Clach na Sithean, Strathtay, Perthshire

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

Also Known as:

  1. Balendune
  2. Ballinduin

Folklore

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.

References:

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

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

loading map - please wait...

  56.657058, -3.803241 Clach na Sithean

Clach na Buidseach, Strathtay, Perthshire

Cup-Marked Stone:  OS Grid Reference – NN 916 541

Also Known as:

  1. The Witchcraft Stone
  2. Witches Stone

Folklore

In Mr Kennedy’s book (1927) on the folklore of Strathtay, he informed that this Witches Stone was examined and taken to Edinburgh sometime in the 19th Century, but returned to its home by a local man called Mr McNaughton who lived at Bail-an-eas.  The stone was restored close to the walls in which it was first found.  He also told us the following:

“In bygone days the witches of Strathtay amd Grandtully had their great meeting place at Tulliepourie. There the Witches’ Stone…with its round bowl-shaped holes, is still in evidence. Satan attended and assumed the shape of a he-goat; but going to the meeting he is said to have rolled along in the shape of a large cart-wheel – gyrating and describing the figure eight. This must have been an exceedingly interesting site! The orgies that ensued at these meetings were disgustingly wicked!”

The fairy folk, whose main home was the hill of Craig Scriadlain further uphill from here, would also have their revelries here.  Many of the other sites near here were also used by the same little people of Scriadlain.

References:

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

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian

 

loading map - please wait...

  56.666970, -3.768471 Clach na Buidseach