Carmyllie Hill, Greystone, Angus

Cairn:  OS Grid Reference – NO 545 434

Also Known as:

  1. Fairyfold Hillock
  2. Fairy Folk Hillock


An intriguing site this, as it doesn’t appear to be in the Canmore archaeological register – unless it’s the Canmore site 34750.  Yet Alexander MacGregor (1937) mentions the place in his folklore study as being a site where the little people lived.  Shown on the first OS-map of the region as ‘Fairyfold Hillock’, Mr MacGregor (1937) said of it:

“Near the summit of Carmylie Hill is a large barrow or tumulus, which was believed at one time by the natives to be a favourite haunt of the fairies, where, with much splendour, they held their nightly revels. It still bears the name of ‘Fairy-Folk Hillock.'”

However it seems that quarrying operations may have destroyed the site.  The tomb here was probably the same one described by Mr Andrew Jervise in the Journal of the Kilkenny and South East of Ireland Archaeological Society (1864-66), where he wrote:

“Many years ago I took note of another example of these ‘footmarks,’ which was found in the parish of Carmyllie…  This was discovered in the course of making agricultural improvements some thirty-five years ago, on which occasion stone coffins or cists were got, and in one of these was a bronze (?) ring, of about three inches in diameter, now said to be lost.  Apart from the cists there was a rude boulder of about two tons weight; and upon the lower side of it, as my informant told me, was scooped the representation of a human foot. This too was associated with the elves; for the hillock upon which these discoveries were made was called the ‘fairies’ knowe;’ and tradition says that, but for a spirit that warned the workmen to suspend operations when they began to prepare for the foundations of the parish church, the church would have been built upon that spot!”


  1. MacGregor, Alexander, Highland Superstitions, Eneas MacKay: Stirling 1937.

© Paul Bennett, The Northern Antiquarian