Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Stone Lud, standing stone, recumbent stone and cairn 240m WSW of Ludstone Cottage

A Scheduled Monument in Thurso and Northwest Caithness, Highland

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »
Street or Overhead View
Contributor Photos »

If Google Street View is available, the image is from the best available vantage point looking, if possible, towards the location of the monument. Where it is not available, the satellite view is shown instead.


Latitude: 58.5368 / 58°32'12"N

Longitude: -3.3385 / 3°20'18"W

OS Eastings: 322168

OS Northings: 961741

OS Grid: ND221617

Mapcode National: GBR L635.CD8

Mapcode Global: WH6CY.PPFH

Entry Name: Stone Lud, standing stone, recumbent stone and cairn 240m WSW of Ludstone Cottage

Scheduled Date: 25 May 1938

Last Amended: 10 May 2016

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM487

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Prehistoric ritual and funerary: standing stone

Location: Bower

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Thurso and Northwest Caithness

Traditional County: Caithness


The monument comprises a standing stone known as 'Stone Lud', a recumbent stone located 30m to the southeast, and a cairn about 10m to the northwest. The remains date to the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age (around 3500- 2500 BC). The recumbent stone lies in a shallow hollow, its upper surface on about the same level as the surrounding turf. The cairn is visible as a low, turf-covered mound with a flat top. The site lies 70m above sea level, on a gentle northwest-facing slope, with long views particularly to the west and northwest.

Stone Lud stands approximately 2.6m high and is 1.1m wide and 0.5m thick at the base. The second stone, which appears to be a fallen standing stone, measures about 2m long by 1.5m transversely. One end is rounded while the other was obscured by turf in 2015. The cairn is approximately circular in plan, 9m in diameter, and stands about 0.3m high. A low, discontinuous bank around the recumbent stone may derive from past excavation to reveal its form.

The scheduled area comprises two parts: a circular area to the northwest measuring 26m in diameter including Stone Lud and the cairn and a circular area to the southeast measuring 10m in diameter to include the recumbent stone. The scheduled area includes the remains described above and areas around them 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 a stone dyke. The monument was first scheduled in 1938, but the documentation did not meet current standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument has the potential to enhance our understanding of prehistoric ritual, ceremonial and funerary activities, and to provide information about the beliefs of the people who erected and used standing stones and cairns. The standing stone is an impressive field monument that appears to be in its original position, allowing interpretation of the monument in its original landscape context. It has additional importance because of the presence of a second stone and a cairn, suggesting complex use of the site over a period of time. The standing stone is an important part of the local landscape, and it is likely to have been a focal point from the time of its erection and use onwards. The loss of this example would diminish our ability to understand the nature of prehistoric belief and ritual in Caithness and the placement and function of standing stones and cairns within the landscape.


Source: Historic Environment Scotland



Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: CANMORE ID 8852 (accessed on 28/04/2016).

The Highland Council Historic Environment Record references are MHG42066 and MHG 2353 (accessed on 28/04/2016).


HER/SMR Reference

Highland Council HER Reference MHG 42066

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Other nearby scheduled monuments is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact for any queries related to any individual ancient or schedued monument, planning permission related to scheduled monuments or the scheduling process itself. is a Good Stuff website.