|Muirheadstone - a description of the standing stone alignment at Muirheadstone in Perthshire, and its astronomical significance.|
Standing stones NN050383*
How to find : The site is 4km south of Dunkeld or 2.5km north of Bankfoot on the B867, and is visible in a field to the west of the road, just south of Stare Dam.
Best time of year to visit : Midsummer sunrise, about June 21st.
This is a pair of standing stones in alignment in a field by the road. The stones are both about 1.5 metres tall. The southern stone is a squat squared block and the northern is rounder, and leans slightly to the north-west. They stand about three metres apart.
To the south-west the indicated bearing through the middle of the stones is 222.5°.With a very close horizon height of 2.7° the resulting declination is -21.8°, which is not of any particular significance, though it is close to the position of the sun half way between the winter Quarter day in November and the winter solstice, and also the halfway position between the winter solstice and the other winter Quarter day in February.
The very close horizon to the south-west suggests the alignment was intended to work in the opposite direction.
To the north-east the bearing is 42.4°. The horizon was blocked by trees at the time of the survey, but is taken to be about 1°. This would give an indicated declination for the alignment of +24.5°, close to the position of the rising sun at midsummer. If the horizon is slightly lower the declination would be closer to the true midsummer figure.