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Bullaun Stone

Also known as:
  • Wailing Stone
  • Basin Stone

Nearest Town:Inverness (6km SE)
OS Ref (GB):   NH621498 / Sheet: 26
Latitude:57° 31' 2.64" N
Longitude:   4° 18' 9.24" W

Added by Rhiannon

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A tradition exists regarding the stone. It seems that some fifty years ago an old man who occupied the farm of Taendore carried the stone to his house, either from a belief of some latent virtue or for more prosaic purposes. For three successive nights after its removal the family were disturbed by loud, mysterious noises, which on the third night reached a climax. The sounds were intensified, cattle bellowed, dogs howled all over the valley, and a dread voice, in tones of thunder, exclaimed in distinct syllables, "Put back that stone!" Instant obedience was given by the terror-stricken inmates, and the stone has rested untouched since then, and its mystic guardian has been silent.

Whispers are not uncommon in the district, that the stone also possesses hidden virtues similar to those of the font at Killianan on Loch Ness and other stones, when childless women bathe in its cloud-drawn waters immediately before sunrise.
From p387 of 'On cup-marked stones in the neighbourhood of Inverness' by William Jolly, in v16 of PSAS (1881/2).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
21st December 2010ce


A curious story is attached to an ancient stone, embedded in the ground, in a beechwood on the estate of Alangrange, near Arpafeelie, Black Isle, Ross-shire. The stone, roughly oblong, contains a circular cavity, about eight inches across and eight or nine inches deep, which is very carefully formed out of the hard rock. The stone lies a few yards south of a prehistoric "hut circle" of which there are three pairs, situated on a ridge, called Taendore--Gaelic, Tigh-an-druidbh-- house of the Druids. It is of the class known as Basin Stones.


After a lapse of years the following sequel in events [to the story in PSAS] occurred. In March 1937 permission was given to the Curator of the Inverness Highland Museum, by the owner of Alangrange for the removal of the stone to the Museum. In view of this, two local residents went to examine the stone and accidentally turned it over on one side, leaving it lying thus unnoticed. Forty-eight hours later, the family at Taendore received news of the death of a child relative, caused by an accident. Also a sheep farmer, residing at the same farm, suddenly collapsed while escorting a cousin to her car. Whether or not these incidents were regarded as coincidences, or as acts of diabolical agency, the owner of the estate felt compelled by force of local and family feeling, to cancel the permission for removal of the stone, which she had given so recently.

It, therefore, rests in its original home at Arpafeelie, apparently for all time, as to this day none of the local country people will approach within near distance of the stone.

These later events in the history of the stone, were recorded, at the time, by the Curator of the Museum, in the Inverness Courier, 1937.

There was also a belief that the rainwater contained in the basin of this stone, was a cure for barrenness. "Childless women visited the stone and bathed in its water before sunrise" (Pro.Soc. of Antiquaries Scot. Vol. XVI, p387). This "cure" was resorted to up to the year 1882, at least.
The Arpafeelie Basin Stone
E. J. Begg
Folklore, Vol. 61, No. 3. (Sep., 1950), p. 152.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
5th October 2006ce
Edited 21st December 2010ce

Amongst the remains of the easternmost of six stone-walled round huts here there is a stone, in which is cut an 8" deep/diameter cup. The information in the National Monuments of Scotland record says it is locally supposed to have curative properties and is/was known as the "Wailing Stone". Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
26th May 2005ce
Edited 5th October 2006ce


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Highland HER Record

Someones submitted a nice pic of the stone now to the Highland HER :-)
summerlands Posted by summerlands
7th June 2011ce