Thursday 1 May 2003
We just glanced at this from the car as time was a bit short, but I’ve been before. It’s an interesting if ‘messy’ site that I’d have liked to investigate further, but some farmy-type blokes appeared and made me feel uncomfortable.
Nothing to add to what’s been said except that I guess it reminded me a bit of Pitnacree with more stones!!
This site would be easy to miss if it were not marked on the OS map as a Tumulus. It originally comprised of a barrow surrounded by a stone circle that may have been as much as 22.0m in diameter (according to the OS map of 1900). Over the years the barrow has been quarried away in places, so that it is now only 14.0m in diameter. Five stones are visible - two standing in their original positions, and a third incorporated into the wall of the field which may be in its original position. One other stone has fallen, and the fifth only just protrudes out of the ground. At the farmhouse to the N (NN 8236 4947) is a large rock with cup-marks which is thought not to be in it's original position. Whether or not it ever formed a part of the circle is unclear.
Balhomais is a confused site, overgrown, with scattered stones. From the top of the barrow grow two pine trees, said to have been used by the Menzies family from nearby Castle Menzies as gallows.
Balhomais lies on the B846 about 1km before the Dull turning, beside the farm road of the same name. There is a tumulus or cairn here, by the north side of the road, and the remains of what may have been a circle. Only the northern and western sides remain, along with a jumble of other stones by the cairn, one of which must have been pretty impressive when upright. Fallen, it is easily 2m in length. The stone in the most SW position has had an area chiselled out in the past, roughly the shape of a crescent.
Canmore suggests a diameter of 66' feet for the circle, but also states that things have changed over the years - the barrow has been partially quarried away on the east side, and 5 stones were noted originally, one of which became incorporated into the wall by the roadside.
Local tradition holds that the trees on this cairn were used as the gallows for the Menzies family (Menzies Castle is just along the road.) The trees there are apparently three hundred years old according to my informant, who lives nearby in Dull.
Directions - Head N from Perth on the A9. After approximately 35.0km, take the road to the right for Aberfeldy at the Ballinluig junction. The road (A827) curves round and back over the A9. Continue through Logierait, and follow the signs for Aberfeldy, which is approximately 15.0km after Logierait. Continue into Aberfeldy until you reach the cross-roads with the traffic lights, where you turn right onto the B846. Balhomais is on the right, approximately 1.5km after you pass Castle Menzies.