Cillchriosd, Mull - standing stone
|Cilchriosd - a page describing the astronomical alignment of the standing stone at Cillchriosd in Mull|
Standing stone NM377535*
How to find: On the B8073, 0.5km west of Calgary, there is an unclassified road which leads eventually to Caliach farm. Travel along this road for 1.5km - the standing stone is visible in a field to your right.
Best time of year to visit: Summer solstice sunset / Lunar minor standstill.
This stone is set on the attractive north coast of Mull, with the jagged peaks of Rhum and Skye visible on a clear day to the north.
The stone is a solid flat faced block, and is unusual as an astronomical marker. However, its thickness and solidity has ensured that it has remained exactly vertical, where thinner stones would have been dislodged by generations of cattle using them as scratching posts. Standing about two to three metres away and viewing along the longer axis of the stone almost ten degrees of horizon are covered, so the declinations given here are not necessarily deliberate.
To the distant horizon to the south-east, on a bearing between 131° and 141° the declination intended may have been -20°, the position of the rising moon at one extreme of the minor standstill.
To the north-west the 'horizon' is very close, in fact it is part of the same field, and the sea horizon which could have been used by moving the stone a few metres to the north has been ignored. The bearings covered by the stone produce a declination of about +24°, the position of the setting sun at midsummer. You may judge for yourself on a visit to the site whether either of these possible lines is viable.
The Cillchriosd menhir with the island of Rum in view.