Tods Stone, Monifieth, Angus

Standing Stone (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – NO 486 339?

Archaeology & History

The only reference I can find about this site is in A.J. Warden’s (1880) massive survey of the county of Angus—previously called ‘Forfarshire’—where, in his discussion of the hillforts of the area, he told us that,

“About a quarter of a mile distant from The Laws is the Gallow Hill of Ethiebeaton.  In a field, a little to the south, there formerly stood a large upright stone called Tods Stone.”

All trace of it disappeared when quarrying operations were undertaken there, also destroying a number of prehistoric tombs close by.  The monolith may have had some association with the tombs, but we cannot be certain.

The name of the stone, tods, probably derives from the word ‘foxes’, although we cannot be certain of this either, as there are a variety of other Scottish dialect words relating to ‘tod’that may have had bearing on the name.

If anyone has any further information about this long lost site, we would gladly welcome it.


  1. Grant, William (ed.), The Scottish National Dictionary – volume 9, SNDA: Edinburgh 1973.
  2. Warden, Alex J., Angus or Forfarshire – volume 1, Charles Alexander: Dundee 1880.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

Holy Well, Balmossie Den, Broughty Ferry, Angus

Holy Well:  OS Grid Reference – NO 47217 32714

Also Known as:

  1. Cat Craig Well
  2. Cauld Water Wellie
  3. Wishing Well

Archaeology & History

The old Wishing Well or Holy Well of Monifieth, c.1900

This little-known site is thought to be the ‘Well’ that is still marked on modern OS-maps at the grid-reference given here, on the north side of the A92 at Balmossie Bridge, although no names are cited on any of the official maps to confirm this.  When Brotchie & Herd (1980) described the old well in their photo-history of the area, they told that it was found “at Balmossie Den,” adding that

“the area is much overgrown now, but the well still exists.  It is inscribed, ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again T.E. 1847.’  These initials are of Thomas Erskine of Linlathen who had the stone erected on the supposed site of a medieval holy well.”

Just below here used to be the remains of an ancient chapel, which Tom Erskine thought gave this well holy sanctity.  In the late 19th and early 20th century, the site gained repute as a wishing well, where people left offerings for the spirit of the waters in exchange for health and other good deeds.  The area of Broughty Ferry and Monifieth was a seat of the Culdees, with ancient trees and land hereby dedicated to St Bridget and Our Lady, although there remain no extant traditions indicating that this site had any direct associations with such mythic figures.


  1. Brotchie, A.W. & Herd, J.J., Old Broughty Ferry and Monifieth, N.B. Traction: Keighley 1980.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian