The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian



<b>Scotland</b>Posted by nickbrandSheriffmuir Stone Row © nickbrand
To make it easier for contributors to add new sites, the pages for Scotland are currently being reorganised according to the present Scottish Council areas.
A map of these can be seen on the Gazetteer for Scotland website.
Also known as:
  • Alba

See individual sites for details

Show  |  Hide
Web searches for Scotland

Sites/Groups in this region:

62 posts
677 sites
6 posts
142 sites
6 posts
361 sites
Argyll and Bute (Mainland)
288 sites
Central Scotland
10 posts
252 sites
Dumfries and Galloway
8 posts
60 sites
156 sites
Highland (Islands)
45 posts
522 sites
Highland (Mainland)
3 posts
92 sites
89 posts
309 sites
29 posts
419 sites
Perth and Kinross
3 posts
102 sites
Scottish Borders
8 posts
64 sites
The Shetland Isles
16 sites
South Ayrshire
7 posts
67 sites
2 posts
133 sites
The Western Isles


Add news Add news

Amateur archaeologist finds ‘phenomenal’ trove of rock engravings

From The Guardian...

"An amateur archaeologist has tracked down hundreds of prehistoric rock engravings in Scotland in what has been described as a “phenomenal” contribution to the understanding of Britain’s earliest artworks... continues...
1speed Posted by 1speed
26th September 2016ce

Database of Scotland's ancient rock art to be created.

"A digital database of Scotland's Neolithic and early Bronze Age rock art is to be created.

About 6,000 rocks are known in Britain to have ancient cup and ring carvings. More than 2,000 of the sites are found in Scotland... continues...
harestonesdown Posted by harestonesdown
30th June 2016ce
Edited 1st July 2016ce

Nan Shepherd to appear on Scottish bank note

Great news! Scientist Mary Somerville too.

Robert Macfarlane, writer and Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, welcomed the choice of Ms Shepherd for the £5 note... continues...
tjj Posted by tjj
25th April 2016ce

Hunter-gatherers roamed Cairngorms 10,000 years ago

Excavations at sites deep in the glens, on the National Trust for Scotland’s (NTS) Mar Lodge Estate in Aberdeenshire, have produced radiocarbon dates which demonstrate a human presence as far back as 8,100 BCE.

The Scotsman
BBC News
LesHamilton Posted by LesHamilton
10th July 2015ce
Edited 13th July 2015ce

Earliest evidence of the presence of humans in Scotland found in South Lanarkshire

From Historic Scotland:

9 April 2014 Archaeologists have uncovered the earliest evidence of the presence of humans in Scotland it was announced today... continues...
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
9th April 2014ce

Scottish heritage bodies to merge

TWO of Scotland's main heritage bodies are to merge, it has been confirmed.

The Scottish Government published a strategy document for the "historic environment" yesterday as Fiona Hyslop, the culture secretary, launched a Bill to address the management of the nation's built heritage... continues...
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
7th March 2014ce

RCAHMS Review Update (April)

News for the Scots to think about.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
25th April 2012ce

Scottish prehistoric mummies made from jigsaw of body parts

DNA tests on British prehistoric mummies revealed they were made of body parts from several different people, arranged to look like one person.

The four bodies discovered in 2001 on South Uist, in Scotland's Outer Hebrides were the first evidence in Britain of deliberate mummification... continues...
1speed Posted by 1speed
22nd August 2011ce
Edited 22nd August 2011ce

Scotland's World Heritage Sites Celebration Planned

Scotlands 5 World Heritage sites are to link up with a series of interactive events exploring the theme of cultural identity. Includes Neolithic Orkney.

More info :

drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
21st March 2011ce

Reclusive American leaves Scotland his £2.5m fortune

A 79 year old recluse has left his fortune to the National Trust of Scotland. He had never visited apparently and his conception of Scotland was based on the film Brigadoon. His only friend, the barber, got the pug and a vet's bill.

tjj Posted by tjj
7th January 2011ce

Attractions Have Best Season On Record

Visitor numbers soar at the nation's historic sites.

Mentioned are Skara Brae plus Edinburgh and Urquhart Castles both at one time hillforts.

More info :
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
21st December 2010ce
Edited 21st December 2010ce

Scotland countryside petition

Ramblers Scotland is backing a petition to force a Scottish Government review on unsightly vehicular hill tracks and electrified deer fencing in the Scottish countryside. "Neither requires planning permission and both cause scars on our wild landscapes" says Helen todd, Ramblers Scotland's development officer... continues...
tjj Posted by tjj
9th June 2010ce
Edited 9th June 2010ce

Mathematical analysis of Scottish Stone Art points to lost language?

At New Scientist web site:

"Elaborate symbols and ornate depictions of animals carved in stone by an ancient Scottish people have given up their secret – to mathematics. Statistical analysis reveals that the shapes are a forgotten written language... continues...
mascot Posted by mascot
1st April 2010ce
Edited 1st April 2010ce

Iron Age Gold Goes On Public View

Four solid gold Iron Age neck ornaments which were found by an amateur metal detector have gone on display. Here is the BBC video continues...
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
20th January 2010ce
Edited 20th January 2010ce

Ancient arrowhead a 'chance find' at Sutherland school

Archaeologists have made what they described as a "chance discovery" of a stone arrowhead in the garden of a ruined schoolhouse in Sutherland.

Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division (Guard) said it may have been dropped by a hunter... continues...
The Eternal Posted by The Eternal
16th January 2010ce
Edited 16th January 2010ce

Canmore database modernized!

In a silent move, the RCAHMS switched to a state-of-the-art update of the good old Canmore database on 11th March 2009.
It really looks much better and there are obvious advantages over the old format like direct access instead of a log-in procedure and, when available, a 10-digit gridref... continues...
rockartuk Posted by rockartuk
13th March 2009ce
Edited 13th March 2009ce

Discovery & Excavation in Scotland online

Now downloadable at as a .pdf for each year from 1947-2001. However these are facsimiles, so you really need to know which year you want as these won't be truly searchable
wideford Posted by wideford
23rd October 2007ce

10,000 historic sites at risk from climate change

MORE THAN 10,000 of the most important ancient and historical sites around Scotland's coastline are at risk of being destroyed by the storms and rising sea levels that will come with global warming.

Sites in jeopardy include the neolithic settlement of Skara Brae on Orkney and the prehistoric ruins at Jarlshof on Shetland... continues...
moss Posted by moss
24th September 2007ce

J.W. Cursiter collection online

The Hunterian museum is re-assembling his(mostly Northern Isles) donation and adding this to their catalogue as they go
At present this is text-only but images will be added over the coming months
wideford Posted by wideford
3rd August 2007ce

Scotland's magical ancient circles leave Stonehenge standing continues...
nickbrand Posted by nickbrand
3rd November 2006ce
Edited 30th August 2007ce

Heatwave reveals Scotland's past

A heatwave has revealed fleeting traces of early settlements to historians taking a bird's eye view of Scotland... continues...
nickbrand Posted by nickbrand
22nd August 2006ce
Edited 1st September 2007ce


Add folklore Add folklore
The name "Thunderbolt" was also given in Scotland to stone axes until within recent years. A finely formed axe of aphanite found in Berwickshire, and presented to the Museum in 1876, was obtained about twenty years before from a blacksmith in whose smithy it had long lain. It was known in the district as "the thunderbolt," and had probably been preserved in the belief that it had fallen from the sky.

In Shetland stone axes were said to protect from thunder the houses inwhich they were preserved. One found at Tingwall was acquired from an old woman in Scalloway, who believed it to be a "thunderbolt," and "of efficacy in averting evil from the dwelling in which it was kept;" while another, believed to have "fallen from the skies during a thunderstorm," was preserved in the belief that "it brought good luck to the house."

In the North-East of Scotland they "were coveted as the sure bringers of success, provided they were not allowed to fall to the ground."

In the British Museum there is a very fine axe of polished green quartz, mounted in silver, which is stated to have been sewed to a belt which was worn round the waist by a Scottish officer as a cure for kidney disease.

The late Sir Daniel Wilson mentions an interesting tradition regarding the large perforated stone hammers, which he says were popularly known in Scotland almost till the close of last century as "Purgatory Hammers," for the dead to knock with at the gates of Purgatory.
From 'Scottish Charms and Amulets' by Geo. F. Black. (In v27 of PSAS -1893, p433).
You can check out his sources in the footnotes at
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
11th June 2008ce

Mr. Stuart adverted to the varying circumstances under which flint arrowheads were found. The popular belief which long regarded them as "elf-darts," and which was not confined to Scotland, had been expressed by the well-known Scottish geographer, Robert Gordon of Straloch, about two centuries ago. After giving some details about them, he adds that these wonderful stones are sometimes found in the fields, and in public and beaten roads, but never by searching for them; to-day perhaps one will be found where yesterday nothing could be seen, and in the afternoon in places where before noon there was none, and this most freqently under clear skies and in summer days. He then gives instances related to him by a man and woman of credit, each of whom while riding found an arrowhead in their clothes in this unexpected way.
Described on p174 of 'The Gentleman's Magazine' Jan-June 1861.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
15th September 2007ce
Edited 15th September 2007ce


Add miscellaneous Add miscellaneous

Ackergill Links ND35NW 9
November 1st 1864 "The Orcadian" excavation of cists by Mr Laing April 24th 1866 "The Orcadian" Petrie says the mound is natural September 18th 1866 "The Orcadian" Laing gives reasons why Long Mound is not wholly natural

Birkle Hills ? ND35NW 5 ?
October 3rd 1865 "The Orcadian" from "John O'Groat's Journal"

Birkle Hills ND35NW 5
October 3rd 1865 "The Orcadian" from "John O'Groat's Journal"
April 24th 1866 "The Orcadian"
September 18th 1866 "The Orcadian"
October 18th 1893 "Orkney Herald"

December 3rd 1870 "The Orcadian" previous Tuesday 2 E/W aligned cists found 6' apart in gravelly eminence at W end of Dingwall a few feet under clay subsoil. One disturbed previously, other had two decorated urns in fragments with human bones at eastern end

Ha' of Bowermadden ND26SW 7
October 3rd 1865 "The Orcadian" from "John O'Groat's Journal"

Keiss North/White ND36SE 3 Keiss White Gate Broch
October 18th 1893 "Orkney Herald"

Keiss Road ND36SW 1 Churchyard Mound / Churchyard Road Broch / Kirk Toft
September 18th 1866 "The Orcadian"
October 18th 1893 "Orkney Herald"

Keiss South ND36SE 2 Harbour Mound
October 18th 1893 "Orkney Herald"

Kettleburn ND35SW 11
November 8th 1864 "The Orcadian" from "John O'Groat's Journal" cists have been found in adjacent field on Long Hills ridge October 3rd 1865 "The Orcadian" from "John O'Groat's Journal" referred to as only properly explored broch in Caithness, dug by Henry Rhind

April 24th 1866 "The Orcadian" worked iron fragment found in chambered tomb in middle of Kirkatahos moor on hill/ridge

Long Hills
November 8th 1864 "The Orcadian" from "John O'Groat's Journal" in next field to Kettleburn broch 4' by 3' cinerary cist found on Long Hills ridge. Similar cists have come from the ridge in the past and a bronze brooch found in one by landowner James Henderson of Bilbister sent to Society of Antiquaries museum

Thurso ND16NW 17
July 22nd 1896 Orkney Herald" discovery location and description
November 1st 1864 "The Orcadian" roughly 2 years before Ackergill Links ND35NW 9 dug J.G.T. Sinclair of Ulbster excavated Bronze Age cist in conical mound on a hill summit in Yarrows with skeleton similarly interred with shore material brought from some distance away. Found with bronze spearhead, 10" long porphyry lance-head, black clay-slate.battle axe with 7" blade, porphyry knife and arrowheads, broken black stone knife and a mallet head broken at the ends

Wester Broch ? ND35NW 4 ?
October 3rd 1865 "The Orcadian" from "John O'Groat's Journal"

Wester Broch ND35NW 4 Keiss Wester Broch
October 3rd 1865 "The Orcadian" from "John O'Groat's Journal"
April 24th 1866 "The Orcadian"
September 18th 1866 "The Orcadian"
October 18th 1893 "Orkney Herald" reporters did not have time to look at
wideford Posted by wideford
21st January 2016ce
Edited 21st January 2016ce

Insular stone Circles :-
In a talk on Wednesday by Colin Richards his subject was the Stone Circles in Orkney and Lewis, which contrary to expectation turned out to be of different natures and for different purposes. Those in Orkney are constructed of material from seperate areas (Stones of Stenness five different sandstones, Ring of Brodgar twelve different geologies in distinct segments of the circle that significantly aren't always curved arcs) whilst those on Lewis are built of rock from their immediate vicinity (also the evidence is that both Orcadian circles were intentionally incomplete, from which he infers the rituals of the construction were an end in themselves). His ?new idea is that those on Orkney had place as the key factor (place of origin, spatial community) whilst those on Lewis had folk as the key factor (family, dispersed community [moiety ?] }.
From which is extrapolated that our obsession with geometry and algnments isn't theirs, that what looks incomplete to us is meant as is, and that whatever comes after is most likely not the original intent, that being the construction process itself.
wideford Posted by wideford
16th May 2008ce
Edited 16th May 2008ce


Add a link Add a link

Forestry Commission For Scotland

Handy enough site this and some prehistoric places as well including Clune Wood.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
24th August 2012ce

The Heritage Journal: Scubi's Scottish Adventures: Part 4. Tomb of the Eagles

"I left Banks very happy and made my way to the Tomb of the Eagles. In comparison to Banks this place seems better organised in terms of signage and parking. I paid my entry fee (£6.80 I think it was) and was led into an adjoining room where a member of the staff was talking to a small group of visitors about the tomb."
Littlestone Posted by Littlestone
8th July 2011ce
Edited 8th July 2011ce

The Heritage Journal: Scubi's Scottish Adventures: Part 3. Banks Tomb

"I was awoken at 5am by some other person arriving and parking right next to me with their radio blasting out… what is it with people and their need to make as much noise as possible regardless of what other people might think… I was very glad when the ferry arrived and I booked in, boarded and sat down somewhere quiet."
Littlestone Posted by Littlestone
4th July 2011ce
Edited 4th July 2011ce

The Heritage Journal: Scubi's Scottish Adventures: Part 2

"After successfully transferring from train to bus and finally plane, I arrived in a reasonably sunny Inverness. It was about 4pm and after picking up the hire car I made my way towards the Bronze Age Clava Cairns, a short distance east from the city. On the way I noticed a sign for the Culloden battle field and decided to take a quick look (well, I was already going past it after all)..."
Littlestone Posted by Littlestone
16th June 2011ce
Edited 16th June 2011ce

Archaic sculpturings of cups, circles, &c. upon stones and rocks in Scotland

Archaic sculpturings of cups, circles, &c. upon stones and rocks in Scotland, England and other countries

Sir J. Y. Simpson, Bart., M.D., D.C.L. - 1867

Download the complete book in pdf format
Chance Posted by Chance
18th July 2010ce

National Library of Scotland

Many old maps of Scotland, all searchable and zoom-inable, including 25 inch to the mile OS maps from 1855-1882. Luvly.

(As kindly tipped off by Branwen).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
11th February 2010ce
Edited 13th February 2010ce

Above Scotland gallery

loads of photos taken from the new RCAHMS book of aerial photos, plenty to drool over
wideford Posted by wideford
2nd January 2010ce

Historic Scotland

Another good site for researching Scottish sites
ginger tt Posted by ginger tt
16th September 2009ce


Great site for getting information on prehistoric monuments in Scotland.
ginger tt Posted by ginger tt
16th September 2009ce
Edited 16th September 2009ce

Latest posts for Scotland

Showing 1-10 of 32,411 posts. Most recent first | Next 10

Argyll and Bute (Mainland) — News

4,000 Year Old Bronze Age Axe Heads Found In Argyll
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
27th October 2016ce

Witches Stone (Monzie) (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>Witches Stone (Monzie)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Witches Stone (Monzie)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Witches Stone (Monzie)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Witches Stone (Monzie)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat<b>Witches Stone (Monzie)</b>Posted by thesweetcheat thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
26th October 2016ce

Black Wood (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Arriving back at the gates we climbed over and headed east. Take the second forestry track heading south east, then at the crossroads head east. Walk about 200 meters and head to the north of the track a short distance.

The almost 2 metres in length stone, sadly, no longer stands. It has fallen or more likely felt the back end of a forestry machine. A socket remains so they could put it back up on top of the small knoll. From this vantage point this could well have been a marker for many prehistoric in the area. Slightly to the north of the stone sits a huge glacerial rock.

Visited 22/10/2016.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
26th October 2016ce

Black Wood Of Leys (Kerbed Cairn) — Fieldnotes

Once again at these woods we parked at the Inverness end of these woods about a 1/2 mile north of the Tomfat Chamber Cairn. Once again the condition of the entrance to the walks car park was a shambles and the gates were closed so I parked as close to the side as I could.

The Black Wood Of Leys cairn is just to west of the road, the B861, north west of the gates. Look closely and the one remaining standing kerb can a be seen. The white amongst the heather easily spotted. To get to it another 1/4 of a mile must be walked to get clear of the thick strip of furze, whins, gorse etc. A wee path leads straight to the cairn.

The one remaining kerb makes the site easy to fine amongst the heather. At least another 5 other kerbs can be seen, all fallen. Sadly the cairn has been 'houked out'. Still it is quite an impressive little site standing at over 7 meters wide and just short of 1 metre tall.

A fine start to the afternoon.

Visited 22/10/2016.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
26th October 2016ce

Black Wood Of Leys West (Cairn(s)) — Images

<b>Black Wood Of Leys West</b>Posted by drewbhoy<b>Black Wood Of Leys West</b>Posted by drewbhoy drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
26th October 2016ce
Showing 1-10 of 32,411 posts. Most recent first | Next 10