NN4795 : Clach Chathail standing stones near Melgarve

taken 11 years ago, near to Melgarve, Highland, Great Britain

Clach Chathail standing stones near Melgarve
Clach Chathail standing stones near Melgarve
This stone, broken in two pieces, is traditionally said to mark the grave of an Irishman called Cathelus, who ran off with Cluny MacPherson's daughter and was murdered on this spot about 250 years ago. The One-inch OS series shows it as "Uamh Clach Chathail", although there is no recorded cave associated with the stone. However, there is one traditionally associated with Cathelus in Creag Chathalain at NN 496 946. The name appears in the OS Name Book of 1870.

Clach Chathail is comparatively unweathered granite block, 0.8m high, of roughly square section tapering towards the top. Beside the base there is another recumbent block of granite of approximately the same dimensions as the standing stone. According to MacAskill (Mr MacAskill, Melgarve, Laggan, by Newtonmore, Inverness-shire), the body was later removed from this spot and buried in sanctified ground.

With this said, the exact purpose such monuments remains unclear, and it is likely given the moss and lichen growth that this is far older than the mythology implies. Indeed, one theory indicates that these were traditional marker stones of territory and highlighted important boundaries (this lies near the border of Badenoch and Lochaber). There is also a theory from the late Dr Richardson of Laggan that this marks an important battle site.
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NN4795, 21 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Thursday, 22 October, 2009   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 27 October, 2009
Standing stones   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NN 470 957 [100m precision]
WGS84: 57:1.6188N 4:31.2698W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NN 471 957
View Direction
West-southwest (about 247 degrees)
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