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Orwell

Standing Stone(S) (Prehistoric)

Site Name Orwell

Classification Standing Stone(S) (Prehistoric)

Canmore ID 27912

Site Number NO10SW 8

NGR NO 1494 0432

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

C14 Radiocarbon Dating

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/27912

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
© Copyright and database right 2017.

Administrative Areas

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Orwell
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Kinross-shire

Archaeology Notes

NO10SW 8 1494 0432 to 1495 0431.

(NO 1494 0432 and NO 1495 0431) Standing Stones (NR)

OS 6" map (1971)

Both of these standing stones are of whinstone. The western one, rugged and angular, is about 7 1/2' high, while the other, smooth-sided, is about 9'8" high. Coles notes a quartzite pebble, 5" x 2 7/8", used as a pounder, found between the stones.

RCAHMS 1933, visited 1927; F R Coles 1906

Standing stones, as described above. No information found regarding the pounder.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 19 December 1963

Excavation at the bases of these two standing stones was carried out prior to the re-erection of the W stone, which had fallen, and the embedding of both stones in cement. The original position of the fallen stone could be detected only as a slight hollow in the natural gravel but as this corresponded with the position of the stone on Coles' plan the stone could be re-positioned comparatively accurately.

A cremation deposit was found in an insubstantial stone setting in a scoop in the natural gravel some 0.5m S of the stone. The E stone had been set up in a hole 1.5m x 1.4m x 0.75m. Within the pit on the SW side of the stone there was an unusual two-storeyed cremation deposit; the lower cremation was contained within a rough setting of stones with one side formed by the standing stone itself, and was covered by a flat slab. On this slab and again surrounded by a setting of small stones was the upper cremation. It seems most likely that these were inserted into the hole at the time of the erection of the stone. Another cremation was found at the lip of the stone hole on the SE side.

The discovery of cists and cremation patches in the same field in the early 19th century suggests that the stones have acted as a focus for such burials.

Flint flakes, found with the cremated burials, were donated to the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS). J N G Ritchie 1972; NSA 1845 (J Wemyss); NMAS 1973

The standing stones, as described, are situated in a cultivated field. No further information.

Visited by OS (DWR) 22 February 1974

Activities

Publication Account (1987)

This pair of shapely stones stands on a slight rise; in the 19th century, several cists and burials were discovered in the course of ploughing nearby, and the stones were clearly a focal point for burial and ritual in the bronze age. The stones are unusual in having been explored in recent times too, for in 1972 following the toppling of the western stone the area round each was excavated and the western stone subsequently reerected.This stone (2.8m in height and 2.95m in girth at the base) had been set in a small hollow, and a small deposit of cremated bone was found a little to its south-west The eastern stone is an impressive whinstone monolith (3.8m in overall height), set in a socket measuring about 1.5m in diameter and 0.75m deep. A remarkable fmd was the discovery of two cremation deposits within the stone-hole on the southwest side, presumably inserted during the erection of the stone; they had been carefully interred one above the other with a flat slab separating them, and they represented the remains of several people, as well as bones of pig and dog.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: Fife and Tayside’, (1987).

References

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