Clach na Sithean, Strathtay, Perthshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – NN 895 531

Also Known as:

  1. Balendune
  2. Ballinduin


This large cup-marked stone was known by local people as the Clach na Sithean, or the stone of the fairies.  Its smooth surface and well-cut grooves was said to be due to the fairies sharpening their knives upon it, and the straight cuts or grooves were tests of the keenness of their blades.

In addition to the fairies having hold over this stone, a brownie creature also roamed between here and the burn of Allt Mor.  Although a dutiful creature, he commonly used to scare the women when they returned from the ceilidhs by chasing them and screaming a curious noise at them. But as well as this, he would also enter the local houses and farms after nightfall and, when the local folk were asleep, would clean the supper dishes and put them in their rightful places. But if there was no work to be done once he had entered their homes, he would take the dishes out and place them on the floors where they would be found in the morning by perplexed householders.  Then they’d know that the brownie had visited. Sometimes he was a great help to the housewives, other times a nuisance.  He became known to local people as Puddlefoot, or Cas an Lubain, but so offended was he by the name when he heard it, that he let out an almighty scream and vanished, never to be seen again.


  1. Kennedy, James, Folklore and Reminiscences of Strathtay and Grandtully, Munro Press: Perth 1927.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

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