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Luath's Stone

Standing Stone / Menhir

<b>Luath's Stone</b>Posted by theloniousImage © thelonious
Also known as:
  • Macbeth's Stone
  • Lulach's Stone

Nearest Town:Inverurie (14km NE)
OS Ref (GB):   NJ6415 / Sheet: 37
Latitude:57° 13' 27.69" N
Longitude:   2° 35' 46.57" W

Added by Rhiannon

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<b>Luath's Stone</b>Posted by thelonious <b>Luath's Stone</b>Posted by thelonious <b>Luath's Stone</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Luath's Stone</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Luath's Stone</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Luath's Stone</b>Posted by thelonious <b>Luath's Stone</b>Posted by thelonious <b>Luath's Stone</b>Posted by thelonious <b>Luath's Stone</b>Posted by thelonious <b>Luath's Stone</b>Posted by thelonious <b>Luath's Stone</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Luath's Stone</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Luath's Stone</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Luath's Stone</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Luath's Stone</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Luath's Stone</b>Posted by drewbhoy <b>Luath's Stone</b>Posted by rockartuk <b>Luath's Stone</b>Posted by rockartuk


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What an absolute belter of a stone this is set between two hills, called Green Hill and White Hill. These two colours seem very very familiar to me but I'll know I'll try hard not to make a football connection. Possibly it was put up by the Ancient Celts, well that didn't last long!!!!

I reached the site via Whitehill RSC, easily reached following the forestry track. After that, according to the forestry map take the next path west and uphill. This I did. Several problems here, very rubbly, lots of fallen down trees and then it eventually vanishes opposite a massive pile of stones over a wee valley. Without injuring myself I headed west and uphill which to my surprise led to the path I was supposed to on. From here over the top of White Hill and about 100 meters from the summit northern side look south over the fence. (the middle bit isn't barbed) Luath's stone is fantastically situated with tremendous views south. I've never been here before but I instantly love it even managing, skillfully in my opinion, to trip and take a photograph at the same time. So I sat for a time, no noise except birds and a slight wind, perfect peace in the summer heat.

To get back down there is a type of path but its basically guess. I went down the valley until I saw the main path reappear. Long legs are a good idea as well. Take care not to be pancaked by mountain cyclists. From there back down the hill past the RSC to the car park.

Visited 4/07/2011.
drewbhoy Posted by drewbhoy
4th July 2011ce

These first two photographs were taken in 2004. The first is looking NE, the second shows the view looking SSW. On several visits to the stone I have searched for outliers and found none. My conclusions are that they either never existed or were removed at sometime in the distant past (Canmore shows photographs from early 1900s....again, no outliers visible). Packing stones are to be seen around the base of the stone and a comparison with these earlier photographs from the early 1900s shows there to have been some erosion of the ground surface around the stone.
The stone itself is heavily laden with lichen on its SW face; the NE face has a marked ridge running the length of the stone. The vertical edges have noticeable notches in them.
The stone is set in a saddle between two hills with a good open aspect to the S and SSW (possibly good for lunar observations hereabouts). There are possible signs of this stone having been a part of a ritual landscape since other possible standing stones/marked stones may be found with thorough searching on the approach to Luath's Stone from the SW.
Posted by jumble jim
15th March 2007ce
Edited 15th March 2007ce


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This is from WD Simpson's 'Notes on Lulach's Stone, Kildrummy' (which is actually another stone of the same name):
On Green Hill, in the parish of Tough (O.S. 6 inches, Aberdeenshire, sheet Ixiii.), is a similar monolith, also called Lulach's or Luath's Stone; and the tradition attached to each pillar is that it marks the place where Lulach, stepson of Macbeth, was overtaken and killed after his father's defeat and death at Lumphanan (15th August 1057). The historical facts about Lulach the Fatuous are briefly as follows. He was a son of Macbeth's wife, Gruoch, by her previous husband, Gillacomgain, of the ancient house of Moravia, and himself a cousin of Macbeth. After Macbeth was defeated and killed by Malcolm Canmore, Lulach carried on his stepfather's claims, but himself was killed at Essie, in Strathbogie, on 17th March 1058, and, like his stepfather, was buried in lona. Two sources aver that Lulach was killed by Malcolm in battle, but another says that he died by treachery.
From the April 12 1926 Proceedings of the Scottish Archaeological Society. Online here via the ADS:
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
14th March 2007ce
Edited 16th March 2007ce

"Luath's Stone on the hillside some distance north of Whitehouse Station on the Alford railway, is reputed to mark the site of the death of "Luath," said to be a son of Macbeth.
Some doubt must attach to the tradition, which is repeated in connection with another site a good many miles away; even the existence of a son so-called is doubtful. The colour of the stone suggests that the present name may have been derived from the Gaelic word liath, meaning "grey"—the "Grey Stone" and nothing more".

Folklore of the Aberdeen Stone Circles and Standing Stones by James Ritchie
Proceedings of The Society of Antiquities of Scotland. Vol LX.20
May 10 1926
fitzcoraldo Posted by fitzcoraldo
15th October 2004ce

CuChullin's dog was called Luath - it means 'swift' in Gaelic. Sometimes you want to know where your dog is - it's hard to keep an eye on it when it's dashing about everywhere. So CuChullin would occasionally tie Luath with a bit of string to this stone, when he needed to get on with things undistracted.

The stone is 10ft tall, and stands on a saddle between two hills. It is mentioned in James MacPherson's 'The Poems of Ossian' which he compiled in 1761. (

F R Coles (1903*) was told locally that the stone was sometimes called Macbeth's Stone.

*I don't know what this article is though - but it's mentioned on the RCAHMS record for the site.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
26th May 2004ce
Edited 14th March 2007ce