Scheduled Monument

Stone Lud, standing stone, recumbent stone and cairn 240m WSW of Ludstone CottageSM487

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (

The legal document available for download below constitutes the formal designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The additional details provided on this page are provided for information purposes only and do not form part of the designation. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within this additional information.


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Prehistoric ritual and funerary: cairn (type uncertain); standing stone
Local Authority
ND 22168 61741
322168, 961741


The monument comprises a standing stone known as 'Stone Lud', a recumbent stone located 30m to the southeast, and a cairn about 10m to the northwest. The remains date to the late Neolithic or early Bronze Age (around 3500- 2500 BC). The recumbent stone lies in a shallow hollow, its upper surface on about the same level as the surrounding turf. The cairn is visible as a low, turf-covered mound with a flat top. The site lies 70m above sea level, on a gentle northwest-facing slope, with long views particularly to the west and northwest.

Stone Lud stands approximately 2.6m high and is 1.1m wide and 0.5m thick at the base. The second stone, which appears to be a fallen standing stone, measures about 2m long by 1.5m transversely. One end is rounded while the other was obscured by turf in 2015. The cairn is approximately circular in plan, 9m in diameter, and stands about 0.3m high. A low, discontinuous bank around the recumbent stone may derive from past excavation to reveal its form.

The scheduled area comprises two parts: a circular area to the northwest measuring 26m in diameter including Stone Lud and the cairn and a circular area to the southeast measuring 10m in diameter to include the recumbent stone. The scheduled area includes the remains described above and areas around them within which evidence relating to the monument's construction, use and abandonment is expected to survive, as shown in red on the accompanying map. The scheduling specifically excludes the above ground elements of a stone dyke. The monument was first scheduled in 1938, but the documentation did not meet current standards: the present amendment rectifies this.

Statement of National Importance

The monument has the potential to enhance our understanding of prehistoric ritual, ceremonial and funerary activities, and to provide information about the beliefs of the people who erected and used standing stones and cairns. The standing stone is an impressive field monument that appears to be in its original position, allowing interpretation of the monument in its original landscape context. It has additional importance because of the presence of a second stone and a cairn, suggesting complex use of the site over a period of time. The standing stone is an important part of the local landscape, and it is likely to have been a focal point from the time of its erection and use onwards. The loss of this example would diminish our ability to understand the nature of prehistoric belief and ritual in Caithness and the placement and function of standing stones and cairns within the landscape.




Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland: CANMORE ID 8852 (accessed on 28/04/2016).

The Highland Council Historic Environment Record references are MHG42066 and MHG 2353 (accessed on 28/04/2016).

HER/SMR Reference

  • Highland Council HER Reference MHG 42066

About Scheduled Monuments

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Scheduling is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments and archaeological sites of national importance as set out in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We schedule sites and monuments that are found to be of national importance using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Scheduled monument records provide an indication of the national importance of the scheduled monument which has been identified by the description and map. The description and map (see ‘legal documents’ above) showing the scheduled area is the designation of the monument under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The statement of national importance and additional information provided are supplementary and provided for general information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland accepts no liability for any loss or damages arising from reliance on any inaccuracies within the statement of national importance or additional information. These records are not definitive historical or archaeological accounts or a complete description of the monument(s).

The format of scheduled monument records has changed over time. Earlier records will usually be brief. Some information will not have been recorded and the map will not be to current standards. Even if what is described and what is mapped has changed, the monument is still scheduled.

Scheduled monument consent is required to carry out certain work, including repairs, to scheduled monuments. Applications for scheduled monument consent are made to us. We are happy to discuss your proposals with you before you apply and we do not charge for advice or consent. More information about consent and how to apply for it can be found on our website at

Find out more about scheduling and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 18/10/2021 17:41