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Clach Na Croiche, Balnaguard

Cist (Period Unassigned), Cremation (Period Unassigned), Cup Marked Stone (Prehistoric), Standing Stone (Prehistoric)

Site Name Clach Na Croiche, Balnaguard

Classification Cist (Period Unassigned), Cremation (Period Unassigned), Cup Marked Stone (Prehistoric), Standing Stone (Prehistoric)

Alternative Name(s) Balnaguard Farm

Canmore ID 26373

Site Number NN95SW 3

NGR NN 9462 5211

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Little Dunkeld
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NN95SW 3 9462 5211.

(NN 9462 5211) Standing Stone (NAT)

OS 6" map, Perthshire, 2nd ed., (1901)

The standing stone at Balnaguard (referred to by Dixon {1925} as Clach-na-croiche) is an imposing block of whinstone, overall height 7'. Two other great stones lie buried to the E of it, both flush with the ground, one 24' away and the other 39' in the same line. Whether they are fallen standing stones or covers of cists is not certain.

In or about 1887, a food vessel was found in a cist "near the stone still standing". It is preserved at Blair Castle, where it is described as "found in a cist in the haugh near Tom-na-Croiche, which is the name of the ground at the standing stone (Coles 1967).

F R Coles 1908; J H Dixon 1925.

NN 9460 5213. A short cist was found by John McBeth, farmer, Balnaguard, on 5th April 1969 while ploughing, at the highest point of a slight rise some 12.0m NW of the standing stone. The cover stone, 1.5m x 1.2m x 0.1m, has been put at the edge of the field, at NN 9455 5205. The cist was collapsed and the site filled in. The site was excavated by Mrs Stewart, and the finds, including a rather fine beaker, are in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS).

Visited by OS (W D J) 18 April 1969.

In May 1971, the base of the S face of the standing stone was exposed to a depth of 0.25m. This revealed 7 cup marks (average diameter 0.05m) strung out irregularly across the face.

Traditionally, two prostrate stones 7.80m and 12.15m E of the standing stone had at one time stood upright. If so, they would have formed an alignment oriented due E-W with the standing stone. The more westerly of the two prostrate stones measured 2.3m in length, and the other stone was 2.5m in length. A single cup mark 0.05m in diameter was found on the E side of the upper surface of the latter stone.

The site was excavated in September 1971. Near the E boundary of the field and slightly S of the stone alignment was a stony area 6.10m x 3.65m, of hand-sized water-worn boulders below about 0.25m of plough soil. The boulder layer was 0.3m thick and rested on stone-free sandy loam, which was the normal subsoil of the field. On top of the sandy loam in the NE quarter of the boulder spread were extensive patches of black staining, a quantity of cremated bone and some carbonised wood and a small rim sherd (? food vessel). Protruding through the stony area were the tops of three large stones 2.0m and 2.5m apart, set on an arc of a circle c. 9.0m in diameter. To the S of the perimeter of this circle was a flat, thin slab, 2.3m long, lying prostrate. There was no evidence of either keeling or socket, and it is unlikely ever to have stood upright.

M E C Stewart 1971.

A standing stone, still occasionally referred to as Clach na Croiche. Eight cup marks have been exposed at its base.

The two prostrate stones are as described by Stewart.

The find spot of the cist and the information provided by previous

OS field investigator was confirmed by the farmer. The cist floor was partly cobbled, and the beaker was inverted in a corner on pure sand. The other site excavated by Stewart is at NN 9468 5209. All that can be seen now are two half-buried prostrate slabs. The farmer has avoided ploughing the site of the excavation.

Surveyed at 1:2500.

Visited by OS (A A) 17 March 1975.

Scheduled as Balnagurd Farm, standing stone.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 14 January 2002.


Excavation (May 1971)

The site was excavated by Mrs Stewart, and the finds, including a rather fine beaker, are in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS).

Source: M E C Stewart 1971.


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