Samson Stone, Callander, Stirlingshire

Legendary Rock:  OS Grid Reference – NN 60399 07820

Also Known as:

  1. Samson’s Putting Stone

Getting Here

Samson Stone on Bochastle Hill

Go west out of Callander on the A84 road and after a mile or so turn left at Kilmahog, down the A821.  After a few hundred yards, past the parking spot by the roadside, look up the small Bochastle Hill on your right and you’ll see a large singular boulder resting on top.  That’s it!

Archaeology & History

When I first wandered up to this giant rock, I was hoping there may have been cup-markings on its surface, but none could be found.  The stone is a glacial erratic.  The Iron Age hillfort of Dunmore is 370 yards (338m) to the southwest.

Folklore

Samson Stone, close-up

In Mr Rogers’ (1853) fine historical tour of the region, he notes the Samson Stone “on the summit of one of the eminences of Bochastle,” a couple of miles west of Callander, but wondered “how it came to occupy this remarkable position.”  If he’d have asked some of the old locals they may have told him what Rennie McOwan (1996) came across and described in his excellent work on the folklore of Scottish mountains.  For the Samson Stone was traditionally thrown here by one of the Fingalian giants in ancient times.  It was originally located upon Ben Ledi, nearly 3 miles northwest, and was one of several stones being thrown in a competition to see who was the strongest of the giants — and Samson was the name of the one who threw this huge rock.  Another version of the same legend tells that the stone was originally thrown from Ben Lawers, 21 miles (34km) to the north.

References:

  1. Bain, William, Around and about Callander, Callander & District Round Table n.d. (c.1978).
  2. McOwan, Rennie, Magic Mountains, Mainstream: Edinburgh 1996.
  3. Roger, Charles, A Week at Bridge of Allan, Adam & Charles Black: Edinburgh 1853.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

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  56.242326, -4.254206 Samson\'s Stone