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Tuilyies

Cup Marked Stone (Prehistoric), Standing Stone (Prehistoric)

Site Name Tuilyies

Classification Cup Marked Stone (Prehistoric), Standing Stone (Prehistoric)

Alternative Name(s) Torryburn

Canmore ID 49451

Site Number NT08NW 3

NGR NT 0291 8658

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/49451

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

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Torryburn
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District Dunfermline
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NT08NW 3 0291 8658.

(NT 0291 8658) Tuilyies (NAT) Standing Stone (NR)

OS 6" map, (1968)

Cup marked Standing Stone and Boulders: These four stones are said to be the remains of a circle, although that idea is not borne out by their present disposition. The cup marked stone rises to a height of 8', and has its narrow faces to the NE and SW. It is of irregular form. On the E face, the lower portion is covered with cup marks which vary from 1 1/2" to 5" in diameter and 1 1/2" to 2" in depth. The stone is also marked with a series of perpendicular grooves, but all these channels are due to weathering.

The other three boulders are set in the form of a triangle immediately S of the cup marked stone at intervals of 12', 15' and 16' apart. None of the three shows any markings; they are of whinstone while the cup marked stone is of grey sandstone.

The name 'Tuilyies' is a corruption of the Scots word 'tulzie' which signifies a fight, and the stones are said to mark the graves of chiefs who fell in an alleged battle here.

OSA 1793; RCAHMS 1933.

These four stones do not form a circle, but there seems little doubt that they mark a Bronze Age sacred site.

Visited by OS (J L D) 30 June 1953.

Scheduled as Tuilyies, stone setting, Torryburn, Fife.

Information from Historic Scotland, scheduling document dated 16 February 2001.

Activities

Field Visit (16 May 1925)

Cup-marked Standing Stone and Boulders, Torryburn.

The site of the cup – marked standing stone (Fig. 22) is a plateau, 150 feet above sea-level, in a field on Torrie Estate about half a mile to the north-east of the village of Torryburn, and on the north side of the drive to Torrie House. At a distance of 60 feet from it are three huge boulders, and the four are said to be the remains of a circle, although that idea is not borne out by their present disposition.

The cup-marked stone rises to a height of 8 feet above the ground and has its narrow faces to the north-east and south-west. It is of irregular form, narrowing somewhat at 7 inches from the base, expanding outwards at the middle, and contracting again to a roughly convex top. On the east face the lower portion is covered with cup-marks, which vary from 1 ½ to 5 inches in diameter and from 1 ½ to 2 inches in depth. At a height of 6 feet from ground level, in the south-west angle of the stone, is a cavity 7 inches in depth, while there is a similar cavity of like depth opposite to it on the west face. The stone is also marked on the east and west faces, as well as on the top and down the narrow sides, with a series of perpendicular grooves of varying depth, but all these channels are due to weathering. Its measurements are: - north face, 1 foot 3 inches; south face, 1 foot 4 inches; east face, 4 feet 4 inches; west face, 4 feet 3 inches; girth at base, 10 feet 8 inches; at 7 inches up, 8 feet 10 inches; at middle 10 feet 5 inches.

The three other boulders are set in the form of a triangle immediately to the south of this cup-marked stone, at intervals of 12, 15, and16 feet apart. One has evidently fallen from an upright position and now lies with its major axis north and south. None of the three shows any markings. They are of whinstone, while the cup-marked standing stone is of grey sandstone.

"This place is thought to have been the scene of a battle in some former period, and these stones to mark the graves of some of the chiefs, who had fallen in the engagement…the name which it still bears, Tollzies, - is evidently a corruption of the Scotch word Tulzie, which signifies a fight." - Stat. Acct., viii (1793), p. 454.

RCAHMS 1933, visited 16 May 1925.

Publication Account (1987)

This spectacular stone is 2.4 m in height and is decorated with many cup-markings on its east side; the deeply weathered grooves, which are its most noticeable feature, are, however, natural. In the absence of excavation, the boulder setting a little to the south cannot be satisfactorily explained.

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

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