The largest Standing Stone in the Ecomuseum.
This giant of a stone measures about 12 ft high and stands on a large, low mound. Probably late Neolithic or early Bronze age ( (c 3,000 – c 2,100 BC), it is linked to the Scottish King Macbeth (c1005-1057).
Also called Siward’s Stone (the traditional site of the Battle of Dunsinane (1054), where Siward, Earl of Northumbria defeated Macbeth lies around 10 miles west of the stone in the Sidlaws) and the Witches’ Stone it was first recorded in more recent history by Thomas Pennant, the Welsh naturalist, traveller and antiquarian, writing in 1776:
Known locally as being a gathering place of witches, another version of the stone’s association with Macbeth is recorded by the folklorist James Guthrie, who wrote that this “erect block of whinstone, of nearly twenty tons in weight…(is) said to be monumental of one of his (Macbeth’s) chief officers”.
However, the Celtic historian, Nick Aitchison has pointed out in his study of the historical MacBeth that “another MacBeth was sheriff of Scone in the late twelfth century and it is possible that he, and not MacBeth, King of Scots, is commemorated in the name.”
The Canmore entry records that a stone coffin is said to have been found at the base of the stone, although it does not state when.
Running almost around the middle of the stone, on all four sides, are almost 70 cup-markings (no rings or additional lines are visible).
Whilst archaeologists have yet to give the site the attention it deserves, others interested in megalithic sites have suggested that the cupmarks show the constellation of Perseus, one of the 48 ancient constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, with the galactic plane of the Milky Way running through it. Another that a ‘simulacra’ of a human face can be seen on the upper section of the monolith on its southern side.