The Journal Of Antiquities

Ancient Sites In Great Britain & Southern Ireland

Inveryne Standing Stones, Argyll And Bute, Western Isles, Scotland

Os grid reference: NR9156 7496. In a field some 200 metres from the shoreline of Auchalick Bay in the west Cowal region and the parish of Kilfinan, Argyll and Bute, are three prehistoric standing stones known as the Inveryne Standing Stones or Auchalick Standing Stones, which are in fact a stone row, an alignment of shaped and jagged stones placed here 4,000 years ago. To reach these stones you need to come off the B8000 road about halfway between Kilfinan and Portavadie and ‘trek’ up a steep track passing Corr Mheall and then towards Inveryne farm – there are a number of other footpaths that lead in the same westerly direction but, be prepared for a long, arduous walk. The standing stones are approx 800 metres south-west of the farm, just to the north of Tigna Cladaich house. You can also reach the site from Melldalloch further to the east. Lochgilphead, the nearest town, is 8 miles to the northwest across Loch Fyne.

In the corner of a field near the footpath and a wooded area are three standing stones in a row looking rather forgotten and lonely in this rugged windswept landscape overlooking Loch Fyne and, in the distance the town of Tarbert. According to Canmore RCAHMS site no 39914 (1988) the three slabs vary in height and shape. The first stone at the north-east side stands at 0.75m (2ft 5) high and is straight-sided with a rounded top; the central stone is 0.95m (3ft 1) high, mainly rounded in shape with a natural depression, and the third south-westerly most stone is 1.05m (3ft 6) high and has a jagged top with slanting sides. A fourth stone, which is rarely mentioned lies recumbent and abandoned on the ground close-by. There may have been other stones forming this alignment and, if that’s the case these must have been robbed away?

I don’t know why these ancient stones are standing in this windswept location, unless they are in some way connected to a cup-marked rock to the northeast, at OS grid reference NR9217 7578, which can be found beside the footpath to Inveryne farm, southwest of Corr Mheall and the B5000 road. There are other standing stones and ancient burial sites in the Cowal region, and, also over on the Isle of Bute.

Sources: Canmore RCAHMS

Cowal and Bute Essential guide 2012, E & R Inglis Ltd., Dunnon, Argyll and Bute, 2012.

The Megalithic Portal

Carnac Stone Rows, Morbihan, Brittany

Carnac Stone Rows, the Morbihan Region, in Brittany.

Latitude 47.595977 Longitude 3.066988. The countryside around Carnac in the Morbihan region of southern Brittany abounds with standing stones that stride across the fields like ancient warriors – forming alignments or stone rows – perhaps the most famous being ‘Alignments de Kermario’ about 1 mile north-east of the village of Carnac, beside the D196 road (Route de Kerlescan). The nearest town is Auray 10 miles to the north-east. You can’t really miss these rows or avenues of prehistoric menhirs as they can be seen from three other country lanes running off the D196, or you can walk beside the stones if you wish. The stone rows start just a little to the north of the village of Kermario and fan out in the form of geometric patterns in a north-easterly direction for over half a mile (1,300 metres) standing like ageless sentinels in the landscape, often oblivious to the lanes that cut through the sides of them, and even then the stones have not lost out.

There are 10 stone rows or avenues at Kermario and upto 1,030 standing stones, seven of the rows being very well preserved. They are thought to date back to the Neolithic age between 3,300-4,500 BC and to have probably been placed here for astronomical purposes, perhaps in relation to the stars, but also to align with the summer and winter solstices, and also being used to predict lunar eclipses. One local legend says the stones are actually Roman soldiers turned to stone by St Cornely (Cornelius), the local healing saint of Carnac, who is patron saint of cattle and whose (pardon) is still held on the second sunday of September – the nearest sunday to his feast-day 16th September. St Cornelius should probably be identified with the pope and martyr of that name who died in 253 AD?

The stones were locally quarried and rolled along on shaped timbers by thousands of workers always ensuring a straight line was kept to. Some of the menhirs are now recumbant, while others tilt at various odd angles, but most of them remain in a relatively up-right position considering how long it is since they were placed there. The stones vary in size, but some are 20 foot high. At the north-eastern end of the alignment, near the Kerloquet road, a stone circle has been identified, and here the smaller scale Alignment de Kerlescan made up of over 500 stones takes over.


Thom, A & Thom, A.S., ‘The Carnac Alignmenents’, Journal for the History of Astronomy, 1972.

Copyright © Ray Spencer, The Journal of Antiquities, 2012 (up-dated 2021).

Turnaspidogy Stone Row, Co Cork, Southern Ireland

English: Cults Stone Row Row of three standing...

Turnaspidogy Stone Row, Co Cork. Photo credit Wikipedia.

Irish grid reference: W1876 6696. Three prehistoric stones together in a field just to the east of the Currahy road near the hamlet of Turnaspidogy (Tir Na Spideoga). The stones are a bit difficult to find at the best of times, but they can be found a little to the east of a farm building on a flat area of land where the land slopes gently away. A few miles to the south is Lough Allua, while the nearest town is Dunmanway 9 miles to the south-east. Another name for this ancient site is sometimes given as ‘the Cult Stones’.

The three stones stand on a low mound and are roughly aligned north to south. Originally they would have formed a stone row though any other stones, if there were any, have been robbed away to the locality to be used as gate-posts, perhaps? Farming has more or less destroyed the site. One of the stones has sadly now fallen over, but this would have been the tallest of the three at 2.4 metres in length. The other two stones stand between just under 1 metre to 1.7 metres in height. Neolithic people would have erected these stones on an alignment to mark a lunar event on the horizon, but probably not a solar event, as is sometimes the case.