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Waterhead, Machar Stones

Standing Stone(S) (Prehistoric)

Site Name Waterhead, Machar Stones

Classification Standing Stone(S) (Prehistoric)

Alternative Name(s) Brown Hill; Waterhead Stones

Canmore ID 45311

Site Number NS68SE 1

NGR NS 65705 83932

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Stirling
  • Parish Fintry
  • Former Region Central
  • Former District Stirling
  • Former County Stirlingshire

Archaeology Notes

NS68SE 1 65705 83932

Two standing stones, known as the Machar Stones, are situated 1/2 mile ENE of Waterhead farm. The more northerly stone, of irregular rectangular section, is almost prostrate, measuring 7'6" in length and 3' by 2'6" at the medial point. The other stone, standing immediately to the S, is slab-shaped, measuring 5' high, 2' thick, and varying in width between 2'8" at ground level, 3'8" at a point 2' above this, and 2' at the top.

J G Smith 1896; RCAHMS 1963, visited 1954.

NS 6570 8393. These two large standing stones, which are as described above, are situated on a hillock in the midst of a moor which has recently been planted with fir trees. The stones are 1.8m apart, and aligned NNE-SSW. A few loose stones lie around their bases.

Visited by OS (JLD) 26 March 1957

Two standing stones, generally as described, situated on a hillock in a fire break. The leaning stone has seven cup marks on its underside, the largest being 0.02m in diameter x 0.01m deep.

Surveyed at 1:10,000.

Visited by OS (SFS) 20 November 1975

Scheduled as Waterhead, two standing stones.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 10 November 2001.


Field Visit (21 April 1954)

NS 68 SE (unnoted) 657 839

These two stones stand on a slight eminence in open moorland, half a mile ENE. of Waterhead farmhouse and at an elevation of 850 ft. O.D. Described by Nimmo's editor as ‘a Druidical remain’ (1), they have also been known as the Machar Stones (2). The more northerly stone, a four-sided pillar of irregular section, has fallen almost prostrate and its whole length, 7 ft. 6 in., is revealed. At the centre it measures 3 ft. in width by 2 ft. 6 in. in breadth. The other stone stands 4 ft. 6 in. further S. It is a slab shaped as shown in Pl. 3D (ST 858), standing to a height of 5 ft. and measuring about 2 ft. in thickness. Its width is 2 ft. 8 ground level, 3 ft. 8 in. at a point 2 ft. above this, and 2 ft. at the top.

The excavations in the vicinity that revealed the cists (NS68SE 3) may be responsible for the overthrow of the more northerly stone, and may also account for the presence in the immediate area of numerous small loose stones.

RCAHMS 1963, visited 21 April 1954

(1) History (1817 ed.), 633

(2) TSNHAS, xv (1892-3), 132 and pl. xxiii.

Field Visit (October 1978)

Waterhead NS 657 839 NS68SE 1

This pair of standing stones is situated in a ride in a forestry plantation; the southernmost stone stands 1.5m high but the other, which measures 2.3m in length, is almost recumbent. There is no evidence that any cists have been found in the vicinity of these stones as has been previously reported.

RCAHMS 1979, visited October 1978

(Smith 1896, 259; RCAHMS 1963, p. 65, no. 39, p. 68, no. 61)


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