The Neolithic Stone Balls of Scotland

neolithic stone balls from Aberdeenshire
The Neolithic stone balls are about the size of tennis balls.

The Neolithic stone balls of Scotland are rather beautiful things. They’re mainly found in Aberdeenshire, sometimes buried beside stone circles. The carvings on them are varied, and some of them have knobs. Yes, we could have a lot of fun with the balls and knobs of this post, but let’s not go there 😀

The exact use of the balls is unknown. Many of them are lacking signs of wear and tear, so they’re not generally thought to have been weapons.

The above stones are in the Arbuthnot Museum in Peterhead. I took the picture in 2020, right before lockdown, having just become well enough to go out and about again. I posted on Twitter about including such a stone in my – then – work in progress.

SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD is set well after the date of these balls. They’re estimated to be 5000 years old. But Morragh knows that it’s an old object. She calls it the ‘ancestor stone,’ and sometimes it travels about with her.


I am before the Calgach and we look into one another’s eyes. It does not hurt too much, this looking, this time. He does not question me or try to interrupt what I am doing. I lay the knife in front of him, still looking into his eyes, and then the stone ball which makes a large hollow echoing sound as it connects with the table, silver sickle encircling it.

Further Reading

You can read more about the Neolithic stone balls on the National Museum of Scotland site here. Below is the stunning Towie ball which is part of their collection.

Neolithic stone balls: the Towie Ball

Recent Reviews

Sisters at the Edge of the World cover

SISTERS is an unusual book with an unconventional narrative voice, as is noted in the following review.

Andrew G Lockhart: “Morragh walks in a mystic and magical realm, but one which recaptures the wild simplicity and beliefs of the peoples of pagan Scotland.” See review here.

The Mermaid and the Bear cover

And then MERMAID got a great review from Louisa Blackburn: “I really, really like the way the accents are written. I talked about them enough to where my mom asked me, “Are you reading the story, or are you listening to it?” I read the book, but the accents were written in a way that I knew what everyone sounded like.” See the whole review here.

We’ve had balls and knobs, so why not baubles too?

Tendu by Ailish Sinclair

Dance, danger and desire collide in TENDU, a seductive tale set in the mystical landscape of Scotland. Will love conquer all?

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“You will cry, you will laugh, at one point you may even clutch your pearls…” Goodreads review

My historical novels all involve dark events, romance and a little magic…

All my books are available in paperback, kindle and on kindle unlimited.

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Novels by Ailish Sinclair

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35 Replies to “The Neolithic Stone Balls of Scotland”

  1. Perhaps the balls were for darning socks. They
    could also be useful weapons if placed in the toe of stockings and hurled club like at the heads of foes. Just saying…

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