Historical Stones

 Prince Ard-fhuil's grave Prince Ard-fhuil's grave


The Danes were aggressors from the east, having traveled up the eastern seaboard from their bases in the north-east of England. Like the Vikings, they specialized in guerrilla-style attacks, intended to paralyse a community. It is known that they came to this district.

The Battle of Tulloch 903 AD

'The second recorded battle in the district in fact involved the Danes, who were invading swiftly from the east in about 903AD. They encountered the defending local Picts at Enochdhu in Strathardle, midway between Moulin and Kirkmichael. The battle is said to have taken place at Tulloch (from tulach, meaning ‘a knoll’), where there is now a house of that name to the south of the road on a knoll a little to the east of Glenfernate bridge. The Danes were on this occasion repulsed by the Picts.
A grave connected with this battle is in an impressive mound almost six metres long, beside the entrance gate to Dirnanean, with a standing stone (nearly two metres high) at the head and s smaller rounded stone at the foot. One explanation has it that this is the grave of the fallen Danish leader, whose name was unknown, as a result of which the Picts dubbed him “Ard-fhuil” (‘of noble blood’). It does, however, seem unlikely that the defeated leader would receive such an auspicious grave and such reverence as to name the strath (Strathardle) after him, in preference to its previous name (strath na muc riabach, meaning ‘strath of the brindled sow’).
Perhaps more probable is the suggestion that a Prince Ard-fhuil (or ‘Atholl’?), son of King Cruithne, fought in this battle as leader of the Picts and, in pursuing the Danes, was killed where his notable grave now is. It is more likely that the local Picts would name the strath after their own fallen leader, not least because the strath presumably had a previous name which was displayed in deference to this historic event'.
(Taken from 'Pitlochry - Heritage of a Highland District' by Colin Liddell).

The Rocking Stone

This stone is a few hundred yards to the west of the main A93 road at the Craigton corner, and is  close to an old settlement of hut circles.  Follow the track up the hill until you are able to see the forestry road through the trees to the south of the track and you will also see the Rocking Stone. 

This is a boulder estimated to weigh three tons which can be set in motion.  At one time it was able to rock a foot clear at one side from there it rocked 26 times before coming to rest.

Clach Na Nathraice - The Serpents Stone

A witch used to live at the north end of Loch Beanie. She was known for being friendly and amiable, and a person who could cure minor ailments with her potions and herbal remedies. A local laird's son fell ill and died.  Looking for the cause of his son's death, the laird immediately put the blame on the old witch. He was so consumed by grief that he decided to confront the witch with his accusations.

On doing so he became so enraged that the old lady took flight out of door where she turned herself into a serpent. Still being pursued by the laird she took refuge in a large stone at the rear of her cottage. She disapeared into the heart of the stone. The laird was unable to injure the serpent though he tried by repeated blows to the stone with his sword. These blows can still be seen on the stone today.
The laird was met by the serpent every time he passed that rock and she would taunt him with these words.

'Laird as long as you look at yon crandle
and I at my stane
we may meet and crack
but we'll never be friends'

Clach Sgorach - The Peaked Stone

This distinctive stone is situated to the west of Glenkilry House, close to the track that runs up the glen. It overlooks an old settlement that was one of the victims of the clearances. The Craggies and also older remains of hut circles, the stone will almost certainly have been a meeting place in far of times perhaps some forgotten legends exist of it.

Clach Na Muice Brice - The Spotted Pigs Stone

This stone is to the north of Sheneval in Glen Tatenach. A parish midwife's services were required in one of the sheilings and a neighbour had given her a lift on his pony to the area. When she enlighted on the stone she asked him how could she repay his kindness, and he replied by asking her to warn of any death in the family. To this she told him he would be warned by the sqealing of a pig.  At that very moment a young piglet ran sqealing from below the stone which from that day has been known as 'The Spotted Pig Stone'.

Clach A Mhoid - The stone of Justice The Stone of Justice

This was a local meeting place where local disputes were settled by the chiefs or priests of the time.


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