Balliscate, Tobermory, Mull
|Balliscate - a page describing the alignment of standing stones at Balliscate, by Tobermory, Mull|
Standing stone alignment NM499542*
How to find: One kilometre south of Tobermory on the A848 look for a rough road on the right at Balliscate. You may wish to walk up this road rather than drive it. The stones are visible in the field to the right after 400m. (Site also referred to as 'Tobermory').
Best time of year to visit: Any clear night or midday.
This is an alignment of three stones, with the central stone having fallen or been pushed over to Christianise the monument by making a cross shape. The stones are 2.5 and 1.8 metres in height, and the row is about five metres long.
A survey shows that the stones lie on a north-south line, only 3 - 5 degrees east of north. This seems to suggest that the prehistoric peoples who erected the stones wished to mark the area in the northern sky around which the heavens appeared to revolve, known to us today as the 'pole'. Other sites in this web guidebook feature the same orientation, for example Carnasserie, Salachary and Dalarran Holm.
At this site the northern horizon is made more dramatic than usual by the mountains of Ardnamurchan which dominate the view, with the most spectacular being Ben Hiant, 10km distant.
To an observer seated on the ground by the southern stone at night and looking northwards for a period of hours, the stars would appear to wheel slowly around a point in the sky which the line of stones indicates.
Also an observer looking southwards about midday would see that the stones always point to the sun as it passes its highest position in the sky for the day.