in Argyll, standing to height of 4m and measuring 1.2m by 0.9m at the base. Tradition has it that the stone, Clach na Carraig or Clach Diarmid, and the little cairn to the south-east mark the burial place of the Irish hero Diarmid. The cairn, which is about 4.5m in overall diameter, has a kerb of large granite boulders; excavation in 1967 discovered only a small quantity of cremated bones and white quartz pebbles around the bases of all the kerb-stones. There are very few stone circles in Argyll, and that at Strontoiller is one of the more accessible, although the stones are not individually large. There are about thirty-one boulders set on a 'circle' of about 20m in diameter.

These three sites, together with a series of cairns at the southern end of Loch Nell, 3.5km to the south-west, suggest that this has been an important area of settlement in the neolithic and bronze ages.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Argyll and the Western Isles’, (1985).

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