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Strathardle and Glen Brerachan

A friend, George, had mentioned to me a short while ago that he had come across a standing stone on Drumderg, north of Blairgowrie and a bit northwest of the Tullymurdoch stones. It wasn't marked on the map and there's nothing in Canmore about it, so I decided to go and take a look. Having finished all my chores in the morning, I took off at the back of one or so for Alyth, then headed NW up across the area still known as the Forest of Alyth, now sadly mostly moorland. George had given me a good map reference for the stone, and as I drove along I soon spotted it a couple of hundred metres in from the road. Drumderg stands around 1.7 metres tall, and is rather obviously a favourite rubbing stone for the sheep! Amazing views to the north, west and south, on a gloriously sunny day. I spent some time here just looking round, reflecting on another April 16th, on another more northerly moorland, some 257 years ago...

It was too good an afternoon to waste! Out with the maps, and then heading over to the A93 I turned south to Bridge of Cally, then took the A924 NW into Strathardle. About 7 km up this road 'Standing Stones' are marked on the map at Stylemouth. And it's not lying! Balnabroich is a single standing stone in a field just to the south of the road. The field was empty of stock so I nipped in to photograph it. Last year, for some reason, this was enclosed in a cage, but is now free to roam again... Looking around, I saw a small tree-covered mound just a couple of hundred metres SE, just beside a farm road. There seemed to be a large lump of something in among the trees. I wandered back, curious, and Balnabroich 2-poster hove into view - a pair of stones in amongst the trees! A lovely little spot, though my visit was tempered with quite a few glances over my shoulder to the field next to the mound, which housed an extremely large bull. The fence between us was about 3 strands of low wire, and would not have caused him any problems had he decided to make an issue of it. The day was too hot, though, and he lay placidly chewing the cud as I beat my retreat... I decided against the trek uphill northwards to Balnabroich, where there is apparently the remains of a circle. Another day, perhaps...

A bit further up the road there are two stones at the roadside just past Enochdhu. The first, Wester Enochdhu, has recently had most of the undergrowth cut back around it. It's easily accessible, being only a couple of metres back from the road, though parking nearby is awkward. This proved to be the case too at West Wester Enochdhu, some 400 metres further on. I managed to park at a small cottage on the other side of the road, the lady there was very good about it. Another stone which stands just at the roadside.

I then headed further west to Straloch, where there is a stone just inside the field to the south of the road. Straloch is easily accessible, as there is a convenient layby just opposite the stone, and the farmer has provided a stile which makes life very easy - full marks to him. This oddly-shaped stone is over 2 metres tall, and the south face has strange diagonal striping on it, which shows up well in a couple of the photographs.

Last call of the day was around 2 kilometres further on at Dalnavaid, a cup-marked rock in a field just south of the road. Park near Dalnavaid cottage (the phone box is a good marker) and ask permission to enter the field - readily granted. The stone itself sits around 200 metres in, on a little promontory just below the fence to the upper fields. A marvellous little cluster of around 18 cup-marks!

Then I retraced my route, stopping a few times along the way to watch the lambs frisking around the fields, enjoying the good weather. As I'm off to Mull for the Easter weekend, I just hope the weather lasts!

Drumderg — Fieldnotes

One of the Scottish Megaraks, George Currie, mentioned this stone to me. It's not marked on the OS Landranger map, but it's most definitely there. 200 m or so in from the road, just off a rough track. About 1.7 m tall, and 0.7 m wide, it stands proud with a terrific viewpoint north, west and south, just on the SW shoulder of Drumderg. It's obviously a great favourite with the sheep, too, as the eroded area round the base and traces of wool on the shaft show. From one angle it looks a bit like an upright axe-head.

Drumderg — Images

<b>Drumderg</b>Posted by nickbrand<b>Drumderg</b>Posted by nickbrand<b>Drumderg</b>Posted by nickbrand<b>Drumderg</b>Posted by nickbrand

Balnabroich Stone — Fieldnotes

There's a very small area on the north side of the road where it's possible to park. This is a pretty large chunk of rock, with no discernible markings on it. No stock in the field today, though there was an extremely large bull in the field next door! The stone is no longer in it's cage, however!

Balnabroich Stone — Images

<b>Balnabroich Stone</b>Posted by nickbrand<b>Balnabroich Stone</b>Posted by nickbrand<b>Balnabroich Stone</b>Posted by nickbrand<b>Balnabroich Stone</b>Posted by nickbrand

Balnabroich Two Poster — Fieldnotes

This tree-covered mound lies just beside a track down to a farm. Access is fairly straightforward, though parking can be awkward - I walked back from where I had parked near the single stone. These two large stones lie almost due E-W, in a sheltered location in amongst the trees. No discernible markings on them, though the eastern stone has several deep grooves in it - probably natural weathering.

Balnabroich Two Poster — Images

<b>Balnabroich Two Poster</b>Posted by nickbrand<b>Balnabroich Two Poster</b>Posted by nickbrand<b>Balnabroich Two Poster</b>Posted by nickbrand<b>Balnabroich Two Poster</b>Posted by nickbrand<b>Balnabroich Two Poster</b>Posted by nickbrand

Wester Enochdhu — Fieldnotes

The undergrowth here has been trimmed back withing the past couple of weeks, by the freshness of the stumps. The road's not busy, and it's a lovely peaceful little spot.

Wester Enochdhu — Images

<b>Wester Enochdhu</b>Posted by nickbrand<b>Wester Enochdhu</b>Posted by nickbrand

Croft House Stone — Fieldnotes

Right by the roadside, and a bit of difficulty parking - fortunately the lady who runs the B&B just up the road from here was very nice about letting me park in her driveway! This is another stone just by the roadside, about 1.5 m tall and no distinguishing marks on it.

Croft House Stone — Images

<b>Croft House Stone</b>Posted by nickbrand<b>Croft House Stone</b>Posted by nickbrand<b>Croft House Stone</b>Posted by nickbrand

Straloch Stone — Fieldnotes

Only sheep in the field today, and at the far end, so no being chased by bullocks as per Hamish! There's a very convenient layby and the stile is great!

The south face of the stone is marked by diagonal grooves, I assume they are weathering but very reminiscent of Tuilyies. Quite a dramatic stone, over 2 m tall.

Straloch Stone — Images

<b>Straloch Stone</b>Posted by nickbrand<b>Straloch Stone</b>Posted by nickbrand<b>Straloch Stone</b>Posted by nickbrand<b>Straloch Stone</b>Posted by nickbrand

Dalnavaid — Fieldnotes

Quite clearly marked on the Landranger map, about 200 m in from the cottage, near the fence between the hill field and the one you're in. Sits on a north-facing spur, quite easy to spot (the biggest stone at the end). About 18 cup-marks on the eastern side of the stone, quite clear and not too badly weathered.

Dalnavaid — Images

<b>Dalnavaid</b>Posted by nickbrand<b>Dalnavaid</b>Posted by nickbrand<b>Dalnavaid</b>Posted by nickbrand
nickbrand Posted by nickbrand
17th April 2003ce
Edited 17th April 2003ce

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