Clach na Criche - The Wishing Stone


Clach na Criche - The Wishing Stone

Take the lovely coastal road between Lochaline and Drimnin and seek out The Wishing Stone on the shores of the Morvern peninsula. Take time to admire this impressive rocky outcrop with its large angular hole and follow the ritual to make your wish come true.

The Wishing Stone is part of a dyke that intruded verically into a fissure in the surrounding bedrock around 60 million years ago. Subsequent erosion of the surrounding bedrock left the dyke exposed as a prominent rocky outcrop with a large angular hole in the centre.

Although the Wishing Stone is a natural feature, it has played a prominent role in the local history and tradition of the region. The Gaelic name for the stone, Clach na Criche (boundary stone) indicates the role of the outcrop as a boundary marker; a role it has served since pre-historical times.

The Wishing Stone has also been a traditional stopping place for funeral processions from Lochaline to the graveyard at Drimnin. A cairn was typically built at the site by the mourners using stones from the beach to remember the recently deceased. The numerous small cairns by the Wishing Stone bear witness to this tradition.

According to local folklore, the Wishing Stone had magical properties and could make your dreams/wishes come true. A wish would be granted if you filled your mouth with water from the local spring and carried out the ritual. The ritual involved passing three times through the central hole in Clach na Criche without touching the stone or swallowing the water, whilst all the while thinking of your wish. If you were successful your wish would come true.

Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to carry out the ritual as the local spring/stream no longer exists. It is also not advisable to clamber through the central hole as the structure is now regarded as potentially unsafe. However, Clach na Criche is still a magical place to visit and, if your desire is to spend some time in a beautiful location in the West Highlands, may be Clach na Criche has already granted your wish.

Take time to admire this fine example of an igneous intrusion which is adorned with a colourful patchwork of lichens and take in the stunning coastal views across the Sound of Mull.

Clach na Criche can be readily accessed from the B849. Take the B849 from Lochaline to Drimnin. Park at the Forestry Commission Car Park, approximately 1.5 km west of Fiunary. The Wishing Stone is a short walk west from the car park on the opposite side.

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