Ancient Monuments

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Cup and ring marked stone, dun and farmstead 70m south west of Brae of Cultullich

A Scheduled Monument in Highland, Perth and Kinross

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Latitude: 56.6196 / 56°37'10"N

Longitude: -3.8252 / 3°49'30"W

OS Eastings: 288099

OS Northings: 749016

OS Grid: NN880490

Mapcode National: GBR JCX6.YB7

Mapcode Global: WH5MW.6WR6

Entry Name: Cup and ring marked stone, dun and farmstead 70m SW of Brae of Cultullich

Scheduled Date: 13 May 1968

Last Amended: 2 December 2020

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM2669

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric domestic and defensive: dun; Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cupmarks or cup-and-ring m

Location: Logierait

County: Perth and Kinross

Electoral Ward: Highland

Traditional County: Perthshire


The monument comprises a cup and ring marked stone and the remains of a possible dun, overlain by the fragmentary remains of an 18th to 19th century farmstead. It is primarily visible as a substantial earth and stone mound incorporating several large boulders. The remains indicate at least three major phases of use for the site, stretching from the Neolithic period through to the early 19th century. The monument is located on the southern side of Strathtay and lies around 210m above sea level on a natural terrace between the gently sloping ground to the north towards the River Tay and slightly steeper ground to the south towards the top of Sròn a' Ghamhuinn.

The cup and ring marked stone is a large boulder, 2.5m across at its largest and around 1m high. On its relatively flat upper surface are at least 15 cup marks along with at least one cup and ring mark. The possible dun and the former farmstead are both visible as a large mound of earth and stone, measuring around 30m north-south by around 40m east-west, and standing up to 3m in height.

The scheduled area is irregular. It includes the remains described above and an area around within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes the above ground elements of the telegraph pole within the scheduled area, to allow for its maintenance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The national importance of the monument is demonstrated in the following way(s) (see Designations Policy and Selection Guidance, Annex 1, para 17):

a.  The monument is of national importance because as a multi-period site it makes a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past, or has the potential to do so. In particular the cup marked stone adds to  our understanding of Neolithic and early Bronze Age ritual monuments of Strathtay, while the dun adds to our understanding of agriculture and settlement patterns and practices in late prehistory.

b.   The monument retains structural, architectural, decorative or other physical attributes which make a significant contribution to our understanding or appreciation of the past. In particular, there is potential for the preservation of buried features and deposits, including further structural remains and environmental or palaeobotanical remains over an extended time period.

d.   The monument is a particularly good example of a multi-phase prehistoric and historic monument within this area and is therefore an important representative of this monument type.

e.   The monument has research potential which could significantly contribute to our understanding or appreciation of the past, in particular, it holds the potential to enhance our understanding of prehistoric ritual and settlement practices within Scotland, the social and economic conditions surrounding them, and their relationships over time.

f.   The monument makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the historic landscape by its prominence within the arable farmland along this stretch of the River Tay valley.

Assessment of Cultural Significance

This statement of national importance has been informed by the following assessment of cultural significance:

Intrinsic characteristics (how the remains of a site or place contribute to our knowledge of the past)

The monument is an upstanding example of a multi period monument, comprising a cup and ring marked stone, a possible dun and part of an 18th-19th century farmstead. They survive as a substantial earth and stone mound up to 40m across and 3m high, near the top of which the cup and ring marks are clearly visible on a large boulder. Although the monument has been disturbed, it remains a prominent and visible feature in the landscape.

The precise dates of the various parts of the monument are unclear from the available evidence, although the sequence can reasonably be determined. The cup and ring marked stone is the oldest known feature of the site, and this type of rock art was created in many parts of Scotland during the Neolithic and early Bronze Age around 4000-2000BC. The next phase of the site would be the creation and use of the dun, a substantial stone building type, thought to be a type of defensive settlement building, that was used for a long period within Scotland, with examples ranging in date from the Iron Age around 600BC through to the early Medieval period around 800AD. The final known phase of the site is the creation of part or all of a farmstead on the site, likely dating to the 18th or early 19th century, and this is visible as an unroofed building and enclosure walls on the Ordnance Survey First Edition mapping later in the 19th century.

Although some of the remains on the mound are undoubtedly from this farmstead, the volume of material and the scale of some of the visible remains is far greater than would be expected from a single farm building, and this supports the presence of multiple phases of construction and use on this site. Archaeological evidence preserved within the monument itself would provide more accurate information on the type and date of construction of the different parts of the monument, the order in which they were created and used, and any additional elements on the site that may not currently be identifiable.

Given the good level of preservation of the monument, there is a high potential for the survival of artefactual, environmental or palaeobotanical remains. Such archaeological deposits can help us to better understand beliefs surrounding ritual practices in the Neolithic and Bronze Age, as well as trade and contacts, social organisation and the climate and local vegetation at the time of construction. These deposits may also help us understand the precise date of construction and use of the dun, along with wider information about the social, economic and environmental conditions at the time. Finally, although 18th-19th century farmsteads are not uncommon, there is high potential for archaeological evidence showing the physical impact of the farmstead upon the earlier remains, and the relationship between them. The monument therefore has the potential to enhance our understanding of the nature and development of prehistoric monumentality and ritual, the nature of belief systems, settlement and agricultural practices and the physical relationships linking different periods of a single site across an extended time period.

Contextual characteristics (how a site or place relates to its surroundings and/or to our existing knowledge of the past)

The monument is part of a rich landscape of prehistoric and historic monuments found along the River Tay, and it is also comparable with other sites further afield within Scotland. It is, however, rarer to find three different site types combined together in one location, rather than as separate entities, and the relationship between the different periods found at Brae of Cultullich is significant.

Other examples of cup marked and cup and ring marked stones can be found in many parts of Scotland, including at least three other examples around Brae of Cultullich farm (Canmore ID 25581, Canmore ID 91654, Canmore ID 91655). Slightly further afield in the area surrounding Aberfeldy are multiple further examples, including Margmore (scheduled monuments SM7767, SM7768), Urlar (scheduled monument SM4588), Lundin (scheduled monument SM1563) and Glassie (scheduled monuments SM9511, SM9682), and this concentration, coupled with other contemporary monuments such as stone circles and burial mounds like Carse Farm (scheduled monument SM1511), Balnaguard (scheduled monument SM2232) and Balhomais (scheduled monument SM1499), highlights the importance of this region of Strathtay during the Neolithic and early Bronze Age. Similarly, the presence of multiple other duns in the area highlight its continued importance through the Iron Age and beyond, with nearby examples including Creag A' Chaisteal (scheduled monument SM2493), Middleton (scheduled monument SM2692), Balintuim (scheduled monument SM2860) and Tomtayewen (scheduled monument SM2621). The final phase of the site, the farmstead, is a very common site type across Scotland, with many remaining in active use, but is also reflective of the value of the Tay Valley as a valuable agricultural area through into the modern era, highlighting the links between prehistoric and modern day land use and settlement patterns.

The site at Brae of Cultullich is positioned on the southern side of the River Tay valley, around 1400m southeast of the river itself, and even today the monument is a relatively prominent feature in the landscape. It occupies an open position and would have had extensive views of the landscape across and along this stretch of the valley of the River Tay. To the north, the land slopes gently downwards towards the river, while to the south of the site a slightly steeper climbs upwards towards the top of Sròn a' Ghamhuinn. Monuments such as Brae of Cultullich are one of our main sources of information about the nature of Scotland's prehistoric society and landscape.  These monuments can give important insights into the prehistoric and historic landscape and add to our understanding of social organisation, land division and land-use.

Associative characteristics (how a site or place relates to people, events, and/or historic and social movements)

There are no known associative characteristics that contribute to this site's cultural significance.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 25610 (accessed on 31/07/2020).

Historic Environment Scotland reference number CANMORE ID 25615 (accessed on 31/07/2020).

Perth and Kinross HER Reference MPK 1000 (accessed on 31/07/2020).

Perth and Kinross HER Reference MPK 1004 (accessed on 31/07/2020).


HER/SMR Reference


Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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