Welcome – and thank you for joining me. This new blog is a continuation from my old, now defunct blog ‘Walking With A Smacked Pentax‘ – which if you have viewed it’s last post you will know why I have started this one. More info can be found in the ‘About’ Page. I hope you like this new one as much as you have enjoyed the last one, and will stay and accompany me on my new journey. Anyway, on with the show!
Scotland has many ancient remains.
During my frequent excursions to this wonderful land, I come across – nay, actively seek out the ancient and mysterious. Stone circles are my favourite, and scotland has some of the finest. This is Killin circle, nr. Loch Tay. It isn’t actually the subject of this particular post, but it serves to illustrate just one of Scotlands Bronze Age circles. There are plenty more!
It was on one of these visits that I heard this tale. I know the person who related it to us very well, and I have no doubts as to the authencity of the story.
This person was hiking in a remote part of the highlands in early winter several years ago. It was getting dark and decided to stop in a local pub for the night. After a few ‘drams’ with the locals, he asked if there were any ancient artifacts about he might visit in the morning. He was told that there were ‘some stones’, but they were ‘tucked away’ for the winter.
Asking for clarifcation, he was told that locals from the next village unearthed the stones when winter arrived. They were then very carefully wrapped in old cloths ‘to keep them safe and warm during the cold’, and placed snugly in hay in a barn. Come Beltane (Gaelic May Day) they were brought out and replaced in their holes. Fires were then lit and people danced around the stones. Beltane rituals are performed throughout the British Isles, so this was nothing new – but he had never heard of putting the stones to bed for the winter.
Astonished, my friend returned to the same place in summer and the stones were in a field where he was told they would be. Examining the stones, he noticed that holes where the stones were put had fresh earth around it, the obvious conclusion was that they had been rehoused recently!
A similar tale concerns another stone circle, again in Scotland, but this time near a large village. Two friends of ours were looking for directions and chanced upon an elderly lady tending her garden. Striking up a converstion, my friend asked if she knew of any ancient artifacts nearby. Surprisingly, she told him there was a ‘Druids circle’ at the back of her house! She and her sisters used to play in it as children. Asked if they could see it, he was led to the circle – and it was a genuine, unrecorded Bronze Age stone circle.
He said he was surprised that no one had recorded it before, and she said that some people from the Royal Commission had unexpectedly showed up several years ago asking about it, and because they were rude to her she said she had never heard of it and promptly shooed them off her property! Some of the older people in the village knew about it, but rarely spoke about it to outsiders.
Even in the 21st century, there are still old legends and ways known only to locals in the remote places of the Dales, deep moors and Scottish Highlands.
It is these tales that I will try to convey in this blog.