Pre-history

Of relevance is the book “North East Perth, an archaeological landscape, published by HMSO, ISBN 0-11-493446-0, also  Glenshee Archaeological Project  webpages. The first section of Tony Reid’s book also covers the pre-history era.

Information taken from The Glens website:

There are a number of strange erratic rocks and boulders across the Mount Blair area. With them come stories, which are below. The word ‘stane’ is Scots for ‘stone’, and it is used in some instances but not in others.

Ardle’s Stane

This is reputedly the site of a grave connected to a battle in about 903AD between the Danes (Vikings) and local Picts.  It is in an impressive mound almost six metres long, beside the entrance gate to Dirnanean, with a standing stone (nearly two metres high) at the head and a smaller rounded stone at the foot.

Perhaps the most probable explanation is the suggestion that a Prince Ard-fhuil (or ‘Atholl’?), son of King Cruithne, fought in this battle as leader of the Picts and, in pursuing the Danes, was killed where his notable grave now is. It is quite likely that the local Picts would name the strath after their own fallen leader – the strath of Ardfhuil, or Strathardfhuil. Hence Strathardle.

The Parliament Stone

The meeting place at the rear of the church at the Spittal of Glenshee is believed to be the place where Scots Kings held Parliament when they were on hunting trips in the Royal Forests in the area.

With hunting lodges at Mar and at Castle Dubh in Braemar, King Malcolm and King David were frequent visitors to this district. Names like Kingseat at Ashmore (just outside Bridge of Cally) and Malcolm’s Seat (to the east of the Spittal farm on the A93) bear witness to that.

Collie Cams’s Stane

Collie Cam was purportedly one of a race of giants who lived in the glens long ago. This particular giant and his wife were a rather quarrelsome pair who were known to be guilty of throwing objects at one another as well as at their neighbours.

One day, their arguments had been particularly heated, and Collie Cam picked up a huge boulder with the intention of throwing it at his wife. Fortunately for her, just as he was about to throw it, it split and the respective halves landed one half (Collie Cam’s Stane) in Blackwater just beside the A93, and the other half (The Warrior’s Stone) in Glenisla at Clachnockater.

The Rocking Stane

This stone is a few hundred yards to the west of the main A93 road at the Craigton corner, and is  close to an old settlement of hut circles.  Follow the track up the hill until you are able to see the forestry road through the trees to the south of the track and you will also see the Rocking Stone.

This is a boulder estimated to weigh three tons which can be set in motion.  At one time it was able to rock a foot clear at one side from there it rocked 26 times before coming to rest.

The Serpent’s Stane

A witch used to live at the north end of Loch Beanie. She was known for being friendly and amiable, and a person who could cure minor ailments with her potions and herbal remedies. A local laird’s son fell ill and died. Looking for the cause of his son’s death, the laird immediately put the blame on the old witch. He was so consumed by grief that he decided to confront the witch with his accusations.

On doing so he became so enraged that the old lady took flight out of door where she turned herself into a serpent. Still being pursued by the laird she took refuge in a large stone at the rear of her cottage. She disappeared into the heart of the stone. The laird was unable to injure the serpent though he tried by repeated blows to the stone with his sword. These blows can still be seen on the stone today.

The laird was met by the serpent every time he passed that rock and she would taunt him with these words:

‘Laird as long as you look at yon crandle

and I at my stane

we may meet and crack

but we’ll never be friends’

The Stone of Justice

This was a local meeting place where local disputes were settled by the chiefs or priests of the time.

The Cock Stane

The Cock’s Stane lies close to west side of the A93, just a few hundred yards north of the Glenshee Pottery.

In the 15th century the Lords Superior of the glen were the Earls of Atholl. Their taxmen collected their dues on a regular basis. Quite often they would take a little more than they were actually due.

On one occasion, as the tax gatherers went on their rounds they took the poultry of a poor widow who lived near Finegand, in a cottage owned by McComie Mhor, a man of great physical strength. She complained to him that they had taken more than their due, so he took off in pursuit of them.

When he caught up with them he demanded the return of the fowls, but when this was refused he attacked the tax men and put them to flight. On its release, the cockerel immediately flew upon the large boulder and crowed lustily to reclaim his territory; and the rock was called the Cock’s Stane from that day on.

The Peaked Stone 

This distinctive stone is situated to the west of Glenkilry House, close to the track that runs up the glen. It overlooks an old settlement that was one of the victims of the clearances.

The Craggies and also older remains of hut circles, the stone will almost certainly have been a meeting place in far of times perhaps some forgotten legends exist of it.

The Spotted Pig’s Stone

This stone is to the north of Sheneval in Glen Taitneach.

A parish midwife’s services were required in one of the sheilings and a neighbour had given her a lift on his pony to the area. As they passed the stone she asked him how could she repay his kindness, and he replied by asking her to warn of any death in the family. To this she told him he would be warned by the sqealing of a pig.  At that very moment a young piglet ran sqealing from below the stone which from that day has been known as ‘The Spotted Pig Stone’.

 

The standing stone at Glenshee church
This page was added by Sally Gingell on 19/11/2013.

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