Drive east out of Port Ellen, past the school, and take the first track to your left (north). The stone is a little way uphill on your right. Access over the drystone wall via an old wooden stile.
It was our last day on Islay and we had to be up to catch the early morning ferry. However, I couldn't resist a quick 'cheeky visit' to one more 'old stone' before departing.
The stone is huge (well over 2m) and covered in the 'hairy' lichen I have become so fond of. This is a lovely rugged part of Islay with fine coastal views. I have really enjoyed my brief visit to Islay and Jura and would highly recommend others to do so if possible. The scenery is great, the people friendly and excellent places to visit. It was even sunny! (and they have a mobile chippy on a Friday and Saturday night in Port Ellen) - what more can you ask for!
I can see the ferry coming into port. Quick run required back to the car to make sure we don't miss it! :)
I have visited this site many times, since my late father comes from Islay and I have been going there since I was a child (most recently in 2005). The stone stands in front of a small hillock called Cnoc Mor - 'The Great Hill' - an odd name as it is only about two metres tall. In the same field, Pairc Bhaile Neill, are the remains of a chapel, Cille Lasrach, and a similarly named ancient well, Tobar Cille Lasrach. Lasrach is form of Lasair, a saint, but Maceacharna in The Lands of the Lordship notes that the word also relates to 'a feminine word meaning a flame'. Interestingly if you pass this site on the small road leading off the the main road from Port Ellen to Ardbeg you soon come to another site - Kilbride. Saint/Goddess Bride is sometimes linked with Lasair.
Source of quote: MACEACHARNA, DOMHNALL The Lands of the Lordship; the Romance of Islay's Names
Argyll Reproductions, Isle of Islay 1st ed 1976.
Monstrously tall, roughly 14 feet high, 3feet wide and 18 inches thick, on a WNW/ESE axis, and about ten metres from a rocky outcrop (possible ur-sacred site?).
The material is a dark blue stone covered – above the level of livestock using it as a rubbing post – in that stringy green lichen that you only find in places with very clean air. There is a fabulous view out to the open sea.
Clearly visible on your left as you go along the A846 from Port Ellen/Port Eilein to Ardbeg. Don't bunk the fence – there's a stile by a dip in the wall beside the minor road that runs up from opposite the new water treatment works into the hills.