« PreviousContinue »
III. NOTICES OF CUP- AND RING-MARKS.
No. 1. Avochie, Rothiemay.-The site of the cup- and ring-marked boulder here is on the north slope of the Hill of Avochie, at a point 586 yards S.W. of the site of a Stone Circle on Kimmonity, and slightly over a quarter of a mile N.N.E. of Midplough.
It was alluded to in my last account of the cup-marked Recumbent Stone in the Circle on Rothiemay home-farm.1 This whinstone boulder measures 11 feet by 9 feet; at its nothern extremity it is 2 feet 5 inches above the ground, and at the southern 2 feet and an inch. The highest portion of the Stone is at a point near C on the plan (fig. 20), marked by an eight-rayed star; and from this point the surface, which is here and there broken by shallow fissures and groove-like marks entirely due to natural causes, slopes off at varying angles. This I have endeavoured to show in a conventional manner by placing arrows to indicate the slope: the shorter the arrow the steeper the slope. The portion above A is fairly flat and smooth; near D is a broadish flat edge also, and at some time or other the lowest part on the left seems to have been broken; whether it bore sculpturings or not, no one knows. The surface appears to have sustained a considerable amount of weathering, as Mr Geddes informs me most of the markings are not very distinct. The clearest are the ringed cups below D on the plan.
The total number of cups is eighty-three, of which five are distinctly oval in contour. They are arranged in four groups: A, in the north-west corner, containing twenty-seven simple circular cups and two oval cups, eight circular cups with rings, and one ringed oval; at B are two simple cups; at C, twenty-seven simple circular cups and two oval, also two circular ringed cups; at group D there are four simple circular cups and one oval cup, five very finely ringed circular cups, and one smallish oval with its ring. Nowhere on the Stone is there a sign of any straight groove
1 Proceedings, vol. xxxvii. p. 228. For all the facts recorded in the present notice of this Stone I am much indebted to Mr J. Geddes, of the Schoolhouse, Rothiemay.
either connecting the cups or passing out of any of them. The cups vary in size from 14 inches in diameter to 33 inches. Fifteen of them measure 3 inches in diameter, thirteen measure 2 inches, and thirteen measure 2 inches; eleven of them are 24 inches wide, seven are 3 inches wide; and the two extreme diameters of 14 inches and 33 inches are represented each by only one cup. The largest of the rings measures 6 inches in diameter and the smallest 4 inches.
In group A the largest oval and its ring are connected with a small cup and its ring; and in group D the smallest ringed oval is appended to the largest ring on the Stone.
I believe I am right in stating that the discovery and first notice (in the district) of this interesting boulder is due to the observation of Mr. Smith, formerly station-master at Rothiemay.
No. 2. In Fordyce Kirkyard.-The fact of there being a table-stone here, the upper surface of which is covered with cup-marks, was first brought to my notice by Dr W. Cramond of Cullen in 1903, who sent photographs of the Stone. As this is probably the first instance reported of a cup-marked tombstone in Scotland, we shall await with interest a description, with an illustration of these cup-marks, from the pen of Mr J. G. Callander, who has promised to examine the marks.
No. 3. Hilton, Glass, Aberdeenshire.-This group, as well as the next, was first noticed many years ago by Mr James M'William, farmer at Chapel Hill, in the parish of Glass. It was, however, only in 1903 that, in a letter describing the Stone Circle at Huntly, Mr M'William referred to some cup- and ring-marked Stones located near his farm. Both the Stones had, in the meantime, been acquired by the proprietor, J. W. Grant, Esq., of Beldorney; and, on my writing to him for particulars, Mr Grant supplemented verbal information by presenting to the Museum a cast of the larger Stone. From this and a rubbing the annexed illustrations (figs. 22 and 23) were made. The larger one represents a portion of the flattish upper surface of a diorite boulder of which the cup-marked part measures 2 feet 1 inch by 1 foot 8 inches. 1 Proceedings, vol. xxxvi. p. 568.
9 9 9 9 10
Fig. 22. Cups and Rings on Boulder at Hilton, Glass, Aberdeenshire.
It contains twenty-nine cups, one, near the centre, quite an oval; and, in addition, a small but very distinct oblong "cup." One of the middlesized cups has a distinct ring and two grooves, and, in the majority of the others, short vague grooves are also traceable. The largest cups are 4 inches wide and 2 inches deep, the smallest 1 inches wide and only inch deep.
The other drawing shows a fragment only of a block of diorite, also from the neighbourhood of Hilton (fig. 25). Eleven cups can be traced on it, two of them being surrounded with rings. One cup is remarkably small and the largest is about 3 inches in diameter.
No. 4. Bluebell Wood, Langside.-The first notice of the Stone incised with the design shown below was due to Mr W. A. Donnelly, who contributed a description and a sketch to The Glasgow Evening Times of 25th June 1902. Later, Mr Ludovic Mann, at my request, sent me certain notes he had taken of the cup- and ring-marks. But prior to this, the Stone itself had, on the instigation of Mr Donnelly, I think, been removed from its site in the wood, and placed near one of the entrances to the new Kelvinside Museum. There I saw it and made measurements in July 1903.
The Bluebell Wood lies in a curving line to the west and south of Langside House, and the cup-marked Stone was at a point in the southern extremity of the wood, above and north of the river Cart.
It is interesting to be able also to record that the longer axis of the Stone lay almost precisely north and south, and the opposite axis east and west.1
The Stone is of a hard, whitish sandstone, a good deal weathered and rounded at the edges. It measures 4 feet 9 inches in length and 3 feet 2 inches in breadth, and varies in thickness from 2 feet 6 inches to 1 foot 7 inches. The striation of the Stone has helped to efface the cuttings, which, though perfectly clear and measurable, are shallow in proportion
1 Though the fact that the Stone has for long been used as a seat must prevent us from laying much stress upon the position of the marks, there is no evidence to show that it was moved into its recent site.