The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Ben Loyal

Rocky Outcrop


Janet and Colin Bord give a very strange tale for this mountain in their 'Atlas of Magical Britain', but as usual don't reveal their sources, so perhaps a reader will know if this story is still current, or from where it originates.

The mountain is said to be magnetic and distorts compass readings, confusing hikers. There is supposed to be a large smelting furnace at its heart, where iron ore is smelted by dwarves. A standing stone somewhere on the mountain is called 'the Stone of the Little Men' and if you leave a silver coin and a drawing, the dwarves will make you your object and leave it on the stone for you.

The mountain does actually contain veins of the unusual earth elements La and Ce.

So, is this a recent romantic view of the mountain? or a weird memory of iron toolmakers and their newfangled technology?!

This story (or essentially a similar retelling of it)
is also attached to the mountain, according to
p159 of
The Folk-Lore of Sutherland-Shire
Miss Dempster
The Folk-Lore Journal, Vol. 6, No. 3. (1888), pp. 149-189.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
29th October 2003ce
Edited 3rd April 2007ce

Comments (2)

Came across the source for this today! Swire's 'The Highlands and their Legends' (1963), it also contains a wonderful tale of a character called St Lawrence and his experiences with the dwarfs and trolls of Ben Loyal as he tries to get them to build a church for him! Posted by LauraC
16th April 2016ce
Excellent. I love it when Christian saints and supernatural creatures hang out together. Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
18th April 2016ce
You must be logged in to add a comment