Ancient Monuments

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Luath's Stone, standing stone

A Scheduled Monument in Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.2234 / 57°13'24"N

Longitude: -2.5971 / 2°35'49"W

OS Eastings: 364040

OS Northings: 814895

OS Grid: NJ640148

Mapcode National: GBR M9YM.NXQ

Mapcode Global: WH8NZ.2PJV

Entry Name: Luath's Stone, standing stone

Scheduled Date: 9 March 2007

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM11630

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: standing stone

Location: Tough

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire


The monument comprises a single granite standing stone of prehistoric date. The stone occupies a prominent position on a saddle between two hills, in an area of grass and heather scrub.

The monument measures approximately 2.8m in height, 1m in breadth from NE to SW and 0.7m in thickness. Boulders lying at the base of the stone on the NW may represent packing of the pit in which the stone was placed. There are also at least four outlying smaller stones, between 0.3m and 0.5m in width, situated at a distance of between 4.5m and 5m from the standing stone, which possibly represent the remains of an associated stone circle.

The area to be scheduled is circular on plan, to include the standing stone, the outlying stones and an area in which evidence relating to the construction and use of the monument may survive, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

Cultural Significance

The monument's cultural significance can be expressed as follows:

Intrinsic characteristics: The characteristic structural features that define this class of monument are well preserved and the associated archaeological deposits are very likely to remain well preserved. The survival of a series of outlying stones, possibly representing components of a stone circle, has the potential to enhance significantly enhance understanding of the monument.

Contextual characteristics: The monument occupies a prominent position in the landscape with wide views, particularly to the SW. It is monumental in the landscape and would have had a significant place within the prehistoric landscape of the area. Its sheer size is an indicator of its importance. It belongs to an important group of ritual monuments in NE Scotland that are our main index of the nature and extent of Neolithic and Bronze Age settlement in this area.

Associative characteristics: There is a variety of traditional evidence regarding the name of the monument, sometimes referred to as Macbeth's Stone. Lulach was the name of the hound of the Gaelic demi-god Cuchullin, but it has also been claimed that the stone commemorates Lulach, King of Moray and a stepson of Macbeth.

National Importance: The monument is of national significance because of its size, monumentality and rarity. There is good potential for the survival of archaeological evidence relating to its construction and use. Traditional evidence regarding the monument's name and possible commemorative associations enhances its interest. The monument occupies a prominent position in the landscape where prehistoric people conducting their day-to-day activities would have been able to see it. Its loss would significantly affect our ability to understand this landscape.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS record this monument as NJ61SW 5.


Coles F R 1903, 'Report on the stone circles of North-Eastern Scotland, chiefly in Auchterless and Forgue, with measured plans and drawings, obtained under the Gunning Fellowship' PROC SOC ANTIQ SCOT 37, 87-8.

Ordnance Survey 6" map 1869, Aberdeenshire, 1st edition.

Simpson W D 1949, THE EARLDOM OF MAR, Aberdeen, 51-2.


SC681785. View of standing stone.

SC730412. Annotated drawing of stone from album, page 65 (reverse).

Digital image of ABD/507/1/P (date: 1832).

D73926. Luath's Stone. PO standing Stone. (Copy held on file).

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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