Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Incised stone, 190m north west of Cranachan Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Caol and Mallaig, Highland

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Latitude: 56.9219 / 56°55'18"N

Longitude: -4.8024 / 4°48'8"W

OS Eastings: 229526

OS Northings: 784673

OS Grid: NN295846

Mapcode National: GBR GBJF.6Z1

Mapcode Global: WH2GN.68FY

Entry Name: Incised stone, 190m NW of Cranachan Bridge

Scheduled Date: 25 October 2001

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM9751

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Crosses and carved stones: inscribed stone

Location: Kilmonivaig

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Caol and Mallaig

Traditional County: Inverness-shire


The monument consists of an angular boulder, situated at the junction of the Cranachan Road, on which is an incised carving of a chalice and the elevated Host. The boulder is traditionally said to be a Mass stone dating from the period of Roman Catholic Prescription dating from 1560-1793 (although rarely enforced vigorously after 1730, apart from during the Jacobite uprisings).

The mass stone at Cranachan is traditionally associated with Cumberland's persecutions. It is believed to have been used as an altar in large open air services, although the carving may have been later, having been ascribed to D.C. Macpherson. Such places of worship were by their nature transitory and the site at Cranachan is unusual in leaving any material remains.

The stone is cemented into the ground (having once been washed into the river) and measures 55cms by 60 cms and is about 40 cms high.

The area to be scheduled is a circle measuring 5m in diameter, as indicated in red on the map, to include the boulder and an area around it, within which related material may be expected to be found.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance as a rare material reminder of the Penal era of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland. It demonstrates the survival, and the struggle for survival, of the Roman Catholic faith after the Reformation in certain parts of Scotland.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NN 28 SE 5.


Historic Catholic Sites in the Highlands and the North East of Scotland ' Leaflet compiled for the Scottish Catholic Heritage Commission.

MacDonald, A. and MacFarlane, R. (1995) Cille Choirill. Roy Bridge.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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