The Stones at Dull

Ordnance Survey Map Reference NN806492

The little village of Dull, in the Appin of Dull, Glen Lyon, Perthshire, lies on the B846 west of Aberfeldy, and has a long and interesting history. Many megalithic remains in the area point to its ancient history of habitation since earliest times. The Culdees had a main religious site here, and the small chapel or kirk which stands here lies (it is believed) on the site of the Culdee's religious buildings. Saint Adamnan (or Eonan as he was known in Scotland), Abbot of Iona and chronicler of the life of Saint Columba, is reputed to be buried here. There is a large, undecorated (and unfortunately damaged) cross close to the entrance to the chapel, guarded by a railing. Canmore describes this as a sanctuary marker, rough-hewn and approximately 5'10" in height. There were originally three present, but the commissioner of the Menzies estates removed two (under local protest) to make gate posts. He was warned he would not long survive this sacrilege, and shortly afterwards did indeed meet a violent end. These crosses now reside in the old church at Weem. The arm of the remaining cross was broken when a runaway horse dashed against it the cart it was dragging, and the broken arm is said to be built into the wall of the farm buildings which stand behind it. Information courtesy of Seton Gordon's excellent "Highways and Byways in the Central Highlands".

The broken sanctuary cross near the chapel

The chapel, too, is interesting, being one of those long associated with the Knights Templar. It was for a while used as the repository for one of the copies of the Lia Fail (moved there after St Columba's Church in Dundee was demolished). Closed now, one cannot access it - which is a pity, as there are some interesting artefacts to be seen inside. The floor of the main area is white, with a large red Templar Cross in the centre. Examine the building, and the graveyard, very carefully, if you are interested in the history of the Scottish Templars. Many clues remain for those with eyes that see.

A broken stone found in the graveyard before 1900 now resides in the National Museum of Scotland, and 2 further free-standing crosses (possibly sanctuary markers according to Canmore) from here have been moved to the church at Weem, to the east of Dull along the B846. Either side of the door of the chapel are two small cross-marked slabs, both found during building work around the nearby cottages:

The cross stone to the left side of the door of the chapel

The cross stone to the right side of the chapel door

A field to the west of the village has a cup-marked rock in it. It is rather fun to find, as the landscape is littered with large rocks! Here's a picture for those who cannot summon up the energy to find it!!! Interestingly, as we found when the Megaraks visited on 13/10/02, the cup-marks align NE-SW, declining in size to the SW. Projecting a line each way on this access points directly to the chapel to the NE, and to the Dull 4-poster to the SW. Another of those strange little things which crop up in stones research... This particular stone does not appear to be either of the ones remarked upon in Canmore - is it possible we have discovered another?

The cup-marked rock in the field to the west of Dull

Click here for a map
courtesy of StreetMap

Return to Symbol Stones index