NM0248 : The Ringing Stone - cup marked erratic, North Tiree

taken 8 months ago, near to Vaul, Argyll And Bute, Great Britain

The Ringing Stone - cup marked erratic, North Tiree
The Ringing Stone - cup marked erratic, North Tiree
"At Balphetrish there is the famous Ringing Stone. Its dimensions are 7 feet by 6 square, and 4 1/2 feet thick. It is of a dull grey colour, very hard and compact, and totally different from the surrounding rocks. It is evidently spotted with stars of black mica. Its hardness is so great that it is not possible with a common hammer to break off even the smallest bit. It is not intersected by any vein or cutter. Its solidity and equal texture must account for the clear metallic sound, for when struck on any place with a stone or a hammer, it sounds or rings like brass or cast iron. It has for ages past excited the admiration of the common people."
The Scots Magazine vol.60, p.737 (1798) quoted in Modern Antiquarian: LinkExternal link
The Ringing Stone
Also called in Gaelic: Clach Na Choire; Clach A' Choire; Clach-a-coille.
The boulder is a granite glacial erratic, brought by ice from the Island of Rum. It is known locally as 'The Ringing Stone' because of the metallic ring it produces when struck. It is situated on the N coast of Tiree 1.8km NE of Balephetrish. Measuring about 3.4m by 2.4m and 1.8m in height, it lies balanced on the rocks some 15m inland from high-water mark. On its sides and upper surface it bears at least fifty-three circular or oval depressions, of which twenty are large and usually oval in shape, measuring up to 230mm by 150mm across and 60mm deep LinkExternal link the remainder are smaller and predominantly circular, averaging 70mm in diameter and 10mm in depth. The similarity with artificial cup-marked rocks elsewhere in Britain suggests that these too may be prehistoric in origin, Neolithic or early Bronze Age in date.
Canmore: LinkExternal link
Information board (situated nearby): LinkExternal link
It is claimed that if Clach a' Choire 'ever shatters or falls off the pedestal of small stones on which it rests, Tiree will sink beneath the waves' Tiree place names: LinkExternal link
3D image and further information from North of Scotland Archaeological Society: LinkExternal link
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NM0248, 20 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 12 July, 2017   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 18 July, 2017
Geographical Context
Coastal  Historic sites and artefacts  Islands  Estuary, Marine 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NM 0268 4869 [10m precision]
WGS84: 56:32.1507N 6:50.2812W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NM 02684 48700
View Direction
East-southeast (about 112 degrees)
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Image Type (about): close look 
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