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Barnashalg

Cup Marked Stone (Neolithic) - (Bronze Age), Standing Stone (Neolithic) - (Bronze Age), Standing Stone (Prehistoric)

Site Name Barnashalg

Classification Cup Marked Stone (Neolithic) - (Bronze Age), Standing Stone (Neolithic) - (Bronze Age), Standing Stone (Prehistoric)

Alternative Name(s) Tayvallich

Canmore ID 39080

Site Number NR78NW 1

NGR NR 72989 86400

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/39080

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

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish North Knapdale
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes ( - 1976)

NR78NW 1 7298 8640.

(NR 7298 8640) Standing Stone (NR)

OS 6" map, Argyllshire, 2nd ed., (1924)

This standing stone measures 13' x 3' x 3', split and tapering at top. On its SE face at 2'8" are 2 cup marks, 5" apart, and possibly two more higher up. On its NW face at 3'5" are 2 cups near E edge, 5" apart. About 100ft SE of the above, a gap in a dyke is blocked by a fallen stone, 6'9" x 1'6" x 6' lying across the track. Possible socket of 3 boulders at W end. ? erected to mark line of track.

M Campbell and M Sandeman 1964.

A standing stone as described.

There are two probable cup-marks on the SE face but all other markings are natural.

Nothing answering Miss Campbell's (1964) description can be seen in the nearby dyke but at NR 7308 8640, placed on the wall, is a knocking stone.

Surveyed at 1/10 000.

Visited by OS (IA) 24 May 1973.

No change to the report of 24 May 1973

Surveyed at 1/10,000.

Visited by OS (BS) 18 January 1976.

Activities

Field Visit (November 1984)

Situated 250m S of Barnashalg on the E side of the upland Loch Dun Calltuinn, this stone is 3.5m high and 2.5m in girth at the base; lozenge-shaped in section with the longer axis NW and SE, it now leans slightly to the SW. The NW tip has broken off, but otherwise the stone rises with tapering sides to a pointed top. There are two plain cupmarks on the SE face at a height of some 0.77m with their centres about 30mm apart; the cups are 50mm and 70mm in diameter and 15mm and 20mm in depth respectively. Two small depressions slightly higher on this face are probably natural. At the centre of the N face, at a height of about 1m, there is a single cupmark 50mm in diameter and 25mm deep (Campbell and Sandeman 1964).

Visited November 1984

RCAHMS 1988

Excavation (June 2015)

NR 72991 86401 Prior to excavation at Barnashaig Standing Stone, as well as other nearby monuments and features, it was postulated by Dr Gough that the standing stone was aligned with the 3rd quarter rising moon in September, which would have been observed around 1700 BC. It was suggested that a stone platform leading eastwards from a ‘pile’ of stones may have functioned as a viewing platform from which to forewarn those observing the alignment of its imminent approach. However, excavation in June 2015 revealed that the structure under question was a shieling hut. The excavation did reveal that a larger oval earthen and stone ring located immediately S of the shieling may date from the Neolithic period; the function of this feature remains elusive, though it is hypothesised it may be an early burial cairn. It was also demonstrated that two rounded glacial erratic boulders, which formed a straight line about the standing stone, had not been set as upright, earthfast orthostats. However, the two boulders, the standing stone and the larger oval earthen and stone ring do sit along a straight line, though whether this is fortuitous or a deliberate act could not be determined. Unfortunately, this physical alignment of monuments and features lies 2° from the calculated alignment required and from which the rising moon would have been observable in the Bronze Age.

Archive: National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) intended

Funder: Dr T Gough

Clare Ellis - Argyll Archaeology

(Source: DES, Volume 16)

Note (20 July 2019)

Date Fieldwork Started: 20/07/2019

Compiled by: Bàrr

Location Notes: Barnashalg 1 is a standing stone located in a natural hollow on the W side of a small NW facing valley, surrounded by knolls and hilltops, and a smattering of old forestry and mixed trees. 400m W of the main road coming S from Tayvallich, a rough quadbike track can be taken most of the way up, over and along two adjacent valleys to the W, each higher than the last and both showing evidence of cattle grazing at the time of recording. A moderately large water body, Loch Dun Calltain, lies about 150m W of the panel, and another standing stone, this one quite thin and at an extreme angle, can be found 250m S of Barnashalg 1 along the ridge.

Panel Notes: The carvings are located on the southern side of a standing stone slab of schist measuring about 3.4x0.6m and somewhat pointed at the top, fairly covered in lichen and mosses. There are two large cupmarks next to one another towards the bottom of the panel, about 0.7m from the ground. Two additional cupmarks had previously been reported on the N side of the standing stone, slightly higher up, but we concluded that these were natural features.

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