This stone slab was used for an ancient game known as merils or Nine Men's Morris. Scratched into the surface of the stone is a pattern of squares, one within another. The game is for two players. The object is to get three counters in a row at the point where the lines joining the corners and the mid points intersect. Merils was a popular game during the Middle Ages.
The example found here probably dates from the 11th century and was discovered reused as a building stone in the 13th century chapel at Barhobble, Wigtownshire.
Similar stone gaming boards were found during the archaeological excavations at Whithorn.
The remains of the Early Christian and Medieval chapel at Barhobble have been consolidated and the site is open to the public. It is about 1 mile north of Elrig village close to Airylick Farm. The finds from the Barhobble excavation are on display at the Whithorn Trust Visitor Centre.
In the collection of Stranraer Museum.